Breastfeeding and Marital Life
Nursing a baby affects different couples differently. Some become closer and others become far apart. When intimacy becomes strained, it is important for couples to assess the situation carefully and come up with a plan to fulfill their sexual needs without compromising the care of the baby.
First of all, men should understand that breastfeeding takes a huge toll on the body and psyche of women. The close bonding and frequent feeding of the new baby may reduce your level of physical intimacy with your wife. You may want to try some of the following hacks:
1. Help with the child care. Let your wife take a nap while you take the baby out for a walk. Let your wife get some extra sleep at night while you feed the baby from a cup or bottle. Cook breakfast while she is still sleeping in the morning. Do the dishes while she is doing the laundry… Being of help can be very seductive to women.
2. Hire a nanny and go out for a date night. Most nursing mothers stay indoors throughout the first few months of childbirth. Some may not even step out of the door to get some fresh air for days. This will result in low mood and loss of interest in pleasurable activities such as sex. Take her to the beach or a fancy restaurant. You will be surprised at how recharged she will be after coming back home.
3. Slowly restart sexual intercourse. The hormonal changes of pregnancy and lactation are responsible for lower libido and slower sexual response in women. Give her time to become excited for sex. Engage in non-penetrative intercourse and spend more time on foreplay. Be sensitive to her cues and know when to slow down.
4. Use water-based lubricants generously. Most women experience vaginal dryness during lactation. Dryness may cause bruising and pain, which in turn causes aversion to sex.
5. Praise her for the good job she is doing. Women love to be validated and appreciated. Avoid making hurtful comments about the physical changes going on in her body or the space created by the presence of the baby. Let her feel secure and supported. Let her know that you are here to walk her through the journey, with love.