Having a baby changes a person’s life greatly. Not only because there is another precious person to take care of, but also because it affects the intimacy level of the parents. As if having an obstacle to achieving intimacy with the one you love wasn’t already a problem, when a woman has postpartum depression, the door to intimacy can seem closed. Numerous women suffering from postpartum depression have said that being intimate with their partner was the last thing on their minds.
The Mayo Clinic defines postpartum depression as a form of depression experienced by many women after giving birth. Some signs of postpartum depression include:
- Loss of appetite
- Suffering from bouts of intense levels of irritability and anger
- Constant fatigue
- Loss of sexual appetite
- Losing a zest and joy for life
- Feeling inadequate to be a mother
- Severe mood swings
- Having a hard time bonding with their newborn
- Withdrawing from associating with family and friends
- Numerous thoughts of causing harm to oneself as well as their baby
This mixture of emotions about life and about being a mom can be moderate or severe. So it’s only natural that sex is placed on the back burner. After all, when a woman feels inadequate, sex is not going to be the first thing on their mind.
The thing to remember is that suffering from postpartum depression is not a sign of weakness or inadequacy. A woman is not a bad person because she is suffering from postpartum depression. This form of depression doesn’t just affect the new mother, but it affects her partner as well. The severe mood swings and lack of interest in sex can greatly affect their partner, causing sexual problems.
The key to getting back to a normal routine is to first treat the depression. The root cause of the sexual problems has to be taken care of first, before as a couple the new parents can slip back into their normal sexual routine. It can take several weeks and sometimes months to get back to what both people deem normal, everyday life.
Once the issue of the postpartum depression has been handled, then it’s time to enhance that “loving feeling.” The first step is for both parents to get plenty of rest. Yes, there is a desire for sex, but if both parents don’t get the rest they need then the true enjoyment of sex won’t be there. Once both parents are completely rested, then they’ve got to make time for sex. Between working and parenthood, finding time for sex can be difficult but it has to be there. Even if both parties find 30 minutes in their day, it’s important to just make time to get intimate with one another.
If problems persist in the bedroom, then consulting a medical doctor may be needed. Most often, however, when both parents get plenty of rest and gently work back into a sexual routine, the intimacy level will increase.