February usually reminds many of us of the month of “love and romance”.
No matter how romantic your relationship was before your little one, the number one enemy of romance is exhaustion. You are in survival mode for a few months after baby’s arrival. Along with lack of sleep comes other big changes that the birth parent is now experiencing.
Hormone changes, body image, sore and tenderness in what used to be your erotic zones all add up to the new norm (at least for the immediate future).
Hearts and flowers, dinner out, wine, and if you are lucky, snuggling under a blanket in front of a fire. For most new parents these will be just a beautiful memory for the next little while.
Let’s look at what is realistic to keep your flames burning without the disappointment from memories of days gone by.
Romantic and Loving Activities:
Plan your date nights, spontaneity is very difficult at this time. Book child care (or Doula Support) so there are no interruptions when it’s your special one on one time.
- A date night now looks like a coffee break or if you are lucky dinner alone without the worry of the little one needing attention
- Non sexual but sincere loving touches are always appreciated by both parents and help keep that connection
- Love talk, praise and recognitions on both sides say ‘I see where you are at’ and ‘I am thankful you are my partner’
- Love notes and little surprises
- Praising and recognizing each other’s efforts
- Massage or shower together
- Snuggle, touch and connect as often as possible, we all need constant reassurance
- Quiet bath with candles, warm towels and indulging bath oil
- Self Care time for the birth parent. This can include a mani-pedi, hair treatment or even a coffee
- Walks holding hands in a nature setting is bonding
Always acknowledging the little things, especially around the house, can make either parent feel appreciated
- Notice and mention when you see something that they have done (even though you may really have expected it).
- Laundry (never folded your way but oh well), meals prepared, snacks, tea or other drinks brought to the bedside, shopping, tidy up, pet care, sibling care along with responsibilities that were always in their domain.
Many partners are just as exhausted and stressed as the birthing parent but feel they not allowed to share this for fear of repercussions. This is the perfect way of adding the love talk to let them know how much you care for them.
Intimacy may look different after baby and many Partners are counting down the days to the 6 week check up and go ahead to adult activities. Not all Birth Parents share this same enthusiasm and are actually afraid of this time. They may feel insecure, worry about pain, worry about not being sexually attractive and hormone changes that may interfere with past pleasurable activities. The best advice for all of these things is to talk about it ahead of time so you are both on the same page. Start slow without expectations of any end results. Find alternative pleasuring techniques (this may be a great time to experiment with something new there are a lot of options). Most importantly, remember what brought you two to this point in your lives and the love you still hold for each other.
Don’t forget. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need some alone time, or couple time, We are just a phone call away.
Do you know a couple that needs some time to reconnect? You can gift them Doula Support so they can have a few hours of support and a chance to rest/recharge.