Between the demands of her new babies and her post-pregnancy body, sex isn’t high on Heather’s priority list.
"My stretch marks have their [own] stretch marks! The last thing I ever want to do is have sex," says the 29-year-old mom of twins. "We probably haven't had sex now since I got pregnant last April, so we're talking almost a year!"
She jokes that her sex life will be back in tact when the kids leave for college in 18 years, but she'd like to find a way to reconnect with her husband, Ben, before then.
With all of the changes to your body, your schedule, and your relationship, it's helpful to start slowly as you head back to the bedroom by keeping these four tips in mind:
START WITH A KISS
Women are usually physically ready to have sex about six weeks after giving birth, Dr. Levkoff says, but that doesn't mean they're emotionally raring to go.
To get back in the mood, just spending time kissing (yes, like you’re in junior high!) is a great way to get to know your partner again and get back in the mood, says Dr. Levkoff. “There are a lot of behaviors leading up to intercourse that result in orgasm, pleasure and bind couples together."
ASK FOR HELP
Being a new mom is tough—call on your support systems to help you make time both for yourself and your spouse. Even just 20 minutes to have a cup of coffee or peacefully read a magazine can be enough to re-energize your day!
HELP YOUR HUSBAND UNDERSTAND
When he can, encourage your husband to come to your doctor’s appointments, ask questions, and learn about your experience from your doctor’s perspective. Whereas a man might think his wife isn’t interested in sex, a doctor can explain that it might be uncomfortable—not personal!
REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE TOGETHER
Remind yourself why it’s worth it to find time for each other. "It is important to be intimate again with your partner,” says Dr. Levkoff. “You don't want to lose that romantic and sexual connection.”