Most women are pretty shocked when they have their first child. While everyone knows that having a baby changes your life immeasurably, the reality is often unimaginable. Suddenly there is this little thing requiring attention 24/7 and life as you once knew it is forever changed. Poos, pees, burps and feeds become like a mantra for the new mother, and there is little more time to concentrate on other aspects of life, particularly sexual intimacy. But maintaining sexual intimacy is vital for relationships to thrive, even more so after a new arrival.

While sex may not feature high on the list of priorities once baby has arrived, it offers a raft of benefits for you and your partner, and the relationship. It can be easy to sacrifice intimacy and connection in favour of some quiet time or sleep, though when relationships encounter such immense changes, maintaining connection with your partner is important. The reality is, for partnered mothers, your relationship becomes another source of support, and ensuring that the relationship remains strong is vital. Sex and intimacy bond couples even more, allowing them to feel closer to one another and create deeper bonds.

Accepting the fact that time may be quite limited for a while, creating a realistic schedule for intimacy and connection can be very useful. Whether that is one a week or once a month is completely up to the individual, but ensuring that there is space to get close to your beloved and sticking to the routine can help you both relax and ease into the rest of your time together. Without the underlying pressure that a sexless relationship can create, you can both rely on the allocated times, knowing that you will connect intimately again.

Often after children, many people worry that sex might be painful or sore for the mother, so this can also reduce the opportunities for intimacy. Knowing that sex doesn’t have to mean penetration can remove a lot of pressure, and allow you both to enjoy other ways of expressing your sexuality. Oral sex, mutual masturbation, and even just cuddling naked can release the same happy hormones that sex provides. Broadening your sexual repertoire and exploring alternative ways of sexual expression will allow you to feel closer and more connected with the worry of pain or other complications that penetration may present.

Having a child does not have to spell the end of intimacy. Accepting that your intimacy may change or be expressed in different ways after having a child is an important step in the process of becoming sexually fulfilled parents. Mixing things up and getting creative in the bedroom might be all it takes to renew your intimate connection and feel those loved up honeymoon feelings again. Setting aside dedicated time for intimacy can be an important part of becoming a happy and healthy family. Allowing yourself to remain the sexy woman you felt you were before having children might make the transition into parenthood just that much more rewarding!