So you have a newborn. And they are so cute, and they smell so good, and they make the cutest sounds ever… and all you want to do is watch them. Your time is consumed with everything baby, you’re still recovering from birth and at times it feels like your body is so foreign to you. It’s all new territory whether it’s baby number 1 or number 5, so how, in all of this, do you find the time to connect with your husband?
It’s honestly so easy to let that connection with hubby fall by the wayside when you have a new baby. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to spend time with him, it’s just that there are all these extra demands on your time, your physical and mental energy and your body, that things like talking, physical touch, and intimacy just get pushed aside.
When my daughter was born, I felt like my heart was going to literally explode with love for my husband. The way he just took care of everything was amazing, the way he looked at me was incredible and the way he just held everything together (me included) was more than I can even put into words.
But… we still found it hard to really connect. He was looking after me, and looking after our family, but finding time to look after ‘us’ as a couple was difficult.
Here’s how we managed to get through it and how you can connect with your husband after having a new baby:
1 – Be Kind To Yourselves
We say this over and over again, be kind to yourself. You’ve just gone through an absolute rollercoaster of emotions, hormones and physical changes. You have grown and birthed your baby and now you’re finding your feet in motherhood, which is a whole new adjustment regardless of how many times you’ve done this before.
Be kind to yourselves and give it time to settle into these changes.
2 – Don’t Create Unrealistic Expectations
I read in a mothers group one time a comment from a new Mama who said her husband was pressuring her to have sex after 6 weeks because that’s when the doctor said it would be okay. She wasn’t ready, but felt like she had to because he wanted to.
Let me be clear on this: there is no rule that says when you should have sex after having a baby. I’ve known Mamas who have been ready and able after 3 weeks, and I’ve known Mamas who have waited over a year. Both are completely okay.
The key is communicating with your husband. Talk to each other about how you feel, talk to him about your body and what you’re feeling and what’s happening. So many women have so much shame about their bodies, about things that are perfectly natural.
I can relate because I felt like this too. But I still shared with my husband what was happening so he could understand a little more why I felt the way I did and what my body was doing after birthing our baby.
Talking and communicating with each other can help avoid creating unrealistic expectations about intimacy and sex after birth.
3 – Say It
Sometimes we think things without saying them out loud. Like when I would watch my husband rocking our daughter to sleep and I just felt this overwhelming sense of love and calm. Or when he would make sure our son was getting attention too because our daughter was taking up so much of our time and I was so grateful to him for that.
Instead of just thinking these things, I made the point to say them out loud. Words are powerful and they can help us convey to each other that even though everything is changing and we may not be able to spend as much time focusing on each other as we once did, we still see and appreciate each other.
4 – Never Underestimate The Power Of Physical Touch
Did you know the hormone that helps your uterus contract during labour, and helps your breastmilk let down, and helps you fall in love with your baby is the same hormone that is released when we touch our husbands? You know when your husband puts his arm around your waist, or pulls you in for a cuddle and you just feel so loved. THAT is the work of oxytocin and it is so powerful.
Physical touch doesn’t mean you have to roll around the sheets naked. Again, if that’s what you want to do, then go for it. But simple things like a hug, holding hands, or just his arm around your shoulders can help stimulate oxytocin, and can help you to feel connected.
Often it’s that physical connection we forget when we are catering to the needs of a newborn, and sometimes we can feel so touched out and not want to be touched by anyone, but even just holding hands while you sit on the couch together can help you keep that physical connection.
5 – Communicate Your Needs
Almost all marital issues can be traced back to one key problem – unmet expectations. When you have a new baby and you’re venturing into this world of parenting, your expectations of yourself as a Mama and your husband as a father may be different to what he expects.
It’s important to talk about these before they lead to frustrations.
Simple things like who is going to do what housework or cooking can be small issues to start off with, but lead to massive arguments if not resolved. Did you talk about what your expectations were after having a baby?
6 – Give It Time
As with most things, over time you find your new routine, your new normal and things tend to settle to a new equilibrium. Always refer to the first point, be kind to yourselves, keep talking to each other and over time you’ll find things will get easier.
Connecting to your husband after you have a new baby isn’t always easy and sometimes takes a little more conscious effort. But as long as you keep talking to each other, keep loving each other, and keep putting each other first, then you’ll start to feel connected again in no time.