New-Born Blues: How to Get Back on the Sex Track

Dear Dr. Patti:

I had a baby six weeks ago. It's been eight weeks since my husband and I had sex. Normally we have sex a lot. I'm also breast-feeding and had a C-section. Until recently, I didn't feel like being touched, but now I want my husband to make love to me. I'm afraid he no longer finds me attractive. I have 15 pounds to lose and have been working out three to four times per week.

What can I do to get over these unattractive feelings and make my husband want me? I think his lack of interest is partially my fault. When we met I wasn't in perfect shape, but I loved life anyway and that's what he saw in me. Needless to say, we had awesome sex. If you have any ideas let me know. Thanks.



Dear B:

Congrats, Mom!!! You have entered a new, exciting chapter of living, and your body is needed for different things now . . . it's no wonder you haven't felt all that sexual.

That does NOT mean, though, that sex is eighty-sixed. If you are feeling ready to dive in again to the stream of sexual and sensual pleasures with your honey, then talk to him about it. Communication is step one. Next, keep on that path of reclaiming your body as your own. It's sometimes difficult for new mothers to resexualize themselves, now that they have become baby-feeding machines, after being the baby oven for what may seem like an eternity. It's tricky for some to cross back.

You are ONLY six weeks into postpartum. You need to give yourself a chance to recover -- both outside and in. Take the time to regroup, heal and strengthen (including doing those PC or Kegel exercises). You also need to consult with your gynecologist about the optimal time to resume sexual contact, especially sexually penetrative activities such as intercourse with your man.

Feeling attractive is an "inside job," yet it's one that is fueled by external responses to your sex appeal. Once your body and energies seem to be restored to a quasi-normal state and you have rested a bit from the demands of this new member of the family, then you can focus on becoming that sexy damsel of old. Let your man in on your innermost feelings, and experiment with ways of feeling and looking good to YOU . . . and then to him. Maybe a day at a spa, a night out without the newborn in an adults-only club or just being hugged will improve your outlook. Take a deep breath, and take your time.

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