Your Relationship with Your Partner
Having a baby will transform your life in many wonderful, meaningful ways. But, it can also change your relationship with your partner.
In your new role as parents, you may feel differently about yourselves and each other. One of the best gifts you can give your baby is to continue to nurture your relationship with each other.
Your Partner After Delivery
Having a baby is an emotional and physically demanding experience. Now more than ever, your partner will need the support of family and friends to get the rest she needs, particularly if she is breastfeeding. If your budget allows, you may even want to consider hiring a temporary housekeeper to help keep things in order during your partner's recovery.
Your partner should make an appointment with her obstetrical care provider for about four to six weeks after the baby is born (unless the provider has requested to see your partner sooner). This visit generally includes a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear, and will give your partner the opportunity to ask any questions that may have come up since the baby's birth. You will also want to discuss your plans for birth control at this visit.
Resuming Sexual Activity
Most doctors say it's safe to resume intercourse about six weeks after delivery. Some women may feel ready to resume sexual relations prior to six weeks, and others may feel they need more time to recover from the rigors of childbirth. It all depends on how you feel physically and emotionally and whether you had an episiotomy, vaginal tear or cesarean section. Additionally, the demands of taking care of a newborn can make some women feel less than enthusiastic about resuming sexual activity. Recognize that feeling uninterested in sex after childbirth is normal for some women. Give your partner time to recuperate from childbirth and adjust to the demands of motherhood. And remember: unless you are planning to be pregnant immediately, use birth control.
More than half of all new mothers experience the "baby blues," a short period after delivery when they may feel mild sadness, some irritability or a sense of worry. Thankfully, most women recover from the baby blues within a few weeks of delivery.
Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is more serious than the baby blues. It generally lasts longer, doesn't go away on its own and is more likely to advance if it's not properly treated. If you or your partner think she might be suffering from postpartum depression, or if you have questions about its signs or symptoms, be sure one of you contacts a professional for guidance.
Last updated July 01, 2009