Babytalk's Big Sex Survey
Quickies, low libidos and 3 a.m. rendezvous: Babytalk's largest sex survey invites you into bedrooms of parents everywhere
Reigniting the flame: surefire tips for better post-baby sex
* Be patient Mom's body needs a break after delivery. The standard recommendation is to wait four to six weeks after a vaginal delivery. If you had a C-section, your doctor may suggest waiting longer. Once you resume, think sparklers, not fireworks. "For most women, the first few times they have intercourse in the postpartum period are uncomfortable," says Dr. Hakakha.
* Back to basics Just because you can't rev the engines for those first couple of months doesn't mean you have to turn off the car. "We tend to forget what we did before we had sex," Paredes says. "There's a lot you can do that doesn't include penetration, like touching, kissing, hugging, playing and rubbing."
* Got lube? For breastfeeding moms, the increase of prolactin leads to a decrease in vaginal secretions. Try a water-based lubricant like Astroglide.
* Date night, stat! Scheduling regular outings with your partner is critical, but "don't mix baby and date night," says Paredes. "Taking the family to Babies R Us and then dinner doesn't count." Date night doesn't have to be a scene out of chick flick either. "Date night can be a candlelit dinner, but don't limit yourself. Drop off the baby with a family member or babysitter and go window-shopping through a mall. Being in each other's presence is what's important."
* Happy wife, happy life Some woman goes through a "self-esteem plunge" during the first year of motherhood, says Paredes. "She feels uncomfortable in her body that she may not even recognize. She feels guilty about going back to work, and incorporating her pre-baby life into her post-baby life. We need to give mom more credit and patience." Dad needs to lead the charge. "Help around the house more," Dr. Grimes says. "The baby introduces many new chores, and the previous ones do not disappear." The easiest chore of all: regular compliments. "Guys need to remember to tell new moms they're beautiful," she adds. "And please -- compliments need to come all the time, not just when they're asking for sex."