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Girl Talk: Lost Libido?

Q. I feel like I give my body to my baby all day. The last thing I want to do is give it to my husband at night. How can I look forward to sex again?

A. Hmm?define "look forward." Do you mean how do you entertain the idea, or how do you enjoy the act? If you shudder at the thought of anyone snuggling up to you after 12 straight hours of baby holding, speak to your hubby about when he gets his piece of the pie. He doesn't get to order a slice whenever he's hungry. Think about when you are the least tired and have the longest break away from your baby. That may be in the morning before work. Or perhaps it's on the weekend, during the baby's first nap of the day. If you're honest with yourself, you can probably come up with a time that might accommodate both of you. After you see his face fall when you explain that every waking moment is not necessarily a "good time," follow up with a reminder that this entire situation is temporary. (Besides, although I don't know your man, I'm going to guess that any romantic overtures will be accepted, no matter what time they occur.)

On to the act itself. As you know, you're at a disadvantage. Post-birth, your body sabotages your sex drive to give you time to recover before the next pregnancy. On top of which, you're sleep-deprived and have vital areas that are either still healing or dead to the touch.

That said, there is a way to make sex work, at least mechanically. When your libido dries up so does everything else, so have him pick up some vaginal-lubrication cream. (I'm pretty sure if the tube comes with a promise of sex, embarrassment won't be an issue.) These encounters may not be as much fun as prebaby ones, but with patience and understanding on both sides, they can be fulfilling.

Meanwhile, take heart that in time your body will heal, your baby will sleep more, and your libido will return from vacation, ready to go.

Kitty O'Callaghan is a mom of three living in White Plains, New York.