Coping with parenthood takes a tremendous ability to adapt. Another sort of relationship that is likely to be threatened by a baby is the one that is stable to the point of inflexibility. These people don’t like the unexpected, so strict routines are established and any disruption causes anxiety. Dinner is supposed to be on the table at six o’clock, shirts washed and ironed and hung in the wardrobe ready to wear, the house clean and tidy at all times, lights out at ten and sleep until the alarm goes off at six. Well, you can imagine the effect of night feeds and the huge additional workload of caring for an infant around the clock make it impossible to stick to those old routines.

Even the most adaptable relationships can take some adjusting and many people just don’t expect the degree of change, including the differences in their sexual needs. One mother told me, ”We were very sexual before the baby arrived and it came as a great shock to me that I wasn”t the slightest bit interested for ages afterwards. My breasts were always a really important part of stimulation for me and it just wasn’t the same going to bed wearing a nursing bra. My libido didn”t come back until I’d stopped breastfeeding. Actually, I found feeding was almost a sexual experience in itself. It’s not like an orgasm you”d get with your partner, but it’s certainly incredibly sensual.


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