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Tips to change your attitude about your postpartum body and rekindle your sex life

Jennifer Wider, MD, author of The New Mom's Survival Guide, is a doctor specializing in women's health issues. She is the medical advisor to the Society for Women's Health Research in Washington, DC and is a regular contributor to Cosmop...

Keep the spark alive

Do you loathe your postpartum body? Is sex the last thing you want to add to your new mommy daily roster of duties? Despite the changes your body has gone through (and there will be more changes to come) and the nearly nonexistent libido you are experiencing, keeping the spark alive with your partner is important. You may think you'll "get around to it later" but the longer you put it off, the harder it may be. Here are some top tips to celebrate your post-baby body and rekindle the romance that got you pregnant in the first place.

5 tips to feel better about your postpartum body

1

Couple in Bed

Review your expectations

If you were under the impression that you'd slip right back into your hippest pair of jeans right after the baby was born, you may need to accept that for most women, this just isn't realistic. Sure, there are the lucky few who can be seen lounging poolside in sexy bikinis three or four weeks post-baby, but if you're reading this, you are probably not among them. Remember, it takes time and effort to get that body back. And a few extra pounds, plus a stretch mark or three (and a varicose vein), shouldn't stop you from getting it on with your partner, especially if you're in the mood. Some of these changes will fade or disappear altogether, but others may be here to stay, so you'll have to get used to them. Chances are your partner will be so excited to get a little action, he won't care about the changes you're obsessing about.

2Give yourself a break

You've just been through a tremendous event that has taken an inevitable toll on your body. You should feel beautiful and proud, not embarrassed or self-conscious. That body of yours is a magnificent organism, which has just produced a baby. What a great gift it has given you. Love yourself from the inside out, and give yourself the time and emotional space to gradually get back into shape.

3Sex doesn't necessarily correlate with pounds

Among my mommy friends, the woman with the most active sex life was the one who was the last to lose her extra pounds.

4Dim the lights

As basic as this tip sounds, the advice can go a long way. Turning down the lights can actually make you feel more comfortable. You won't need to worry that your partner is taking notice of all of your imperfections. You can just focus on making each other feel desired! To make it more romantic, light a scented candle and play some mood music.

5If you're breastfeeding, stop worrying about leakage

Some women worry that their breasts will leak during sexual activity – so much that the anxiety gets in the way of their libido. Wearing a nursing bra with pads can help, both because it solves the problem and because it reduces your anxiety about the problem.

Next up…reasons you aren't in the mood >>

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