Pregnancy, Nursing, and Married Sex
A rude awakening for many new fathers is the feeling of being replaced in a wife's heart, mind, and bosom by the new baby. Even those fathers who think they're prepared for this experience can find it disconcerting. Feelings of abandonment and even sadness are not unusual. The most important thing to know is that these are entirely normal and, in most cases, temporary experiences and feelings. The truth of the matter is that the new mother falls in love with her newborn baby. This is entirely as nature intended, and how it must be if the mother and child are to bond normally.
If it's a first child and if the woman is nursing her infant, the experience of one-on-one bonding can be even more intense and potentially alienating for a new father. As a man, the most important thing for you to do is to take a step back and appreciate the beauty of this picture of maternal love. Then you can and should participate in the bonding process as a father to your newborn by holding, cooing, singing, and doing all the things that new parents do when expressing the astonishingly deep feelings of love they have for a newborn child. It's not exactly the same as what a new mother experiences, but it's similarly enriching. It also gives you some emotional sustenance for what is often an arduous and sleepless time without much in the way of physical contact with your wife whose body is frankly committed elsewhere.
A woman's interest in returning to sex with her partner returns anywhere from six months to two years after she gives birth — rarely before. But, if a woman remains sexually shut down to her husband for longer than six months, it may be necessary to get some couples counseling to help the two of you make the transition from being just two to now three.
The transition from a couple to a family with a newborn can be rocky — both physically and emotionally — for both partners. Exhaustion is a real factor. Some women will feel torn between the needs of the child and those of her husband. Her own needs are often pushed out of sight. The best solution for all concerned is time. One of the biggest mistakes young couples make is allowing their sexuality to dwindle after the arrival of children. It's very easy to justify doing so when children require so much time and energy. Don't let it happen. If you do, it will negatively affect your children as family is built upon the strength of your marriage. This is the most critical time to stick to a weekly or biweekly date night to be alone and intimate, although it can also be the hardest time to do it. If intercourse is still physically painful for the woman, or if exhaustion makes her desire go AWOL, it's still important to touch, cuddle, and share intimate feelings as a couple. Giving her a massage is likely to be received as a heavenly gift.