In this video, we discuss about sex after pregnancy and how couples face this new phase.
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Wendy Turner-Webster: It's a wonder any couple manages to stay together after the birth of a child, with a screaming baby, exhaustion, smelly nappies, cracked nipples, midnight feeds, most couples suffer in the sex department. Well, I'm joined by Christine Northam from Relate, Britain's largest relationship guidance agency and Mara Lee, Editor of Practical Parenting. Hello! Both of you. Mara Lee: Hello! Christine Northam: Hello! Wendy Turner-Webster: Well, Mara, as Editor of that magazine, you must be getting loads of letters about this, sex after the baby? Mara Lee: We do, and it's the big thing everyone fears when they are pregnant and going in to give birth and it's that whole, will it be the same again? And of course, the 'it' refers to the act and the body because there is a massive fear that things are going to change in every single way. Wendy Turner-Webster: Do you think Mara, so is it the fear factor? Mara Lee: I think it is. It's the unknown and there is this -- if you are giving birth for the first time, and it's not via cesarean, there is this absolutely overriding or a little niggle in the back of your head always saying, am I going to be alright? Is this going to affect things? Wendy Turner-Webster: It's quite difficult to get your head around. Mara Lee: Well it is. It's difficult to get your head around and it's difficult to also for the guy to get his head around as well, particularly as we aspect them to be, right buy our sides giving birth, sometimes down at the business end of things and there is this, truthfully, a fear that it's going to change things. So, that's a really difficult hurdle to overcome because given it's the act, that's got a fear in the first place, pregnant, about to give birth. All of a sudden, it becomes something to worry about and to actually have a fear about. Wendy Turner-Webster: Okay, Christine, What from Relate, what is your perspective on this whole issue? Christine Northam: Well, I can understand exactly what Mara is saying. I guess the first thing that couples need to do is really to check physically, that the plumbing system is actually in order because sometimes you do get little tears or nicks and stitch marks that are causing problems and it might be that you try make love for the first time and it's actually physically uncomfortable. So you do need to make sure that you settle down, and then I guess you need to sort of really work hard -- not work hard, but be conscious of the fact that you were lovers before you became parents and make sure that you do the couple things to restore that part of your relationship. Wendy Turner-Webster: Because all that can completely go out the window, can't it? Christine Northam: It can. You can get kind of overwhelmed with this sort of new responsible role as a parent and it's a big, big change. And so, I think, when couples come to me and they have been struggling with this sort of thing, then I say, well, do make sometime for you as a couple, just stop talking about the baby. See if you get some help, so that you can have some time out, because you do need to look after your relationship, it's really important and it's actually the best thing you can give your baby, a secure base. So you need to be secure and then you are doing the very best for your baby and I think lots of couples struggle with that, because they think they ought to be spending 24 hours a day nurturing this little helpless thing. Well, actually the little helpless thing is probably much tougher than you are in many respects. But you do need to keep your own relationship firmly in mind. Wendy Turner-Webster: Do you find that people -- actually their relationships have got -- or do get to breaking point over this issue? Christine Northam: Yes, because the tension and the stress is so great that all you do is project your anger and frustration on to each other and you blame each other for what's going wrong. Well actually, very often, it's your own insecurities and lack