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The first step to treatment is to acknowledge that although it is normal for the first few postnatal weeks that a woman’s sexual desire is low, extended sexual difficulties should not go unnoticed and untreated. An important aspect of a healthy recovery is knowledge. Gynecologists, obstetricians and midwives should inform mothers and their partners about the potential post natal sexual difficulties in order to normalize the issues and reduce any anxiety or worry they might have, as most often sexual relations return to pre pregnancy levels by one year post partum. Also it is important to inform the couple that resuming sexual functioning postnatally doesn’t necessarily mean resuming intercourse immediately, there are plenty of other ways to create intimacy between the new mother and her partner without the need for intercourse at the beginning, especially if it’s painful or uncomfortable. Until the woman is ready to have sex, maintaining intimacy can mean communicating and sharing thoughts and feeling with her partner, spending some time together without baby, even if it’s just for a few minutes when the baby goes to sleep, expressing affection by giving hugs or sharing kisses for example, or simply being in bed together alone without the intention of having sex.

– carolyn@willingness.com.mt