PREGNANCY is, arguably, the single-most naturally traumatic event the female body can experience.
Aside from the obvious weight gain and the squishing of one's bladder, stomach and lungs, is the surge in hormone levels which dictate feelings and moods. The toll of it all can leave an otherwise well-adjusted woman with high self-esteem feeling self-conscious, "fat", unattractive, un-sexy. This may be so severe that even if she's sexually in the mood, she might not want to sleep with her partner.
Then, when baby comes, she devotes all her time to taking care of her little bundle -- breastfeeding, bathing, soothing, putting to bed, entertaining, etc. No one can fault her for that; it is after all her job as a mother, but what of her husband/boyfriend/partner? Who takes care of him and just how does a woman balance the delicate scales presented by the two roles?
We asked moms: How did you adjust to the dual roles of mother/breastfeeder and wife/lover? How long after giving birth did it take for you to start feeling sexy again, and how long was it until you trashed the maternity panties?
Here is how they answered:
Throw out those big panties as soon as you give birth! Eat healthy and exercise, love yourself and accept the reality of being a mother. If you have a loving, supportive partner the transition should be smooth. All moms are sexy. I thought so even before I became a mother.
I stopped wearing maternity panties right after the bleeding stopped. I felt sexy right away. The weight I gained gave me womanly curves... Let's see what happens after baby number two!
I never really appreciated or understood my body until after I had my daughter. I dished the maternity panties about three weeks after and I finally felt like a woman 'cause I had a bigger butt, breasts and even more curves.
It was hard to adjust because I think my role as a mom overshadowed that of a wife. So, while I ditched the preggy undies, feeling competent over sexy was more appealing to me. It took a couple of months for me to acknowledge my body as being sexy and not as a meal source and baby carrier.
I'm definitely still trying to feel sexy. Struggling...
I'm struggling too, but I'm getting there after three years. I still know I got it going on, but I still don't understand my body. A loving, supportive partner makes you feel even more confident. Just love the skin you're in and eat healthy and enjoy life and your precious gift from God.
While I don't wear the maternity panties, I still run into one now and again in my drawer. It's just there and I don't mind it. I think it's natural for us to think about family before we give thought to ourselves; we just have to find ways to remind ourselves that we cannot put off our own sense of self, but have to add it to the ebb and flow of each day. Sexiness is a personal thing. We have to figure out what makes us feel sexy and then just be!
A male's perspective
There is no greater joy and fear for a man than the woman he loves deeply giving birth, especially to his firstborn. He understands that for the last nine or so months you and your body have been through a lot of changes and after child birth you feel like nothing more than a "cow" and a "maid". With that in mind a man only wants to shower you with nothing but love and attention. This may come in the form of gifts, physical and/or emotional attention and help around the house.
After about four-six months, however, he expects that attention to be reciprocated to reignite the fire in the relationship. Only after this mutual exchange of attention can one expect to start feeling loved and appreciated and for the females, sexy. So, in essence, the longer you take to work on fitting back into your old clothes or close to it, the more deep seated those feelings of unattractiveness will be. Also, the longer it takes for you to feel sexy again is the greater the chances of your looking elsewhere because of lack a of attention.
It takes hard work to maintain a good and loving relationship, moreso when a child is in the picture. Be careful not to give so much attention to the child that you unknowingly give none to your mate. The best solution is to have both partners share in the care of child and the home and then allocate ample time for male and female togetherness, which is not limited to sex.