Sure, babies change everything—including how you feel about your body. Even though you know what it took to create that baby you adore, getting your isn't something that always magically happens exactly six weeks post baby. It's normal to have some reservations and not feel your 100-percent vixen status after you welcome your firstborn. Plus, you might just not be in the mood. "You're dealing with incredible exhaustion and stress, which are huge libido-killers for anyone," sex therapist Vanessa Marin says. "You may be having an experience of your body not being your own anymore, and you're recovering from the physical effects of giving birth. Not to mention there's often very little time to actually have sex between feedings and changings." So how do you not only make time but reintroduce sensuality into your marriage? Here's how to rock that post-baby body that's way hotter than you think it is:
Dr. Kat Van Kirk, clinical sexologist and marriage and family therapist says many women suffer from irrational thoughts, anxieties and worries after baby, primarily due to hormones. From fear of getting pregnant again right away to experiencing postpartum depression or even jealousy over the attention your husband gives to your baby and not to you, not only are these thoughts normal, but something to forgive yourself for, Kirk says. "Try to let it go," she advises. Remember that many of these stressors will not last forever, and the more attention you give them, the bigger they will feel. "To feel sexy again, you have to get out of your head and into your body."
Pull a Beyonce.
In between feedings or when Baby is (finally!) napping, give yourself 10 minutes to bust a move. "Dancing can help you reconnect with your body and remember that it's your own," Marin says. Bonus: The endorphins will also perk you up.
Take some sexy selfies.
Even if you're not into x-rated selfies, just striking a sexy pose for a photo can help. Kirk says the images will allow you to see—in digital form—just how attractive and seductive your body really is. And if you want to try something a little hotter, but are worried about privacy, download a free app like Private Photo Vault or KeepSafe that will require a password to unlock your sexy album. (And psst: send one of those to your husband — he'll love it!)
Book a massage.
Your mother-in-law has been begging you to take care of the baby for an afternoon—so let her. You might be feeling uneasy about leaving your babe alone, but remember: you have to make time for yourself again. With those sleepless nights and tightness from stress and worry, a massage will do wonders mentally, and sensually. "Self-care that will help you relax and remind you that you're not just a mom," Kirk says. Plus, you just carried a baby for nine months, then delivered it—you deserve it.
Have a date night—in.
Experts agree that a big key to feeling sexy again in your post-baby body is talking to your husband. Chances are he's probably feeling a little insecure, frustrated or nervous about your sex life, too. Kirk suggests taking a date night in and have a heart-to-heart conversation, and to do it sooner than later. "Don't wait until things become a big issue. Talk about the possibilities of sex being different for a while," Kirk says. "Look at it as a grand science experiment. You get to relearn and rediscover each other after a long break." By expressing your discomforts, worries and hopes for intimacy, you're helping to reconnect the bond that brought you to the altar in the first place.
Write it down.
Your mind is a powerful thing—and if you're constantly putting yourself down or criticizing the parts of your body that might not be as perky or toned as they were before baby came into the picture, you're going to have a hard time building your confidence and invigorating your sex life. Marin suggests doing something small but that you see every single day, like a Post-It on your mirror, or a memo in your iPhone that lists things you love about yourself—and your body. "Give yourself compliments on the parts of your body that you appreciate," Marin says. "And try to remind yourself of the incredible feat that your body just accomplished! You brought a life into the world. Cut yourself some slack, and remember how powerful you—and your body—really are."
Confide in your friends.
Trust us—you aren't the only woman battling a libdio drop post-baby. "Talking about it to friends can remind you that this is a temporary wane in desire—it won't last forever," Kirk says. Your friends can also help you get back into a routine—even if it's just a regular coffee date to dish.
Even if you don't wear it—buy something sexy.
Let's face it - you're lucky to get a shower in most days with a newborn, much less clothes other than sweats and a t-shirt accessorized with spit-up. But even if you can't imagine when you'll actually wear it or how you'll make time to dazzle yourself, buy something sexy, Kirk says. From lingerie to a slinky robe or a dress you've been eying at your favorite boutique. Whatever suits you, splurge on it. Seeing it hanging in your closet can make you feel good about yourself, and perhaps tempt you to make the time to wear it before baby goes to preschool.
Do some self-exploration.
Perhaps it's been a while since you've spend some time down there, alone—but especially after giving birth, getting to know your pleasure points and what gets you going is more important than ever. "Masturbating is an important way to get the fire back," Kirk says. "It helps you take control and reconnect with your own body. You can also learn all the new ways things may feel." By understanding your post-baby body—yes, even down there—you will be more equipped to help your husband navigate it, too.
Don't go straight to intercourse.
Take your time when hopping back into the sack. Marin says to think back to how you and your hubby acted before you had sex for the first time. "You can have long make out sessions, cuddle naked together, give erotic massages or masturbate together," she suggests. Anything that gets you touching again will help invigorate your sex drive and get you moving together again in a sexual way.
Stop scheming and become an opportunist.
When you do feel ready—and sexier—to start doing the deed more, you and your hubby will soon realize that Baby makes the rules when it comes to time management. Instead of scheduling an elaborate date night and planning ahead, Kirk suggests to get it ... whenever you can. "Have a quickie when in the shower before baby wakes up or when she's napping," she says.
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