Whether it is a result of :
- A visceral desire to be pregnant, to have a child
- A fantasy of fusion with the loved one to be only 1
- A cultural pressure, because it is necessary to have a child
- A need to obtain a social status
The child is here. And life will never be the same again.
Becoming a mother
Facing the mother, this human being in the making, whose survival depends entirely on her. This person becomes her main preoccupation, in symbiosis, it will take time for each one to regain possession of his body and become one again. Slowly, things will fall into place, finding one’s bearings and mourning those of before… Before the pregnancy, before the arrival of the child. Because nothing will ever be the same again.
What is the role of the people around you when you become a mother?
If the partner is present, what place will he have? Will he be able to wrap his partner in his arms so that she can wrap the child in hers? Will he be there to reassure her of her abilities? And will he have confidence in his skills as a father? Likewise, if it is a companion.
If the mother is alone, will she have support from her entourage?
Because we are in a society of performance, of evaluation, of popularization of knowledge, parents are afraid. They are afraid of doing the wrong thing and they are constantly looking for answers, for learning, in order to confirm what they are doing, at the risk of forgetting who they are and the very essence of the birth of this child, namely the couple.
The child becomes omnipresent, and the couple’s time is often truncated.
Motherhood and the couple
The couple is this sharing of life, being together, doing together, carrying together this child. Being a parental team.
And the mechanics of the couple, therefore the parental agreement, is linked to its sexuality. Sexuality is a primordial need in the balance of the person, it allows to feel loved and to love in return, it alleviates the tensions which they are physical or psychic. But to live one’s sexuality one must be available to oneself and to the other. So how to do this when a newborn, a baby, a child takes up all the time?
Physiologically, the woman’s body is programmed for reproduction. At first, mating took place only at the moment of ovulation. Then gradually sensuality appeared, feelings, love and sexuality became a moment of sharing, pleasure, expression. But it remained in the unconscious this side of the utility of sexuality in the reproduction and it is sometimes difficult to let go to live this moment of relaxation and pleasure without guilt.
The young mother and sex
It is necessary to know that it is from the Middle Ages, with the advent of religions and the development of medicine, that the woman was really confined in her role of reproductive. Thus she found herself at home, assigned to household tasks and the education of children, materially dependent on the man; which allowed, at the time, the men to be sure of their descendants. Sexuality was present only with one objective: to procreate.
Then the courtly love arrived and sexuality took another dimension. We talked about love. But it remained in a small corner of the head this sacrificial dimension of the woman to become mother.
How to deal with this guilt of “leaving” the child to receive and give pleasure? This guilt of selfishness for time spent only for oneself?
This guilt is there because society has maintained the woman in this maternal sacrifice, all this is cultural, educational. Sexual well-being brings sweetness, serenity, patience and love. It nourishes the strength of the couple and therefore of the parental team.
But sexuality is not linear, it evolves and will not necessarily be the same as before the pregnancy. It is not necessarily “a penis in a vagina”, these are beliefs conveyed by a male sexuality. She uses not the 5 senses but 10! I touch, I am touched; I look, I am looked at; I speak, I listen; I taste, I am tasted; I smell, I am felt in my smells. So there is a multitude of sexuality! Everything is normal as long as it is done with respect and consent.
Physically it takes 40 days for the female body to recover from childbirth. This is when the post-natal visit takes place! It takes time for the uterus to recover, for the cervix to close, for the vaginal mucosa to heal. The woman often feels a slackness in her body, a great fatigue. During this first month, she needs a lot of rest, to regenerate herself. She gets back in touch with her body. Her sexuality will be more oriented towards tenderness, caresses, wrapping. She is hypervigilant towards her child so she cannot take care of her partner. This is why the father sometimes feels neglected.
How can you take care of your partner when you have other concerns?
Single moms explain that they don’t feel this pressure and that it is liberating not to feel pressured to resume sexuality. Because sexuality is a real subject of tension in the couple!
The key word is therefore dialogue, explaining the physiological process and taking the time. Reinventing a sexuality that is more adapted to the current situation. The partner must manage his or her frustration and the woman/mother must allow herself to enjoy the possibility of pleasure without the guilt of being away from her child for a while.
It is important to dare to talk about this to a health professional trained in sexology in order to ease the tensions that may arise and prevent the mental burden. Mentalities are changing and I often see young mothers completely lost in this new life, not really prepared for this surge of emotions that is often idealized.