Sex-Starved Dad: Don’t Get Your Hopes–Or Anything Else–Up

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a new dad and love everything about fatherhood. But my marriage is fraying. Our baby’s birth was uneventful and my wife’s OB told us that we could have sex again after six weeks. He’s eight months old now and my wife and I have had sex exactly one time since the birth. That’s it. I’ve tried talking with her about this, and her response is that she simply has no sex drive anymore. I’m 27 and my sex drive is pretty healthy. I feel bad bugging her to do something she apparently doesn’t feel like doing and I don’t want our relationship to end over this. I’m trying to be as sympathetic as I can, but is it normal for women to lose their sex drive for this long after giving birth? Is there anything I can do to increase her sex drive?

The reason most OBs tell new parents to hold off on having sex for those famous six weeks is that it usually takes that long for the woman’s body to recover. But that six-week guideline can lead to unrealistic expectations, which in turn can lead to resentment and relationship strain. Sound familiar? The reality is that plenty of couples take as long as a year to get back to their pre-pregnancy and pre-baby sex life.

Here are a few of the many factors that could be putting a damper on your wife’s sex drive:

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My Baby Doesn’t Like Me

Dear Mr. Dad: My two-month-old baby doesn’t like me. He’s perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I’ve backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn’t seem to be working. I’m starting to think I’m just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

A: There’s not much in this world that can make a grown up man feel more incompetent than a baby can. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to get past those feelings—and no, it’s not too late. Not even close.

Before we get into the what-to-do part, we need to do something about the way you’re thinking. First, get the idea that your baby doesn’t like you or that he thinks you’re a bad father out of your head. Do you really believe that someone who’s a few months old is qualified to make a judgment about your parenting skills? What other dads could he possibly be comparing you to?
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Dads and Daughters + What New Dads Need to Know + Surprising Facts of Modern Parenthood

[amazon asin=1440545456&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Brian Klems, author of Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl.
Topic:
A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.
Issues: Learning to love pink, tea parties, and painted nails; thinking ahead to her first crush, dating, marriage; why having daughters is the best.

[amazon asin=0981577946&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Joe Deyo, author of Checklists for the New Dad.
Topic:
Pregnancy, delivery, and baby’s first year
Issues: Building a solid plan for fathering; making a smooth lifestyle transition with a baby at home; improving yourself and your marriage; baby proofing the home.

[amazon asin=0345465040&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Sam Apple, author of .
Topic:
Strange, surprising in modern babyland.
Issues: Is the Lamaze method a Stalinist plot (yes!); Does it sting when you pour baby shampoo in your eyes? Who invented waterbirthing? And many other odd, unusual, and strange thinks about parenthood.

Apps for Dads? We Got ‘Em–for F.r.e.e!

As some of you may know, we’ve started turning the content from my bestselling books (waaaay more than a million copies sold!) into great apps for dads. The first one, “Mr. Dad on Pregnancy,” is based on The Expectant Father and in just three months has had more than 15,000 downloads. You can get that app–at no charge–in the Apple App Store by clicking here. “Mr. Dad on Pregnancy” is a fun, interactive, and entertaining way for dads-to-be and their partner to learn everything they need to know about pregnancy and childbirth. It’s the perfect Father’s Day present.

But that’s not all…

Keep an eye out for two new apps for dads: “Mr. Dad on Babies” (which is based on the sequel to The Expectant Father, The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year) and “Mr. Dad on Military Dads” (which is based on The Military Father: A Hands-on Guide for Deployed Dads). We’re hoping to have both out before Father’s Day.

Please contact us if you’re interested in in-app advertising or sponsorships. The rapidly growing audience for our apps for dads is extremely targeted. Every player is a guy who truly wants to be an actively involved father–and he’ll be looking for tools, resources, and yes, products to help him achieve that goal.

Top States for New Dads in the Workforce

A new state-by-state analysis released for Father’s Day shows how little the nation supports and protects employed fathers when a new child arrives. The special report, Dads Expect Better: Top States for New Dads, includes an analysis of state laws and regulations governing paid leave and workplace rights for new fathers in the United States. It finds that only 14 states and the District of Columbia are doing anything at all to help new dads who work in the private sector.

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Your Husband and Breastfeeding

I’m breastfeeding our baby and I know my husband is 100 percent supportive. But sometimes I can tell that he’s feeling a little left out. Is there anything I can do to help him? How can he be involved in raising our child when so much of it depends on me and breastfeeding?

You know all about how great breastfeeding is, right? That it’s free, that it never runs out, and that breastfed babies’ diapers don’t stink are major advantages. But there’s a lot more. It gives you and your child a great opportunity to bond. It’s also the perfect blend of nutrients for the baby. Breastfed kids have a much lower chance than formula-fed kids of developing food allergies, respiratory- and gastrointestinal illnesses, or of becoming obese as adults. It may also transmit your immunity to certain diseases on to the baby. Pretty much everyone agrees that you should breastfeed for at least a year if you can.
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