Date night within six weeks and put sex back on the menu: Relationship guru's advice for new parents
It might be the last thing on their minds, but new parents should go out on a 'date night' weeks after their baby arrives and new mums should show an interest in their husbands sexually.
That's the latest advice from controversial parenting expert Gina Ford.
And after years of ensuring babies feel
happy, the bestselling author and former maternity nurse turning her attention to women and the realities of modern motherhood.
Her new book, The Contented Mother’s Guide, focuses on the highs and lows of the first year of motherhood.
While her critics like to point out that she has no children and is divorced, the new book includes first-hand tips from mums themselves, on a range of subjects from sex life to weight loss.
New direction: In Gina Ford's latest book she focuses on women dealing with the realities of modern motherhood
She writes: 'With refreshing honesty,
the mums share the highs and lows of that roller-coaster first year.
'All the everyday challenges and common concerns that you're likely to
face as a new mum.'
recommends that within four to six weeks of the birth, parents should
go out for 'a lovey-dovey afternoon or evening when they got glammed up
and were not allowed to talk about the baby.
my experience, couples who do this in the early days find it easier to
go out than couples who have not left the baby with anyone else for the
first six months.'
also offers practical tips on sexual intimacy. 'Arm yourself with
post-birth essentials such as lubricant and massage oil and take things
slowly,' Ford counsels.
Parenting guru: Gina Ford
hers is not the frankest advice. That comes from the mums who have
contributed to discussion on Ford's own website, Contentedbaby.com.
One suggests drinking some wine and dressing up to get in the mood but adds 'sometimes you may just have to grin and bear it'.
likens resuming sexual relations to returning to the gym – 'you can't
be bothered to go, but once you are there you enjoy it and feel better
Ford told The
Times she would stop short of advising women to have sex before they are
ready to. 'Most of the men I speak to are pretty patient – they
understand that their wife is not going to feel up to it for a few weeks
added: 'Problems come when they are closed out emotionally. The longer a
mum puts it off and doesn't talk to her husband, the harder it gets.'
1999 Ford wrote The Contented Little Baby Book, which stressed that
babies should have a strict routine. It sold millions but her strict
parenting methods have polarised opinion among parents.
Deputy Prime Minister and father-of-three Nick Clegg once said: 'Don't get me on to Gina Ford!'.
in 2006 she reluctantly launched a libel case against Mumsnet.com,
after members of the online community launched a personal attack.
who grew up in the Scottish Borders and moved to Edinburgh to study
Hotel and Catering, has sold almost a million copies of her Contented
Little Baby Book which was first published in 1999.
No sex please, we're exhausted: New parents can find it hard to communicate and rediscover the intimacy they had before their baby arrived
She has also written From Contented Baby to Confident Child and Potty Training in One Week.
During her 12 years as a private maternity nurse, Gina looked after 300 babies.
adds: 'When we go through any kind of change, we look for guidance and
support, and the best people to advise us are often those who have been
through the sane experience themselves.
'That's why in this book I am, for the most part, handing over to the mothers.'
The Contented Mother’s Guide: Essential advice to help you be a happy, calm and confident mother by Gina Ford, published 8 March, 11.99
EXTRACTS FROM THE CONTENTED MOTHER'S GUIDE
DEALING WITH NEGATIVE FEELINGS
'I think it is normal to feel lost in the early days of motherhood – you become so much mother and wife that you lose the essence of you.' Tanya
GETTING BACK IN SHAPE
'When I can't get out of the house, I put on really good disco / dance music and dance my socks off for 30 minutes.' Erika
'You probably will argue in the beginning – sleep deprivation and the responsibility of a tiny baby do not always make for a good mood – but it is how you choose to behave afterwards that counts.' Debbie
GOING BACK TO WORK OR BEING A FULL-TIME MUM
'I think if you are a working mum, guilt is to be expected as part of everyday life!' Kate