I have a bone to pick with baby and pregnancy magazines. When I was pregnant with Little N, I bought loads. I'd get excited when the new issues came out each month. I would spend hours poring over them, circling all the things I wanted to buy, and filling my head with totally unrealistic ideas of what having a baby would be like.
At some point those magazines would do a relationships feature. And in each one the point of the feature was how to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. In a nutshell: we must keep our sex lives the same as what they were pre-pregnancy, or our relationships will suffer.
Those articles result in a lot of stress and pressure for many women. During pregnancy lots of women find that their libido takes a huge nose-dive. It's hardly surprising when you spend most of your time feeling sick, or tired, or swollen, or anaemic, or *insertpregnancywoehere*.
Some women experience the opposite and their libido goes off the charts - hurrah for those ladies! But it's a misconception that it's like that for everyone.
And once baby is here we're suddenly dealing with a lot more cooking, cleaning and washing, and we’re expected to do it all on barely any sleep. It's hardly surprising that sex is not top of our list of priorities.
It's those articles that I have a problem with. They talk a lot about how your partner still has "needs" and that if your libido has plummeted then you should try to please them in other ways. And then the poor, neglected, sex-deprived partner reads this and says, 'hey honey, your magazines say we should be doing xyz.'
How about if a woman doesn't want to have sex, you let her be.
And how about their partners are simply supportive and respectful of that.
She doesn't have to "try" to do anything, other than take care of herself and her baby, and the sex will happen when both parties want to.
It would be much better if those articles simply explained that it's totally normal to experience a lower - or complete lack of - sex drive during pregnancy and for quite some time post-natally.
Rather than telling women that they still need to fulfil their partners' "needs" they could give advice and ideas so that partners can better understand and support women during pregnancy and once the baby is here.
And really, those "needs" are not needs at all: they're wants. You'll cope without sex. Nutrition, however, is a need. Sleep is also a need. You need them both to survive but they're two things, particularly the latter, that mothers end up sacrificing to some degree.
A less tired, less stressed and well supported mother is more likely to find her mojo than one who is shattered and feeling pressured. After all, we're growing, nurturing and raising a whole other human being and that's a pretty exhausting, albeit amazing, achievement!
So magazine writers, please, I beg you, for the sanity of sleep-deprived mothers and pregnant women everywhere, rethink your relationship features!