The postpartum period is many things, and feeling heightened emotions and isolation are two of them. After adding a new baby into the family—whether it’s your first or your fifth—intimacy with your partner can feel impossible to achieve, no matter how much you both need it. This comic written by Karen Kleiman perfectly nails the relatability and the heartache of postpartum relationships.

In her new book, What About Us? (illustrated by Molly McIntyre) Karen Kleiman touches upon all the ways a new baby tests a couple’s relationship.

“Sometimes, the combination of strong emotions in the midst of unprecedented anxiety, responsibility of a newborn, and overwhelming expectations leads to a disruption of everything you love about your relationship….and while you might not think you have the energy, a good place to start is to talk about what you need,” Kleiman tells Motherly.

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Karen Kleiman

Often, you may find yourself not having the energy to connect in the ways you both need to. You feel overwhelmed and in need of comfort, but it’s hard to express your feelings and communicate to your partner things you may not even understand yourself. Sometimes, all we really need is our partner to just be with us, you know?

What About Us? is a guidebook of short essays, relatable comics, and journal prompts to help you through the stressful newborn stage. Both partners can benefit from learning about one another’s struggles, and this book can help you both strengthen your relationship as a couple.

Check out more work form What About Us? and Kleiman’s comics about postpartum sex here.

What About Us? by Karen Kleiman, illustrated by Molly McIntyre, published by Familius 2021, will be available on Sept. 14, 2021.