Did you know that it’s completely normal to have a decreased sex drive after having a baby? I had no clue until I experienced it firsthand. This feeling can last for months; however, most women report this decrease in libido to be temporary. Some women also report a decreased sex drive while breastfeeding, saying it returned once baby was weaned and they stopped nursing completely. But if you think about it, doesn’t it stand to reason that a life change so major would have an impact on your love life? After all, a new baby affects everything else . . .
We get it. You’re exhausted.
Your sex drive now has to compete with the overwhelming fatigue that accompanies welcoming a newborn into your family. This can be especially challenging for first-time parents. (I know it was for us!) New babies are demanding and require round-the-clock care. Sometimes you just want to nap and not be touched. And that is perfectly okay.
You’re also recovering from the trauma of giving birth.
Having a baby is hard work, no matter how you decide to go about it. Your hormones are all over the place. You may even be suffering from postpartum depression. You may worry that sex will be painful—there’s a reason the OBGYN advises waiting six weeks before resuming sexual activity! I’m just going to tell it like it is: those first few encounters might be painful and uncomfortable. (So don’t forget the lube!) You might even feel less sexy after having a baby, which impacts your sex drive.
You may be worried about becoming pregnant again.
Many women (especially those who choose to breastfeed) won’t immediately go back on birth control after giving birth. Some experts suggest that decreased libido might be the body’s way of protecting itself from becoming pregnant again too quickly. How crazy cool is that? (Apparently, some animal species experience something similar.) However, you can never be too safe. Talk to your doctor about your post-baby birth control options as soon as possible.
Whatever you do (or don’t do), keep the lines of communication open.
This is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your significant other. Leaving important things unsaid can only cause confusion and heartache. Try explaining to your spouse that you may feel less exhausted (and more open to sex) if you have help caring for baby—or at least a well-deserved break every now and then.
Do something to make yourself feel sexy . . .
Go for a run (exercise increases endorphins). Take a shower and put on some lipstick. Buy a new pair of panties. Read a romance novel. Have a glass (or two) of wine and try to relax. Help yourself “get into the right state of mind.” Living in smelly, spit-up stained jammies 24/7 probably isn’t going to cut it. (This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself! You deserve it, mama.) Try to establish some normalcy. Take your sex life into your own hands. You hold the power and are in control even when it feels like life is spinning out of control around you!
Take a field trip.
Get frisky somewhere besides your bed. Otherwise, you may just want to crawl under the covers and snooze. Let’s be real. Or you may even feel resentful. Get creative. Try getting sexy on the living room floor. Or in the shower. Or in the kitchen. Your options are endless, and it’s definitely worth a try. Right?
Because if you want things to work, you have to put your relationship with your significant other above all else—including your relationship with your baby and other children. And this includes having sex, intimacy. A marriage cannot last without these things. And when all else fails, just fake it until you make it! 😉
Did you experience a decreased sex drive after having a baby? What steps did you take to rekindle the magic? We’d love to hear!