Becoming a new mom means so much more than just giving birth to a new baby. Your entire life changes. You’ll experience countless joys and many stresses, all in one day.
It’s no wonder your sex drive takes a back seat during this crazy transition. If you feel like you’ve lost your libido, don’t take it personally, or be hard on yourself.
Losing your sex drive after having children is completely normal. Here’s why.
1. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
It’s a common cop-out to say, “I’m too tired to have sex.” But for new moms, this is anything but a cop-out.
Sleep deprivation makes you want to collapse on the bed, rather than make love on it. What’s more, not sleeping enough interrupts your natural hormone production, and increases the stress hormone, cortisol.
The chances of being sleep deprived as a new mom are high, and this will greatly impact your libido.
So, first things first: get sleep!
2. Low Levels of Testosterone
Your body’s chemistry changes a lot after giving birth. This is a natural, biological shift, but it will leave you disinterested in sex for a little while.
One of the reasons is because you have low levels of testosterone after childbirth. Try to be patient with your body as it resets its hormonal balance.
To support a natural increase in testosterone, you can consume foods high in DHEA, complex B Vitamins and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
3. Change in Estrogen Levels
Another hormone that drops after childbirth is estrogen, especially if you’re breastfeeding. This will leave you with vaginal dryness and less interest in sex. So, if you’re just not into it, don’t worry.
Many women wonder if they’ve lost all interest in both sex and their partners. Just know that there are many hormones at play in your body, and they’re all affecting how you feel and think.
So, let your partner know that this is what’s happening. And if you want to have sex, try to use a lubrication for more comfortable, enjoyable sex. Taking more time to connect before intercourse can also help.
4. Post Natal Depression
Feeling depression after your baby’s born doesn’t make you a bad mom.
It simply means that there’s been a big drop in two key hormones: estrogen and progesterone. A decrease in some other hormones can also leave you fatigued, emotionally low and without any energy.
Depression makes it difficult to have meaningful and intimate sex. So, it’s okay to be loving and patient with yourself, as your body lifts not only these hormone levels, but your mood, too.
5. Connection and Appreciation Are More Valuable Right Now
As we’ve seen, hormone levels drastically shift after a woman has a baby. This leads to a shift in her mood, emotions and psychology. So, if her partner tries to engage in sex when she’s not ready, she can feel pressured, stressed and used.
It’s easy for couples to feel misunderstood, frustrated and take things personally. It can be helpful to women if their partners take time to connect with them and appreciate them for who they are.
In general, women like to connect with their partners before engaging in sexual activity. So, you can well imagine how vital this connection is when a woman has low libido.
6. No More Personal Space
With the arrival of a new baby, a once free and independent woman must care for her child. This means that her free time is also the only time when she can enjoy sex with her partner.
But she may not want to use those precious moments to have sex, especially if she’s tired, overwhelmed and stressed. It can be easy for husbands to feel as if they’re no longer attractive or good enough.
That’s why it’s important for women to validate their husbands and communicate their need for downtime and an opportunity to recharge.
7. Body Image Issues
After the baby leaves that cute, pregnant belly, the mom is faced with a new and altered body. Bigger thighs, thicker love handles, enlarged breasts, and stretch marks can leave even the most confident woman feeling a bit hesitant and insecure.
These body image issues can make it hard for a woman to feel safe and sexy when it’s time to get intimate.
New moms can counter these natural feelings by using positive affirmations about their bodies, wearing cute lingerie for themselves, and finding support groups with women who experience the same exact things. And there’s plenty of women who have!
8. Sex Is Painful
Whether you have a vaginal birth or a cesarean section, having intercourse can be painful after it’s all said and down.
Of course, it depends on the mother’s body and her birth experience, but it may take weeks or months for everything to heal and strengthen down there.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be intimate. Skin to skin touch, massages and your own personal practices can help keep that spark alive even if penetration isn’t an issue.
9. Contraception and Medications Interfere with Libido
Contraceptives and medications (including those for depression) are a common reason for a decreased sex drive.
If a new mother is using either of these pharmaceuticals, this can explain her low libido. She might want to meet with her personal doctor to discuss different options so that she can have her libido back without ignoring other important issues.
Breastfeeding is kind of like a natural contraceptive.
When you breastfeed, your body produces the hormone, prolactin. This is Mother Nature’s way of making sure you don’t get pregnant too soon after having a baby. Prolactin ensures that you have enough milk to feed your little one. It also ensures that you don’t ovulate. If there’s no ovulation, you can’t conceive. And unfortunately, if there’s no ovulation, you’re probably not in the mood to have sex either.
So, if you’re breastfeeding, this might be why you’ve lost your va-va-voom. And that’s okay.
It’s very easy for new mothers to second guess themselves and feel guilty for their low libido. As you can see, there are many good reasons why your sex drive leaves once your baby arrives.
With good communication, patience and lots of compassion, you can move through this transition and get your sex drive back.