No Sex Drive After Baby

If you’re a new mom, your libido may be a bit low. It’s totally normal, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

You’re riding a hormonal roller coaster, you’re exhausted, and sex may not feel pleasurable at the moment. But it’s important to remember that low libido after baby is temporary. It will return to pre-pregnancy levels in time.

1. Hormones

If you’re struggling with low libido after baby, know that this is normal. In fact, research shows that both women and men’s libido often hits rock-bottom during the first year after childbirth.

This dip is caused by hormones. While pregnant, a woman’s reproductive hormones are elevated at up to 1000 times their normal level. But after giving birth, they crash down to pre-menopausal levels, causing things like vaginal dryness and low libido. Increased prolactin, which prepares the body for breastfeeding, can also negatively impact a woman’s libido.

Plus, new moms may be experiencing some serious sleep deprivation—which isn’t exactly great for boosting libido. Add to that a laundry list of things that need to get done—feeding, washing clothes and dishes, changing diapers, etc.—and it’s no wonder that sex isn’t at the top of most to-do lists after baby. However, this is all temporary, and most new moms find their sex drive again with time. Just be patient and try to make sex a priority with your partner. And don’t be afraid to use some provider-approved lubricant!

2. Exhaustion

Whether it’s from breastfeeding, lack of sleep or the exhaustion of a new baby, some women find they just aren’t in the mood to get intimate with their partner. And that’s okay, as long as you are physically healthy and cleared by your doctor to resume sex, says Dr Nanayakkara.

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Intimate physical contact can still happen in the absence of sex, such as kissing, cuddling and holding hands. It can be a great way to re-establish a connection with your partner.

Remember that the low libido is normal for new mothers, and will eventually go away. It may take months or even a year before a woman feels her libido return to pre-pregnancy levels. In the meantime, use your support system and experiment with other ways to connect with your partner, such as sharing a romantic dinner for two or scheduling in some alone time. You can also try some sexy self-care, like back rubs or oral sex. Eventually, you will feel ready to re-establish your sexual relationship. But if you aren’t, that’s okay too.

3. Intimacy

Intimacy is much more than just sex, it’s about emotional, mental, and spiritual closeness. Studies show that close, intimate relationships are pivotal to a healthy life. They provide social support, combat feelings of loneliness, and can even improve your mental health.

Intimate bonding isn’t just about sharing sex, but also kisses, cuddling, and even holding hands. While many women may feel like they want to reconnect in these non-sexual ways, their partners may not. This mismatched intimacy can be a huge stressor for new moms and their partner.

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The good news is that most new mothers experience a return to their normal libido within the first year after giving birth. Just remember that it may take time to get there. Be patient and be honest about your feelings with your partner. Often, a lack of interest in sex is caused by fatigue, pain, and emotions like frustration or stress. Make sure you and your partner are spending quality time together, whether that’s a candlelit dinner or foreplay. Sometimes all you need is a little romance to spark a renewed interest in sex.

4. Pressure

Women often assume that once their bodies bounce back from childbirth, their sex life will too. However, it’s common for sexual desire to remain low after having a baby. This may be caused by physical or emotional issues. If you find that you and your partner are having trouble connecting in the bedroom, try implementing more intimate touching and foreplay during the day.

You and your partner should also make sex a priority in your relationship. Set aside time to spend together without the baby and don’t let household chores get in the way. If you’re struggling with intimacy, talk to your partner about it and don’t be afraid to seek out help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist, sex therapist or a counselor.

The good news is that most new mothers’ sex drive does return to normal, though it can take weeks, months or even years. If you and your partner are struggling to connect, it’s important to communicate openly and work together to find solutions. Be patient and remember that this is completely normal.

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5. Time

A new baby is a demanding job that often takes up all of your time and energy. Between breastfeeding and rocking your little one to sleep, taking care of the house, and trying to find a good work/life balance, many moms feel like sex doesn’t even make it onto their priority list.

It can take a long time for your libido to return postpartum, and that’s okay. Practicing mindfulness and being patient can help to ease the pain of this dry spell.

Try to make sex a priority for you and your partner. If you need to, call in a babysitter or take a night out together to get some alone time. You can also try non-sexual physical intimacy: kissing, cuddling, back rubs, and holding hands are all great ways to reconnect. Remember that it’s not your fault if you don’t feel like getting down and dirty — parenting is a team sport! Be sure to talk about your feelings with your partner, and be kind to yourself. You’ll eventually find your groove again, and you’re worth it!

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