Low Libido after Childbirth

You know you used to be into sex. Yes, that was you, not someone else.  You remember thinking at one time, “wow, this is great!” But it just doesn’t seem to be happening that way anymore. Okay, you think, “so I had a baby (you fill in the blank: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 4 years) ago. Shouldn’t my desire for sex have come back? What’s happening to me?” Indeed, what really is going on here?

Many women find that their libido (their desire to have sex) drops dramatically after the birth of a child. This may not happen after the first, or even the second child. Some find it drops after number 3 or more. Some have the problem after each of them. They are tired and stressed. They don’t have enough time to take a shower, let alone have a sexual rendezvous with their partner. Traditionally women have been told that it is all in their head and there may be some truth to these temporary lifestyle matters at hand.  But many powerful psychological factors may be at work when you have a child. More often than not, your body goes through significant physiological changes as well, and these can be contributing factors to the ‘do not enter’ sign on your door.

So here is a fairly broad list of factors that can be at play. You need to ask yourselves which ones apply to you, and what can you do to resolve some of this; and then get to work!  A good sex life with your partner will make the difficult child rearing years so much easier for you as a couple.

  • You are probably tired and stressed. Taking care of children is more work both physical and emotional then we ever anticipate.
  • You may be “over-touched.” Who wants to have their nipples fondled after they’ve just spent the morning breast feeding?
  • Your self definition may have changed unconsciously (or consciously.) Hey, you are the mother of three now. Is it really okay for you to also be the babe who comes into your husband’s shower with a bar of soap, two glasses of wine and nothing on? Or to be the wild women who screams dirty things as you have an orgasm?
  • You may be angry at your spouse.. Perhaps you are upset that more responsibility for the house and the kids seems to always fall on you. And then he expects you to do what?? You may not be outwardly angry,  but maybe angry enough that it is affecting your desire to make love with your partner
  • You hormones likely have shifted significantly during your pregnancy and post-partum. We are just starting to understand how critical a role hormones play in a women’s sexual life and how much they affect our desire, our ability to become aroused and orgasm. This is not a condition that a glass of wine or a romantic dinner can fix.  In this case, it’s not in your head, but in your body.
  • The labor, birth, and subsequent episiotomy may have created subtle (or not so subtle) physical changes that seem to make it harder to get aroused and have an orgasm. Hey, when it’s more work, it’s certainly harder to get started. Similarly there may be discomfort and pain as a result. This adds a big obstacle on the road to romance. 
  • It may not be the childbirth at all. It may be your age, changing blood flow or irregular hormone levels.  I know our kids keep us young, but unfortunately they don’t freeze us in time!
  • You’re out of practice. Oddly enough, sex seems to feed on itself. The more you have the more you want. The less you have, the less you seem to think about it.
  • Maybe you need a different kind of sex. Your life has changed significantly. Maybe those two- hour love-making sessions are a thing of the past (for right now) and you are having trouble adjusting to a 15 minute “quickie.”

Most likely your low libido is a combination of a few of the issues listed above and perhaps some more we haven’t even thought of yet. Feel free to e mail us, if you want to add to the list. However, most low libido issues can be resolved if enough of the factors are addressed. We’ve seen some of the toughest cases turn around. So can you.