The new baby and sex

The more I read this title, the more I think it’s an oxymoron. New baby? Sex? What, are you nuts lady?

To tell you the honest truth, there is one sex drive that doesn’t go away after the baby is born….his. I learned this the hard way after my son was born.

We were very apprehensive when we read the pregnancy test. We had only been married 5 months, and we were pregnant! That wasn’t what we planned (even though we sure had lots of fun getting there!) So here we were, newlyweds, still in the process of getting used to things as a newly married couple.

Fast forward 8 months and our healthy, screaming baby was born. He was the apple of my eye. I think from that point on, something changed in me. I was a Mommy. I was someone’s Mommy. Satan took that precious moment when I gazed into my son’s eyes and he stopped crying at the sound of my voice, and he planted the worst possible lie into my unsuspecting head. Satan whispered to me, “Mommies don’t have sex.”

As I adjusted to the first days of my precious baby being home, the middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, the tiredness, my body feeling really awful from the 4th degree episiotomy, the raging hormones….there was no way I was even thinking about sex…until that 6 week postpartum appointment when the doctor cleared me for sexual intercourse. What? Hadn’t he heard? Mommies don’t have sex!

My poor husband. I don’t think I can possibly imagine the hurt, pain and frustration that he went through for the next 9 years. Yes, I said 9 years. Until after the birth of my second baby and then some. What happened? I fell for the oldest lie in the book. Mommies don’t have sex. Satan was on a euphoric high every time he looked in on us. “She really believes it! Look at how it is destroying them!!”

Instead of rehashing my life story, let me give you Mommies a bit of advice. You are still a sexual being. You may not feel like it at first, and that is understandable. Babies take a lot of time and energy, but PLEASE don’t forget the man you love. Here are a few tips and suggestions.

1. Please be open and communicate with your husband your feelings and your needs, and be receptive to his feelings and needs as well. He may believe that now that the baby is born, your sex drive will match his. Communication is very important here.

2. Daddies, please be sure to be very involved with helping your wife with the baby.
Help out around the house. This can be a serious turn on for new mommies…..

3. Mommies, take the time when you don’t *feel* like having sexual intercourse to satisfy your husband in some other way. Treat him to some manual stimulation or oral sex. If you aren’t feeling up to that, then give him permission to release himself via masturbation.

4. Oh, and guys, snuggling, hugging, cuddling….all those things are A-OK.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:5 ” 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

It takes time, patience, communication and understanding to return to a normal, intimate, loving partnership after your first baby is born. Keep those lines of communication open and get help from your doctor if hormones and depression are getting in the way of your recovery. Mostly, remember what drew the two of you together in the first place. That beautiful baby you are holding was a beautiful creation through the beautiful coming together of a loving married couple. God blessed you with a child, but he still wants to bless you, your marriage and your marriage bed with the most intimate gift that only God could give you and bless you with.

aka nutmeg nympho

28 Comments

  1. Great post. My husband of 2 years and I are expecting our first in July and are very excited and nervous. Thanks for giving us a heads up on the challenge ahead. I don’t think we had really thought about it much. However, during pregnancy I am very hormonal and not in the good way. My sexual desire is sometimes lacking for a long stretch, and then will come back in waves all at once. I try to communicate my feelings to him and apologize for the irregularity as I know it’s frustrating for him too. Any advise for us during the pregnancy? And how do I make myself feel sexy again with a growing belly?

  2. We are preparing two articles in answer to your question about sex and pregnancy, purduemana. Look for them over the next two weeks or so. Thanks for asking.

  3. I gave birth to my third child this summer. My sex drive is slowly returning, but sometimes “there’s just nothin’ there” – know what I mean? I have already decided to be available to my husband when he desires sexual intimacy as much as I can. We communicate pretty well in the bedroom most of the time. I tell him I am available but the hormones are just not happening and I dont think I will orgasm.
    The other night he said “nevermind, I dont just want your body. I want you to be interested in what happens too!”
    Sometimes I just have a hard time “getting in the mood”. Mind you reading this website has really helped in that area!!! HA!
    Any suggestions?

  4. Yeah, hormones can really mess with us. I think you are on the right track in what you say about reading this website. That is one part of the package of the idea of “thinking sex,” to get your mind remembering why sex is important and to allow yourself to envision what your future will be together. Imagining how much more opportunity there is to grow in intimacy and consider how deeply you will know one another in 5, 10, 20 years as you continue in your commitment to love one another well.
    I think it is important for you to communicate to your hubby that even when you don’t think you’ll be able to orgasm, that you still value the connection. And who knows what might happen once things get going.

  5. I’ve learned to battle the “Mommies don’t have sex” trap this way- every time our newborn interrupts a flirtatious moment, instead of letting the heat be zapped from the air I just give a teasing smile and say, “I know where babies come from…!”

  6. We just broke a record, and I HAVE to share: Sex three times within less than five days/nights. We have not even had sex three times in one week since our first child was born, nearly FOUR years ago! My youngest is now 18 months old.

    Lots has been involved–not just babies, but attitudes, different drives, crazy schedules, and health issues, but I am just so excited. So is he! Our tenth anniversary is next week, and we are definitely at a high point of intimacy–spiritual/emotional AND physical.

  7. hahaha too funny!

  8. We had a frustrating sex life before I was pregnant with our first son; ex: letting him have sex with me even though I was dry, thus creating bad memories for next time; ex: feeling obligated to have sex with him instead of willingly giving myself. Our foreplay has been non-creative. It usually has consisted of him grabbing various body parts and kissing me a lot. After our son was born, we went for counseling from our church on the matter, but mostly they told us to make sure we were loving and respecting each other, and gave us a book that showed us sex positions (not foreplay). We were doing okay for a while after that, building up better memories in the bedroom. But lately, it seems we have reverted to the routine foreplay that did nothing for me. To add to that, I’m finishing my first trimester of my 2nd pregnancy. I’m feeling angry and annoyed with him, but I have no suggestions for him or things I can do to improve the situation. Sometimes I flinch when he touches me because I am tired of being touched by my 18-month old son all day. I need some inspiration and encouragement.

  9. Thank you! Actually I was quite sexual during my first pregnancy, more so then before I got pregnant, I think! But after the baby came, my hormones changed so much I literally didn’t want to have sex till a year passed. I just tried to make my husband happy when I could but I was really just waiting for him to finish. After a while things normalized of course, but I want to help other women and husbands to know, that usually after pregnancy a woman just doesn’t feel like it, and we need our husbands to be patient and supportive. Then we will feel like rewarding him for being so sweet.

  10. For me, when I’ve been in a serious rut, “thinking sex” just felt like homework, like something I was supposed to do to get in the mood for HIS sake… not very inspiring. I found that what helped most was taking sex out of my mind for a while and just asking myself, “What DO I want?” Hold a chocolate bar and just smell it for a few seconds. Go for a walk alone and do cartwheels in the grass. Go in the woods and scream just to remember what your Outdoor Voice sounds like. Take a little time to listen to what your body is actually asking for. It’s very easy to let yourself feel like you don’t exist, except to mechanically fulfill the needs of others… if that’s where you are, it is so helpful to spend time alone, with God, asking who you are in His eyes. Ask Him to tell you you’re beautiful… He will find surprising ways of doing so.

    My husband started off very sensitive about me making suggestions in bed. Over time I’ve stopped trying SO hard not to insult him, and just started doing what I need without making any fuss over it. If I need lube, I get it and put it on. I don’t try to explain it. Then I get right back into telling him what he’s doing that feels good, and it doesn’t interrupt things as much. I’ve also learned to use my sexy voice and say “Do this,” or do it myself, without stopping to explain why I need more foreplay.

    For me verbal stimulation is hugely important. He doesn’t understand this AT ALL because for him everything is visual and physical, but he’s gotten better at trying when I ask. I give him a specific thing to talk about (“Tell me what it would be like if we vacationed on a deserted island…”) and it helps me get my mind in the game, rather than thinking about the kids, laundry, or whether the neighbors can hear me through the walls.

    Also, if you have fantasies, go for it. Yank off the tablecloth and get naked on the table! Wear crotchless panties with a skirt; tell him about them after you’ve left the house, so he’s thinking about getting to you but can’t because you’re in public… he’ll have no choice but to give you foreplay until he has you alone! Get in the tub and paint yourself with chocolate syrup, see how he responds… whatever makes you excited, you do it first and let him be surprised.

    Remember to be forgiving to yourself. 18 month olds are a ton of work. You’re just getting out of the lowest point of pregnancy. Your hormones are wacky and that makes everything seem worse. I’ve been through some miserable lows in the first trimester of my three pregnancies (sex being the only smell I COULD NOT stand!), and one thing I’ve learned is highs and lows are normal. Just because sex isn’t great now, doesn’t mean it won’t be later :)

  11. Thanks for the thoughts, Peachesandcream. Not to sound proud of it, but I DO have a tendency to think of others needs before myself (and I can run myself ragged that way). My husband has noticed and has been encouraging me to remember to ask if I need or would like him to do something. Your right about doing something for myself. I’m an introvert and an artist; so giving myself time to be alone and time to create is usually energizing to me and many times makes me want to give back to my husband and son. In fact, I’ve been trying to make time for my art because I consider it an act of worship to God; when I worship Him, I get my joy. But life is full of challenges that try to compete for that time, and finding time for art is part of my “good fight”…making time with hubby is part of the “good fight” as well. :)

    And the foreplay stuff, good thoughts also. It seems like one wrong thing said or one distracting thought can be harmful to the goal of enjoying time together. We should remind ourselves to not mention our son, dinner, art projects, work, or anything that will take our minds off track.

  12. I so remember those days I promise with time it does get better! I was not interested in sex either after all three of my kids kinda funny actually I got pregnant again ha! My husband would tell me its been 10 days since we last had sex and I felt such pressure with that so I just got more negative towards sex and then with little ones so demanding I was done! Is there a way maybe you could ask him for personal time for you like a bath every night for 30 min. That way you have no one making demands on you. Maybe with a little personal time you would feel more relaxed and it would help mentally. I find when my DH does stuff lke that for me I’m more interested in sex. As far as more foreplay do you think he really understands how much you need it also have you tried lubricant these days as I get older its a must! I hate that I cant get there myself but it is what it is I guess. Good luck hope that helps!

  13. Yes, I should just break down and use the lube. What holds me back from using it is the wish that foreplay would provide the moisture. My husband and I try foreplay but it seems to be the wrong kind of foreplay (I’m not sure what the right foreplay would be). Thanks for the ideas.

  14. I find that being dry makes me tense, but when I use lube I instantly feel more relaxed and even start to produce more of my own. Being wet just feels sexy, even if it’s not my own, and that helps me turn on. So it doesn’t have to be an either-or, you can use the lube as a starter to help you relax until the natural stuff starts coming. There’s lots of stuff here about different lubes. It’s worth trying!

  15. I just stumbled on this website yesterday–I was just reading this and thinking, this is exactly what I am dealing with right now. How can I feel sexy again after having our two children and get back my sexual desire? Lately sex is the very last thing I want to do, but I want to do right by my husband and maintain such an important part of our relationship. Thanks so much for this article–I can be a mommy, but also a sexy, desirable woman to love and be loved by my husband.

  16. Well, now my baby is 18 months old and the hormones have returned to normal levels…. now it is just finding the energy. We have started getting ready for bed MUCH earlier! Making sure we have enough time for each other. Getting creative certainly helps. I spent some time this evening shopping for a vibrator to add some adventure…. just shopping for one put me in the mood BIG TIME! I think I might have surprized my DH tonight! LOL Not that he is complaining! Now I can hardly wait until the new little toy arrives!

  17. It took 2 months after giving birth to feel like having sex again, but now our sex life is better than ever. (My son is three months old.)

  18. I have a month and a half left to my pregnancy. Sex is getting difficult and cumbersome. My muscles surrounding my vaginal lips are frequently feeling sore from the pressure of the baby and I have a varicose vein at the opening of my vagina from the baby cutting off blood flow. If my husband gets me sexually excited but I don’t have an orgasm, the varicose vein is usually very painful afterwords. I put ice on it but what usually stops the pain is acetaminophen. Now THAT’S something I don’t tell people when they ask me how I’m feeling, in regards to my pregnancy.

  19. I had the opposite experience. When I had my baby almost 18 months ago I wanted to have sex so badly. I would have had sex right after birth if I could have. We were dying to be together and both felt so in love and turned on. We messed around and would make out a lot during the first few weeks, I gave him oral and he would get close to me. We did not wait until the check up for full on PIV, maybe 3 weeks. It was at 5 weeks when I fully engaged and couldn’t wait any longer and had stopped bleeding. We took it slow. I set the pace and orgasmed. From then on we still took it slow because I would be sore for a few days after. It was several months before it started to feel normal. The more you do it the better it gets. :)

  20. You go girl!

    We never made it past 2 weeks post-partum! Actually my first anniversary was twelve days after our first child was born, and we did it then…. You’re right, it keeps getting better the more you do it. And I am SO much more comfortable with my body now, so much better at saying what I want- maybe I miss having tight abs, but other than that there’s nothing that I’d turn back time for!

  21. I posted earlier when I was several months pregnant and was having issues with a varicose vein (caused by my pregnancy) at the opening of my vagina. We ended up dropping traditional sex for the last two months before the birth and didn’t have sex until 6 weeks after the birth. However, I will say that the way the BIRTH went allowed me to be “in the mood” for postpartum sex A LOT sooner. I labored at home for most of it and then went to the hospital for 3.5 hours of labor. We all got to sleep that evening at a normal hour. My doctor was smart enough to coach me through the crowning phase of pushing, where most women tear or have the doctor cut them. She helped me ease the baby out at that point and I didn’t tear. Having no tear to recover from meant nearly no swelling for me later and no need for pain relief when I went home the next day. I actually wanted to have sex 2 weeks later, though I didn’t because of doctor’s orders to prevent infection.

    It’s still a challenge to find uninterrupted time for sex since we have a 3-month-old and a 2-year-old.

  22. We have 3 kids – 3.5 yrs, 2 yrs, 3 months. The baby goes to bed around 10 and wakes up at 6. That’s amazing and should leave me plenty of uninterupted time to spend with my husband…. but I just don’t feel it.
    I’m skinnier now than I’ve been in 3 years, I’m in better shape, and for once, I’m the stay at home mom I’ve wanted to be.
    My husband finds me extremely desireable. And I truly believe I have the sexiest husband there is, but I have absolutely no desire to be intimate with him in anyway. And he can tell when I’m pleasuring him just because I know he needs/wants it. And while he accepts it, it isn’t what he wants.
    I feel like there just has to be something wrong with me. How can I look at my husband and find him sexy, but not want him? Why do his personal needs and our need for intimacy always feel like just another chore on my list?
    We’ve been married 8 years, we feel like our sex life shouldn’t be a struggle but it is.
    Any thoughts?

  23. Something I’ve been wondering is, does my desire for hubby have to be connected to how physically attractive he is. What if we get old and don’t look so hot anymore?

  24. This is very common, and the situation can be improved. First, figure out if there is anything physical (depression,some medications and health problems, etc.) or emotional (past sexual abuse, unresolved anger at your husband, etc.) that could be causing this. If so, you may need help from your doctor or a counselor to address it. If not, the problem is most likely related to your stage in life. Your children are very young, and the energy required to parent three children that young is tremendous. As a SAH mom, you are giving so much to them that it is easy to feel like you have nothing left for your husband. It’s very common to feel like intimacy is just another thing on your to-do list. Believe me, I have felt it and probably every other woman who frequents this site has felt it. I suggest that you pray about it regularly, asking God to give you an increased desire for your husband. Try to figure out the things that are most draining to your libido (fatigue, kids clinging to you all day, too many household tasks, etc.) and figure out ways to reduce them. Talk openly with your husband – tell him that you want to have a stronger desire for intimacy with him, but that it’s hard for women at this stage of life. He needs to understand that women are very different from men, and the small trials of everyday life can really dampen a woman’s enthusiasm! Between the two of you, figure out things that he can do that will allow you to get in the mood to be intimate, e.g., give you breaks from the kids, put them to bed so you can take a bath and relax. Read articles on this site – start with the Intimacy in Marriage category at the top of the page. Get the book Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman and read it – and have your husband read it too. It is excellent and gives a lot of encouragement and ideas for creating intimacy in your marriage. It will also help you understand your husband better and him understand you better. Good luck – you can definitely deal with this and make it better.

  25. It’s so completely normal to be disinterested in the early postpartum months. If you are breastfeeding that affects it too, since breastfeeding decreases fertility and libido (kind of like natural birth control while your body recovers).

    After 3 kids, something I’ve learned is to be really forgiving of myself when I’m not feeling it. This too shall pass. I had a definite “low” for the first few months after #3 was born- no libido, tired all the time, it kind of felt like “throwing a hot dog down a hallway”, as they say. I got a set of Ben-Wa balls for toning up my PC muscles, and I think that helped… but the main ingredient was TIME. After 6-9 months of feeling like we were going through the motions, we suddenly had a breakthrough and our sex life has been better than ever. Don’t beat yourself up. (We’ve started to joke that with all the constant changes my body has been through, it’s like he gets to sleep with a new woman every three months! Keep your sense of humor…)

  26. Something I would say is, be careful not to assume breastfeeding will be a perfect birth control method. My mom, who had two kids, said she never had a period until she quit breastfeeding. I kind of thought I would be the same…However, with my second baby, my period returned when my son turned 5 months old! That means, I quite possibly ovulated before that period.

  27. We actually bought Sheet Music before our first kid was even born – my husband was engaged full time in a master’s degree, working full time and acting as an interim preacher in a town 1.5 hours away… We were BUSY and looking for a new perspective on intimacy.
    Anyway, even before I stumbled across this site (thanks to my husband looking for things on covenant and finding the Sacred Marriage book review) that Sheet Music book has been staring me down.
    Maybe today I’ll actually find a second to crack it open again!

  28. Oh no, ha ha! I got pregnant twice while exclusively breastfeeding, both times before the nursing baby was a year old (my period typically returns about 2 months post-partum!). Breastfeeding is not birth control… but it can decrease libido and lessen fertility, so it’s maybe what you could call a mild contraceptive- not exactly what most new mothers want to count on!


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