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Intimacy After Giving Birth


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I've got a simple but often asked question: how, if at all, did your sex life change after giving birth?

I ask because we had our first child in August and we've been intimate maybe 3-4 times, with sex only once. I'm trying not to take this personally – telling myself she's gone through physical, physiological changes and is sleep deprived – but I'm curious if this is the norm.

Edited by Tony_Soprano
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For some it's the norm, for others it isn't.

Perhaps she's afraid she'll get pregnant again. My cousin got pregnant when her son was only a few months old. I've read a woman is more fertile right after giving birth. Getting pregnant again may seem to her  like her worst nightmare lol.

Also, the man has zero changes to his body while the woman has a multitude. And I don't mean only the way her body looks but how she feels. There's a lot going on especially if she's nursing.

Can you ride this out or is lack of sex a deal breaker for you? Would you leave your wife over lack of sex after giving birth? Or have an affair? 

 

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10 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

There is no norm.  It depends on so many individual factors.  Why are you reposting this question here?

The other one, while great answers, was focusing more on the supportive partner question. I decided to post a more pointed question in the specific sex forum to get more insights like this one below...

7 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

For some it's the norm, for others it isn't.

Perhaps she's afraid she'll get pregnant again. My cousin got pregnant when her son was only a few months old. I've read a woman is more fertile right after giving birth. Getting pregnant again may seem to her  like her worst nightmare lol.

Also, the man has zero changes to his body while the woman has a multitude. And I don't mean only the way her body looks but how she feels. There's a lot going on especially if she's nursing.

Can you ride this out or is lack of sex a deal breaker for you? Would you leave your wife over lack of sex after giving birth? Or have an affair? 

 

That's a good point, she is definitely afraid of that as she had a tumultuous pregnancy and delivery was an emergency c-section. She's recovered nicely physically but the breastfeeding is starting to take its toll, she mentioned. I can 100% ride this out, I will not stray was more or less looking for personal anecdotes on intimacy changes after couples had their first child. Care to share?

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2 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Because I had two surgeries that affected my nether regions as a direct result of my son’s birth I was very very very hesitant . 

Noted. As a partner of someone who had a surgery I should be more mindful of this.

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3 minutes ago, Tony_Soprano said:

was more or less looking for personal anecdotes on intimacy changes after couples had their first child. Care to share?

Everyone is different so sharing will not change your situation. You can't approach your wife with "people on the internet said they still had sex after giving birth, so why won't you?" That wouldn't go over too well.

She had major abdominal surgery and has to have her breasts attached to an infant for hours every day. Her breasts and vagina are sources of sexual pleasure for you but for her their meaning and purpose has completely been altered. Plus she had a tough pregnancy and fears going through that again. So expecting her to be horny is kind of unrealistic.

Perhaps instead of actual intercourse you can talk to her about other types of sexual activity. Ask her if there's anything she would enjoy or like to try. She may surprise you.

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No way I'd try to twist her arm by throwing "Internet strangers said..." at her, it's merely for my own understanding. It's quite the opposite, in fact, as I come here to get answers anonymously rather than burdening her with "why not this?!" and "how come that?!" I posted this to gain some insight and to have a conversation, not to hold over her head. 

There has been back and foot rubs aplenty since birth with no agenda for intercourse. She likes that and I'll continue it. There is other intimacy I'm willing to try other than intercourse, of course. 

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5 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Maybe ask her to give you a back rub. She may find herself getting turned on unexpectedly. But don't go into it thinking you're going to get some sex. Just enjoy it and let her take the lead.

Haha grazie! I think I'll pass on asking for 'favours' as she's doing all the heavy lifting these days but a man can dream...

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I just have the urge to say, “Hey Tone-eee!” In the worst Italian accent ever. I’m so sorry! It’s the Tony Soprano picture! I absolutely LOVE the Sopranos!

 

Anyway, sorry, to the question!

 

OP this is so varied as everyone has said. I am speaking from real time experience here, I am in this with you guys at the mo. We just had our third baby, she has turned 4 months old. I have a 3 year old son and a middle daughter, 2 years old. 
 

What can I say, what can I say! From a woman’s perspective! God, for me, more than anything, the main killer to a reduced sex life wasn’t becoming a mother or breastfeeding or having my body change and change back and change again and all of that but it was the SLEEP DEPRAVATION! That’s what got in the way! 
 

On average they say wait at least 3 months for normal sexual intercourse. That’s if your wife had had a normal, straight forward birth. She had a c-section though which is a major operation and by no means easier or “better” than a regular birth. I have never had one but other friends who have, extremely fit and athletic women, have been laid up and not right for at least 3, 4 months after. 
 

So many factors come into play and change everything in your life - not just your sex life. As a parent of 3 kids under 4 I will say eventually when the dust settles and your wife is feeling more energetic, healthy, emotionally stable (the hormones! It’s real!) then, you find your sex life evolves a s changes to fit around your new, crazy and demanding schedule! 
 

The most important thing I think, in all of this, is to keep up the intimacy, and not sexual things but still hold hands, kiss, hug - compliment her, buy her flowers and yes, as other women have said here, you have to help out wherever and whenever you realistically can, especially in the early days. 
 

Don’t pressure her at all. Openly tell her in a nice evening of relaxing after the baby goes down that you are so proud of everything she has done, is doing an amazing job and just let her know there is no pressure to jump into bed and you are here when she is ready. You won’t believe how actually taking away all pressure to do anything sexual can be like some kind of reverse psychology. I am not telling you this to manipulate her into bed but, allowing her to relax and not have any other pressures and expectations outside of what you both and her are already juggling can just be so freeing and joyful. 
 

Make sure to keep the communication up - ask her how she’s doing, talk about how you are feeling too. If you have any questions you guys shouldn’t hold back from each other. Have these conversations late morning when you are both in a decent mood, not late at night when the day has been long. 
 

Remember that often this new baby phase passes. The first year seems to be the toughest (I think, in my limited experience!) and then routine and things fall into place, they sleep through, get more independent.

 

If anyone you know can help and give you guys a date night on a regular, weekly basis, this is also a really amazing thing, I can’t praise it enough. Even two hours for a nice meal out, or to see a movie. If you have a lovely mother in law who can stay over and be there for the morning to give you two a lay in, even better! If this can’t be done, set aside time in the evening with no tv to chat or enjoy a meal together, even if you order take out. Sit the baby at the weekend for a few hours if she can express and see if your little one will take a bottle - she could go take a big nap, go shopping, go see a friend - all these things will lift her and make her feel better.

 

Also remember to take care of yourself. People often forget the Dad! Raising up a baby, corny as it sounds, is team work abs there needs to be give and take both ends equally and no resentment about it. If things are good in your relationship and you keep looking after each other and making sure she is okay then the sex will come when it’s ready.

 

From personal experience (ha!) post kids, sex is now erratic but much more passionate and erm, the art of the quickie comes to mind!!! You will start to appreciate any time with your wife on a new level. Oh and one last tiny suggestion! If you guys do get those date nights, I know it will be so hard but try and not spend the whole night talking about your baby! A bit is okay but after that, it’s your time, it’s a romantic time! 
 

The odd time me and my husband slip away, we always stop each other half an hour into my glass of wine… Lo, we’re doing it again… we’re talking about the kids. YES! Sounds ridiculous but you’ll know what I mean when it happens! Hahaha!

 

Be patient and loving and supportive in this extremely amazing but extremely testing time and things will slowly get back there eventually. 
 

And, congratulations!! 
 

Lo x

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PS - remember, there is also an element of “fear” for most women the first time you jump back into the sack after having a baby. I am sure I don’t need to go into the reasons why, but it can often be a little painful, just the first time. Sometimes the thought of this can loom in a woman’s mind. It’s not a gorgeous, erotic thought. Ha! 
 

So y’know, be gentle and caring and tell her you’ll take it slow and easy when she’s ready and this can also lift a bit of a burden from her mind.

 

I’m speaking generally here as all women are so different and everyone’s birth is different too. Just throwing a few suggestions out there from another Mama of a few babies!

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

I just have the urge to say, “Hey Tone-eee!” In the worst Italian accent ever. I’m so sorry! It’s the Tony Soprano picture! I absolutely LOVE the Sopranos!

Hahaha, ayyy right back atchu!

As for your response—thank you! It was so thorough and from experience, which are the best replies. I will relieve pressure as much as I can and let her know whenever she's ready will be the right time. As for getting away, we're solo in the Arctic so no friends of family to leave him with plus...lockdowns 😞.

You mention "limited experience" but I'd argue you have a wealth of experience. Three kids under four? Mamma mia! I commend you and your hubby for keeping the household together and maybe even a little spark between ya now and then. I am in this with you guys too now!

Ciao, Lo!

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23 hours ago, Tony_Soprano said:

Haha grazie! I think I'll pass on asking for 'favours' as she's doing all the heavy lifting these days but a man can dream...

I didn't mean yelling "hey, honey, how about you give me a back rub!" LOL But rather the both of you take turns. Or if you have a tub take a bath together or shower together. Offer to wash her hair for her. Things like that.

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1 minute ago, boltnrun said:

I didn't mean yelling "hey, honey, how about you give me a back rub!" LOL But rather the both of you take turns. Or if you have a tub take a bath together or shower together. Offer to wash her hair for her. Things like that.

Noted, thanks!

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15 hours ago, Tony_Soprano said:

Hahaha, ayyy right back atchu!

As for your response—thank you! It was so thorough and from experience, which are the best replies. I will relieve pressure as much as I can and let her know whenever she's ready will be the right time. As for getting away, we're solo in the Arctic so no friends of family to leave him with plus...lockdowns 😞.

You mention "limited experience" but I'd argue you have a wealth of experience. Three kids under four? Mamma mia! I commend you and your hubby for keeping the household together and maybe even a little spark between ya now and then. I am in this with you guys too now!

Ciao, Lo!

Hey Tony,

 

You guys have a brand new baby, first time, and sound very isolated! This is no small feat! You have to pat yourselves on the back! Or shine your own buttons, however you want to put it! 
 

How come you guys are in the Artic? 
 

We are in a similar situation as in, we have no external help at all. Now and then, my husband might take two of the three to my mother in laws but only for a few hours. We do get a random date night now and then when a trusted friend will sit in whilst they sleep, but that’s it. 
 

In your case where there is no help I would say it is even more important that you are on each other’s team and you must look after each other and yourselves. If she can give you a break one night to go do something you like, then vice verse, it makes a difference.

 

Also I am not just saying you have to spend your life attending all her needs to forget your own. You can still bring these things up with her but just mind the time and tone when you do, that’s my only advice. Read her mood. Ha! If it goes on a couple more months and you are not comfortable which I think most partners wouldn’t be and she will probably feel the same then, you guys can come at this together and talk things through between yourself. It’s two to tango just, as you already do so well, give her that time understanding and space and I am sure things will fall back, just in a new way that’s all.

 

And yes! Self inflicted! Recent events in my own personal life have made me realise just how precious looking after each other is. Never take each other for granted. You’ll have some tough times but some amazing times too.

 

I don’t know what your financial situation is but, is there anything she would really like that might not only help her but perk her up? A half day at the salon? Wire her some money to spend as she pleases on new clothes? Ask her if she needs anything practical that would help her with your new baby? A sling, a bounce chair? A white noise machine? A subscription to a work out station? A hamper? Flowers to arrive weekly for a couple of months? 
 

I would highly recommend, especially when breastfeeding, getting her some great supplements that are tailored for this time. Amazon do them. Lactation supplements, vitamin tablets to fill in the voids and reduce fatigue. A coffee machine that has a timer to come in and pour at 6am when you are all knackered and can fill the place with the smell of fresh coffee? Something like that! You get the drift!

 

You sound like you are doing an amazing job, both of you. Hang in there, stick together, you’re a team! Don’t forget each other’s needs, communicate them… enjoy your little boy as much as you can! Time passes so fast! It’s truly amazing! You have one of the most precious gifts of life! It’s tough but nothing worth while is ever easy!

 

Lo x

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Hey mylolita,

What brought us to the Arctic? Her job and I was a COVID layoff victim so I tagged along. She's the breadwinner (even on mat leave) so she won't accept any money, and there are no salons but I've picked up a hint or two for Valentine's and/or Mother's Day.

Thanks again for the thorough reply! I'll definitely take it into consideration and apply it, especially the bit about reminding each other we're on the same team. Sometimes it feels like mommy v daddy when it's definitely not the case at all. As for having her reach out, another nice gesture but I'll pass—this is my anonymous forum to share feelings so I don't bombard her with them.

Have a good weekend! 

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15 hours ago, Tony_Soprano said:

especially the bit about reminding each other we're on the same team.

I wouldn't remind her but I'd show her.  For example today I refilled two soap dispensers before 7am. My husband is sleeping.  If I didn't refill them they'd be empty for a long time.  I don't want accolades or gushing but once in awhile I'd like to be acknowledged for the invisible behind the scenes work -once in awhile, I am  -sometimes I'd like it to be a bit more - if you can relate.  

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On 1/5/2022 at 9:43 PM, mylolita said:

 

Don’t pressure her at all. Openly tell her in a nice evening of relaxing after the baby goes down that you are so proud of everything she has done, is doing an amazing job and just let her know there is no pressure to jump into bed and you are here when she is ready. You won’t believe how actually taking away all pressure to do anything sexual can be like some kind of reverse psychology. 

Aren't you a clever lolita! Very good! Very good!

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On 1/8/2022 at 5:25 AM, Batya33 said:

I wouldn't remind her but I'd show her.  For example today I refilled two soap dispensers before 7am. My husband is sleeping.  If I didn't refill them they'd be empty for a long time.  I don't want accolades or gushing but once in awhile I'd like to be acknowledged for the invisible behind the scenes work -once in awhile, I am  -sometimes I'd like it to be a bit more - if you can relate.  

Noted. Acts of service are one of her favourite 'love languages' too so I take care of these small tasks now and then, like sharpening the kitchen knives this weekend. I realize announcing I completed the deed cheapens it so I just hope she notices haha.

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54 minutes ago, Tony_Soprano said:

Noted. Acts of service are one of her favourite 'love languages' too so I take care of these small tasks now and then, like sharpening the kitchen knives this weekend. I realize announcing I completed the deed cheapens it so I just hope she notices haha.

LOL love languages aside I believe most new moms would appreciate this.

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  • 3 months later...
On 1/5/2022 at 4:43 PM, mylolita said:

You won’t believe how actually taking away all pressure to do anything sexual can be like some kind of reverse psychology. I am not telling you this to manipulate her into bed but, allowing her to relax and not have any other pressures and expectations outside of what you both and her are already juggling can just be so freeing and joyful.

From someone who never had a baby from their abdomen, I can tell you the above suggestion made me feel amazing, like if my partner did that (no matter the situation) I would be good.  thank you lo.

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5 minutes ago, spinstermanquee said:

From someone who never had a baby from their abdomen, I can tell you the above suggestion made me feel amazing, like if my partner did that (no matter the situation) I would be good.  thank you lo.

Thanks Spinster!

 

I don’t know if this would work with other women but I know it works for me. Pressure for anything in general. Even pressure to be happy. Or seem put together. Or pressure to appear to be able to juggle it all.

 

Sometimes it would be nice if new Mums ever had a nice joke from another Mum who said, I could hardly keep it together. Hardly anyone can. You can be a rocket scientist or a stay at home Mum. Everyone has a cry at some point.

 

Just to hear that from my Mum, or another Mum, or any other woman, would have maybe taken the pressure off me!

 

I know if I am feeling bad, my husband won’t even try, and he’s all over me more than once a day normally. He just… steps back until I guess I’m ready. And I always am, much sooner than I thought. And it falls back into place again. It works as something that I noticed happens naturally.

 

I really wish you the best in your own new lease of dating life Spinster! 
 

Thank you for the feedback! You are always, so so kind! Truly!

 

x

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