Let’s talk about sex, baby: libido after childbirth

Guest post by Morgan, blogger at The Little Hen House

Let’s talk about sex, baby.

I love getting together with my mom friends. I think they are the sole reason that being a Stay at Home Mom has not driven me to the loony bin (yet!). We get together about once a week, let the kids run amuck, and get a chance to have actual adult conversation.Of all the things we talk about, sex is NEVER a topic. It’s interesting. I can tell you exactly how many stitches my best friend had after her second baby, and I have held my other friend’s breast while she tried to get her baby to latch properly, but I can’t tell you when the last time we honestly talked about sex.

Occasionally, usually in a one on one conversation, a girlfriend will open up to me about her sex life. Anyone who knows me knows that I will pretty much talk about anything, so I’m always down for a good sex talk. Here’s what I have learned: Most of us really don’t feel like doing it a whole lot. And by a whole lot, I mean pretty much almost never.

Here’s the part where I have to ask you to refrain from telling me about how you can’t get enough of your husband and you practically attack him the second he walks in the door. Good for you. And him.

What I’m saying is- most of us don’t have the same sex drive that we did before we became mothers. Don’t worry. It’s totally normal. The best thing we can do is share our experiences and try to help one another. So…..

Here is what I think affects libido after childbirth:

1. Breastfeeding. Your estrogen levels are very low. It’s like your body is in menopause. Even the act of just holding a baby makes your hormones drop. It’s nature’s little way of ensuring their survival by making sure that you won’t do anything that will make a sibling for them any time soon. :)2. Lack of sleep. Sleep trumps sex. Period.

3. Post baby body. Even if you have returned to your pre-baby size, you may feel differently about your body- especially if you are nursing or had a difficult delivery.

4. How involved/helpful your partner is. I tell my husband that doing the dishes counts as foreplay. Husbands need to step up and act like supportive partners. I’ve had it with man-children. Mothers don’t feel like having sex with a partner who acts like a child. They feel like putting them in the corner for a time out.

5. Where your baby sleeps. It’s hard to have sexy time when you have the baby in the bed.

6. How consumed you are with motherhood. Take time for yourself. Work on a non-child related hobby. Have a glass of wine with your girlfriends. Re-connect with your pre-mommy self. You were a person before you had children. And that person felt like having sex. Get to know her again.

7. Date night. I know it’s cliché, but it’s SO important to get away with your spouse once in a while. Enjoy a great meal, have a glass of wine (or two!). I find that Friday nights are great for us. It allows us to reconnect after a long week and gear up for the weekend.

8. Baby blues/postpartum depression. Enough said.

9. Fake it till you make it. Sometimes you just have to make yourself do it. You will be glad afterwards. So will your husband. 🙂

10. Finally, you may never feel like jumping your partner’s bones like you used to. That’s ok. Having children changes everything about a relationship. You are both parents now and you need to re-discover each other in a completely new way. It’s really, really hard and everyone goes through this struggle. It will take time, but you will get in your groove again.

I’m no expert and I’m certainly not a doctor. If you think something is medically wrong with you, then I suggest you discuss it with a professional. I can only give you my advice, which is based on my own personal experience.

Having two babies in just over two years did quite a number on my sex life. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying really hard to get back in the game and I know you can too.

Bio: Morgan is a Stay at Home Mom to Emma and Annie. In between eating Bon Bons and watching soaps, she writes about life, the adventures of motherhood, and the challenges of raising her two little chicks. You can read more of her at The Little Hen House.

Dear friends, do you have anything that you’ve learned and would like to share about post-partum libido? Just keep it at PG13 please… 

Opening up the conversation,

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Jennifer Kay
    15 October 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I have secretly wondered if this was my new normal or if there was something really wrong with me.

    I had two babies in two years as well and sleep trumps sex almost every night.


  • Greta: From Transparencies of Motherhood
    15 October 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I'd like to add one to that list…fear of having another baby. There are some women that can't take pills/hormones, IUD (even copper) has awful side effects, and sometimes a condom just doesn't cut it if they want to be certain that "now" isn't the right time–but know that some day they do want more (crosses out anything major).

  • Baby Boberg & Parents
    15 October 2010 at 3:39 pm

    If from sunrise to sunset all you have is baby on the brain you need time to decompress. Usually I tell my hubby that I need half an hour just to get the baby off my mind. It actually helps to talk about the baby for fifteen minutes or so and then turn directions for a few more minutes until you feel "in the mood".

  • Mandy
    15 October 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Oh my. Things have changed for me, too since having a baby! Thank you for this post, it's nice to know that I'm not alone in my {lack of} libido!

  • Ana
    15 October 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I LOVE this post! Oh my gosh…my muddled mommy brain couldn't compose a list, and this just hit every topic perfectly.

    #4 is right on, and no matter how many times I tell my hubby that doing the dishes or doing a *complete* load of laundry is the sexiest thing to me, he just doesn't get it 😛

  • Brittany
    15 October 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Great post! I am not married but when I was with my sons father, my libido was def down! Now that my son is older and i have no man.. my libido is much higher! Obvs I have to keep that in check! I contemplate getting a man just so I can …. okay thats beyond pg13 🙂

    Great post! I wish i had read something like this right after aidyn was born!

  • JIll
    15 October 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for this post. Things like this always make me feel better. After having baby two I know what to expect and I knew that I was going to have to make time for sex but at the same time I was not going to do what I did to myself with baby one. Thank you so much for this post. I think this is one of the non talked about things about having babies.

  • Emma
    15 October 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I'm with Brittany….I didn't have too much libido when Chick was a baby but now I'm definitely getting my mojo back! Of course getting a regular good night's sleep helps massively!!!! Great post! x

  • Nikki
    15 October 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Uh oh. I don't have a child, what's my problem? 😉 I actually read somewhere that woman only experience around 10 minutes of pleasure during the entire act (foreplay to climax). I know it isn't true for everyone but I found it fascinating.

    Life gets in the way, everyone is tired and on different schedules. If you were all over each other the way you were when you first started dating…would you ever get anything done?

  • Kerry McCullough
    15 October 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I so agree about everything- especially date night. So important and my hubs and I NEVER do it 🙁

    I also noticed that even though I lost all the baby weight, my boobs look like flapjacks now (I think a mixed result of my baby sucking more than just milk out and pregnancy hormones making them completely different). I'm so embarrassed of how they look now!

  • bigguysmama
    15 October 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I think #4 is my favorite. I agree that if we allow our relationship with our husband then the sex will suffer. After 4 kids, I know. =)

    ~Mimi from the Lamby Tribe

  • adriel, from the mommyhood memos
    15 October 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Morgan, this is an excellent post! Thank you so much for contributing. This is an important subject that can sometimes be awkward to talk about… but only if we make it that way. Just like anything, it's a learning curve! Helps to hear from others and share experiences. Thanks again!!

  • thelittlehenhouse.com
    15 October 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I love all the comments! You have great readers Adriel. Thanks for hosting the post. I hope I can do it again sometime!

  • flyrish
    15 October 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Such a great post! It really helps to know that I'm not alone, especially when you have single or childless friends who talk about their fabulous sex lives.

    I think things do improve once the breastfeeding stops. Not like they were before, but definitely better.

  • Mellisa Rock
    15 October 2010 at 11:45 pm

    This was such a great post – it really is all true. I have found that by simply making it a point to think about it and act on it – it helps – it's not as natural feeling at first – but with time it gets easier. I have 4 babies in 7 years.

  • Naomi
    16 October 2010 at 12:33 am

    What a great post–it's so true! And I'm glad to know I'm not alone!! 🙂

  • Mrs.Mayhem
    16 October 2010 at 3:09 am

    Like the Nike slogan, Just Do It. That's my motto. 🙂

  • Maryline
    16 October 2010 at 4:11 am

    Mrs Mayhem is so right, Just Do It.
    It can be frustrating to be the initiator all the time (I'd add to your list that the drop in your husband's libido does NOT help matters!) but the reward is worth it.
    I use this great French expression "L'appetit vient en mangeant".
    Or in plain English, eating drives the appetite…

  • Sorta Southern Single Mom
    16 October 2010 at 10:57 am

    Yes, why is it that I will tell you in graphic detail about my birth experience, but I blush when it comes to sex… well, maybe because as a single mom, let's just say I hope it's like riding a bike, cause it's been awhile…

    Good points though and I think new moms need to hear it!

  • Baby Making Mama
    16 October 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Great post! I really needed to read this, especially considering I JUST wrote a post about lacking libido! haha thanks!

  • Laura Elliott
    17 October 2010 at 3:57 am

    I can so relate to this post! I definitely find it hard to get in the mood and 9 times out of 10 would rather just go to sleep. But there's only so much rejection a husband can take and I do think there comes a point where you have to take control and rediscover your sexy side. I love date night for this! In fact we just had a date night last night – went to a party/danced all night and had so much fun. For me – it's all about connection, I need to feel a bit of spark and that gets me in the mood.

  • Jessica
    17 October 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Wonderful post! Kudos to you, Morgan, and Adriel for treading on a topic that most are thinking about but few are writing about. I agree with everything on the list, especially #9! So often, we, as moms, are so busy and preoccupied with other things that we are not (or at least not in the same way as our spouses) thinking about sex (ever). For me, it is a challenge to "switch gears," so "acting," especially in the beginning, is necessary.


  • MJ
    18 October 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this REAL and Honest post. No one can understand what us Mother's go through except another mother. It has been a year and I am still adjusting! This is my fourth but it feels like it's my first due to the long 11 yr span between babies(we thought we were done..SURPRISE!) I need to follow advice on all of the above. Date night~MUST, Faking it~MUST(lol), Jumping Bones~Must! Question how does one get hubby to cook for them? I agree dishes and cooking is like foreplay if he only knew or understood I AM NOT JOKING! He would cook and clean more..lol. Boys will be boys:) Thanks for this post I needed this:)

  • Greta: From Transparencies of Motherhood
    18 October 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Hey Adriel,

    Just wanted to let you know that I gave you a shout out on my blog by giving you the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂 I think you've already received it, but you are amazing and I love your blog so I wanted to give it again!

  • Carol
    19 October 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Sometimes it's just nice to be reminded that it's okay that things have changed. One day I'm sure we'll all get back on track, but for now, it's comforting to know that there are a bunch of logical reasons why I'm not that interested. Thanks for posting this 🙂

  • Tiffany Larson
    21 October 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I appreciate the honesty, these points were right on. I have found that after I was done breastfeeding and baby was sleeping through the night consistently, things were a whole lot better. For us, that was aboug 10 months with both kids.

  • Marko @ Parent Support Hub
    28 April 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Great article!
    Like you’ve said, date nights are so important. We all like to see our spouse looking, feeling, and acting their best. Donning nice clothing and a joyful attitude can do wonders in igniting the intimacy. Plus the time alone together and deep conversations fan the flames further. Your sexual satisfaction can rise at least 3.5 times if you intentionally spent quality time together at least once per week.


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