If you've lost the desire to have sex after having a baby, consider yourself one of the many. Although wondering how to increase your sex drive postpartum is probably pretty far from your mind right after birth, eventually you may want to connect in the bedroom again with your partner.
Even after you've healed physically, you may have no desire to to be intimate, which isn't an uncommon feeling. According to Baby Center, 20 percent of women have very little or no desire to have sex for three months after birth, while 21 percent completely lose the desire to have sex postpartum. For many moms, they're simply exhausted from dealing with feedings, spit up, blow outs, and potentially other children tugging at them all day. Taking that into consideration, it's more than understandable that the last thing you may want when climbing into bed to finally get some sleep is to, yet again, be touched.
So if weeks are turning into months, and you and your partner are still skipping over sex, it's important not to ignore it. Instead acknowledge the issue and start getting to the bottom of the source of the problem by ruling out potential causes one by one. The longer you go without being intimate the more awkward it may become. Many times women ignore the issue because they don't want to upset their partner, while partners mistake lack of sex drive for lack of interest in them. Instead of ignoring what's going on or just doing it to get it over with, have conversations about what's going on and figure out the best way to move forward together.
Once you're on the same page with your partner and you both understand what's going on, start exploring ways to rekindle the desire. According to Baby Center, moms need to take action to get back their sexual self-esteem. Because there are a lot of physical and hormonal changes occurring, it can be hard to look at your body the same way. Don't compare your postpartum self to your pre-baby body. Your body is going to change after having children, and it will always continue to change regardless. The best advice I received after having two kids — when I felt like nothing I owned fit right, but I refused to do anything about it — was to stop fighting it. Instead of beating yourself up, it's more beneficial to your self-esteem to go buy clothes that you feel good in, grab some new lingerie, have a spa day or manicure, and ultimately accept yourself, wherever you're at right now.
You also may want to explore the dynamic within the household. If you're constantly worn down and taking on the role of manager for all things baby and chores related, it could be time to look into a new way of splitting up chores and general everyday tasks. According to the aforementioned Baby Center article, "choreplay" is the new foreplay, and it's important dads are pulling their weight around the house as well. If both parents are pitching in with to-dos, it leaves more intimate time for you as a couple.
As a whole, it's extremely beneficial to remember intimacy doesn't just revolve around sex, according to What To Expect. Show your love by holding hands, cuddling, or saying meaningful things to each other. Additionally, take advantage of foreplay (and lube) in the bedroom. The previously mentioned Baby Center article shared that having sex actually raises your natural free testosterone level and helps get things back to normal.
In the end, it's important that you both keep intimacy a priority. No matter how low your drive may be or how unsexy you feel after being puked on all day, remain intimate with your partner. Even if it means scheduling time together (even sex) or just jumping back into bed and not overthinking it, make sure you're putting effort into sexual intimacy in some manner. And if you still feel your sex drive is completely lacking, schedule a follow up with your doctor or make an appointment with a sex or relationship counselor. Both options are great, professional resources to help you get your groove back.