It’s OK If You Don’t Want To Have Postpartum Sex

For some people, waiting until the six week postpartum checkup to resume sexual activity feels like a long time. For others, however, taking a hiatus from sex is more than welcome and those six weeks aren't long enough. So is it normal to not want to have sex postpartum? The libido can take quite a hit from childbirth.

To be clear, it is absolutely normal to feel not-so enthusiastic about sex after giving birth. For starters, your body is still recovering from the tremendous stress of giving birth. In addition to the physical pain of recovery, Baby Center noted that hormones go through some big shifts at this time, potentially making sex less than palatable. Even under the best conditions, your body needs time to heal. The physical and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy often make sex less than desirable.

There's also another pretty major change in your life: a newborn. Sure, infants might sleep around 16 hours a day, but they somehow manage to keep parents awake around the clock. According to HealthDay, it's typical for parents to lose around two hours of sleep every night until the child is 5 months of age. This isn't like pulling a single all-nighter to study; it's a persistent, grinding fatigue. As noted on the website for Shape, this kind of chronic sleep deprivation can cause your sex hormones to take a nose dive, making the idea of sex still less appealing. All you want is sleep.

In addition to these major concerns, the act of caring of caring for a newborn itself can leave you feeling less than enthused about intimacy. According to La Leche League, it's common for mothers of young children to feel touched out, or in need of some alone time to recharge, preferably without anyone pawing at anything. After hours of holding, feeding, and cuddling a newborn, sometimes mom needs a little personal space.

A dip in libido is perfectly normal at this time. In fact, even the Mayo Clinic acknowledged that many women take a few months to really feel like having sex after childbirth. In the meantime, practicing self-care, and returning to intimacy at your own pace, is so important.