I Just Had A Baby. When Will My Libido Come Back?

Here's what you need to know.
Mother and father with newborn baby - Buenos Aires - Argentina
ruizluquepaz via Getty Images
Mother and father with newborn baby - Buenos Aires - Argentina

After having a baby, not only does your body feel different, even the head space you’re in can be difficult to navigate. You’ve just gone through a life-changing experience, so it’s understandable.

Recovery after childbirth differs for everyone, if you had a C-section it might take longer for you to feel like yourself again. When it comes to your sex drive, some women may experience a return to their usual levels of sexual desire, whereas others might take time.

It can take months or even a year for some! But there is no such thing as normal, so you should always take it at your own pace.

Jaimee Bell, sex expert and producer at erotic audio platform Bloom Stories says the most important thing is you and your partner support each other in this new phase of parenthood.

What causes libido to drop after childbirth?

There are several reasons why women experience low libido after childbirth and Jaimee explains the changes in your body that contribute to it.

One reason is hormonal imbalances. During pregnancy, just after childbirth and when we breastfeed our hormones fluctuate, the biggest shift being in progesterone and oestrogen levels. These changes can affect our sex drive; and it’s not uncommon for postpartum hormonal changes to cause vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable, says Jaimee.

“Another factor is changes to our physical health and our bodies. Following childbirth, women may need to recover from vaginal tearing or caesarean incisions. Breastfeeding can cause discomfort. And our bodies change shape, which can affect our self-confidence.

“Not to mention feeling fatigued due to a lack of sleep and your newborn baby’s demands on your time. Recovering both emotionally and physically should be your first priority. Intimacy will follow.”

Is there anything I can do to get my sex drive back and re-establish intimacy with my partner after babies?

Jaimee advises that communication is extremely important with your partner, even if that means telling them you’re not ready to be sexually intimate yet.

Consider other ways to connect with your partner. For example, does your partner like having their hair played with, holding hands, or cuddling in bed? The sex expert says these small yet significant acts of intimacy can help you stay connected, even if you’re not yet ready to have sex.

“As a new parent, you’re going to be busy. But as soon as you feel able to do so, try making time for things that make you feel like yourself. This might involve exercise, a haircut or a walk outdoors on your own with a podcast.

“Whatever it is, re-establishing your identity outside of being the parent of a newborn can be a step towards getting your sexual energy back,” she says.

Intimacy tips for new parents who want to connect but are short on energy and time

Start small, with cuddling in bed, kissing or touching. Some days, that might be all you feel like doing or have time for. On other days, it might lead to more.

Jaimee says don’t put pressure on yourselves, remember that you’re a team and you’re both adjusting to your new routines and identities. Respect each other’s boundaries, take it slow and keep an open mind.

“Keep it fun. Sex after having children can feel laden with guilt, pressure and expectation. So it can be fun to introduce a sense of play to cut the tension.

“One idea is to introduce a safeword that you text each other when you’re feeling aroused or in the mood. If you’re both together in the house and the other partner texts the safeword back, you meet in the bedroom. It’s a simple game that can help you connect with your playful side and reintroduce some fun into your sex lives.”

Another way is to experiment with audio. Platforms like Bloom Stories feature hundreds of erotic stories covering every kind of fantasy. Lots of people listen with their partners to get new ideas and get turned on.

“But you might also choose to listen on your own to reconnect with your sexuality, rediscover what you like and ease yourself back into sex slowly. However you choose to use it, erotic audio is an amazing sexual wellbeing tool to help you explore desire on your own terms.”