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Lack of sexual desire after childbirth: the taboo surrounding mothers

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The arrival of a baby completely changes the lives of the parents, including the couple’s sexual life. After childbirth, most women experience a decrease in sexual desire. Firstly, because of the physical effort that the birth entailed, but also because of being focused on the needs of the baby. The problem for many mothers comes when they see that time passes and that desire does not return like it did before having their children.

Given this fact, they can experience frustration or the feeling of being the only ones it happens to. However, experts assure that it is something completely natural that most mothers who have given birth experience.

“The decrease in sexual desire is very common and also natural,” he declares to MagasIN Ana Belén Carmona Rubio, psychosexologist at “In fact, I think this should be talked about more before birth, even in childbirth preparation classes, and made more visible because it would also tend to remove frustration, anxiety and worry when it occurs. In reality, it is more likely to happen than that doesn’t happen.”

The psychosexologist affirms that this is a relatively frequent topic in her consultation. Due to the taboo that still entailsmany women are caught off guard by this lack of libido that can extend even more than a year after the birth of their babies.

“During pregnancy there are not many consultations in this regard, since mothers are busy with other things. Even if during that period there is a lower sexual desire, it is usually downplayed and is even seen as something more natural. It is attributed to the hormones, or because they are tired…”, explains Carmona.

Immediately after childbirth, sexual desire is not given much interest, since For parents, the arrival of the baby is the top priority. Likewise, it is worth noting that doctors recommend not having sexual relations between the first four or six weeks after birth.

When the months go by and they feel that they ‘should’ have returned to normality prior to birth, that is when many women begin to wonder what is happening to them so that they do not regain their desire. As Ana Belén Carmona says, the reasons why this happens are many.

Factors affecting

“There are many elements that we say are like ‘facilitators of desire,’ and when a child is born, all of that goes to hell. I’m going to list that there are not a few of them: the time one has available for oneself, rest, sleep, intimacy, couple time, resentful body (in this case the mother). Hormones, breastfeeding, inexperience (especially if it is the first child) in which everything is insecurity… Of course, there is also a lot of excitement about parenting and the baby. But notice that everything I have mentioned are factors that, if present, make sexuality, desire and everything else very difficult,” he maintains.

It should also be taken into account that the body change after having a baby can affect the self-esteem of mothers. On the one hand, some women feel more sexy and powerful after having given birth. However, others have a hard time accepting and adapting to the changes in their bodies. Carmona points out that this is a principle that must also be taken into account, since “if self-esteem is lost and one does not look pretty, it takes its toll on desire.”

The Dr. Carmen Pingarrón Santofimia, gynecologist at the Quirónsalud San José Hospital, also receives patients with this concern in his office. She supports Carmona’s arguments and comments with MagasIN that, on a physical level, the factors that most influence the decrease in sexual desire are the wear and tear on the body after childbirth and breastfeeding.

“When a woman breastfeeds, which is something we recommend, blood levels increase. prolactin, a hormone that causes milk to be produced. This increase causes the inhibition of estrogen and progesterone, female sex hormones. That also makes women, physiologically, feel less like having relationships,” she says.

Take care of your partner

Like Carmona, Dr. Pingarrón also advocates talking more about this situation, since ignorance can generate stress in women and even the couple wear. “When you have a baby, the tendency to abandon your partner is the norm, it is normal. There is a lack of foresight that this is going to happen and, sometimes, of understanding on the part of the couple,” she says.

“It depends on the couple, but not having this can lead to tension, conflict, cooling of the relationship… because it may be attributed to things that are not,” Carmona argues.

In this sense, the sexologist recommends “take care and pamper the relationship a lot” and remember that sexuality and sexual relations are much more than penetration. “There are other types of sexual activities such as caresses without purpose, that is, intimacy of another type. They can simply being together, touching, caressing. That tends to be less demanding on energy and perhaps that desire will not suffer as much. But of course, since that is not considered real sexuality by many…”

Both Dr. Pingarrón and Carmona emphasize that losing desire after giving birth is very common and the most important thing is to be able to speak it. If it extends over time, you can go to professionals that help mothers enjoy their sexual lives again.

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