Post Pregnancy Sex

Hi all. Long time viewer of the website now feels the need for advice.

My wife and I had our first child this year. The kid is coming up to a year and at the risk of coming across as insensitive, we've only had sex 4 times since the birth.

We both work and share child care duties. I do most of the housework due to differing opinions on what constitutes 'clean and tidy'! I guess what im trying to say is that I dont think Im a slouch having my wife do all the housework and child rearing, wilst expecting her to service my needs. Its all very much equal, if not me doing more in terms of both child care and housework. My wife always has an early night. I tend to my child at nights.

I guess what im trying to find out is whether this is normal? Ive realise that these things take time, but I'm not sure how much longer i can take this without exploding (no pun intended!). There is no hint of her initiating anything, and if I do, i'm swiftly shot down. There is no intimacy whatsoever. She stopped kissing me whilst pregnant and contineus to date. I'd probably be happy with some kind of physical intimacy, but am struggling with none at all.

I dont know how to resolve this situation without coming across as a selfish, chauvanist, sexist pig. Any advise is appreciated.

Unfrtunately it's very common.

Have you tried to talk to her about it?

Chances are she feels just as bad about it as you but there are only so many hours in the day. Although you help out, pregnancy and birth changes a womans body so much and puts huge stress on it. You are not being insensitive, it just is hard to regain your relationship as a couple.

You need some quality time together without your little one...get a babysitter. Romance your OH. Take her out to dinner, buy her flowers, talk and listen (really listen!) to her. Give her a massage. Run a bath. Do all this WITHOUT the pressure or expectation of sex...if she is relaxed may just happen naturally...

it is common for one partner to feel 'pushed out' after a child comes along...not always the female own experience highlights this...

after our 7-month old was born, I initiated sex with my OH about 11 days labour had been fairly easy, in account of little one being 8-weeks premature...

I now want sex fairly regularly. Most days would be fantastic for reality once-twice a week if I'm lucky... The rest of the time, I use my toys when he's at work, and bubs is asleep. It sometimes creates friction between us, that I want sex and he doesn't. He is quite often tired...not that I'm not tired too! But we have different priorities....

After my first I hit a stumbling block with my now ex... I had a long and tiring labour and I was new to being a mum, I wasn't interested in sex full stop. He pushed for sex and I wasn't ready and I didn't want it which ultimately destroyed our relationship.

After my second baby though I wanted sex straight away (I think we waited less than 2 weeks) and we have regular sex every few days. But I also had a quick and easy labour this time.

It's completely normal to go one way or another, and even for the same person after multiple pregnancies to feel different after each one.

I'd also like to point out that after my first child, I tore, not enough to need stitches but still pretty badly. And although it healed it was painful and sore to have sex and the days following.
Maybe you need to sit down and talk to her, see if there is an underlying reason, it could even be that she isn't body confident (I know I most certainly am not at the moment but I'm also happy enough in my relationship at the moment not to be too concerned but I know for some women this can be a big issue when it comes to sex, if you don't feel attractive you don't want to have sex)
Good luck and i hope you sort things out. X

I know it sounds obvious, but have you spoken to her to find out if there's a particular reason for her being off sex at the moment? Until you know what the problem is, it's very difficult to tackle it I think.

Did she have a very traumatic birth, or experience tearing etc? If so then it's completely understandable, some women take a year or even more to recover from traumatic births, and I've known women to suffer from PTSD because of it. If she did have a tear, it may be that it still feels uncomfortable because of scarring, especially if she was stitched up badly. If this is the case then you could just enjoy each other in other ways for a while, I.e. Oral, if she's up for that.

I'm probably not the best person to advise as our first baby won't be born until May, but I also think it's totally normal for women to go into 'mummy mode' after their baby is born, and even whilst they're pregnant. I used to have a really high sex drive, but now that I'm pregnant I feel like my body doesn't belong to me anymore, and doing sexual stuff just feels wrong, so we haven't had proper sex since August and we've only had intimate seasons a handful of times. Luckily my partner is completely okay with this and has never tried to push me or make me feel bad, but I do worry that he might get fed up eventually, and that stresses me out because I'm scared of letting him down.

I think that especially after birth it's hard for a woman to feel sexual if she's stuck in mummy mode, but that's completely natural and very common as far as I'm aware. It's impossible to convey what a woman's body goes through during pregnancy, birth, and beyond, so unfortunately it's difficult to explain. I think that Luv Bunnys idea is really good, as that may help her to feel like a woman again and not just a mother, and it removes the pressure of "oh we've got to have sex when I get out the bath/when this massage is done", which might otherwise stop her from enjoying the romance. If you feel that the intimacy is lost, I.e. There's no touching or cuddling outside of the bedroom, I think you need to work on this before you can expect sex.

Again, I'm very sorry if my advice is useless as we're not at the post-birth stage yet, but I hope you've found something that helps from one of us. Good luck!

My wife went through a period like this so you are certainly not alone.

The way I worked on it was to send the young one to the grand parents for a day . Its amazing the response from grand parents once you ask them . Then we got some tme togeher to go out for a meal and then just talked as it was a date. We also did a llot of cuddling during this period and it was some time ( nearly 6 months after the birth) that our sex life got rerailed.

The key things I did

1) Romanced her- bought her flowers, new lingerie ,gave her massages etc.

2) Assisted her with our son at feeding times etc.

3) Applied no prressure for sex

4) Plenty of cuddles and kissing

5) Exploited the grand parents! ( both sets)

Its important not to rush things and appliy pressure .If you start getting frustrated then perhaps it may be better to buy from Love Honey some male masturabation toys . You won't be wasting your money here either becasue when the time comes your partner will be able to use these on you as well as part of your normal foreplay .When she is ready she will make the first move but keep being patient, your sex life I am sure will return .

Thank you all for taking your time to leave comments and helpful advice. Most of it, if not all, does make sense. When reading it back, it all seems so obvious, but then part of me thinks I've already attempted most of the suggestions.

Ive taken a bigger cut to my working week to look after the baby. I wasnt as fussed about interrupting my career as my wife was. During the working week (Mon-Fri), I'm more or less the full time parent. Except breakfast, I deal with all the meals, feeding, bathing, sleeping etc. I do all the cleaning and laundry. I havent pestered her for sex at all, save for letting her know I still find her attractive and am 'up for it'. Oral is dismissed as is any attempt at hugs or kisses. Both grandparents help out quite a bit, so from what I can see, there is very little on my wife's plate. I live off 5 hour sleeps, whereas she's getting her 8 hours.

The pregnancy was quite bad so in real terms, we've only had sex 5 times in the last year. Labour was quick and hassle free. Baby sleeps in his own room too. Like I said, no pressure from me, but I feel if this continues ill become quite bitter and resentful. Basically she'll get sex whenever she wants and I'll obviously be ready at the drop of a hat. Im constantly being knocked back, and at some point i'll stop trying. Where does that leave us then? Part of me doesnt want to expressly ask her for the fear that she might just admit she no longer has any need for intimacy or sex. Perhaps she no longer finds me attractive. I feel in every other way, our marriage is great, although she could help out around the house a bit more.

I'm also a member of a motorcycle website forum, and it appears most men there have a similar tale to tell. Unfortunately the advice I have received from there is not as appealing and involves the use of prostitutes. It amazed me how many men there admitted to this, claiming its the only reason their marriages have survived. Im surprised their wives havent caught on, as they stop getting pestered for sex. Obviously this is a route im not considering or interested in.

Id be quite happy with cuddles and kissing...HJ/BJ would be a bonus. But nothing at all is frustrating.

I also have to admit, going thorugh these forums leaves me considering lots. it appears my sex life, when active was tame at best. Im beginning to realise that I'm probably more adventurous and dare i say it, kinkier than i thought.

My wife on the other hand does not appear to be. She only prefers missionary as its the only position she orgasms in. She readily admits she wouldnt have sex if she couldnt orgasm, hence getting her there every time is the priority!

But i shouldnt get too greedy. Dirty, wild, sweaty sex would be great....although any kind of sex would be a start!

amorphous_zombie wrote:

I also have to admit, going thorugh these forums leaves me considering lots. it appears my sex life, when active was tame at best. Im beginning to realise that I'm probably more adventurous and dare i say it, kinkier than i thought.

My wife on the other hand does not appear to be. She only prefers missionary as its the only position she orgasms in. She readily admits she wouldnt have sex if she couldnt orgasm, hence getting her there every time is the priority!

But i shouldnt get too greedy. Dirty, wild, sweaty sex would be great....although any kind of sex would be a start!

Just take a cold shower !

No honestly your sex life will come back eventually otherwise you would just see single child families as opposed to the average of 2.4 kids !

When things start again as sure as night follows day then why not both complete a sex questionairre on each other. There is a thread somewhere on here about that very subject but it could leead to spicing things up for both of you if you answer it honestly . But thats for the future.

So just for now carry on keep supporting mum and baby and keep romancing her and exploit the grandparents and try and get out a little .

Just wanted to add as well. Some of the posters on this forum want something else apart from vanilla sex so you are not alone in wanting to spice things up . That is why they stay on here looking for new ideas trying new toys out and gererally experimenting as I am sure you will as well. For some I dare say it could be a hobby as well and I can see many worse ideas for hobbies!

It sounds like she's got comfortable to me. I know we only hear one side of the story, but it sounds like she's got a pretty comfortable life, she may have forgotten that you're her husband and you're important to. When a baby comes along everyone always talks about the changes to the woman and how the man has just got to be supportive, but the mans life changes a lot too and it's not really taught to women to consider their husbands feelings when a baby comes along
I think you need to sit her down and really tell her how she's making you feel, tell her that you've asked other men for advise and their only solution is prostitutes, that it's clearly a common thing but you don't want to end up like those men. That you've both been through a massive change and she's pushed you out and you're not feeling loved. The worst that can happen is that she stays the same knowing how much it hurts you, which won't feel much different than you do now, but she might understand and make an effort
it is so common for men to feel unloved after a baby turns up, the same as happened with both my sisters, because they're not people to consider others anyway and they just expected everything to be about them when they have birth. I know I'll try not to do the same when it's my turn, me and OH have already discussed what we'll both need from each other during pregnancy and after birth.
It's all about communication, just tell her., maybe she hasn't realised

I will never understand how a man could value sex so much above his relationship that he would use a prostitute behind his wife's back, I'm very glad you're not considering that! I can't believe people have suggested that as a solution. Seems to me it's a way to destroy a marriage, not build one. :/

Your situation is a tricky one by the sounds of it, it sounds as though your wife is very disconnected. Do you think that she could be suffering with some level of post natal depression? Did she enjoy physical contact and cuddling etc before getting pregnant?

I spend a lot of time on parenting forums these days and it's surprisingly common for women to suddenly 'go off' their partners during pregnancy, it's not something I've experienced but a lot of women on there say that they suddenly find themselves hating kisses and cuddles and feeling angry towards their partners for no particular reason, perhaps it's hormonal or something I have no idea. It's also something the pregnancy books touch on. Do you feel that this has happened with your wife?

If you're feeling like you're taking on too much with the housework and childcare then that's something you really need to discuss with her, and reach some kind of compromise, or you will end up resenting her (if I'm honest, it sounds a bit like you do already). We've decided that I will be a stay at home parent when our baby is born, but I've also made it clear that it's a full time job in itself, and I'll still need help with household chores and looking after the baby in the evening (especially as I have a chronic health condition), which my OH is more than happy to do as he's excited to get stuck in. If we didn't compromise, one of us would end up feeling spiteful in the end and it could affect our relationship. The joys of parenting, eh?!

When it comes to the sex, it sounds very frustrating, but right now it doesn't seem like your biggest problem. I think that by working on your relationship, being open and honest with each other, and learning how to co-parent and take care of the house fairly, you will open the door for sex further down the line. Perhaps I'm not fully seeing it from your POV as I'm a woman, so it's easier for me to understand how your wife might be feeling after pregnancy and birth, but I think this is a very normal and common thing for couples to go through after having children, and there shouldn't be a time pressure on women to be ready for regular sex again. It's so different from woman to woman, you might be seeing the fact that she gets more sleep than you and her birth seemed easy etc, but at the end of the day you have no idea what she feels like, her idea of being ready is probably very different to yours. Also, I wouldn't compare yourself to other couples and think "it's been X amount of time, things should be fine now", because again, it's so individual.

I'm not really sure what else to suggest as I'm not best qualified, but I really hope things improve for you both soon. :)

I think Young and Fun has made a good point as well, which I perhaps neglected in my post. I think being pregnant myself I'm a bit biased, so I'm sorry if it came across that way!

If she did admit she just doesn't want it at all anymore, wouldn't that be better than how you feel now? At least you'll know what situation you're in and you can discus with her ideas for meeting your needs, like toys or even just cuddles, communication and compromise all the way

Totally agree with pretty much all the advice I really would talk to her though or a,letter you do need to tell her how you are feeling cuz its not get any better with out communication.

Having had 3 children myself I have found after each one its been different getting our sex,life back. After our first it took a few months to get back into as we were both nervous about it and I suffered with pnd. Second and third were only a few weeks as we both wanted to express all the love we felt

Young and fun95 wrote:

If she did admit she just doesn't want it at all anymore, wouldn't that be better than how you feel now? At least you'll know what situation you're in and you can discus with her ideas for meeting your needs, like toys or even just cuddles, communication and compromise all the way

This!!! If somethings not right then surely it needs to be fixed now rather than letting it get to the stage where it's beyond repair and she wants out? You should definitely talk to her xx

Thank you again for all the comments and help.

I have at times alluded to the lack of intimacy and sex life. This is met with a swift response about how tired she is. I am hesitatant to add 'How can you be tired when I'm doing most of the work and childcare around here?!'

I have also been as blunt to say that Ive been 'sorting myself out'. This evokes a response of 'Awww you poor thing'. Quite genuine i think rather than sarcastic. Nontheless, it does not prompt any kind of action on her part. Its almost like she's quite comfortable with the lack of intimacy/sex and that I'm just supposed to go along with it.

That aside, we both adore our child and are happy in every other way. We get along, talk about each aspect of our day etc. My motorcyce buddies have similar set ups and do not see a lack of sex as a reason to break up an otherwise happy home. Hence they satisfy their needs elsewhere. But i agree in that its not a solution or appealing.

I suppose i just have to be patient and count my blessings in every other aspect of my life.

I know how you feel, and we havn't had kids yet!

Just to make sure all angles have been covered.

Does your partner have a body confidence issue ? The reason why I am asking this my OH had a fantastic body( size 12 C cup) prior to having our son. When she got pregnant she ate Mars bars like there was no tomorrow ( normally she hates them! ) and correspondingly she ballooned in weight .She was also unlucky with stretch marks on her tummy as she got these very last thing despite using a very well known brand of oil .

Although a lot of the weight she got off, it did take time , but she still hates her tummy and to this day she is not 100% body confident .She keeps her tummy covered most ofl the time . It means she wears babydolls in bed, corsets instead of bras( when sex is on the menu) and full swimsuits instead of bikinis.

This has in the past given me a problem in getting our sex life back on track once our son was born . As the others have said communication is the key thing and I got around it by keep giving her compliments but it did take nearly 6 months to sort.

No I dont believe there are body issues. She's happy to walk out of the shower/bathroom in all her glory (as do I!). Although she does quite often mention getting her pre pregnancy weight back.

The few times we have had sex, she seemed to really be into it which gave me hope that perhaps she can now 'remember' it is or still can be great. But no such luck.

Other than that, she doesnt mind when I give her the obligatory slap on the bum if she's ever bending over...or even a cheeky squeeze of her DD's! But it never leads anywhere or is never reciprocated.