When a child arrives, so much changes.
When I first became a parent, I thought of it like a color wheel. Picture that spectrum of color what you can see — reds, blues, yellows, greens. You can see all of those gradations of shade. Light lavender, rich dark purples, browns and tans and silvers and greys.
You could think of these colors as all of the ways you experience love. Love for your mom might be a pink. Love for your brother might be a royal blue or a Kelly green. You have the platonic love you feel for people you are just meeting. There’s the love that you have for a great movie, or for your favorite basketball team.
Sex After Parenthood
And then, you become a parent for the first time, and that color wheel expands. All of a sudden, you are able to see ultraviolet and infrared. New parts of the spectrum become visible, as you feel a kind of love — a fiercely protective, caring kind of love. That love for your child is a different flavor, and an entirely different set of colors, from anything you’ve ever felt.
It’s amazing. Even when it is difficult, it is amazing. It hurts your heart, you feel it so much.
But it changes your body. It changes your hormones. And it certainly changes how you and your partner interact with each other.
Sex As A New Mom
If you are a new mother, the physical changes are revolutionary. Whether you delivered vaginally or via Caesarean, your body has transformed. Your feet may be different sizes now. Your hair feels different. You produce smells you never had before. Your nose RESPONDS to smells in new ways. Food tastes different. You are producing milk. So much about your body is radically altered from how you were — and how you felt — one year ago.
And, naturally, your physical desires are radically altered as well. At least, they can be. They often are.
Your libido has likely decreased since entering into parenthood. According to a survey of 977 new parents conducted by the mattress company Leesa, 61% of women and 30% of men report “decreased sexual desire” after becoming moms and dads.
Less Sex After Childbirth…. Is Common
Frequency of sex often decreases after childbirth, too. Part of this is logistical — your child is awake, and nearby — and part of this is due to exhaustion or sleep deprivation. An evolutionary psychologist is likely to suggest that this frequency drop is rooted in biology. Our sexual drive is based in a desire to reproduce, and once that desire is fulfilled, our bodies tell us that we should grab a snack, turn on Netflix and chill. (And that’s “Netflix and chill” in the non-euphemistic sense.)
That study also showed a reported decrease in kissing. And while the intimacy of raising a baby together has its delightful bonding moments and spans of hilarity and slapstick… kissing is important too. Making out, something that you and partner likely did often before becoming pregnant, is a crucial part of staying connected, and strengthening the connection you already have. Even if it does not lead to intercourse, that romantic touch is an essential part of a healthy and sustaining romantic bond.
Sex Therapy After Childbirth Is A Great Idea
It is a natural transition, to have less sex as parents — at least early on. Sex therapy can help you make the sexual touch that DOES happen be more meaningful, more pleasurable, and more intimate. For more information and to set up an appointment, please call 513.505.1187, or use the contact form to send an email.