If you watched last week’s episode of Total Bella’s on E! then you may have caught the quick conversation that Nicole brings up to Brie about how many times she’s had sex since Birdie’s been born. Birdie was about 8 months at the time and Brie responded, “I can count it on one hand.” I then looked over at JJ and said, “does that make you feel better?” I received many messages about this 5 second conversation and thought it would be a great topic to touch on publically as I feel society has made it a very closed doors discussion. Sex after kids. Why don’t we accept it as a normal topic of conversation?
Whether you are 6 weeks postpartum, a mom of two young kids, or have children in grade school… there’s nothing quite like the years before kids, a once quiet house and all the time you had in the world. But that can also be exciting on the other hand, right? Spontaneous? Or perhaps… more planned? Whatever it may be for you, everyone has different situations due to their relationship status, postpartum hormones, and the extra time you may have together without kids.
Disclaimer: I am not a sex expert, nor do I ever want to come off that I know everything about a subject, especially sex after kids. I do not. I just get inspired by my day to day life and conversations and most importantly, YOU and feel comfortable addressing the topics some people don’t. I can only talk about my personal experiences and bring in what I get from you.
Therefore, I took to Instagram Story to bring up the topic of sex after kids. I can’t believe how many of you are excited for this post and want to share your thoughts. Outlining a few points that the majority of you are feeling about the subject and even some tips from the women who feel their sex lives have changed for the better.
Here are a few of my initial thoughts:
Talk to your partner.Tell him/her how you feel and make it be known so they do not question their role in your life. We as women baring children and going through all of the ugly with pregnancy and childbirth sometimes forget that men are going through changes as well. They no longer have your undivided attention and that may be difficult for them to handle. So, talk about it. Tell them that it is painful, or that you can’t explain why but your libido is dead at the moment. Whatever you do, don’t make them wonder that its them.
I say this because, as a pregnant woman for the second time, my hormones are all over the place. Some days it’s up and sometimes my libido is non-existent. The other week, I probably went a solid week (or honestly, more) of ZERO desire. I felt as if I could never have sex again and I would be fine. I turned to JJ as we were watching a show on the couch and said, “I don’t know why and it’s not you, but I have had ZERO desire to have sex lately.” I don’t know why I decided to bring it up, perhaps I thought about the length of time and felt bad, but more than anything I wanted to say something, so he didn’t take it personal. A few days later, my libido changed. Hormones are so hard to explain but I think making sure to have the communication about it is key, even if you are embarrassed or don’t normally talk about it. You’d be surprised how well it can be received and then you aren’t leaving them guessing why.
Body image issues. Every woman goes through body image issues after childbirth. Whether that’s not being able to the lose the baby weight or how shockingly large your boobs get, we don’t feel like ourselves. I was always the girl with a smaller chest. Sure, it bugged me in middle and high school, but I have since learned to love them as an adult. Then the milk boobs came, and I was in heaven! Finally, I got to experience what I’ve always wanted… BOOBS. Ha-ha. After almost a year of breastfeeding, my milk went away and so did those beautiful milk boobs. They were no longer the small perky chest that I once had, but a slightly drooped version from being so stretched out. I remember always looking in the mirror before getting pregnant this time around (hormones have since perked them back up) and feeling so insecure about how they looked. JJ didn’t understand it. I feel confidence plays a huge role in your sex drive. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s hard to hide it in the bedroom.
I found out while reading your posts that I wasn’t alone in a lot of my personal experiences. It’s amazing how many of us go through the same thing and yet this conversation is so hush hush. Thank you to those of you who shared.
Below is a sum up of reasons you feel sex has changed in your relationship since having kids:
- My breasts are for my child right now, not my husband.
“6 months of postpartum, one issue is breasts/breastfeeding. I didn’t realize how much sexual confidence came from how I viewed my breasts until I was exclusively breastfeeding my girl. Now I feel uncomfortable even being topless during sex- let alone having my husband touch them. Hard to get out of “my breasts are for my baby” concept.”
“I was expecting it to slow down towards the end of pregnancy and right after my son was born obviously but didn’t expect it to still be different almost a year and a half later. I think it has to do with so much of our lives being consumed by our son now. Definitely think it’s important to put the marriage relationship first, but while it was natural before our son was born now we have to work at it a little more and I think it’s the same with sex if that makes sense.”
“I have a 2-year-old and 7-month-old. It was extremely challenging for me to “jump back in” with my husband. With my 2nd child, I’m a stay at home mom and I felt like my boobs belonged to my baby. So, when the kids were asleep I wanted time to myself and didn’t want my husband touching my daughters boobs lol. Which once was something that was a “turn on” was a total turn off and no touch zone! A few months later, I feel like my boobs are mine again. It takes time for some to be ready for intimacy.”
- I don’t feel sexy anymore/insecurities
“Newfound/unforeseen insecurities. I’ve always been a really secure person just being me but after having 2 kids I find myself doubting my sexiness/attractiveness sometimes! And not even that much has changed! Lol My scar tissue from both emergency c sections above my incision is my 1st insecurity and then my boobs after breastfeeding!I breastfed my 1st for a year and plan to do the same with my 2nd (currently breastfeeding), I LOVE my “milk boobs” but when I finished with my first there was literally nothing left of my poor chest!????????♀️I honestly feel myself having anxiety for when that day will come when I’m done breastfeeding and how I am going to manage that insecurity. Motherhood has made me feel so EMPOWERED and FIERCE, except in the bedroom…but I know it’s a process and I do believe these feelings will lessen with time and work!”
“For me personally I did become self-conscious after having my first, but I did not let that hinder my sex life. Sex is so important in a marriage and sometimes when life is busy and you’re in full on mom mode you don’t have a lot of time to connect with your spouse and sex can be the one connection you do have. I have been very open that out sex life has saved our marriage. We have been in places where we are totally disconnected or really just going through a tough season in life but wealways prioritized sex and it helped bring us back together. And after many years of prioritizing each other and our sex life it’s only helped it improve and we are the happiest we have ever been in our marriage (not totally crediting sex for that I give a lot of credit to God and therapy). Have the sex. It’s good for your marriage.”
“Our sex life started depleting as soon as I started showing. Once you could tell I was pregnant it’s like he didn’t want to touch me. It made me feel very ugly and very insecure (as if I needed the extra insecurities as my body was going through an extreme transformation). It hasn’t gotten much better since we have sex once every other month if that. It’s not like I don’t have the desire to because I do but he doesn’t initiate it. I mean is that too much to ask for. I know my insecurities keep me from initiating sex and it may not be fair for me to expect him to, but a woman wants to feel wanted and desired and maybe it takes a little extra work on the man’s part and a few extra compliments here and there but come on dude I just pushed your baby out of my vagina which might I say is not the same after. That’s another reason I may shy away from sex sometimes because I feel like it’s not as tight down there. Blah”
“I’m going to see a sexual therapist Thursday actually to talk through this very issue. My son is nearly 2 and mine and my husband’s sex life has changed massively since having him. I think most of the issue is with my body confidence as that changed a lot after having him, and I know I’m not alone in that. But also, being too tired from work and being a mum all day. I’ve taken to seeing a therapist as we’ve tried spicing things up a bit, but nothing seems to work, I’m just very rarely in the Mood anymore. It’s not only hard for me but also my husband. So, I would be very interested in a blog post about this. It isn’t an issue that’s brought up much, and honestly, I haven’t even spoke to my friends about it as I’m a little embarrassed. I didn’t even know sex therapists were a thing until I googled!”
“This is such a hard subject because before our son we had a great sex life, and now it’s very up and down. My husband and I are totally disconnected. I need more love and affection after having our son because of body image for sure and he just wants to do it without all the romance. It’s such a tough subject and I just wish I knew if anyone else was going through the same thing?”
- There is no time left in the day or I’m too tired for sex.
“A lot of times you don’t have the time or energy to make yourself look good and if you don’t feel sexy that plays a big role. Another thing is so much energy goes towards taking care of your baby that at the end of the day it’s like yay jammies and me time and relax don’t touch me I’m tired and trying to unwind watching TV, etc. lol…you still should make the time and effort but it’s naturally less than before kids. On another note, it is important for a healthy relationship and there should be balance and that means sometimes you got to give it up to your man even when you might not feel like it.”
“I feel bad because I’m 36+5 weeks with our first and we haven’t had sex since like week 25 maybe? Nada. I feel horrible, but my hormones are so out of whack and I’m too tired and it too much pain!!!!!! He’s understanding but feel really guilty.”
“Sex happens less for us after baby. But it’s not necessarily because we don’t want to or aren’t interested. We just legit have way less time. Between work and the babies, there are such few windows of opportunity. I think it’s important for both partners to acknowledge that and cut each other some slack. And know that that’s just the way it is right now but it will eventually change again. With that said, you also still need to prioritize it and make it happen when you can.”
“It has changed so much for my husband and me! Mostly on my end though ????I work full time from home, which I love but it is a LOT of work. By the time my daughter is in bed I am exhausted and desperately in need of a little me time where no one is touching me/asking me for something/needing to be entertained…and my husband ends up getting the brunt of it which is AWFUL, but I can’t help it! I’ve also found I honestly don’t enjoy sex as much as I did before giving birth ????????♀️Not sure why!”
“Mine didn’t really change much for the better, but not in a bad way, either. My husband and I were trying, and I think after a while, it got to a point where we were trying to just make the baby, rather than enjoying the time together to make our child. During pregnancy, we had sex maybe… 3 times total, and after she was born, we rarely talked on the subject. As time has gone by, we have been able to find that balance in our lifestyle with a baby now where we can actually be comfortable with each other again. Not that it happens often, but when it does, it definitely doesn’t feel like work again. Reconnecting and finding the time to just be with your best friend or partner is what helped us find that sexual spark again. For us, it’s never about how many times we do it. We can easily go once a month and be completely satisfied with the time we had together to be one, but then after that, we find a lot of joy in doing other things with each other.”
“I knew it would change, but I didn’t realize how much. I am home with my daughter all day, so most of my energy is geared towards her and she is my priority. Not that I don’t love my husband but it’s difficult to find either an interest or desire for sex after a long day. I always thought this idea was worked up in movies and shows but now it’s my reality. We can get away sometimes, but it has to be planned far in advance.”
- Postpartum depression, childbirth trauma, pain during sex.
“Like how about sex does NOT feel the same after baby. it’s like no more pounding it out doggy style, ever again! ????????????I mean I thought something was wrong with me and I’ve asked my gf’s lately and they’re like, yeah, 6yrs later, still can’t do certain positions. (I have an 18m old) things they don’t tell you!
“Sex definitely changed. For about 6 months after both babies, I had issues with dryness and the friction on my episiotomy scars. Beyond painful! After 6 months, sex wasn’t painful but was not something I needed/wanted. It has taken about 18 months after baby number two (got pregnant with 2 when the first was 14 months) to feel like we’ve got our groove back. I would say working out together has helped as well as a portable massage table ($100 on Amazon). Legit best/ridiculous purchase by husband”
“First, my husband rushed me to have sex after baby. I had a REALLY traumatic natural birth. She’s now 18 months and I just NOW opened up to my dr. About having no desire. We figured out after I fully healed (9months) I am resentful for the very little help I receive from him because he works a lot and puts very little time into listening to how I feel and what I’ve gone through with a difficult baby and now toddler. There is an emotional disconnect and we need to focus on dates &romance etc.”
“Postpartum depression really affected our relationship after our 2nd baby. I never had a glimmer of depression until my second baby. It’s hard. It’s chaotic. Your marriage suffers more because you’re a frazzled mess…our sex life I thought would be ruined because of my depression. I had absolutely no sexual interest. I had to overcome my struggles as a mother before I could even attempt/pretend to enjoy anything. almost two years later (yes I know so long) we are in our happy place.”
- Sex is even better than before.
“I talked to my husband about what his expectations were and let him know mine. They were different. He said he wanted to be intimate 3-4x a week and I said 2. So, we actually scheduled the nights we were going to have sex. I knew what nights those were, so I could be ready and not feel bad when I said I was too tired. I understand his needs are just as important. Now after having baby #2 we at least have sex 1x a week. We are also sharing a room with our 5-year-old and it’s hard to fit it in with our son being there. We usually go downstairs or try to have a date night away from the kids where they will have a sleepover with the grandparents. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen and we both understand. I don’t feel like he pressures me to have sex which is good. I know some husbands make their wife feel guilty about it. It’s been 15 months since our Daughter was born and it’s getting better.”
“Hi so I am one of the ones that it has not changed and almost improved. For me I made it a point. Every week to every other week I make sure to put something sexy on that makes me feel good and I surprise my husband. Even though I do this often now he is still shocked by it. It has helped and changed our relationship so much! It’s not when we r going out or have an event I could be in sweats that night, but I send him a text and surprise him in our room. A lot of time but it works, and it’s been great.”
“In regard to the sex after kids…I’d say our sex life has been the same if not better! I think now it is more of a conscious thought because everyone is tired and hormonal etc. I want to make sure my husband and I stay connected as a couple and don’t just become co-parents. I’ve learned to really appreciate our mommy and daddy time. As a stay at home mom it allows me time to feel like a woman and not just a professional butt wiper!”
Additional thoughts/tips from the women who said their sex lives improved:
- “I think once you get your sleep, diet, and body back to where you feel comfortable, that helps SO much. Also, not putting pressure on getting your mojo back right away helps (this includes having an understanding and empathetic partner not to put pressure on the topic too).
Another thing that helped me personally was pleasuring myself (TMI?? Whatever Haha) because when you can do that successfully it’s like “ok, I can still do this!”
- “Currently one thing my husband and I do is switch off initiating sex each weekend and it has helped A LOT! It keeps us consistent with sex and carving out that time, without one person feeling like it’s all on them to make it happen! Thx again for getting the conversation going on this topic!”
- “I think it’s important to make time for your spouse and let them know they are too a priority. Intimacy brings us closer. Talking, touching, love making keeps us connected. I feel it’s important to try to keep the intimacy strong like when you first met. I’m a young mom, married for 15 years, 3 kids ages 12, 10 & 4.”
- “Sex is so important in a marriage and sometimes when life is busy and you’re in full on mom mode you don’t have a lot of time to connect with your spouse and sex can be the one connection you do have. I have been very open that out sex life has saved our marriage. We have been in places where we are totally disconnected or really just going through a tough season in life but wealways prioritized sex and it helped bring us back together.”
- “I would say working out together has helped as well as a portable massage table ($100 on Amazon). Legit best/ridiculous purchase by husband”
- “My advice is to be open with your husband. We talked about it often because he thought I wasn’t interested. He understood when I told him I don’t feel like myself yet that I feel like I’m chained to a baby. With time and my sleep improving, our sex life got better, and my boobs feel like mine again. We aren’t having sex as much as he would like, probably once every 1-2 weeks but I have a 7 month who is still not sleeping thru the night, so I don’t feel guilty about it :)”
- “We always go to bed together. Even if it means me binging while he snores. We have TV shows we watch and talk about, even if they are dumb to just engage in a relaxed way and laugh together. We also try to “nap” when the kids nap on the weekends. Afternoon delight. It. Up! Haha”
- “I feel like my sex life hasn’t changed because we make it a priority. We want our relationship to stay strong. Because so many people get wrapped up with the kids they lose sight of each other. Also, we slept trained our son early on and he always sleeps in his room so that we can actually have sexy time ????. And I made it a point to not totally lose sight of myself. Like just because I happen to be a mom doesn’t mean I’m not sexy or beautiful. I made it a point to lose baby weight quickly too.”
I hope this post was helpful to those of you looking to relate to someone else, as there were so many of you with similar stories to tell. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this.