Recovering sexuality after pregnancy

Retrouver une sexualité après la grossesse

Fatigue, pain and a new rhythm of life … Childbirth and the arrival of a baby upset the sexuality of young parents. The advice of Catherine Solano, sexologist, to regain sexuality after pregnancy …

[Mise à jour du 23/11/2016]. Pregnant women often find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. And with the arrival of baby, make way for sleepless nights! With fatigue, the pains associated with childbirth and the new rhythm of life, the couple’s sexual relations are somewhat disturbed. Catherine Solano, sexologist, answers questions from the Journal des Femmes and gives some advice to parents of young children.

Why is it difficult to return to sexuality after the baby is born?

Catherine Solano: First of all, there is fatigue. The drop in libido is systematic when you lack sleep, and with a newborn who does not sleep, the new rhythm of life is quickly exhausting. We note this same lack of desire in women who suffer from postpartum depression or baby blues and whose fatigue is more felt.

The pain also contributes to the decrease in sexual desire, in the case of an episiotomy during childbirth for example. Vaginal dryness, which lasts on average three months after the baby is born, also does not facilitate intercourse, even if the sexual desire is present.

Finally, the birth of a child represents a major hormonal upheaval: the lactation hormone is an anti-desire and lasts on average three months. But ultimately, nature is well done since it takes a time for the mother to devote herself to her newborn, which is a priority for her … A time during which sexuality is somewhat put aside.

Is it similar to all couples?

No, the decrease in libido as well as its duration depends on each woman and each couple. Like children who go to sleep quickly unlike other babies, some will find themselves very quickly, while others may take months to resume sexuality after childbirth. There is therefore nothing to worry about if sexuality is on standby after six months or more.

When should you worry?

What should alert, above all, is the blocking reaction that a woman can have after the birth of her child. “I don’t want him to touch me!” or “Making love disgusts me!“… Some young mothers react indeed with rejection and do not make efforts, even if the father is rather patient and empathetic. Thus, if there is a blockage after 6 months or there is still has no desire after 8-9 months, it is best to consult to discuss it.

What advice would you give to couples to boost their sexuality?

I recommend to fathers to make an effort, to invest themselves to take care of their baby: give him the bath, dress him, wake up at night to calm him if he cries … The fact of being in contact with her baby creates a bond and increases prolactin, and therefore decreases sexual desire. This allows women to be on the same level as men without adding any feeling of pressure.

In addition, some men confide that they had to seduce their wife again after the birth of the baby. Prove her love, restore her self-confidence is important, especially if she does not accept the pounds of pregnancy that she has not yet lost.

For young mothers, perineal rehabilitation is effective in regaining sexual sensations after childbirth.

Do men find it difficult to see their mistress become a mother?

It is possible: the maternal position of the woman prevents certain men from seeing their sexual partner in the same way. This is why it is essential that men get involved with babies so that they do not feel left out, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. Some men may also have difficulty seeing the change in the body of their wife, others who attended the delivery saw the baby’s head come out and keep this image during intercourse or make amalgams (“you suffered during childbirth is my fault “). In this case, it is better to attend the birth while staying on the woman’s side if you don’t feel it!

Finally, motherhood can also have the opposite effect: some mothers feel more female and more confident after their pregnancy. If they were previously complexed, they may very well feel better in their bodies and relationships with their spouse improve.

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