Libido and Sex After Children: How to Keep the Flame Alive
Regardless of whether your libido before children was raging or barely-there, a lot can change during pregnancy and after your little bundle of joy arrives. During pregnancy, it is extremely common for a woman to experience fluctuations in libido. Some women find that the new rush of hormones results in a higher sex drive. In fact, some women experience their first orgasm or first multiple orgasms during pregnancy because of this. However, other women may experience the opposite: a drastic drop in libido. This can be due to a woman's individual hormone signatures as well as the weight gain, fatigue and aches and pains that are a result of pregnancy.
It's common and normal for sex after children to decline, and this can start before the child is even born. Aside from a possible pregnancy-related lack of libido in the woman, medical practitioners may occasionally recommend abstaining from sex during pregnancy for reasons including multiple gestation, history of preterm labor, amniotic fluid leakage, a prematurely-opening cervix and a condition called placenta previa in which the placenta partly or completely covers the opening of the cervix.
After Childbirth and Beyond
Regardless of whether a woman had frequent sex during pregnancy, most doctors will recommend waiting six weeks after childbirth before having sex again. This is especially true if you have had an episiotomy or experienced any tears or lacerations during delivery. Some women will wait longer than six weeks, for reasons such as low libido. Nevertheless, research shows that most sexual problems after childbirth are resolved within the first year.
However, it's important to note that this research only addresses physical or libido-related problems. Even if you and your partner are ready to rip each other's clothes off, life can get in the way of sex after children. As your children grow up, they'll require less attention and supervision, yet trouble can still persist when it comes to finding the time and energy for sex. Since children have constant needs to attend to—you have to cook their meals, help them with their homework, and kiss their boo-boos—you will likely have little time left at the end of the day to spend one-on-one with your partner. Even if you do find the time, the stress and fatigue of parenting and everything it entails can mean that you simply won't feel like having sex at the end of the day.
Although parenthood can present challenges for your relationship, you don't have to put up with a vanishing sex life. There are simple ways to rekindle the spark and get the passion back.
How to Maintain Frequent Sex After Children
Make a plan to increase your frequency of sexual encounters. In order to do this, you should identify the root cause of your lack of sex life. This may be low libido, stress, being too busy, or a combination of all of these. Once you look into the causes, you can determine what strategies for having more sex will work for you.
If your libido has declined over time, there's no need to worry. There are a variety of all-natural lifestyle changes and dietary supplements you can take to help your libido get back to normal. Exercise and a healthy diet are crucial. Natural herbs such as maca, ginger, ginseng, fenugreek and others have been found in studies to help increase sex drive. Prioritize sleep and reducing fatigue, especially if being tired contributes to your lack of sex drive.
Raising children 24/7 is draining, and the chronic stress caused by parenthood can weaken a romance. Therefore, if stress is hurting your sex life, it's important to reconnect with your partner. Intentionally appreciate your partner with compliments, physical affection and thoughtful favors. Don't take each other for granted, and spend time together where it's just the two of you. One author has suggested that couples who have children have a date night once a week plus one weekend away together each season.
Even if everything is going great, some couples simply have less sex because they don't have the time due to the responsibilities of parenthood. Have realistic expectations: Now that you have children, your sex life is probably not going to be as spontaneous as it once was. Possibly the best way to make more time for sex is to get a babysitter and to spend a night or a weekend away at a hotel or a bed-and-breakfast. If you aren't able to do this, there are simpler strategies. Both you and your partner should go to bed at the same time to increase your chances of sex. Or, wake up earlier than usual to have a romp in the hay before the kids wake up.