Mom Confessions: Sex – What You Don’t Want to Talk About
Over the past few months, I have crowd sourced many moms for several different mom-confession topics. From Truths About Baby Bunching to Potty Training Struggles, moms and dads have shared their thoughts and honesty. These are always my favorite articles to write because it's nice to know I'm not alone in this game of parenting. I typically have at least 20-30 people respond to any given topic. This week, when I crowd sourced friends on my personal and blog Facebook pages about their sex confessions, not a single person responded. Well, that's not completely true. The responses I got ranged from “I can't wait to read this one” to “Please post the article on Facebook when it's published.” Yet no one wanted to dish out their own sex confessions.
My initial reaction to this silence on a social-media platform where people often over share was of shock. I even offered to publish people's comments anonymously and allow them to contact me by email so people wouldn't feel embarrassed. Still nothing. Does this mean people stop having sex after their children are born? Not necessarily, but it's no secret that sexual relations decline during those early years of parenting.
After your baby is born, there are many factors that can interfere with your sex life.
Biological Changes. Many biological factors after the birth of a baby can impact a woman's sex drive, including fluctuating hormone levels, postpartum depression, and even anemia from a heavy loss of blood during delivery.
A study by Dr. Lee Gettler looked at how the biology of a new father changes after the birth of a child. His study found that during the first years, new fathers experience a drop of testosterone between 33-34%. Dads that help out with childcare for three or more hours a day saw a further drop in testosterone of 20%.
Birth Trauma. Depending on your overall delivery experience, sex after having a baby can be very painful, even after your doctor has cleared you to resume normal activity. If you don't experience any pain, anxiety related to sex can put a damper on your ability to enjoy sex postpartum. It is recommended that you address any of these concerns with your doctor.
Breastfeeding. Fluctuating hormones related to breastfeeding can affect a woman's libido. Also, many moms have a hard time making the switch from “my breasts are for feeding my baby” to “my breasts are sexual objects for my husband.”
Exhaustion. The fatigue from lack of sleep during those first few weeks, months, and sometimes years of early parenting does not exactly lead to a desire for bedroom recreational fun.
Once a couple gets through the initial months or years of zombie-parent life, it can be difficult to reconnect with each other in an intimate way. Life, of course, will never be the same, and you may even need to work on parts of your relationship that felt like second nature before kids.
What steps have you taken to get your sex life back on track after the birth of a child or as a parent to young children?