Decreased Sex Drive Research – Is She Fat and Ugly?
The more we hear of lowered sex drives and husbands having affairs whilst their wife is at home nursing their newborn, the more some women are beginning to wonder whether motherhood is all it’s cracked up to be. In this day and age, do career women really want to have a baby in their late 30s only to be left alone, cradling the baby, when their relationship’s ended because of it?
Lots of people experience lowered sexual desire after childbirth. It is something that can lead to feeling unattractive, feeling disconnected from one’s partner, feeling unloved and feeling like the romance and intimacy has gone right out of the relationship. For some, the thought of bearing children is synonymous with relationship problems and relationship breakdown or even divorce.
So why do men, who aren’t going through many of the changes that women have gone through, find postpartum sex unappealing?
Recent relationship research by Van Anders et al. (2013) suggests that men do have lowered sex drives after their partner has given birth but not for the usual reasons we think of. Men in the research stated that their lowered sex drive in the first three months after the arrival of the newborn was due to obvious factors such as stress and fatigue. Good news for soon-to-be parents and those getting broody!
So if you are worried that the newborn is driving a distance between you and your partner, remember that your partner will also be adjusting to the overwhelming change that a new baby can bring. By acting like a team and helping each other to gain some sort of respite, frequently, and by encouraging each other to de-stress regularly, you’ll prevent some of the postpartum side effects on your sex life and relationship.
Don’t let the baby be an excuse for not spending time together, not being intimate and not having fun. Adapt, but don’t completely change everything about the relationship that’s worked so far! That’s just an insane approach. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. No excuses. For the success of your relationship, you both need to feel attractive, loved and important to one other, even when the new object of your affection arrives.
Van Anders, S. M., Hipp, L. E. & Low, L. K. (2013). Exploring Co-Parent Experiences of Sexuality in the First 3 Months after Birth. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Volume 10 (8).