to think 12 weeks after having a baby, it's not unusual to still not be interested in sex

(64 Posts)
missrobin123 Thu 03-Jan-13 12:43:05

I have a really good husband, he is lovely and so kind and caring. He supported me through a really emotionally tough pregnancy, I couldn't wish for someone more supportive usually. I had our beautiful baby 12 weeks ago by ELCS and have been recovering very well, but I just don't feel ready to have sex yet. it's not that I'm exhausted, or anything, I feel pretty good. I'm starting to feel more confident being a mum now, I love my DD to bits and breastfeeding is going well. I don't hate the changes that have happened to my body but I'm still getting used to how I look now. I love my husband so much, even more so since we had our baby. But he thinks that because I don't want to have sex right now that I must have gone off him. I have told him that isn't the case, I've tried to explain I just don't feel ready yet and I have no sex drive, I did read that breastfeeding can affect libido but don't know if that's true, even if it is I'd never give up bf as it's so important to me. The lack of sex is just causing arguments now and it is destroying our relationship, it feels like I'm under pressure to have sex now and I know my husband thinks things should be back to normal by 12 weeks. Im so sad that this one aspect of our relationship is ruining everything else. I can't help but be angry at him as I think he is being selfish, I am trying my best with everything. AIBU to think that I am normal to not be thinking of sex or be interested in it only 12 weeks after having a baby? I just wondered what other women's experiences were.

I didn't have sex till ds was 6 months. I didn't have much sex drive for a long time. Your dh needs to stop thinking of his needs wants and start respecting your feelings.

millie30 Thu 03-Jan-13 12:46:56

YANBU. I would question how lovely your husband actually is if 12 weeks after a CS he is causing arguments about this.

applecrumple Thu 03-Jan-13 12:47:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

applecrumple Thu 03-Jan-13 12:48:36

LTB grin

ItsALongWayToPickAWilly Thu 03-Jan-13 12:49:22

I struggled to find the drive for it after having DS for the same reasons. I think I was just too caught up in being a mother for the first time, I didn't think of myself as a sexual being.
However I had to give myself a shake and realise that DP was obviously not feeling any of that and needed some attention. We eased our way back in with foreplay for a couple of weeks, after that I found I had much more interest in having sex again.

SmileyPenguin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:51:16

Yanbu. I had caesarian and didn't have sex for six months after! There's nothing like a baby to stop your libido.

Pooka Thu 03-Jan-13 12:52:04

Sex drive was non existent for some time (way more than 12 weeks) with all three of mine.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 12:52:59


I found that breastfeeding had a lot to do with how interested I was in sex. When I stopped at 10 months with each child, both time it was like someone had flicked an internal switch in me and a week after stopping BFing I was up for it again. I had done it before that, but I can't say I particularly wanted to or enjoyed it that much, and I didn't notice how little I had wanted sex until I started wanting it again!

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 12:54:13

Depends on your libido - frankly I was up for a bit of rumpy pumpy when the anaesthetic had worn off grin

However, if you suddenly go all 'mumsy' forgetting that you are a woman in your own right, with needs then your relationship will ultimately fail because you have pushed away the one person you should remain close to. If you aren't ready for penetrative sex, theres lots of otherways to be close to each other. Of course your body has changed, didn't stop Shirley Valentine though did it? grin

Forester Thu 03-Jan-13 12:54:37

Breastfeeding definitely put a dampner on my libido. We still had sex though less frequently than normal and I didn't initiate it - but once we got going I enjoyed it. If I was you I would compromise and start having occassional sex as you'll probably both end up happier.

Fakebook Thu 03-Jan-13 12:55:19

First baby we didn't have sex for 10 months. Second baby 4 months and it didn't feel right. So we had another break and started again when I was confident.

This shouldn't be creating fights between you. He should understnad. Your husband sounds like a doofus.

blondiep14 Thu 03-Jan-13 12:55:42

My DD is 13 weeks and I'm sadly not interested in sex at all either!

I shall try and make the effort soon tho as I feel it could go on indefinitely if we don't break the cycle!

I know DH is probably fit to explode but he never says anything or tries to pressure me.
I think you should explain to your DH that you are perfectly normal, and he is killing any spark you may feel by being pushy and demanding about it.

For me breastfeeding kills my libido. But it is about the only con to it.

AmberSocks Thu 03-Jan-13 13:00:14

it is true about bf,i found withmy daughter(whoi bf exclusivley.the other three i stopped ater a few weeks then mix fed then formula)i had no libido at all,luckily,kind of anyway,my husband was having a busy period at work so didnt really want sex either,though i have to say he would never pressure me to.

Back2Two Thu 03-Jan-13 13:00:40

I think it's also fair enough that your husband is keen to still maintain intimacy and an adult (not parent) element to your relationship.

If you were totally bogged down with new parent hood then he would need to be using his head and seeing that it just has no chance at this mad time. But, if things are ok, relaxed and you are managing well then..... There's no way he should be expecting sex, asking for it or pressurising you but respect his feelings too and at least make time for some physical contact and intimacy.

AmberSocks Thu 03-Jan-13 13:03:58

after thinking about it i really think bf definily makes a difference,just look at my age gaps

ds1-feb 2008-bf for a week then formula
ds2 april 2009-bf for few days then mix fed then formula
dd1-march 2010-ebf til 2
ds3-october 2012-bf for 2 weeks,mix fed,now formula.

i guess i am due another soon arent i?

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 03-Jan-13 13:04:36

It sounds more like you are scared to have sex than simply have no sex drive?
If you simply have no sex drive then you need to compromise like others have said and have it infrequently.
If its more about some fear of something being or going amiss then you need to take it gently.
Either way you need to do something!
Once you start I'm sure you'll get in to it and enjoy it and wonder what the fuss was about and your DH probably thinks this too and that's why he's getting frustrated (as well as the obvious frustration!)

missrobin123 Thu 03-Jan-13 13:05:11

Thanks everyone, it's good to hear people's experiences.

I think he gets upset that I don't even have a shower with him now but it's only really cos half the time, baby needs me. also, I like to have a shower alone just so I can get a bit of time to myself, and so my body is my own for a bit!

Am I wrong for feeling that? I just think maybe breastfeeding and just having a baby really affects your libido cos it's nature's way of making sure the baby gets everything they need.

Forester I know what you mean as have thought about just having sex but I just know with me, if I don't feel like it, there's no way I can fake and that will hurt him even more, especially if we start and I then have to stop.

BelleoftheFall Thu 03-Jan-13 13:10:27

You're not wrong for feeling like that. 12 weeks is still early, very early in fact. He has unrealistic expectations of you and honestly, while it's good to talk about these things I think if he's pressuring you so much that it's got to the point where you think it's destroying your relationship then he needs to back the hell off.

You are not wrong for feeling that way. I love having showers by myself, it's true time I get to myself!!

I personally didn't find BF stopped my libido (but mine is very very high normally) - I did however find it hard if the baby woke up for a feed while we were having sex. Switching from sexy woman to BF mummy in the time it takes to walk to his room was very weird and hard.

Skiffen Thu 03-Jan-13 13:24:56

There is nothing more crushing to a spluttering spark of a libido than being hassled for sex.

Causing arguments about this and making you feel this bad is diagnostic of your DH being an arse.

I have been pg and/or bf for nearly 4 years and whilst we do have sex, and quite often by some people's standards, there have been definite fluctuations. And, I still can't really deal with being over-touched - after a day of being so available to the DCs, I feel like you - I want my body for me for a while. DH has understood and respected my feelings (as I do his).

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Thu 03-Jan-13 16:03:09

Hollyberry, that post is not very helpful or supportive really in parts is it? It seems that OP has asked the question because she is worried DH will feel pushed away.

OP, don't worry you will feel like getting physically close again it will just take time. IME, when you are BFing you don't feel up to it, which I always thought was your body using your nutrients and reserves to feed your baby rather than make another just yet! With me, I didn't like the 'organized' approach to trying to do the do after a baby, by this I mean getting someone to sit, having a special bath and so forth -- too much pressure. With DH and I it was really spontaneous, in the middle of the night I just woke up and really fancied him and wanted to be close to him like that again. That was after about 7 months.

Spuddybean Thu 03-Jan-13 16:19:56

i don't know about 'usual', i only have recent anecdotal figures, but ds is 15 weeks and we've tried 3 times and i'm still too sore - had lots of stitches. i do fancy it a bit tho. not as much as before but ds co sleeps and i am very tired.

Everyone else from my nct group (8 women) have been doing it since 6 weeks.

But if you don't feel up to it then don't feel bad. Do you think you are apprehensive? i know i am fucking terrified!

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 03-Jan-13 16:23:04

Similar story,bf dampened my libido,once I stopped,I was like a dog on heat for a while.
Can you be intimate in other ways?

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 03-Jan-13 16:25:20

Spuddy take what is gloated said in nct group with a pinch of salt.

FobblyWoof Thu 03-Jan-13 16:31:51


I had it the other way around. I was desperate for sex but my body wasn't ready and neither was my DP. It made me feel really rejected but I'm sure my hormones played a part in that!

Flisspaps Thu 03-Jan-13 16:33:04

Perfectly normal.

With DD I had a 3rd degree tear and BF her until she was 7wo, we were still back in the saddle after 2 weeks.

With DS (now 9mo) he's still BF and co-sleeping at night and I still don't feel remotely interested in sex. I absolutely get what you say about needing your body to be your own for a bit, without anyone else needing a bit of you first!

ChocHobNob Thu 03-Jan-13 16:39:49


As for the NCT group members all back at it by 6 weeks, I still had the lochia loss then.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 03-Jan-13 16:40:40

Tbh, at 13 weeks after a day of being sucked on, sicked on, demanded constantly by a small baby, the last thing I was interested in was sex. I wanted to be left alone to sleep and do what I wanted to do for a change!
Bf affected me quite dramatically, my libido picked up within a couple of weeks of stopping feeding at 6 months. Before then I just wasn't interested at all! Dh thankfully didn't push things, or he would have got fairly short shrift from me.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 03-Jan-13 16:45:57

YANBU at all, it's perfectly normal to not be interested in sex at 12 weeks postnatal

It's also perfectly fine to be shagging almost straight away, all that matters is that you do whatever you are comfortable with and only when you're ready for it

I was having sex a week after some of my babies (entirely my choice) but with one who was a very traumatic emergency section I didn't feel ready till after four months

catgirl1976geesealaying Thu 03-Jan-13 16:47:37

It wasn't for me

I nearly died laughing when the MW talked to me about contraception

9lb 1 baby, delivered by forceps and an episiotomy seemed plenty contraception for me grin

whois Thu 03-Jan-13 16:51:30

This will be very unpopular on MN, but can you just give him a bit if attention and a blow job? Won't take much time probably if he's been going without, he'll feel ace, you'll feel closer, arguments will calm down. Everyone's a winner.

OxfordBags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:55:40

He really does not properly understand that his penis is waaaay at the bottom of all priorities in your family right now, does he? Upset because you won't have a fucking shower with him? What are you, one of those super-realistic sex dolls, ffs?! Sounds like he think he owns your body and doesn't like seeing someone else, even his own tiny baby, using his possession.

Having a selfish man-child who thinks his sexual needs are top priority is a bigger passion-killer than allthe Bfing in the world, IMHO. However, I do think most men feel naturally a bit sad at suddenly not being their partner's no. 1 priority anymore,, especially physically - the thing is, most men also tell themselves to grow up and stop being such a whining bitch, not pester and guilt-trip and start arguments over getting their end away.

If it's destroying the relationship, then it's because he's being a twat.

Has he heard of this new-fangled trend of masturbation, out of interest... ? hmm

OxfordBags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:56:43

But why should she give him a BJ, whois? This unpleasant behaviour needs shutting down, not pandering to. Why doesn't he think about HER,huh?!

Horsemad Thu 03-Jan-13 17:02:28

I did it for the first time 13 weeks after the birth, next time after that was another 7 weeks, so twice in 5 months - and I got pg again that second time! shock

EasilyBored Thu 03-Jan-13 17:11:22

I found BFing to be the biggest mood killer. I just felt like I spent 90% of my time using my body to look after my baby, every moment that it was just mine was precious to me in the first couple of months. Once I stopped, I did feel pretty much back to normal in that respect. Have you explained all this to DH? He's allowed to have his feelings too, but if he knows all your reasons and still causes an argument, that's a problem.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 03-Jan-13 17:12:21

No, you don't have to give him a blow job! He is quite capable of seeing to his own needs, he has hands after all.

Fakebook Thu 03-Jan-13 17:13:35

Whois, that is just some really really bad advice. How they'll feel closer after one is beyond me confused.

VerityClinch Thu 03-Jan-13 17:16:32

12 weeks? I didn't have sex for FIVE MONTHS.

Then I got pregnant again. blush

missrobin123 Thu 03-Jan-13 17:22:59

Thanks everyone, appreciate you all sharing your experiences.

DH feels awful for how things have been, after the argument this morning we've now discussed it all and he apologised loads and said he will wait until I feel ready, however long that is. He really is a good person, I don't think he ever intended to make me feel pressurised, but he suffers with low confidence at times and I think he really believed I didn't want him anymore. I think he now understands that I haven't gone off him, it's just all my hormones and the massive impact of having a baby. So I'm hoping things will be a bit better between us now.

Fairylea Thu 03-Jan-13 17:24:00


I had an elcs and at first I felt great about 7 weeks after and we had a lot of sex. Ds was sleeping for good chunks etc. Life was good for sex timing!

Now 7months on I have completely lost all libido completely. Haven't wanted sex in weeks and no desire or whatever for it to return.. dh is sad but what can I do?

I was the same with dd now aged 9. Sex drive didn't come back for about a year by which time I'd left my dds dad for various reasons and met someone else !

MrsHoarder Thu 03-Jan-13 17:28:14

Hope things are do improve then. And don't worry about how long you intend to ebf for: my libido started to return as the number of feeds decreased and then my periods came back, boo. The demands your baby makes on your body will be less constant too she says as the neglected child plays with her foot instead of the pile of toys.

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 17:37:29

I think the thing about wanting your body to yourself is massive. I think often men underestimate how physical BFing and looking after babies is. I used to sometimes feel that I had been giving of myself and my body all day long, and I really couldn't give any more to DH.
But I had to explain that to him in words of one syllable. (and after each child - we have 3).
I still loved him the same, just couldn't do physical love for a while (not even hugs sometimes).
Don't forget to articulate as much as possible how you feel. Good luck OP- it will get easier.

DontYouJingleMyChristingle Thu 03-Jan-13 17:51:18

5 weeks with my first EMCS, 9 with my second.

Was a bit sore starting out both times, but improved as time went on.

I found that the more I made time to be sexual with DH, the more my libido kicked in.

It is tough when your breasts have become milk providers and you are short on sleep to feel like a sexual being and not just a mum, but a good orgasm and the oxytocin hit made me feel good and closer to DH.

Don't rush it, if your not ready you are not ready and he needs to respect that.

Badgerwife Thu 03-Jan-13 17:58:11

I think that however you feel, you just need to be really open and honest with your other half. Whilst it may be usual not to feel up to having sex for a while after having a child, he would have any way of understanding that unless you communicate clearly with him. 3 months may not feel like a long time for us after giving birth (understatement of the year, that) but it might appear long enough to him. I don't know how any man could fully understand the long-term implications, not being able to physically know what it feels like, including the hormonal changes we go through!

Personally I felt up to giving it a go after 6 weeks and we did so very gingerly for a number of weeks thereafter, mostly because I wanted to bite the bullet and not let it become a huge thing to overcome later on. I am still breastfeeding with DD now 17 months so if I'd waited until the end of that we'd still not be having sex! But it's so hard at the beginning, I can't judge whether my experience is 'usual' at all or not (doesn't sound like it if I go by the responses on this thread!)

So basically, if you need more time, take the time, but don't underestimate your husband's need for affection and intimacy, just make sure you communicate it to him in other ways!

diddl Thu 03-Jan-13 17:59:56

He thinks that you´ve gone off him as you don´t want sex atm??

You´ve just had his bloody baby FFS!

I had no tears or stitches but was still bruised & it took a few weeks to feel "in the mood" & have the courage!

We found that cuddling/being close/holding hands helped to feel like a couple still iyswim.

spiritedaway Thu 03-Jan-13 19:30:39

Will he be happy with a 10 minute quicky? If so i would just get on with it. . much like stacking the dishwasher when you really can't be arsed. But that's just me and the rather cynical attitude i have developed over the years smile

applecrumple Thu 03-Jan-13 19:42:36

Am shocked at the posters who think its ok for OP to "service" her DH. Has the feminist movement made no progress at all ffs! blush

FoxSake Thu 03-Jan-13 19:58:45

God I'll get slated for this on MN, I don't think you should have sex until your ready but I do think it's important to maintain an adult relationship, I'd be upset if dh didn't want to be intimate with me. Put baby down have a glass of wine get dressed up, that sort of thing.

It's really really hard if you go from feeling needed by a baby all day to having to meet dhs requests, you can definitely start feeling under pressure. Feeling sexy is hard. Instead of dh putting on pressure on you he should be arranging to support you to feel sexy, maybe have some time to yourself, put the baby down, run you a bath etc. Demanding sex is not ok but perhaps see where he is coming from too?

FoxSake Thu 03-Jan-13 20:02:18

Can I just askmother posters how long is ok not to have sex after a baby, not a rude question just wondering if there is an acceptable time limit? To me 12 weeks is a long time but that's based on the fact that if we went much longer than a week under normal circumstances I'd be worried about my relationship but I'm guessing if the norm is every month then post baby that number is pretty normal post baby?

fraktion Thu 03-Jan-13 20:08:13

12 weeks? Heck no I wasn't up for it. We had sex once in the first 6 months, a handful of times in the first year and only after 18monrhs was it anything approaching regular.

BFing is draining, you feel touched our, your body is changing relatively rapidly in all sorts of ways and a man who thinks he can have his sexual partner back just because the baby's out is being selfish.

Unfortunately there isn't an easy way to say this. You just need to repeat a million times that you're not ready, you still love him but physical contact is too much right now.

fraktion Thu 03-Jan-13 20:09:16

Oh and I had an easy birth, BF went well but we coslept and APed and DS had reflux.

ivykaty44 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:15:30

I didn't have sex until dd2 was 4 months - but that was because I didn't want to have sex on a first or second date and I only met him when dd2 was 2 months old my new b/f was very considerate - it was v.good though, we did it lots blush

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 20:16:20

Foxsake what a stupid thing to say. Why should there be a 'normal' timescale? Some women are so badly damaged (both mentally and physically) by childbirth that they get PTSD.
Some women have to have extensive reconstructive surgery months later because they are doubly incontinent caused by childbirth (see the ragged bits threads on here).
Some women have PND and don't want sex.
Some women just don't want it.
If my DH had pressurised me that would have made it worse.
FWIW I can't remember how long each time after my 3 kids. It wasn't as long as 12 weeks I don't think, but it may have been. I'd not had a bad time (2nd degree tear and good stitching) but it was still quite traumatic the first time.
IMO just like the first time you have sex, every time you have sex BOTH partners have to want to, and be ready. And after childbirth, that can take some time.

catgirl1976geesealaying Thu 03-Jan-13 20:18:01

My DH would not want to have sex with me if I was doing it to keep him happy.

Fairylea Thu 03-Jan-13 20:18:30

I don't think there is a normal to be honest.

I've heard so many different stories.

But something I have grown to learn as I get older is that I won't have sex to appease anyone. If I don't feel like having sex then it's just bloody tough and if my dp at the time doesn't like it he knows where his hand is or failing that, the door.

After being a single mum for 9 years I am absolutely unwilling to put up with any man making sexual demands of me. They can understand or they can fuck off.

There's so much pressure to get back to normal and have sex after birth. The thought of being made to feel like I had to have sex (not raped, but subtly pressurised which is just as abusive in my opinion) is enough to make me want to be a single parent. Honestly.

In fact that IS part of the reason why I left my dds dad and became a single parent. I was absolutely fed up with him going on about it. He was never directly bullying about it but he'd always be making a comment it wasn't enough and I'd had enough.

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 20:19:09

And 'the norm' might be every day pre-baby, and then the new 'norm' might be totally different. Or different for a while.
TBH I'd be more worried about my relationship if sex was sooo important that a time without it was considered so awful.

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 20:20:28

Totally agree with catgirl and fairylea

SirBoobAlot Thu 03-Jan-13 20:30:16

We had sex as soon as the bleeding had stopped post birth blush Breastfeeding never effected my sex drive (thankfully, no way I would have got through nearly three years of no sex grin).

However, he shouldn't be pressuring you into something you are not ready for. And trying to persuade someone to have sex is about the biggest turn off out there.

Back2Two Thu 03-Jan-13 20:32:50

fox if we went much longer than a week under normal circumstances I'd be worried about my relationship

Your relationship must be bloody fragile if this is the case. How ridiculous.

NumericalMum Thu 03-Jan-13 20:40:50

Fox do you have children? My baby wouldn't let me put her down. Ever. I showered with her in her car seat and had to jump in and out between hair wash etc to stop her crying. She never slept. Ever. I have no idea when we had sex after she was born but I almost certainly would have been happy to never have sex again when she was 12 weeks old!

FoxSake Thu 03-Jan-13 20:53:44

Yes I have 3, I'm sorry if I offended anyone, that wasn't my intention and I didn't think my post came across like that. I'm just curious and perhaps haven't got my point across very well.

My relationship, I don't think, is fragile but sex is a good barometer of what's going on, sorry if this bothers you. I think the catty remarks about my relationship are a little uncalled for. I haven't put any pressure on op or ordered a blow job.

choceyes Thu 03-Jan-13 21:01:04

BF definitely affected my sex drive. We only did it a less than a handful of times before my period returned at 14 months. Before that I was pretty dry inside (tmi!!!!) And wasnt much fun. After my cycle returned my sex drive came back stronger than ever. We have more sex now than pre dcs and I'm still bfing 2.5yr old dd!

My dh did pressure me a bit and moan about the lack of sex which not very understanding of him and our relationship definitely suffered. He was a great dh in all other ways though. I understand how you feel OP.

Gintonic Fri 04-Jan-13 15:04:06

Like choceyes the BF hormones have not just affected my sex drive they have also affected my bits (either that or my clitoris got tired of waiting and curled up and died)

I do partly understand where your OH is coming from, because mine was scared to go near me for a while as I was quite messed up physically. I got quite upset about it and told him he didn't love me any more. Though clearly pressuring you is totally unhelpful and not very nice.

I hope your argument has helped him realise that and he can be more supportive of you now.

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