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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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

Totally agree with catgirl and fairylea

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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?

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 !

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.

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