This is kind of an old thread to reply to, and I'm not even sure the OP is still around, but here's a take that I've not seen yet: maybe the wife is experiencing actual pain during intercourse. Not the achy discomforts of recovering from pregnancy and motherhood, but actual pain.
Episiotomies leave scar tissue, and I know for a fact that stretching that scar the first several times HURT. Like, tears-in-my-eyes, just-get-it-over-with, and don't-ever-touch-me-again painful hurt. Penetration felt like a red-hot knife cutting through me. If you think I wanted sex after that, you're nuts.
If that wasn't enough, for the first year or so after my son was born, I had the same searing, cutting pain further up. I couldn't figure out what the problem was, and I was almost to the point of thinking it was in my head.
Then, a few months ago, the hostess on Playboy Radio's "Afternoon Advice" show (yes, some women do listen to that stuff) had an OB/GYN on the show to interview, and a guy called in with a similar issue - very, very little sex for over a year after his wife gave birth, and when they had it, his wife complained of searing vaginal pain. The doctor said that it's possible that his wife could have experienced rips in her vaginal wall that went undiagnosed, and that the pain was caused by the stretching of the scar tissue. The doc said that it's not horribly uncommon during births where the baby passes through the birth canal very quickly. That's exactly why I landed up with an episiotomy, and the description of the type and location of the pain fit me to a "T".
If you're wife is complaining of pain, have her see her gynecologist. I wish I would have.
I didnt read all the replies so forgive me if I duplicate. My daughter is 18 months old. I still dont want to have sex. I do it because he wants to and I know it hurts his feelings if I dont. And usually once we are in the act, Im all for it. Its getting there in the first place that is hard for me. I can say that even a year and a half later I still dont feel sexy. I feel like my body will be ugly forever. He tells me all the time how good I look and how sexy I am, but like someone else said, I just dont FEEL it.
Something else that keeps me from it is when its 11:00 at night, I have to be up by five. I have worked 9 hours, cooked dinner, dishes, read books, sang songs, did bath, bedtime, laundry, homework, etc. When I lay down for bed I want to sleep! He has different hours than I do. He can go to bed at eleven and gets to sleep until 9. I cant do that. I am extremely tired. I will make time for sex if he comes to me earlier in the evening. Like right after the baby goes to bed. Im much more willing then.
Some of the other posts said to help her around the house so she isnt as tired. I agree, but dont just do it when you want sex! I need help all the time, not just when you want something in return.
A drink always helps me, but we got to a point that he would say "why do you need a drink to want me". So I stopped that.
He tends to get really irratible when we dont have sex. He will mope around and just be an ass. I have told him before, that makes me want to do it even less. He has gotten better about it.
The thing that changed it for me was, he sat me down and told me everything he was feeling. He said, I know your busy and I know you have other things on your mind, but sometimes I think you kinda forget about me. I need you. I need to have that intimate relationship. Basically, I hurt his self esteem and confidence. I felt terrible because I had no idea that I was doing that. Now, I try much harder and I have sex even when I dont really want to because I know its important for him.
Something else that helps me, I know this sounds weird, but when I get a night out with just my girls, I am ready for sex when i come home. Maybe because I am so pleased that he didnt give me a hard time about going out, didnt call and ask me when I was comming home. Or maybe because other guys will hit on me and that makes me feel sexy. When my husband tells me im hott...well that is what he is supposed to say. but if a stranger says it, it feels more true.
I have thought about counseling, but we really cant afford anything like that right now.
Oh I wanted to mention to you, maybe I am a rare case, but after the babys birth, we waited the six weeks. And even then, I was in alot of pain. It hurt to have sex for months. Even now, on occasion, it will hurt. Someone else mentioned Lube --- need it.
Best of luck
I saw your question on the frontpage and felt compelled to answer, especially after reading some of the previous replies. Since it has been almost a year since the birth, and since you mention it is not just intercourse that she is uninterested in, it is ALL sexual activity, I wonder if the problem is something else aside from the standard "oooh...it hurts for a while after you've had baby". It is indeed possible that pain is all she is worried about, but I can't venture a guess on that since I don't know how difficult the birth was. I will say that I know many women who've had difficult births, especially those who had stitches, and it takes them many months if not more to enjoy sex again. Conversely, there are those like myself who resume sexual activities as soon as possible...I only waited 2 weeks and had only very mild pain. The only way to find out about pain is to ask her if she experiences pain during masturbation/tampon insertion or if she's just heard too many horror stories about it and is afraid to try.
Some of the other issues other posters have mentioned, such as how drained a new mom can feel if she is the constant caregiver and nurser of the child. I will say from personal experience that the stress of staying at home with an infant does really do a number on your desire most days. I find I really have to work at romance on most days now, whereas before baby our sex life was great. The thing that I find helps most moms is just some time to relax at the end of the day. Make sure she gets out to do her own thing regularly, and letting her have some downtime at the end of the day with a nice bath or something while you watch baby is always a good option.
If you're already doing these things, which I'd guess you probably are since you're posting here looking for more info, I'd begin to wonder if she is depressed or is having some hormonal imbalances. The total lack of desire for any sexual activity means a lot here, especially if she had a normal to high sex drive before baby. Sexual desire doesn't usually completely disappear for so long unless something else is at play. It could just be some postpartum hormone issues as I mentioned above, but does she seem OK with life in general? Is she still participating in other activities/hobbies that she has always enjoyed? Is she sleeping and/or crying a lot more than she used to? If these things are problems, you might want to look into postpartum depression.
On the hormone side, breastfeeding will have an impact on desire. But from what I've seen, it doesn't shut it down completely for long periods of time. Has she started taking birth control pills or other hormonal birth control methods again? Even if she's on the same kind that she used to be on, it might not work the same now that her body chemistry is different after baby. If she has switched to a different brand than she used to be on, that may also be the culprit. There are other medications that can interfere with sex drive as well, so if she's started a new medication since baby, you may want to look into that as a possible side effect (a prime example is SSRIs)
Without knowing anything else, this is all I could come up with. I hope you two are able to sort this out.
Yeah it can take a while for your partner to get back into sex after pregnancy. It can be a number of things so the first thing is you need to sit down and talk about the issue with her. Try and figure out the problems and maybe how to resolve them.
The second thing is you may have to start with the whole romance thing. Take her out to dinner, take her dancing, dinner on the beach. You need to start paying her a lot of attention and get her wanting you again.
Just sit down with her, you will find that will make a world of difference.
Last edited by lindyloo; 07-05-2009 at 06:08 PM.
Being a first time mom myself and a stay-at-home military mom/wife, I understand how your wife feels. Unfortunately I handle everything in the household from cleaning to paying the bills, making the "important calls", etc. so I get tired.
If a new mom doesn't get tired, she must have her child in day care. I know from experience that breast-breeding does make a mom look at herself differently.
I wasn't able to continue to breast feed my son, but as he has grown over the last 19 1/2 months he has begun to use mommy's body parts as handles to climb onto my lap. Not exactly something to be cheering over. ) Being insecure about oneself, sometimes takes longer than we want it too. I am still having trouble with it myself. It has been 7 months for my husband & I being intimate.
Offer to watch the little one for a little while so that your wife can have time alone to herself. Like maybe take herself to a movie or go shopping with a friend or even just to relax at home with a good book. Just knowing that you are willing to take care of everything for her means a lot, because new mom's don't get "time-off"...EVER!!!
I just have to respond the the last post.
If a new mom doesn't get tired, she must have her child in daycare....
What does that mean exactly?
I don't mean to be rude, but I take offense to that. I am a working mother, my child is in daycare and I promise you I am just as tired as you are.
Incase your not sure, not only do I work 40 hours a week, but every night when I come home I cook dinner, do the dishes, do a load of laundry, sweep the floor, read books with my daughter, take her for a walk, give her a bath, put her to bed, finish the laundry and do any other cleaning that needs to be done. I still am the one who cleans the bathrooms, vacumes, takes care of the "calls", makes appointments, pays the bills, takes my baby to the doctor, takes the dog to the vet, I still am the one who goes grocery shopping, and all the same things you do. And by the way, I am going to college. So please dont tell me that mothers whose child is in daycare are not tired. Just because I dont have the opportunity to spend the day with my child doesnt mean I dont work my ass off all day too. And I want to point out, that not only do I take care of the above items (plus), but I also have to deal with deadlines, projects, presentations, etc.
And if you are wondering, my husband does help some with the house, but he works more hours than I do so I go out of my way not to ask him to do anything. He doesnt get home until 10 sometimes.
Naomi, I agree with you. That was kind of a stupid thing to say.
I am a stay at home mom. I do all the housework, take care of our son all day, and still have sex with my husband every night.
Yes, I'm tired. So what? I'd be a lot more tired if I had a "real job" and had my son in daycare all day because then I'd have a lot less time to do the same cleaning/housework/quality time with my son when I got home from work at night.
Now. If I was a stay at home mom and sent my son to daycare all day because I sucked at being a mother, then fine, I'd have no right to complain about being tired. But just to generalize on people whose children are in daycare, because of a job, just doesn't even make any sense.
Proud to be an Army Wife
& Mommy to Roman and Keira
A forum for mothers, as well as those expecting and trying!
I thought about it after I posted my response. And there is a possibility that I misinterpreted that statement. So IF that is the case, I want to apologize for going off about it. Otherwise, my previous statements stand. And I know I got way off topic of the post and Im sorry for that too.
H.Starr. - I dont have sex with my husband every night, but I think about it lol. My sex drive has gone down so much that there are alot of times when I dont want to, but I do anyway. Plus I know that once Im in the act Ill enjoy it
And you do have a "real job"! Thats not what I was trying to say lol. You have a great real job! SAHMs work their asses off, I know because I did it for a while. I feel like I am the only parent at home when my husband doesnt get home from work until we go to bed, but anyway, you have every reason to be tired, just as I do. I agree with your last statement. It would be different if I was a new mom who sent her child to daycare to do whatever she wanted all day. Thats why I thought maybe I misunderstood her. Ah well
The point is, for working moms or SAHMs, we all do what we feel we have to do for our families. No reason to put one or the other down because its not what you do.
I recall that as a new mom, i felt that everyone and everything was constantly taking from me (my time, my energy, my thoughts, my body) and very little was being done to replenish me. This made me feel a bit resentful and sex became a day-end chore among the list of many. However, when I was wanted outside the bedroom, my thoughts and company was desired in a non-sexual way, and that my feelings and time was respected, my gestures appreciated, that I felt loved, and given-to, all of it .... OUTSIDE of the bedroom, all of it made me more receptive in the bedroom later. I can't explain it other than that. Any ladies out there relate to that?
Is she breastfeeding? Breastfeeding can completely zap a mother's sex drive. It has to do with hormones that are released. So with that, and taking care of a baby, that could be a lot of it. I'd talk with her and see how she's feeling.