Sex After the Baby

Q: I just had a baby and I’m not interested in sex. Is that normal?

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash

A: Oftentimes, new mothers find that their physical needs are satisfied with the new little creation that she longs to mother. The husband may understand his wife’s exhaustion and disinterest in sex because he knows it’s only temporary. But if it isn’t temporary, even for a completely understandable reason (crying children, sickness, tiredness, whatever it may be), he may shut down, pull away, or even worse, look to find it elsewhere.

Few feelings disrupt the emotional climate of a marriage as rapidly as sexual rejection. Rejection conjures up anger, resentment, bitterness, blame, disappointment, and failure. It damages self-esteem and weakens the marital union. When these feelings enter the marriage, couples stop talking.

The bigger picture is this: Sex can’t make or break a marriage, but the results of not having sex can. For women, sex is a vessel to achieve emotional intimacy. After a baby, she still expects her husband to meet her emotional needs—like saying he’s proud of her and cuddling with her—without the sexual intimacy. But for men, sex is intimacy. And when he’s not prioritized, he stops sharing and caring. When a man feels rejected or isolates himself, Satan is right there, ready to provide an alternative that will ruin not only a man’s family but also the generations that come after him.

Parenting isn’t supposed to make you celibate. You can enjoy a vital sex life if you pay attention to a few simple things:

1. Get some rest. Sleep-deprived spouses are not sexy. Take a nap. Take a 24-hour getaway and spend the first half sleeping so you can enjoy the second half.

2. Talk. Though this is often difficult for a man to do, talk about your sex life. Let each other know what you expect and need sexually. Ask him: How often do you need sex? What do you want me to do more often? What does it mean when I initiate sex with you? How can I show I am not in the mood for sex without making you feel rejected?

3. Let your husband know you are committed to sexual intimacy. Call him in the middle of the day to tell him you can’t wait until tonight after the kids go to bed. Leave him notes in hidden places.

4. Take “marriage vitamins.” Romance each other at least once a day. Kiss and hug. Flirt with each other.

5. Schedule time for sex. This may not sound romantic, but it’s better than the alternative of not having sex at all.

*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!