Low Libido after Childbirth

Once upon a time, you were into sex. You remember that was you and not someone else. You can remember thinking that sex was fun and exciting. But it just doesn’t seem to be happening that way anymore.

Okay, you think, “so I had a baby (you fill in the blank: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 4 years) ago. Shouldn’t my desire for sex have come back? What’s happening to me?” Fair enough. Let’s see if I can answer that question… although it may well take me two blog posts.

So many women find that their desire for sex drops dramatically after the birth of a child. It can happen after the first or the second child. Some find it drops after number 3 or more. Some have a problem after each of them. They are tired and stressed. They don’t have enough time to take a shower, let alone have a sexual rendezvous with their partner. Traditionally women have been told that it is all in their head. There is definitely much truth to the fact that changes in your life, the stressors, and the craziness does affect your desire. But don’t forget that there are also many powerful physiologic (physical) changes as well. Your body goes through significant physiological changes after a birth of a child, and these can be significant contributing factors to the ‘do not enter’ sign on your door.

So here are some real factors that can be at play. You need to ask yourselves which ones apply to you, and what can you do to resolve some of this, and then get to work! And as motivation, just think about the fact that a strong sex life with your partner will make your relationship so much stronger as you face these stressful child-rearing years together.


  • You are, no doubt, tired and stressed. Taking care of children is more work both physical and emotional than we ever anticipate.
  • You are probably “over-touched.” Who wants to have their nipples fondled after they’ve just spent the morning breast feeding?
  • Your self-definition may have unconsciously (or consciously) changed. Hey, you are the mother of three now. Is it really okay for you to also be the babe who comes into your husband’s shower with a bar of soap, two glasses of wine and nothing on? Or to be the wild women who screams dirty things as you have an orgasm?
  • You may be angry at your partner. Perhaps you feel that more responsibility for the house and the kids seems to always fall on you. And then he expects you to do what?? You may not be outwardly angry, but maybe angry enough that it is affecting your desire to make love with your partner.
  • You may feel disconnected from your partner. When was the last time you had time alone without the kids? When was the last time you had a conversation that didn’t revolve around scheduling, carpools, signed notes and babysitters
  • Your hormones likely have shifted significantly during your pregnancy and post-partum. Hormones play a critical role in a women’s sexual life. They affect our desire, our ability to become aroused and orgasm. This is not a condition that a glass of wine or a romantic dinner can fix. In this case, it’s not in your head, but in your body.
  • Labor, and birth may have created subtle (or not so subtle) physical changes that seem to make it harder to get aroused and have an orgasm. Hey, when it’s more work, it’s certainly harder to get started. Similarly, there may be discomfort and pain in your vagina as well. This adds a big obstacle on the road to romance.
  • It may not be the childbirth at all. It may be your age, changing blood flow or irregular hormone levels. I know our kids keep us young, but unfortunately, they don’t freeze us in time!
  • You’re out of practice. Oddly enough, sex seems to feed on itself. The more you have the more you want. The less you have, the less you seem to think about it.
  • Maybe you need a different kind of sex. Your life has changed significantly. Maybe those two- hour love-making sessions are a thing of the past (for right now) and you are having trouble adjusting to a 15 minute “quickie.”


Most likely your low libido is a combination of a few of the issues listed above and perhaps some more I haven’t even discussed. Happily, most low libido issues can be resolved if enough of the factors are addressed. I’ve seen some of the toughest cases turn around. I believe you can too.



Written By

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Sex Therapist & Relationship Expert  |  Author of Sex Points & Satisfaction Guaranteed: How to Have the Sex You've Always Wanted