Any one else struggle with having literally no sex drive whatsoever during the season of breastfeeding? I love my husband and want to be fun for him, but after breastfeeding throughout the day and night, I feel all “touched-out”. Also, I don’t want my breasts touched or kissed during sex which is normally a big turn-on for both of us. Any suggestions to help raise libido and be ready for sex when my husband wants it? Or do I just need to just deal with it until I stop breastfeeding in several month?
This is a completely normal situation that your body is designed for. Your body is flooded with oxytocin during the breastfeeding period. It’s a good thing. Not only does it allow your milk to be released, but it increases the love and nurturing that you feel for your baby.
Unfortunately, it’s also the same hormone that is released post-orgasm in men. It absolutely kills libido. I found that my husband was more understanding of my limited desire for sex when he understood that his post-sex libido (or lack thereof) is what I was feeling all the time.
Remember that God designed your body to care for your child. This is one of the ways it happens. It’s not sexy, and it feels like it will never end. But it will, and you’ll get your libido back. Let your body do what it was designed to do for now. Have sex with your husband when he wants and you have energy, use lube if you have to, and don’t worry that things are different now. It won’t always be this way. Celebrate the absolute miracle that is the female body through early motherhood.
I think Dove Grey nailed it. I would definitely share her post with your husband.
Communication is key. Let him know that:
1. It’s normal for your sex drive to be low at this point but it should be temporary. (i.e. everything Dove Grey said) Husbands desire to sexually satisfy their wives and can feel guilty when their wives don’t enjoy sex. Knowing that this situation is normal but temporary will aliviate such guilt and fears that their wives will never enjoy sex again.
2. That even if you are not feeling desirous of sex right now you still want him and want to sexually satisfy him. Sex may take different forms (e.g. if you don’t feel up to intercourse during an encounter be generous with oral or manual sex instead) but you are committed to maintaining that part of the relationship with him.
My wife has never had much of a libido. So she has always had to just make herself available/lean into sex. I guess this made post birth sex easier for her than those women who actually have a sex drive otherwise. This situation may actually allow you to grow a bit sexually. It’s easy when you have a strong drive, more work when you don’t, but for the long-term health of the marriage it can be very important.
My wife also breastfed all four children and had sensitivity/touch issues. Clear communication from my wife helped with this. There were a few times my wife actually became more confident because she actually had larger breasts during this time. Normally she is very small up top. But the bulk of the time they were too sensitive/leaking/ or she was touched out. I was happy to do whatever she wanted with them because we communicated and it was only temporary.
I can say that had no libido during breastfeeding… those were my years of sexual refusal. We had no internet and I had no idea that there could actually be a physiological explanation for it, and I had no one to talk to about it.
As an “older woman” I can try to encourage you young moms in a way that I didn’t practice but from regrets. It’s important, I will even say it is critical that you love your husband well, a big part of this is sexially. Do what you can to make it where sexual connection doesn’t get pushed aside. Others gave some suggestions, you could also try scheduling so that you can know when to get your mind, emotions and body geared towards it. If you have family you can trust, let them love on your baby for a few hours so you and your husband can have alone time.
While loving your husband well, don’t neglect yourself. Be okay with not doing everything you may feel you should. Your house may not be as clean as you like, maybe your meals aren’t as elaborate or homecooked as you wish. Maybe you need to day ‘no’ to other commitments. While your baby sleeps, make that some of your time, do things that fill you and rejuvenate you…whether it’s sleeping, reading, watching a favorite show, listening to music, etc. It’s okay not to do all the cleaning or to work. If you tend to yourself, you will have more energy to give to your husband.
First of all, congratulations! I found that I was far more understanding of my wife’s limitations with our second child because she talked for more openly with me about them the second time around. I hope that you can talk frankly with your husband and that he will be understanding.
The reality for us was that after our first daughter was born until at least 5 years after our second, my wife’s breasts were basically off limits to me. Obviously during breastfeeding, but even after that she continued to be extra sensitive and not enjoy attention there much at all. Thankfully that season is behind us now and they are all mine again! If nothing else, it gives you a chance to explore other sexual activities together or mix up your routine—when you are feeling up to it.
DoveGrey completely nailed this.
I’ll just add that my DW (Zelda) didn’t experience being “touched out” until after our FOURTH child. Then she experienced it in a bad way, and I took it very hard. In the long run, it was good for us because it catalyzed me confessing my porn addiction and then putting our marriage/intimacy first. I think she started being more open to sex about a month after stopping breastfeeding, but it’s still a gradual comeback even after 8 months since stopping. Oh, and now her breasts/nipples have almost zero sensitivity (“no different than if you touched my leg”), which also was new and didn’t happen with the first 3 kids…and also the opposite of what was discussed on this thread. She just recently (within the last month) said that she really wants her breasts to be erogenous/sexual again.
Given that you’re familiar with the “touched out” term, I assume you’ve already read about this a least a bit, putting you ahead of the curve. I suggest highly open communication with your DH, explaining to him what’s going on and that it’s not abnormal. Also, if you’re not up for the less-pleasurable-than-normal sex that DoveGrey describes, or you can’t match the frequency that your DH desires, do not be afraid to satisfy his need for release in non-intercourse ways, even if that means you cheerlead while he masturbates to climax. Depending on your relationship and his psychology, he may be desperately needing you now, and I don’t mean physically!
Oh, and enjoy the time with your new baby!
I definitely struggled with this after all four of my kids. It also hurt physically to have sex. After my third kid was the worst and it hurt so bad every time for about eight months. I knew it was important for my husband so I just decided to grin and bear it until things got better. Looking back I probably should have gotten checked out to see what was causing the pain. I knew my husband wouldn’t want to have sex because he knew it hurt me but I also knew it was important for our marriage. So once a week I would initiate and do my best to pretend it was fun. I know communication is important but I’m also glad that I did it because it did get better and it helped to keep us connected through those crazy busy times and make my husband feel like he hadn’t dropped down on my list of important people
My wife was the same way while breast feeding, she had little desire for sex. And she also felted “touched out”, which I understand. We didn’t do a lot of full sex during that time, but she was ok with handjobs. Both her giving and my giving, lol.
I forgot to add that the post birth period was when my wife really upped her oral game for me. Before kids, she was tentative or reluctant and it didn’t happen very often and when it did it was not particularly enjoyable. Somewhere after our second or third during a touched out period she decided to up her game in this area and became much better and even seemed to start to enjoy it herself. Now it’s a regular part of our intimacy.