You're feeling mostly like yourself again after having a baby. You're working out, throwing a few social engagements in the mix and feeling like life has more flow to it. There's something missing though. Your libido. It's MIA. If you're asking:
Where is my libido after having a baby?This is for you. We're going to talk about where it's gone first and then we'll talk about how to get it back. Your libido is still with you – I promise. Libidos never get lost or go away, they simply go quiet. Here are a few things that do that:
Where did my libido go after having a baby?
- Depletion. When you're depleted by parenthood, your body prioritises staying alive and basic physiological processes over being sexual.
- Breastfeeding. Prolactin suppresses our sex hormones, making it a little more difficult for some of us to get into the mood (1).
- Resentment. Are you feeling resentment that your partner does less than you? Are you feeling bitter that you're juggling and they're only going to work? It could be holding your libido back
- A non-sexual life. If there are no cues or prompts around you to be sexual, then it can feel abnormal when sex is propositioned.
- Hormonal contraceptives. Going on to birth control after baby limits your body's ability to generate sex hormones that help desire and arousal, like Testosterone and Oestrogen (2).
How to get your libido back after having a baby
- Know that you can be sexual and a mum. You don't have to choose. You can be both and more – it's about feeding all your roles a little rather than pouring all your energy into one.
- Take time to nurture your own interests. Being sociable and out of "mum mode" is vital to feeling your libido. It's challenging to switch from being a mum to being a sexual woman quickly. You need other ways of filling up your own cup.
- Consider switching to hormone free contraceptives like condoms or the copper IUD. No hormonal disruption makes for a better libido.
- Learning to down-regulate without alcohol. Learning to come down into your body will help you manage your energy levels. You can then respond to your family members from a place of generosity rather than emptiness. Alcohol keeps us depleted and gives our liver another task when it's already trying to eliminate old sex hormones. Not very sexy.
- Ask for help. Being a martyr and doing it all isn't sexy. You need help. From your partner, friends, family members and a cleaner. Doing it all alone won't increase your interest in sex.
- Read erotic books, watch sexy shows, talk about sex with your partner. More exposure to appealing sexual content reminds your body that it's safe to be sexual.