On today’s edition “the shit we aren’t talking about but really should so we don’t all feel so alone” we are talking about low sex drive and breastfeeding. I have numerous clients frustrated because their sex drive took a nose dive postpartum. This is confusing for clients who had a sex drive during pregnancy. It’s defeating for those who lost their sex drive during pregnancy and now fear they’ll never get it back.
I know it’s common, even if simply due to the number of clients who report it, but all of my clients don’t realize they aren’t alone in it. So we are laying out the psychological and physiological reasons you may be wanting to put up a “no trespassing” sign, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
•You’re tired, mama! Your sleep is broken and you don’t want to waste one precious moment on anything that’s not a necessity.
•Breastfeeding is draining. It’s also very physically intimate. After dedicating so much of your body to your child, you aren’t ready to be intimate with anyone else. Maybe you even long for days when your body was just your own.
•Things may feel different down there for a bit, especially as you continue healing.
•You don’t feel as comfortable and confident in your current skin. Maybe you’re leaking and swollen, or maybe this postpartum body is just different then you imagined. (But p.s you’re still super hot)
•You feel disconnected to or unsupported by your partner.
•You’re taking care of another human being. And that shit is exhausting.
•Your hormones are still fluctuating.
•Certain hormones, like prolactin, are major players while breastfeeding. While prolactin is necessary for milk production, it may also decrease estrogen and therefore, sex drive. Testosterone is also lower, impacting libido.
•You jumped right back on hormonal birth control. Some women report decreased sex drive with an IUD or while taking the pill.
•Breastfeeding decreases estrogen, and in turn, increases the risk of vaginal dryness. Plus, you’re losing a lot of hydration with nursing. All this makes sex pretty unappealing. No one wants to go down a water slide when the water is turned off.
Maybe it’s just as simple as you need a minute to breathe, and that’s okay too. If you’re postpartum and sex drive is high, get it girl. But if it’s not, it’s important to know this likely isn’t a forever thing. Low sex drive and breastfeeding is very real. Talk to your partner, and seek support. If you’re concerned something is anatomically off, talk to a pelvic floor PT. If you feel something is emotionally off, talk to a counselor. Attempt to rebuild some intimacy with your significant other when you can, but know this is normal, and it’s possible that sex drive will pick back up when you take some time for yourself first.