NEW BABY, NO SEX DRIVE? re-activate the desire
As any new mom can attest, having a baby is an earth-shaking event. Suddenly, your schedule is turned entirely upside down. You’re helping a brand new life survive, all while trying to sleep? Yeah, let’s not even talk about sleep.
But you know all this. What you might not know, and what no one really tells you, is how out of whack your sex drive is in those first few months after the baby. At the six-week checkup, when you get the go-ahead from the doctor to resume sex again, your partner may light up–while you have absolutely zero interest.
Not only is this normal, it’s hormonal. So let’s take a look at your internal chemistry after childbirth, by first examining what happened (or what is currently happening) during pregnancy.
terone influences your sexual energy by supporting your thyroid hormone (which regulates the metabolism of every cell in your body), and nurtures your libido by helping you sleep. If you were lucky enough to experience that deep, dreamy pregnancy sleep, you’ve got your friend progesterone to thank!
When you become pregnant, your levels of progesterone soar in support of your pregnancy, with many effects and benefits. You may have a “pregnancy glow,” and experience the feelings of wellbeing and vibrant health that many women describe when pregnant; both can be due, in part, to progesterone. By relaxing your connective tissues, the surge of progesterone helps soften your ligaments and allows for the baby’s safe passage through your pelvis.
After childbirth, however, your hormone levels–including progesterone–decline sharply. This is a huge reason many women experience postpartum depression, and if you are one of them, taking natural progesterone can help lift feelings of despair. Guess what else wanes in the wake of childbirth? Estrogen. It is the hormone responsible for sustaining and promoting your femininity and it plays a role in your healthy sex drive. You need adequate amounts of both estrogen and testosterone to turn on your brain’s arousal circuits, and when you have optimal estrogen, testosterone can effectively stimulate nerve receptors to create the sparks that kindle passion and pleasure.
During pregnancy your estrogen levels were riding high, but unfortunately, directly after childbirth is not the time for abundant, free-flowing estrogen. Breastfeeding suppresses estrogen, which not only affects your desire, but your sex organs. Estrogen plays a key role in your potential for sexual pleasure by maintaining the health and elasticity of your vaginal and vulvar tissues, including your clitoris, urethra, and inner and outer labia. These tissues are estrogen-dependent, which means they need adequate estrogen