Having a baby takes an emotional and physical toll on a person, regardless the delivery, adoption included! It is common to feel a change in your sex drive for some time. Different people have different hormonal changes, but people also have different relationships with their bodies, their births, and their babies. There is no set time as to how long you should go before it is a “problem.” Medical professionals recommend waiting 6-8 weeks, depending on the physical impact of the birth, before sexual intercourse to promote healing and prevent infection, but apart from that, people who had babies may not have their sex drive return to normal for much longer than that. Postpartum sexual desire is different for each person. These changes are completely normal, but they may be frustrating.
If it has been “too long” for you or your partner, check in with where those feelings are coming from. Are you having physical pain? Are you exhausted? Do you find yourself feeling less intimate with your partner? Do you feel like you have time for each other? Are you talking about anything besides the baby or your children? Are you not attracted to your partner? Do you feel unsexy? Are you concerned about what it means when a “mother” wants to have sex? There are many questions to ask yourself and many different reasons that you might have low postpartum sexual desire. Spend some time thinking about the reasons you could be avoiding sex, and you may be able to come up with some answers on your own.
A simple thing to try postpartum or post-adoption is to just spend a few minutes each day, or a few hours each week, with your partner. Try to reconnect, and don’t place any sexual expectations on that time together. Try to talk about things other than the topics that you always talk about (babies, diapers, feeding, school, money, etc). Reconnecting with your partner may be an important step to reconnecting with your sex drive. If you are the partner that gave birth, try reconnecting with yourself in a similar way. Spend a few minutes in the bath, call a friend, eat a nice meal that you chose. Self-care is an important part of parenting from here on out, start practicing it now.
If you are having a hard time putting your finger on it, or you need help expressing to your partner that you have low postpartum sexual desire, relationship or sex therapy may be a good choice for you. Sometimes a more appropriate avenue is to find a spiritual leader, if you are part of a spiritual community, or your doctor or midwife. Based on what you are feeling, you will need to choose the best person to help you.