breastfeeding = low libido? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone experienced low sex drive due to breastfeeding? I've read that it is possible. I really have very little desire to have sex and am wondering if other mamas have gone thru this.
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#2 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 09:38 AM
 
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Yep. DS is 13 months, and I have had NO sex drive since he's been born. I guess it doesn't affect everyone this way, but yes, it has definitely affected me. It's kind of a good thing for dh that he's in Iraq right now. However, he's coming home in May for 2 weeks, and I'm kind of nervous about it because of the lack of a sex drive. Maybe once we see each other again, I will feel differently. I hope so!!

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#3 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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My libido was gone during my second pregnancy but back about a week postpartum, and still high, tandem nursing my 4 yr. old and 15 mo. old. Breastfeeding certainly has a hormonal effect but I think much of it is psychological-- it definitely was for me after my first was born and I had a low libido.
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#4 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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OP - have you gotten your period back yet? I think the libido thing is almost all hormonal. I am breastfeeding my 26 month old and had absolutely NO wish to have sex (plus it hurt like hell) until she was 23.5 months. At that point I got my period and wham - libido was back and no more pain, not an ounce.

To me that just proved that my body knows what it is doing and I love that. No sex when I couldn't have a baby anyway and once I was fertile again I wanted to have sex.
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#5 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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I did with my first child. It lasted a really long time. However, after ds was born things were back to normal.'

I don't know if mine was due to breastfeeding though. I think I had a lot of issues with being exhausted and due to the birth experience with my first child.
My second birth was a HBAC and that made a huge difference in how I felt in all aspects of my life.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#6 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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My daughter is 11 months, I have NO sex drive at all. No interest in sex at all. I've had one period since she was born which just made me moody but didn't increase my sex drive. My poor patient husband. I plan to continue nursing, I wish I knew how to get it back without weaning.
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#7 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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True here..

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

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#8 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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I have a low sex drive always, but while bf'ing it's basically non-existant...and it didn't get better till about 6 weeks after DD weaned (at 4 years old) which was like maybe 1 month before I got pregnant and put on pelvic rest. Poor dh...

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#9 of 68 Old 04-06-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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My daughter is 10 months old and still breastfeeds on demand, no periods for me yet. I have no sex drive and usually very little lubricant. Since I stopped breastfeeding my first child only 2 months before I had my second, I can't really remember too well weather this was a constant problem or not. It seems I remember getting my "mood" back at somepoint between the two though.
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#10 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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My dd will be 12 months in a few days, breast feeding pretty frequently, and my sex drive is pretty low as well. There are days that it's starting to show, but for the most part it's pretty much gone. I too haven't started my period, so I guess when it shows up maybe things will start to get back to normal.
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#11 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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DD will be 13 months in a couple of days, my period returned at 3 months post-partum . . . still not much of a sex drive. I echo the sentiment above about the poor patient husband . . .
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#12 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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True here. Getting my period back at 18 months helped, but when ds weaned at 3.5 years, I felt a big difference.

My male OB tells me that male lions kill their young so they can't nurse so the mother will go back into heat. Ugh. I heard the same thing about bears on Be the Creature. Maybe our bodies don't want us to get pregnant again while we are still nursing.
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#13 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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my drive is definately lower... but not low... DH feels like it is an improvement, bc he says that he likes the lower drive. : whatever... but it is definately not low. So, I guess if I was not so loopy and high pre bfing days, I would be lower than my lower now... make sense?

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#14 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 09:25 AM
 
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My DD is 20 months & mostly bf'ing to sleep. I have been pregnant or bf'ing for about 4 years so I'm not sure if it's the bf'ing or just having kids. I have read that bf'ing causes lower sex drive & when I happened to share an article w/ DH he was like "Oh I didn't know that, thought you just weren't interested in me anymore." I just assumed everyone (including him) knew that pregnancy/bf'ing made your hormones wonky. So share info!
This has been an issue in our relationship for awhile. He has a very high drive & I don't. Not sure if it's hormones or I'm just "touched out" by the end of the day (I'm home w/ DS & DD, he works). It will be interesting to see if when she weens (not pushing that at all) if the drive goes back up to where it used to be.
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#15 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 10:20 AM
 
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With both of my sons I have had absolutely NO libido while nursing. It came back strong immediately after my older son weaned.

My younger son is 20 months and still nursing on demand. No libido here, but certainly not worth weaning for (imo). DP and I have the rest of our lives to "be together". My nursing relationship with my boy is but a brief blip in time, relatively.

Molly, mama to my 3 sweet boys.
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#16 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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Oh yes mama. I am still nursing at two and the only time a noticed a slight raise was after my 6th PPAF, which didn't come back until 18 months. Pretty much now. We still nurse all night but I think ovualting again is the onlyu thing that brought it up because he nurse now as uch as he did as a newborn, but with solids in his diet as well. I hope you have a dh half as understanding as mine.

Living DAIRY AND GLUTEN FREE for my SPD and Aspergers Little Man.
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#17 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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Just a thought . . . Are you doing most/all of the childcare/housework/meals etc? how much time are you getting to yourself? when's the last time you had a nice massage or a bit of pampering? I have noticed my libido goes right down when I am overwhelmed, tired and just plain 'touched out' with a nursing baby. My biggest turn on is when dh mops the floors and cooks dinner!
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#18 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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I think libido can be affected by both hormonal and psychological causes. My libido returns a LONG TIME before my fertility does (breastfeeding powerfully delays my fertility) -- and during my last pregnancy, my sex drive was extremely high (my body obviously wasn't trying to GET pregnant then, since it already WAS).

At some other times, I'm not as interested (or more interested in sleep), but honestly I don't find it a problem, if my husband's interested and I'm not, to just go ahead and make the connection anyway. Of course, breastfeeding doesn't cause painful intercourse for me as it does for some mamas. I enjoy it on some level whenever it happens.

Also, my dh is VERY easy-to-please and certainly doesn't demand that I perform like an athlete or p*rn-star. He's used to me being in different moods at different times. So, while sex can really be a big deal to me when my libido's high -- when my libido's low it's absolutely no big deal to just do it anyway.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#19 of 68 Old 04-07-2007, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by anitaj71 View Post
Just a thought . . . Are you doing most/all of the childcare/housework/meals etc? how much time are you getting to yourself? when's the last time you had a nice massage or a bit of pampering? I have noticed my libido goes right down when I am overwhelmed, tired and just plain 'touched out' with a nursing baby. My biggest turn on is when dh mops the floors and cooks dinner!
As a matter of fact, yes, I do 99% of the housework and childcare which I don't mind doing. I agree that it much more of a turn on to see hubby helping out around the house than grabbing my backside. Pampering? Probably since I was pregnant with my toddler. I'm in my early 30s - I should be in my prime! Oh well. Hoping that when my boy decides to wean that my sex drive will increase.
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#20 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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I'm right there with you. Thank you for this post. I had thought about asking this here, but got too shy to type it out.

DD is 21 months old, still nursing and I've had my period for 11 months now. Still no sex drive. My husband has been amazingly understanding about this. (He's the best!) But I hate not having that intimacy with him.

I'm sure much of this is hormonal but I also don't rule out the fact that I do 90 percent of the childcare and house-running. DH helps whenever he can but his work eats up much of his time, even when he is at home. And, yes, I do sometimes just feel "touched out" by DD.

My question is, though, does anyone know of foods etc that would help get libido going?
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#21 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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yes I had that problem. things went back to "normal" after I stopped bfing. Doesn't mean I'd bf any less this time though, dh will just have to deal!

Dara Mommy to Gabbie (4/05) , Zachary (6/07) , and Simon (8/10)
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#22 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:01 PM
 
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DD is 21 months old, still nursing and I've had my period for 11 months now. Still no sex drive. My husband has been amazingly understanding about this. (He's the best!) But I hate not having that intimacy with him...

My question is, though, does anyone know of foods etc that would help get libido going?
Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but what about just saying okay and letting it happen? Honestly, lots of times I have absolutely no interest when we get started but end up enjoying it at some point.

When I nurse my baby, sometimes I feel a pleasurable let-down and get all tingly ... sometimes I'm just waiting for her to doze off and unlatch so I can get a snack (or make love to my dh, when I'm in the mood). Regardless of how I FEEL -- I still nurse when she wants to. I don't see why meeting our mate's needs (even at times when we have less libido) has to be any different.

With small children, it's hard enough to coordinate lovemaking as it is ... having both children asleep and both of us still awake is rare (dh often goes to sleep before the rest of us because he has to get up early for work). So if we're both still awake -- if ONE of us is in the mood we go ahead and make it happen.

I'm not trying to sound harsh or anti-feminist ... it's just that I'm 42 and have gone through so many changes in my libido throughout my life. I think change is the only constant when you're a woman.

So I'm not going to let my libido dictate when I have intimacy with my husband.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#23 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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Hey, I'm new here (just found out I'm pregnant with twins! yikes) I'm a little terrified of having a low libido with the pregnancy/ post partem/ breastfeeding and was hoping some of you could better explain it to me...

is the low libido you're experiencing now the same as during your first or third trimesters in pregnancy? Is it similar to being on hormonal birth control? (for those of you that have used it)

What helps you get into the mood? Do you schedule intimacy, eat certain things, just say yes and hope you get into it?
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#24 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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I am so glad to see this thread. I love my DH dearly and feel so bad for him. DD is seven months and we have DTD maybe four times. I am just sooo tired!!
I am glad I am not the only one.
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#25 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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Hey, I'm new here (just found out I'm pregnant with twins! yikes) I'm a little terrified of having a low libido with the pregnancy/ post partem/ breastfeeding and was hoping some of you could better explain it to me...
You're actually terrified of having a low libido? Oh, I don't want you to feel unwelcome, I realize you're new here, but this puzzles me.

I think I'm seriously out of the loop here. Is it just that I'm so much older than most new moms here, that I'm not understanding all the importance of libido? Is is really that terrifying, to younger moms, to go through phases where maybe you're more interested in sleep than you are in physical intimacy, but you just say okay and make love anyway?

Because you care about your husband and know it's important not to go too long without making the connection?

Oh, and congratulations, bumperbee!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#26 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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physical intimacy is really important to me... it's the way I connect with my partner, and I guess I am afraid of losing it. Physical touch in general is important to me too, and the thought of being 'touched out' worries me a bit as well- as physical touch is my love language.

At the very least it the tension releaver when things are stressful, or when we're arguing about all the little things that can build up, and I know things will definitely be stressful when the babies come.
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#27 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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You don't have to lose it!

Just being aware that you may have changes in your moods and libido, or may feel touched-out sometimes, can be such a help. If those changes happen (and it's not the same for everyone) -- you can recognize them as transitory, just something to live through, rather than seeing them as a guide to follow.

Just remember feelings are temporary -- relationships are forever ... with this in mind you can make the effort to connect in response to his needs, and think of it as an investment in the relationship, not as "putting out" or some other derogatory term.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#28 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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thanks for the reassurance mammal-mama. I guess I was just surprised when I stumbled across this thread, as I hadn't thought about breastfeeding as any sort of barrier to intimacy. I do think my dh would be hurt if two years down the road there was little to no sex, and I just want to hear that it's possible to enjoy and want sex after baby. I realize I'm getting ahead of myself here... but I guess it's good to try and be emotionally prepared for all the things that might change.
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#29 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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Well quite frankly low libido is nature's way of spacing babies. Many women who are nursing on demand will have at least a few months without a period and along with that often a low libido. That is healthy for you! The most healthy spacing of babies is to wait 18 months to get pregnant after you have given birth. How would that be possible if you popped out a baby and then wanted to have sex all the time.

So without sounding too harsh I really suggest that you find other ways of connecting with your partner because even if sex is really important to you and you make an effort to do it even when you don't feel like it you are not going to be having sex as much after you have a baby. That can certainly change after your body returns to normal, e.i. you get your period or you aren't nursing and nourishing another human being.
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#30 of 68 Old 04-08-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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yeah, it makes perfect sense... I know that getting pregnant is more difficult when breastfeeding... I just didn't make the connection between suppressed ovulation and low libido (duh!)

I definitely agree with finding other ways to connect... I just don't want lack of sexual intimacy to be a barrier to me to extended nursing. It may happen that it isn't a big issue, but I just want to be prepared and want to learn about coping mechanisms so that I don't feel like it's an either/or situation, you know?
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