It’s normal to lose your libido after having a baby. Just ask Kate Hudson. “Hormonally, you just never know how you’re going to react,” the Mother’s Day actress, 36, told E! on February 17. “For me, personally, I think that there’s sort of this great little bubble you go into after you have a baby where both mom and dad sort of experience — and I don’t mean this in a negative way, I mean this in a very positive way— [a child] shifts the balance off-kilter … some things do kind of get put to the side.”
If you’ve just had a baby and are looking to put your sex life back in balance, read on as sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman shares with Us Weekly her top four tips on how to put the lust back in your relationship (And it doesn’t require lingerie!)
Be Realistic “Accept that you are both going to be a little grouchy and not making out like teenagers,” says the assistant clinical professor of Ob-Gyn and and Psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. “But ask yourself: What can I do instead? I can’t have wild, passionate sex right now, but I can give him one long hug and just say, ‘Thank you for being my husband.’”
Understand Some of This (a Lot of This) Is Part of Nature’s Plan When a mom connects with a new baby, especially through breastfeeding, her body dumps oxytocin — the brain chemical that causes feelings of wanting to snuggle — into her system. According to the spokesperson for K-Y Ultragel, it is a crucial part of mammalian mother-child bonding.
But oxytocin has a downside. It combats testosterone, which is a key hormone for a healthy libido. And women aren’t the only ones impacted. “Research has shown that new dads have higher oxytocin and lower testosterone levels, and that the more hands on a dad is with the daily care of his child, the lower his levels are likely to be,” notes the author of Quantum Love. “So basically, an involved, loving daddy is probably going to have a much lower sex drive than he normally does.”
Focus on One Core Relationship Goal Instead of having a vague goal such as ‘I want better sex,’ Dr. Berman suggests picking a specific objective that you can focus your time and energy on.“For example, your goal might be ‘I want to make out or connect physically on a daily basis,’” says the Chicago-based PhD.
Channel Your Creativity Even if you can’t get a weekend away, you can spend time relaxing in a bubble bath after your baby falls asleep. “Remember to be gentle with yourself,” says Dr. Berman. “You are going to have limited time as a new parent, so ask yourself: Do I want to spend my time picking up toys and making complicated dinners, or would I rather enjoy time with my partner and order takeout?” And keep in mind: This stage isn’t forever. Some day you will look back and it will have seemed so fleeting,” says Dr. Berman. so don’t put your energy in places you may regret, like vacuuming the house just because Grandma is coming by!”