Changes in a mother’s sexual interest after she gives birth has long been documented in previous research.
Now a new effort is aimed at understanding how the partner adapts after a little one arrives.
Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study found a number of factors that reduce the sexual interest of both partners following the recent birth of a child, including fatigue, stress levels and lack of time.
Yet the same partners can also feel a greater desire and need for intimacy, the study revealed, often due to the time constraints of having a newborn.
For the study, 114 partners of postpartum women completed an extensive online questionnaire about sexual desires and behavior following the three-month period after birth.
Both male and female partners of postpartum women were included.
“Fatigue was the top deterrent
to sexual desire after pregnancy.”
“We found that, like birth mothers, fathers and co-mothers experience sexual highs and lows during the postpartum,” said lead author and psychologist Sari van Anders, of the University of Michigan.
Personal fatigue was found to be the top deterrent to sexual desire in the months after pregnancy, followed by stress and time constraints.
The top factors driving the mother’s sexual interests were found to be genuine feelings of intimacy and their partner’s desire for sex.