Transcript: Breastfeeding, Sex, and Libido
The Boob Group
Breastfeeding, Sex, and Libido
Episode 77, November 1st, 2013
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Ask a newly postpartum mother what her libido looks like and those first few months after birthing a baby and she will most likely give you a confused look and just maybe laugh a little bit. Libido, what libido? Unfortunately, most mothers partners are wondering, “When the sex drive will return which can cause a bit of frustration for both involved.
Today, I’m thrilled to welcome back to the show Emma Pickett, a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant from London, England. Today we’re discussing, “Breastfeeding, sex and libido.” This is The Boob Group Episode 77.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to The Boob Group broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on-the-go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre.
Did you now know that all of our episodes are free? Yes, we opened up our archives so that our listeners had the access to all of our episodes anytime, anywhere – just download them from our website theboobgroup.com or through our apps available on iTunes and Amazon Marketplace or subscribe to our podcast through iTunes and have our episodes automatically added to your account each week.
We are joined today by three lovely panellists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?
CHRISTINA WILSON: My name is Christina. I’m 28 years old. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I have one son, Gregory.
ROBIN KAPLAN: How old is Gregory?
CHRISTINA WILSON: He’s nine months.
ROBIN KAPLAN: He’s nine months. All right
TIFFANY KYLE: My name is Tiffany. I’m also a stay-at-home mom. I’m 36 and I have one baby boy, Jackson who’s 10 months old.
ROBIN KAPLAN: He’s in the studio too, he just given us his sweet little eyes – all right and our last panellist please.
COLINA COROTHERS: Hi, I’m Colina. I’m 25 years old. I actually work in a call center for Time Warner Cable. I have one son. He is just turned five months and yes, that’s it.
ROBIN KAPLAN: He’s also on the studio.
COLINA COROTHERS: Yes, he’s also with us.
ROBIN KAPLAN: So, we have two adorable little babies in the studio today. We also – I’d like to introduce our producer of our show, Mj. So, Mj do you want to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about our virtual panellist stuff.
MJ FISHER: Yes, well I’m Mj – a stay-at-home mom to Jason who’s 27 months old. Thanks to Robin, I have this amazing opportunity to help and support other mamas through their breastfeeding journey. I’m super passionate about breastfeeding and helping others so I’m really thankful to be here with you all.
One of my duties as the producer is, “Bringing you mamas into the studio as well as over the internet.” Our Virtual Panellists Program is a way for anyone to give their opinions and share experiences even if they can’t be on the studio. So, make sure you’ll like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter using the hash tag #boobgroupvp because on recording day, we post questions so you can join the conversation.
We may even read your comment in the episode and you may win a one month subscription to The Boob Group Club. So, join us and share your story while you are helping other mamas in the process.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome, thanks Mj. Before we get started to our today’s show, here’s a Breastfeeding Oops from one of our listeners.
ERIN: Hi, my name is Erin and I have a nine month old little boy and this is My Boob Oops experience. We’ve recently went to the San Diego Zoo for my company picnic and I had only once before breastfed in public and that in itself was an adventure. So, that day, I didn’t anticipate breastfeeding at the zoo. However, my son became very fidgety and desperately wanted the comfort. So, we found at that time was a very secluded part of the zoo and we sat down in a couple of the benches. Of course, I never use a cover at home because I’m just breastfeeding at home so my son does not like a cover.
At the age of nine months, he’s well-strong enough to get rid of that cover. So, I’m breastfeeding – I’ve got the cover, I’m fighting with him the cover. All of a sudden, I’ve realized that three tour buses have pulled up not 20 feet away from me and everybody is exiting and coming to look at the exhibit that I’m sitting in front of.
So, of course, I’m trying to look very calm and not part of the exhibit but my son he’s pulling and pulling and I’ve realized that this just isn’t going to work. Then to my horror, I turned to my left and two of my male colleagues have seated themselves at the picnic table next to us. I’m trying to nonchalantly look away but it’s very obvious that they’ve seen me and I was just mortified and my husband came over and he tried to cover me up and yes, I just turned around and said, “Hi guys” as if nothing had happened. But that was my Boob Oops at the San Diego Zoo.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Well, today’s topic on The Boob Group is, “Breastfeeding, sex and libido.” I’m very excited to have Emma back on our show today as she is one of the only LC’s I know who loves to chat about this topic. Emma Pickett is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in London, England. She gave a presentation at the Association of Breastfeeding Mother’s Conference about last year – about sex and the breastfeeding woman.
Her talk focused on, “How breastfeeding can have an impact on a woman’s sexuality and relationships but also crucially having the sexualisation of western society affects the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding – so, hello Emma and welcome back to the show.
EMMA PICKETT: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
ROBIN KAPLAN: So, Emma is it true that a mother’s libido is often lower after having a baby and this something that affects only breastfeeding mothers?
EMMA PICKETT: I think we can safely say from research and probably just from talking to our friends and looking at ourselves but yes, mostly parents do experience the difference from their sex drive and that’s all new parents; however you’re feeding your baby, it’s no easier for the people washing and sterilizing bottle and warming milk and today I’m going to listen people breastfeeding.
Yes, 24 our care days – the new-borns is exhausting and it’s tough; however you choose to see them recovering from birth, we’re not sleeping. We’ve becoming new people. We’re becoming parents and getting some new role and lives being turned upside down for everyone. So, although we might imagine that breastfeeding has more of an impact. In fact, we can’t say for sure that, “That’s okay.” Plenty of people have mixed feeding for a start – so, it’s hard to identify what the impact of breastfeeding is.
Libido is such a complex thing. It’s like it defines so many factors. Sex is a really complicated subject – so, we can’t say for sure that the breastfeeding is making a difference from other people. I think this is about all new parents.
ROBIN KAPLAN: You have mentioned a few reasons why parents would have a reduction in their sex drive after having a baby. Is it hormonal that also affects us as well?
EMMA PICKETT: Well, I think it’s important to stress [unclear] although I think of the conversation today is probably going to make the assumption that, “Everyone does have a lower sex drive.” In fact, in some couples only some – we’re actually seeing an improvement in their sex life during breastfeeding. Many women who really feel in touch with a certain side of themselves, the part haven’t been in touched with before.
They feel sexy. They feel powerful. They feel special. I’m not saying that, “This is everybody.” But, if anyone here’s listening who feels this way and saying, “Thanks, My God. I don’t feel like I have a reduced libido – maybe I’m weird, maybe I’m not normal.” I want them to know that they’re normal too because they’re the big range of normal when it comes to the sex drive and libido after they have a baby.
When I was doing my survey which will going to bit about later, about 2/3 of breastfeeding women did feel that they had a reduction in the libido but we really can’t say for sure that this is about hormones. Although, research if we look at libido and sex drive – we’re really happy to say that, “We cannot make a definitive link between hormones and sexual desire.” Although, breastfeeding does suppress estrogens production, not a very estrogens production – we can’t say for sure that estrogens are the thing that’s making the difference here.
For example when we’re pregnant, we’ve got lots of estrogens in our bodies. The estrogens levels continue to rise up till birth and we all know that not all pregnant women have the same libido. Some women feel very sexy during their pregnancy and other women not at all. So, if hormones are the thing that making a difference – there will be more unity and more oral feeling and that isn’t okay.
So, equally in our menstrual cycle – when our hormones are varying, someone, they do feel sexy during ovulation and someone actually feels sexier during their actual menstrual period. So, we can’t say for sure that hormones and what makes a difference. On breastfeeding mothers also flooded with actually Oxytocin and Prolactin and these are hormones that have a really common effect. The Oxytocin is known as, “The Love Hormone.”
So, you’re thinking a way that we might benefit from some of these hormones – maybe, “That would make us more sexual.” No, we can’t say for sure that, “Hormones were making the differences.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, I love to open this up to our panellist in the studio. So, ladies – how would you rate your libido right now? Has it increased post-baby or has a decreased or is it about the same? Christina, do you mind starting?
CHRISTINA WILSON: I’m not sure right now. Right now, it’s kind of back to normal pre-pregnancy. There was – what they say, “Don’t have sex for six weeks.” We made it to four because after about three, I was really in-the-go.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Nice.
CHRISTINA WILSON: It kind of went up and then now, it’s kind of went up and now it is a kind of flat and it’s somewhat back to normal.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool! How about you?
TIFFANY KYLE: It’s pretty much the same as what it was prior to my husband and I had a pretty active sex life prior to getting pregnant, during pregnancy and after. We probably would have got – had sex prior to the six weeks, except for we were separated because my husband’s on the military.
So, yes but you know – we didn’t get to see each other until about two and a half months after the birth. So, we’re about the same.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool! How about you Colina?
COLINA COROTHERS: I’m one of those 2/3, definitely I’ve experienced a tremendous drop in libido since I’ve had my son. We did pretty good. We’re good through the pregnancy at the very end; my fiancé was terrified to have sex because he thought I would go into immediate labour – so he put me on like 3 to 4 week quarantine then. So, I told him, “You know, we don’t know what’s going to happen after this.” You better get some while you can. He didn’t and he’s regretting it now because I’m just not
ERIN: I’m there with you too. I definitely fell into those 2/3. I just felt touched out. I just didn’t want any other. Unfortunately, my husband – I felt like it was a responsibility to kind of play in to that. I was just so tired. So, I definitely fell into those 2/3. Mj, what about our virtual panellists saying?
MJ FISHER: Mostly, everybody hasn’t – their libido is not increased after having the baby. Kim is saying, “Definitely decrease right after the baby and took about six months to return. I reached a point at about four months where I was really worried something had changed forever. But I read a lot about the hormonal reasons why libido can be affected and that made me feel better. I also took some advice and just relaxed and tried some new things and things got better.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. All right, well Emma so tell us about your informal study you did last year through social media. What are some of the main findings about sex postpartum?
EMMA PICKETT: Yes, sure. So, I’ve got 595 responses altogether and that’s a pretty good selection although it was a self-selecting sample. That’s really important to remember because the kind of people who are happy to talk about sex – they want to spend 10 minutes filling out a survey. They may not represent everybody out there. Well, people are having a tougher time.
Also, my respondents were so extend the breastfeed as well – so most of them breastfed so longer than 12 months. Nine of them have let breastfed for less than a month – so, I thought that was a pretty good effort. They were filling out survey when they gave birth about a month ago.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes.
EMMA PICKETT: So, 1/3 mothers said that their libido was the same as before they were breastfeeding. Five percent said that it was greater. So, they were breastfeeding, they’re new moms and they were feeling like they have an increase in libido. For about 2/3, as I’ve said before “This feel like they had a low libido but they couldn’t tell what about was about new parenthood or breastfeeding particularly.”
Since this rather highlights well over half that have sex for the first time by three months – so, most people were having between six weeks and three months. Interesting is one of your panellist was saying about, “We don’t have sex between six weeks.” We don’t get that message very strongly in the UK. So, the people do have sex before six weeks but not reflects in the survey as well.
How often do people having sex when they’re breastfeeding moms? One percent every day – bless those people, that’s five people. Then I have imagine it, maybe it’s not great sex. Let’s comfort ourselves by thinking, “It’s not great.” 38% were having sex once a week or more. Breastfeeding mothers initiating sex: “54% were occasionally initiating it, 20% were regularly initiating it. 26% never initiated sex.”
I often have felt about the breast being touched because I think that’s important. That’s being a big part of our sex life up until now. 22% said, “Great, they don’t mind breast being touched” whenever it’s always popular that was actually afraid they’ll have on my survey most popular fix. 27% didn’t want their breast touched at all during sex.
I asked mothers “Are you happy with your sex life?” 34% said, “Pretty much.” 14% they wouldn’t said, “They were very happy.” 41% of breastfeeding mothers said, “They wanted sex more often” and 2% said, “They wanted sex less often.” I thought that was interesting because I think it might have an assumption that some breastfeeding mothers are pushing themselves to have sex when they don’t really want to. They’re feeling under pressure and maybe they’re doing it to please their partners reluctantly.
But that’s not what’s being on selective information, “Women on wanting to have more sex.” They’re a bit across too that they’re not getting a chance. It’s not just women feeling under pressure without a libido feeling disappointed and not happy. You know lots of the women I’ve been speaking too, “They’re missing sex too. They wish they had their libido back and they can’t – they say they have it if they want too.”
COLINA COROTHERS: Is there a consensus about being a breast – how a breastfeeding mom and how that affects yourself image and feelings about her body and can this effect her libido as well?
EMMA PICKETT: Yes, definitely. I mean I think the consensus is not what you might expect. There isn’t actually one group of people all feeling the same way. I have mentioned earlier, “Some women really feel which strong by being a breastfeeding mother. For the first in their lives, their breasts are making sense and their bodies are making sense.” People use words like, “Sensual, enlivened and connected.” Quite a few people actually describe themselves as a “Goddess” even if it reads Mother Goddess.
But, having said that – a lot of people felt fat, they felt the wronged shape. They felt leaky. They didn’t feel themselves. They haven’t start that would be really connecting who they were before. I think one thing that’s really change for our generation is that emphasis on flat tummies, flat stomach. We see that effect. That’s a really big message we get from the media that wasn’t the case for our moms generation.
That’s tough for all new mothers whether you’re breastfeeding or not. They call, Sexy is a flat tummy and it’s not the maternal body.” That’s really hard for us to make their connection that we see ourselves as sexy. That’s the message that men are receiving too that the sexy bodies, the tight muscular in their flat tummy. I think we have to be really amazed not to be that – doesn’t have an impact on our sexuality and whether we’re feeling in the mood.
But having said that, “Looking at the research, a lot of women were making assumptions that their husbands weren’t seeing them as sexy or their partners weren’t seeing them as sexy.” In fact, their partners were and they will say – also, sometimes seeing them in a new light and seeing them as this kind of goddess they deserved. So, it’s really complicated.
There’s a lot of stuff going on and a lot of miscommunication going on. People are assuming they weren’t sexy when really they were. People weren’t really talking I think. I think that’s one thing I’d like to install today that we’d only to start, “Doing the more talking.”
ERIN: That’s such a good point because I remember feeling, “I would have said leaky if I would have been handling that – “Don’t touch the breast.” I’m afraid I’m going to leak all over the place. I remember feeling really insecure about my body and everything.
I remember my husband saying multiple times, “God bless him.” No, you just had a baby. He had put me up on a little bit of pedestal. I just saw you birth our son like that is – you are a warrior. I can’t believe you did that. So, I think a lot of it was my insecurities because it definitely wasn’t coming from him.
ROBIN KAPLAN: But, so I’m really glad you brought that up. Ladies, so how does being a breastfeeding mother affect your self-image and your feelings about your body? Do you think that this has had an impact on maybe on your earlier sex drive – if you feel like it’s gotten back?
Colina you had mentioned – maybe feeling in those 2/3 as well. Do you mind as Colina – do you mind starting that? How is your body image – do you think it plays into it at all?
COLINA COROTHERS: Yes, I think so a little bit. I mean not just the breastfeeding part but postpartum I think has a lot to do with it more. So, and then breastfeeding lies it’s kind of a weird for me to go from one moment, “Okay, my breasts are for feeding my son and this are his.” This is his nurturing nourishment. It’s such a close beautiful thing between us to turning around. Okay, now the sexual object between me and my partner – trying to flip that switch has been a little bit harder for me to be able to do.
CHRISTINA WILSON: I felt the exact same way.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Tiffany, how about you?
TIFFANY KYLE: I think I’m one of the people that kind of falls into that feeling like a goddess.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome.
TIFFANY KYLE: I started feeling that way – it’s really throughout my pregnancy. Then, after having gone through natural child birth I was like, “Dude, I’m freaking amazing.” My body just created life, birth life and now, I’m breastfeeding, its sustaining life. I am freaking rock. How amazing am I?
I think that I’ve been very fortunate that my husband has pretty much been along that same journey with me. So, I have felt very confident and my body – being able to be both, I don’t feel like I have to turn off one’s switch and turn on another. I somehow, in my mind have been able to be both. I can be maternal and nurture my son and still be a sexual being and still have that intimacy with my husband at the same time. So, I think that has helped quite a bit. The fact that my husband feels the same way obviously is helpful.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, how about you Christina?
CHRISTINA WILSON: Like your husband, my husband has done amazing and after having our son – he was like, “You’re beautiful.” I know you’re a little insecure about your – especially the stomach area but you’re beautiful and you’re amazing and don’t let that, try not to think about it very much. It’s different now that “leaky” is definitely a great word.
I generally try to keep him away from that area just because I’m worried about the mouth going everywhere and he hasn’t really said whether how he feels about it. He doesn’t seem like he minds too much – when I’m just kind of like, “Stay off there. Leave it alone.” But, he says, “He does, he will be but when we were done breastfeeding around that breastfeeding because he wants his boobs back.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Emma before we go to a break, how much do you think a mother’s role and responsibilities as a parent affects your libido?
EMMA PICKETT: Well, except the goddess is in the room. I think to the truth is that we’re struggling a little bit. I think one of the key things is “tiredness.” One of the things our society has got a bit wrong is, “We’ve got this assumption that bedtime is sex time.” If you’re a new mother hoping to rebuild the sex life, you’ve got to break that link for a start because that is where we want to sleep and bedtime is when we want sleep.” We will talk about that a bit more in the moment.
But, I think also – one of the things that parent’s touched on society is not great at integrating sexy womanhood and motherhood. We got to sort that out. A lot of the spills, we’ve got to switch off that mother-part, if we’re going to engage the sexy part in a bit. That’s not something that comes naturally and some people don’t want to put just another part. It’s hard to come between the baby and then the next room or you know down the street.
So, I think we do have to find ways of integrating being a sexual partner onto our normal life rather than feeding that put a breast break ourselves into pieces. At the moment a lot of mothers can’t work out how to flip those switches and are struggling to switch back on the sexy bit, both of them.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, when we come back we will discuss about the tips for getting back into the mood after baby. We will be right back. Well welcome back to the show. We were on the phone with Emma Pickett an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant from London, England and we are talking about, “Breastfeeding, sex and libido.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: So, Emma we have a couple of moms post on our Facebook Page, Jessica and Molly both we’re very similar questions. What tips do you have for getting in the mood post baby?
EMMA PICKETT: Okay, well first of all when I said International Board Certified Lactation Consultant – they don’t normally have this in our kind of area of unit. But, I personally this is a scenario I’ve read about. I’ve talked a lot of moms. I’m happy to go down this road.
So basically, first of all “Getting in the mood” that doesn’t mean – it’s time to purge to sex folks. You don’t have – we got kind of switch of but that’s always at the end of the path. Getting in the mood is just about switching on the side of your brain that maybe you haven’t been connecting with. It’s about anything that behaviour in general.
We do know that the more intimate behaviour going on, the more intimate behaviour you’re going to have. It breathes. When you’re having lots of sex, you want to have more sex – that’s similar to this thing. We’ve got to make a conscious effort because it’s probably not going to hit you when you’re washing the cloth diapers but now’s the time to have sex.
So, when you’re a new breastfeeding mom, take time. Take time. Say what, “You know, I’m going to read some sexy stuff now.” Breastfeeding mothers often do have time to read. Get the candle out. Get some stuff off your website and read some sexy things. Get back in touch with that side of yourself.
Another thing, I might sound a bit difficult to talk about, “Touch yourself” because things are different down there. When you had a natural birth or not, sensations are going to be different. You’re anatomy may not quite be what it was. So, it’s important that you touch yourself and you learn what turns you on because if you don’t know what turns you on – how is your partner going to know?
When you’re having those relationships and you’re back in to having sex again, he’s not going to be psychic. He/she that’s not a [unclear] touch your sexual is going to be psychic. So, put them there yourself, what, how things feel and what feels good and maybe didn’t before or maybe it does in the first time. Also, have time together the couple but that doesn’t have to exclude baby.
One of the things new moms really struggle with is, “Who decides that to be a good couple, you’ve got to have evenings and nights away from the baby.” If you don’t have a weekend away, you’re failing your husband. Who decided that “Couple Times” means simply in public, in a restaurant with a table between you surrounded by strangers and you’re worrying about the baby sits or you’re worrying that your baby need to feed – and you’re not going to get back in time? So, have some intimate time without you having to switch off the mother switch.
So, have a bath with candles and music. The baby can be in the nurse basket you’d like to call it something else that you never know, just ask it in the card or just outside the bathroom. It doesn’t have to be in someone else’s house or down the street. When you do it fine, you got some couple time together and baby’s asleep, switch of the TV. Don’t have “Couple Times” sitting on the sofa both looking at a television – that’s not going to help. Be creative about babysitting.
Babysitting doesn’t have to mean the evening – starting at 8 PM calling you would really rather be sleeping anyway. Get a daytime baby sitter. Get someone who rises at 10 AM. At exactly 10 AM to 12, baby has often a good nap anyway – get the baby sitter to take the baby out for a walk and you guys stay-at-home and your babysitter won’t come back before 3. You guys have got your house to yourself.
You can have a meal. You can lie on bed. You can have lime, you can have a bath. You go – be a bit creative and break some of these assumptions about what romantic couples should be doing because actually a meal at 9 PM at night, for breastfeeding moms – that’s not fun. That’s actually not a great time to connect with your partner. So, be creative.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Those are good tips for those of us who have seven and eight year olds as well. My husband’s going to be so happy that we had this conversation today. But getting back to the breastfeeding mamas, I remember this in particular – vaginal dryness while breastfeeding, that was just – sex wasn’t super comfortable. Does this get better once a mother weans? What tips do you have for dealing with this while it’s going on?
EMMA PICKETT: You probably know that low estrogens on some women will cause the thinning of the vagina wall and it will cause the vaginal dryness to someone. Not everybody actually but you know proportion of breastfeeding women will find that, “This is a problem.” So, water-base lubricant – we live in a world where there’s some good products out there, make use of them.
In really severe cases, your doctor counters up prescribe creams. They are Estrogen-based creams that you can get prescribed that really can change the situation dramatically. It does get better as the months go by. It’s really important to emphasize, “You don’t necessarily have to wean before you see an improvement. Lots of women who are breastfeeding for several months – the Estrogen levels will return to normal, their cycle’s kind of return after only a few months and this isn’t a long-term issue for a lot of breastfeeding women.
For some women, they never experienced it. For someone, they’re going to get – create the lubricant and for some women, it’s really the case just the couple of months and then things go a lot more comfortable.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Thank you. We’re talking about some big obstacles or challenges for new moms when it comes to sex drive. I think especially having a date at night is a definitely an obstacle to making it happen. What other obstacles do you see or challenges for new moms?
EMMA PICKETT: I think one of the biggest things is, “You can get into this downward spiral trap” where you start to get scared, you get scared of the either effects. You get scared of being asked when you’re exhausted. You get scared of having to reject and then having emotional reaction of someone’s being annoyed that you’ve rejected them. Let’s not forget that someone when actual forget the physical pain.
For someone it takes several months before they’re comfortable after natural birth. Some people are scared of leaking breast. So, what we’re going to do is, “Take control.” People get scared when they don’t feel they’re in control and they feel passive and they’re waiting for someone off to take the initiative. So, we’re going to take a deep breath and we’re going to try one new thing.
So, ready when you’re going to turn off the TV off tonight and we’re going to share one sexual fantasy and we’re just going to talk. Maybe your partner’s got to the point where they’re tired of trying as well. Maybe that’s get to – so, it’s about breaking that cycle, breaking that downward spiral, breaking that trap or sphere of miscommunication – just being really brave and say like, “We’re going to do one new thing. Let’s try.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Ladies, what were your biggest obstacles maybe in the beginning – or Colina some big obstacles that maybe that you’re dealing with now and then I’d love to hear from our mamas who are really feeling back in the groove of things, what’s working for you at this point? So, maybe a little bit of obstacles and then what’s kind of help you overcome them? Tiffany, do you want to start?
TIFFANY KYLE: I know that in the beginning, we did have some challenges with dryness – so, we had to get a couple of different lubricants and make sure we’d have those on hand until that eventually did resolve which it did. I’m still breastfeeding so; it’s definitely back to normal now. That was probably our biggest challenge.
Well that, getting greed as far as the time because you do kind of get into that mindset of, “Sex is at night when you’re starting to wind down for the evening – that is the worst possible time for us.” By the end of the day, I’m exhausted. The baby wants to go to sleep and he wants to nurse to sleep.
So, we started having to – my husband and I are pretty affectionate throughout the day. So, we pretty much like, “If the baby is playing really contentedly by himself it’s like – hey, how are you doing?” The baby is good. I think we’ve got a few minutes. So, just getting really spontaneous – that’s been the biggest thing for us. I think that maintaining that playful affectionate nature all of the times so that we are ready to kind of, “A spur of the moment go there” I think has helped us out tremendously.
ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s awesome. How about you Christina?
CHRISTINA WILSON: We were the same way. It’s the spot maybe is not completely new but it’s actually – ask my husband on the way out, “So, what’s change between you know most part now and before the baby?” He’s like, “I kind of feel like a teenager.” The baby’s sleeping, “Quick, let’s go.” Honestly, it’s kind of it’s made of a little bit better. We only have quick five minutes. Let’s go.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Very cool. How about you Colina?
COLINA COROTHERS: I have to agree with the whole night time is sex time stigma. It’s awful because not only do I breastfeed but we also bed share. So, that doesn’t really workout as well. Maybe accomplished that once. It was so weird. I’m like, “You’re trying to focus and the baby’s just right over there.”
So, we have started to get more spontaneous and definitely just like everyone has been saying, “You just have to find the time and the energy too because I work and he works and during the week, we sit down for dinner and then we’re all exhausted and wanted to go to bed.” So, it just finding the time – I think has been the challenge. So, we’re working on it.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. Mj, any virtual panellists want to
MJ FISHER: You know what? Not on this but I can definitely – I agree with the mamas here. I think I wanted to have sex more but it’s just the tiredness. I think the only thing like my husband will probably kill me for saying this but, “The only thing that I think of it’s not going to take very long.” You can just go and do it and he’ll be so happy. I mean I wanted to do it too.
I’m so tired but we definitely have tried to do like nap times during the day when he’s sleeping. Okay, let’s go. He tries to get a little more romantic with me – I’m like, “The baby’s probably going to wake up soon so, I’m sorry we need to – I wanted to do this but let’s wrap it up.”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Emma, what are some ways that new moms can connect with their partners when feeling like there’s a beat is a really lower. Even you had mentioned for example that not every time has to end up with actual – the physical active sex.
EMMA PICKETT: You can set down your table and its okay.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Penetrate in.
EMMA PICKETT: Yes, I think one thing is just to take a pause and think about, “Let’s have some empathy for a moment. Let’s imagine that, “We’re a new dad and we got this new little baby in our home. We want to make sure that we’re loved. We want to make sure we’re important. We want to make sure that we really matter and previously, having sex with the way that we felt we were really matters.” It was the way we connected with our partner. It felt special. It wasn’t just about the orgasm.
It was about the connection and feeling valued and to lose that is really scary. We’re talking about a husband who’s not have sex for a long time and been asking and getting rejected, that’s about lost of love – that’s about lost of intimacy. It’s not just about, “not having sex.” So, I think it’s important to realize that, “If we’re really not wanting to have sex – then you know, no one’s going to be forcing anyone to have sex in this scenario.”
We’ve got to make sure that that person feels loved. So, we’re showing kindness. We’re being closed with touching, we’re writing notes. We’re sharing moments where sending texts to them at work. We’re sending e-mails. We just being really kind because if we’re not going to give them love in a way that they like to get it – let’s make sure we show it another ways as well.
I think there’s lots of ways could be touching at close and intimate and to say, “You know what? Do you mind if we spend half an hour cuddling but not having sex?” Let’s kiss, let’s pretend we’re 15 but let just stop at that end point – just taking it step-by-step and being honest, just remembering that the advantage is about being loved. It’s not just about getting an orgasm doesn’t make sense.
ROBIN KAPLAN: All right – well, thank you so much Emma and to our incredible panellists for chatting about this very pertinent topic. Please give a big thanks to your partners as well. Hopefully, they will benefit a little bit from what we’ve discussed today. But, thank you Emma – we gratefully appreciate your time.
EMMA PICKETT: No problem.
ROBIN KAPLAN: For our Boob Group Club Members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show as Emma will share some tips for discussing a mother’s decreased libido with her partner. For more information about our Boob Group Club, please visit our website at www.theboobgroup.com
So, here’s a comment from one of our listeners. Her name is Jean and she’s from Riverdale Park, Maryland. Hi Boob Group. I just love your on-going series about you following three new breastfeeding moms for the first year. I’ve recently had my first baby and I’ve been listening to these episodes to get an idea of what to expect in the upcoming months. It’s really nice to know that I’m not the only mom out there having issues. I recommend your show to the women of my breastfeeding support group all the time. Thanks for the great resource. Thanks so much Jean for writing this in.
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group. Don’t forget to check out our sister show, “Preggie Pals for expecting parents” and our show, “Parent Savers for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers.” Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, your judgement-free breastfeeding resource.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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