A Guide to Sex After Having Children

Everything changes after having a baby, including sex. Here are some tips for parents to help get their partners in the mood for sex after having children.
A Guide to Sex After Having Children
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

It’s okay to admit it it: A sex life is a necessity, but after having children, it seems to be more complicated to have good sex as a couple. Women who’ve just become mothers, for a number of reasons that are both biological and emotional, may not be in the best shape to enjoy sex.

That’s why, below, we’re going to offer you some tips for coping with the inevitable postpartum sexual drought and we’re going to give you some suggestions for catching up and resuming old habits as quickly, painlessly, and comfortably as possible.

Sex guide after having children: Are you ready for your intimate life?

Just because you’re past the postpartum quarantine and your doctor’s given you the go-ahead to have sex doesn’t mean you have to if you’re not ready. Emotionally, some women are ready sooner, but others need a few more weeks or months. Women recover differently and their pace should be respected in each case.

A woman putting a pillow between her and her husband in bed.

Beware of frustration

If a woman isn’t ready for sex, frustration can set in. The partner should be patient and support the woman to make her feel better. She needs understanding and at no time should she feel guilty just because she doesn’t feel ready or prepared. The worst thing dads can do is make their wives feel bad because they’re not ready to have sex.

Understand feelings, a key to sexual guidance after having children

Believe it or not, new moms aren’t the only ones whose libido wanes when a baby arrives; some men also experience similar feelings. In many cases, this can be a manifestation of exhaustion and stress.

Some studies also suggest that testosterone levels decrease after a man becomes a father. In other cases, these feelings may indicate something more serious: postpartum depression (men can experience this as well).

Men who feel disinterested should try to communicate their feelings, if not to their partners, then to close friends. If this doesn’t help, then psychological care may be needed.

Awaken interest in your sex life

As counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes the best ways to excite a new mom aren’t explicitly sexual. It’s important to make her feel sexy and attractive. To help her feel good, dads can even give moms the opportunity to take a nap, not to cook, to be comfortable…

You have to understand that after this little baby pees, poops, and vomits on them, your partner probably won’t feel very attractive. Because so much of female sexual desire comes down to self-esteem, it’s important to help her regain her sense of sanity.

Consequences of breastfeeding

It can be difficult for breastfeeding mothers to “change the roles” of their breasts from feeding implements to sexual objects. Breastfeeding may also affect sex life in another way. The process wreaks hormonal havoc on a woman’s body, ultimately stimulating less vaginal lubrication.

Coping with life as a zombie

Fatigue isn’t exactly the best environment for resurrecting an otherwise dormant sex life. One day, mom might cry at the mere smell of her new child. The next day, she might, in a moment of weakness, of course, call her partner terrible names she’ll regret later.

A couple touching fingertips and looking one another in the eye in bed.

Being sleep-deprived makes us all do strange and unpredictable things. In other words, exhaustion can lead to behavior that’s nothing like your usual attitude – so you need to be patient and forgiving with one another!

Discovering other options in your sex life

Sex isn’t just about penetration, as it can be enjoyed in many different ways. Most of these options are the things you’ve (hopefully) been doing as foreplay for years.

Other ideas, then, can be caresses, back rubs, foot massages, and more. Any touch, even just stroking your partner’s hair, should help revive intimacy.

The hardest part is finding time to do it. It’s important to find 5 or 10 minutes a day, if nothing else. This will help keep the connection alive and make it much easier to have sex again when you feel ready.

Learning new tricks, the key to sexual guidance after having children

In many cases, the biological changes of pregnancy, along with the hormonal changes that follow (and breastfeeding) induce women to modify their preferences for certain sexual acts. Some new moms go so far as to abandon their favorite pre-pregnancy sexual habits and demand something new.

In short, with these tips, you can return to an active sex life, but always with patience and respecting the rhythms needed to be able to return. You don’t want to force yourself if you don’t feel ready or the experience could be unpleasant.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • G Punto, I. (2019) Los que todas callan. Editorial: (Verso&Cuento).
  • Gettler LT, McDade TW, Feranil AB, Kuzawa CW. “Longitudinal Evidence That Fatherhood Decreases Testosterone in Human Males”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Sept. 12, 2011. https://www.pnas.org/content/108/39/16194.short

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.