Extended Breastfeeding and lack of libido

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BokkieNYC's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 08/15/11
Posts: 1106
Extended Breastfeeding and lack of libido

My daughter is 13 months old and we are still breastfeeding. She breastfeeds 5-6 times a day, even though she is in daycare for 6 hrs a day. She still wakes up during the night to nurse at least once. I have no problem with the extended breastfeeding or the wakings during the night, please don't misunderstand me. My question here is is it normal to still have no interest in sex? Is it because of the breastfeeding? Or should I go talk to my doctor?

MissyJ's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3289

I'm so sorry! I had responded to this question weeks ago but for some reason it is not showing up.

Obviously, this is something which is likely impacting your relationship... but I will let you know it is not necessarily uncommon. Some common reasons:

1)Lack of rest / stress. This is more than sleep -- but having time to shift from mommy mode to 'me-time'. When you are constantly in caregiver mode (feeding, bathing, diapering, playing, etc.) and then add in stress for taking care of all the responsibilities of work and home, you'll find your bucket empty.

See if you are able to work out a better balance with your spouse. (FTR, this is *not* knocking what he may be doing already but enabling you to have some free time to shift gears could help.) You will need to figure out what is good for YOUR me time as every person is different (and perhaps it may be a combination of different things.) Examples: Exercising, taking time indulging in a long soaking bath, reading or other hobby, time with friends... etc.)

Another idea: Reduce the focus on sex. Find things you and your guy can enjoy one another's company. Play board games, go for a walk, have a night out for just you two... Alternatively, plan a special night IN -- candlelight dinner, dancing in the living room, taking turns to massage one another to relax (no sex!) Sometimes, looking for ways to connect without the expectation of sex can 'inspire' you in other ways.

Some swear by a 'fake it 'til you make it' attitude. The premise is to commit to being intimate x # of times each week... trying different things to get 'in the mood'. This may not appeal to everyone but may include dressing in sexy lingerie, changing things up in the bedroom -- such as you taking on initiating sex or even changing location (surprise him in the kitchen or shower.) The idea behind this is centered on how we become creatures of habit. Right now you may be stuck in a rut of not feeling sexual and working to change this attitude through alternating your own behavior can lead to an increase in libido for both of you.

Finally - yes, there could also be underlying physical causes:

-Due to hormonal changes, you may have vaginal dryness still going on which makes sex uncomfortable. You may find a lubricant such as AstroGlide or something similar will ease this symptom.

-Taking any medications? Look closely for side effects and if this is a possibility, check out alternatives

-Medical issues (high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc.) may have low libido as a symptom. It can't hurt to have a physical, sharing this concern and any others with your doctor. It could be a simple solution!

Hope this helps!


Spacers's picture
Last seen: 10 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

No, it's not normal, and it's probably not related to breastfeeding because your body has had many months to even out those hormones. It sounds like you work outside the home, since you mention daycare, so I'd add that you might need to get better at making emotional transitions. The emotional transition from "worker" to "mom" is pretty easy because Angel who wants to be a worker more than necessary, and (b) who could ever resist that adorable baby reaching up to you when you walk in the door? The emotional transition from "mom" to "loving partner" can be a lot harder because Angel you can't really ever stop being mom, and (b) it's easy to get worn out (physically & emotionally!) by a toddler on top of a full-time job. There's a saying: Men need to have sex to feel connected, but women need to feel connected to have sex. Missy touches on this, but I'd suggest looking for ways to help you make the emotional transition in addition to the physical connection. Here are a few ideas:

Take a quick nap after putting the baby down to bed, while your partner does the dishes or the laundry or checks his email, and then connect with him when you wake up refreshed and are no longer in mommy-mode; likewise, try sex in the early morning after you've been snuggling him all night but before DD wakes up. (If your alarm wakes her, try setting your cell phone on vibrate under your pillow.)

Make your bed a "toddler-free zone" from her bedtime until your regular morning nursing sessions; if DD needs a midnight nursing, go to her, and then come back to your partner. (A futon in her room, or on the floor next to your bed might help.) After a few nights of thinking of your bed as Couple Town rather than The Baby Place, you might find yourself waking him up for a quickie when you come back. :bigwink:

Changing clothes can be a powerful transition aid! A lot of us change out of our work clothes when we get home, but try changing into something else in the evenings. A friend's mom when I was a kid always changed into her robe after doing the dinner dishes; I always thought, how hip & casual she is hanging out in her robe, but now I wonder if that was part of her emotional transition from "mom" to "loving partner."

Scents can also be a powerful transition aid. Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla and Ylang-ylang essential oils are good both for relieving tension & insomnia, and as an aphrodisiac. Add a bit to an unscented moisturizing lotion or a carrier oil. My DH was our primary caregiver when our kids were babies, so he was often the one having trouble with an emotional transition; whenever the sandalwood incense was lit when I got home, I'd be certain to let him know I noticed. Blum 3

And definitely talk with your doctor if these things don't start helping you feel better soon! Good luck to you!