When you’re pregnant the one thing you get used to (and immensely enraged by) are pointless comments. The ones like ‘oh, you’ll never sleep again!’ (spoiler: you will sleep, just a bit less) or ‘you won’t have time to do anything for yourself ever again’ (spoiler: you will, just not as much). But, what actually happens to your sex life once you’ve had a baby, can it ever really look the same as it did pre-kids? We spoke to four mums about the impact motherhood has had on their orgasms, intimacy and sexual relationships.
These are their stories…
Rachel* is 27 and has three kids who are eight, six and one years old.
Rachel* says: “I’ve been with my partner for three years and we have sex two or three times a week. For the first time in my life, I’m not held back by poor body image, or misconceptions of porn. I’m not afraid to ask for what I like. Or too ashamed to suggest or try new things. The total freedom in a safe, consenting and loving relationship means that we have kept our sex life exciting and most importantly ENJOYABLE even with parenting three children.”
“It would be a lie to say that children don’t hinder a sex life. Whether that is due to lack of sleep and exhaustion or on an entirely practical basis- eg co-sleeping or constantly rocking a baby back to sleep. However, for us, but especially for me, it is a priority to maintain a good sex life.”
“These days sex looks like a quickie whilst folding the washing during nap time. Or a sofa session in the evening once the kids are in bed but before we resume our positions and fall asleep half way into a film. Or my absolute favourite is morning sex whilst the kids are downstairs watching TV. The urgency and intensity to be quiet adds an element of thrill and the orgasms are just as good.”
Chloe* is 42, and has two kids who are aged six and eight.
Chloe* says: “I’m in a heterosexual marriage and have been with my partner for eight years. Currently our sex life is amazing, if a little infrequent (we currently do it two or three times a month).”
“Honestly? If sex had been this good in my twenties, I would have been in all sorts of trouble. In many ways our sex life must look really boring. We only tend to have sex in the evening when we get into bed, we don’t tend to try new positions and we couldn’t be more ‘vanilla’. The orgasms though are amazing and multiple, and the whole experience is utterly mind-blowing. Maybe we know and trust each other more after years of being
together? I find the infrequency makes it more special when it does happen. My hopes for the future is that it stays as it is, or gets better because right now it is blissful…”
Lauren* is 28, and has a two-year-old son.
Lauren* says: “I’ve been with my husband for eight years, and married for four of those. We usually have sex around once or twice a week and I’d describe it as satisfying, spontaneous and important.”
“It ebbs and flows as life in general does when you have a child, and of course it’s changed since becoming parents. It used to be a lot more frequent, but we’re a lot more interested in getting eight hours full sleep than we used to be. Sex happens naturally, we both enjoy it and communicate any needs or wants easily with one another. Our sex life is an important part of our marriage, it’s integral (for me, at least) in the difference between a friendship and a relationship and it helps me feel connected with my husband.”
“Back when my son was a newborn, I suffered with postnatal anxiety. I’m mostly back to myself now, but during periods of stress I do find my anxiety rears its head again. It tends to show itself in the evenings once my son is asleep; I get worried he will cry or be unwell and we will have a sleepless night. This can sometimes get in the way of me winding down and feeling up for sex, and my husband is totally understanding if I am in this frame of mind.”
“The only thing I’d like to change is the way I feel about myself as a sexual being. Whilst I was pregnant I was worried that sex might not feel the same or hurt me following childbirth. I was fortunate to have a fairly straightforward pregnancy, a very positive birth and a quick recovery so thankfully haven’t experienced either of those concerns. But what I didn’t account for was feeling differently about how my body looked after pregnancy. I have big stretch marks in all sorts of places. I have wrinkly empty skin on my stomach and my boobs aren’t what (or where!) they used to be. It’s a journey, but I’m learning to appreciate myself as I am now.”
“For me, having sex makes me feel like a woman in her twenties, not just someone’s Mum, and I hope it continues to be satisfying.”
Marina is 30* and has an eight-month-old baby.
Marina* says: “I’m married and have been with my partner for eight years. I’d describe my sex life currently as a work in progress. After being together for quite some time we were no longer constantly tearing each others clothes off and after having a baby and suffering from post-partum anxiety, I didn’t really feel like having sex.”
“Now that I’m building up my confidence with my new body and I’ve got into the swing of being a new mum, we’ve started to have sex more regularly which I’m very happy about. I hope we start to spice things up soon. Although it does make me feel sad that I couldn’t muster the strength emotionally to have sex in the months after our baby was born.”