Family, Sex

New Parents: This Is What's REALLY Killing Your Sex Life

Photo: istock
New Parents: THIS Is What's Killing Your Sex Life

Having a new baby is hard, no doubt, but many people suffer from another issue post-birth: lack of intimacy.

No matter what your life was like before your baby came, things are undoubtedly different in your day-to-day experience now. That has the potential to affect you in some negative ways, and unfortunately, within the first 18 months of having a baby, many marriages may even fail during this stressful period of time.

And the cause for this? A massive increase in the new mother's stress levels, says science.

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University looked at 169 expectant couples in order to determine what kind of factors might contribute to complaints of "low sexual satisfaction." These couples reported what kind of stress they were going through following the birth of their child, and how that affected their sex lives.

According to the lead researcher, Dr. Chelom Leavitt, only one parent really affected the sex for both. In fact, it was only the mother's stress levels that played a part in impacting the sex lives of the parents. "Interestingly, we found that men's parenting stress had no impact on either men's or women's satisfaction," he said.

So new fathers still have their regular sex drives, regardless of the stress, but new mothers struggle to maintain it in light of a new child.

While the amount of sex in a relationship doesn't really matter for overall happiness, they discovered that the quality of sex is what suffered due to the mother's increased post-birth stress levels.

Sex is an important part of any relationship, and it can help increase the feelings of closeness with your partner, as well as release hormones that make you feel physically better, happier, and more fulfilled in your life and your connection.  

So, new parents, try your best to keep stress levels down and maintain a connection to your spouse, who is every bit as important as the baby in your lives. Being a parent is scary, but try to remember that you're in it together, and the baby is a sign of your love and commitment — not the end of it.