This is a difficult one to answer because men’s reactions to seeing their partner labor and birth are so varied. What I can say is that even if he is a bit freaked out initially, it’s usually very temporary.
Before you know it he’ll have put the experience to the back of his mind (we’re good at that, right?), and be wanting you as much as ever.
To get more insight into why your husband may not be feeling attracted to you in the early days after birth (or what looks like lack of sexual interest at least), let’s take a look at how men experience labor and birth, plus the months afterwards. And most importantly, we’ll look at why they may have the feelings they do.
Men’s Reactions to Labor & Birth
When it’s finally time for labor and birth, men will show quite varied reactions based on different experiences in the delivery room.
- Some find the whole medical situation – the blood, the other bodily fluids, the needles etc – makes them physically nauseous and at times faint. (It’s really not uncommon for male partners to faint in the delivery room.)
- Most will experience some level of anxiety and fear, which in some can lead to panic.
- For some of us watching our wives giving birth is the most miraculous thing ever. There’s awe and love and wonder.
- For others, witnessing the baby come out of their partner can traumatize them, especially if it’s been a difficult or complicated birth. Usually the feelings are temporarily, but it can lead to PTSD in some fathers.
- Usually it’s a mixture of all of the above
Common Reasons Your Husband/SO May Seem Uninterested in Sex After They See You Giving Birth
Going through such an intensely emotional and physical experience can completely change how you relate to your spouse either for the better or the worse. Here are some of the things going on in the back of men’s minds that they may not readily talk about.
1. He May Feel Inferior
Since he thinks you can handle pain better than he can, he may start to feel inferior.Giving birth is one of the most painful experience anyone can go through. When your husband decides to be beside you at this time, it can make them see you in a very different light.
For most of us, this is the time we realize that we will never be on par with women when it comes to handling pain.
While this can be humbling for a man, it can also make us feel inadequate. Men want to be the stronger ones in the relationship. When they feel like they aren’t, they can start to withdraw from the relationship and this can make you feel as though we are no longer attracted to you.
2. He Can’t Unsee It
The view of a baby coming out of your vagina is one that is not easy to get out of our heads. Most of us don’t anticipate how intense childbirth can be, especially first-time fathers, and it’s hard to prepare for.
While we know our wives or girlfriends are usually also caught up in the experience, from our side of things we get to watch as your birth canal creates a way for the baby to come out. Watching your body stretch to such extremes is a visually intense experience that many men find hard to reconcile with the thought of making love.
This is can make it hard for your husband to show attraction or desire for sex for some time after childbirth.
It usually resolves itself within a few months but if it persists it’s important to talk things through and get help if needed.
3. They Regret Making You Pregnant
Nearly all men are proud of the fact that they fathered a child. However, for some men, witnessing their wives giving birth makes them feel responsible for the pain the women endured while birthing their child. For this reason, your husband may not seem interested in you afterwards.
It’s not because you’re not beautiful, attractive or desirable.
It’s because they’re actually afraid to get you pregnant again and then you’ll have to go through all that pain for a second time.
4. They Develop Negative Emotions towards the Baby
Having witnessed the pain their girlfriend has undergone giving birth, some men will put the blame on the baby. This is very common for men with PTSD.
It may also seem as though he is not attracted to you because of how strong the new bond between mother and baby is. Many men can feel rejected or pushed out as their partner spends all her time attending to baby’s needs.
This changes how we relate to our wife or SO. Distancing ourselves from the mother can be our way of passing the message that we feel unhappy, rejected, angry or jealous.
5. Over thinking About the Things the Wife Said During Labor
Whatever is said in the delivery room, stays in the delivery room.
She may have shouted and screamed and sworn at you. Told you she hates you. That she wished she’d never met you. That she was an idiot to fall pregnant.
While all this stuff should not be taken seriously, some of us just do not take it well.
We walk around over-thinking and over-analyzing things our wives said during labor. This can greatly affect some men and make them question the entire relationship.
6. He’s Afraid He Will Hurt You
Your man may not seem attracted to you after watching you give birth because he’s afraid he’ll hurt you during sex.
After seeing the pain you went through, with possible cuts and tears in your vagina, we’re scared that you might feel pain during intercourse. In some relationships, intimacy seems to take a long vacation after childbirth but it’s not due to lack of attraction – we are just worried about you and want to avoid causing you pain.
7. He’s Depressed
New moms are not the only ones who suffer from postpartum depression. New dads can experience it too. When a man goes through postpartum depression, his interest in sex is often one of the first things to be affected.
If you’re worried your partner or husband may have PPND please talk to him about it. He may find it difficult to open up but it’s important to get a dialogue going and get help if needed
8. He’s Suffering from PTSD
If you notice your husband seems distant, complains of nightmares, insomnia, is angry or irritable a lot or doesn’t want to be around you or the baby, he may be showing symptoms of PTSD. This is especially likely if he’s seen you hemorrhage, you had an emergency C-section, baby didn’t breathe straight away or was stillborn.
Even relatively normal births can result in PTSD for some men.
If you believe that may be the case talk to him about getting treatment as soon as possible. The sooner he starts the better the outcomes for everyone.
It’s normal to feel concerned that our spouse or SO might no longer be attracted to us after seeing us giving birth. As you can see from the list here, there are many, many possible reasons for a man to seemingly go off sex after the birth of his child and very few of them are because he no longer finds you attractive.
As always, the first step is to talk.
Potential lack of desire can be a really difficult topic to broach, and it’s hard to find time for those deep and meaningful chats when you have a young baby to look after, but it’s best not to sweep it under the carpet. Be frank about how you feel without blaming your partner, and if things don’t improve, think about seeking help from a therapist or doctor.