Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Men and the Birth Experience

Men experience the birth of their child in different ways. Some will rejoice at becoming a father, and some will feel completely overwhelmed by the added responsibilities of a child. It is important for men to know before the birth, that the new baby will have a dramatic effect on the couple’s sex life. Often, men who are prepared for this handle it better than men who expect their normal sex life to resume straight after birth.

Sometimes, men experience something called the Madonna-whore complex

This means that they cannot see their partner as both a mother (Madonna) and a lover (whore). If this occurs in a relationship, it is important for the couple to seek counselling from a sexologist so that the therapist can help the man to re-define the roles of his partner.

Men often experience a decreased libido after the birth of their child

This could be due to many things including fatigue, anxiety about providing for the family, feelings of exclusion and the added pressure of supporting his partner in the first few months after birth.

Some men avoid sex with their partner because they have an aversion to the lactating breasts and breast milk.

Women who are still lactating can wear a pregnancy bra during sex, or feed the baby beforehand.

Some men even experience jealousy after the birth of their child. They feel that they have been excluded from the deep bond between mother and child, and they often feel that their role as “husband” has been overshadowed by the birth of the baby.

Discuss feelings with your partner 

It is important for the man to discuss these feelings with his partner, who may not even know that he felt excluded. As new parents, the couple needs to redefine their roles and discuss the changes in their relationship together. This involves a lot of compromise, understanding and love by each partner.

Couples who have the baby’s crib in their bedroom often feel anxious about having sex “in front” of the baby.

To overcome this fear, they can ensure that the baby is asleep before engaging in intercourse. To add some spice to their sex life, the couple could even try having sex in different rooms in the house.

However, if the baby does wake up during sex, it will not cause any emotional damage because they will not understand what is happening. Sexologists do recommend that you keep “noises” down to a minimum though, so as to not scare or upset the baby.