Guys?? Labor/breastfeeding turns husband off sex — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Guys?? Labor/breastfeeding turns husband off sex

My husband has a 9yr old from a previous relationship. I am 7mos preg now w our first & last night he admitted that after seeing his kid being born he couldn't look at his ex the same again. No kissing, no sex. She would want it & he would get grossed out. It was pretty much the end of it for them after that so now I am worried it will happen again. He says he hopes it doesn't but he's worried too. His ex got really big w her pregnancy & has still not lost the weight so I asked if it was that & he said it's not. He said watching a baby come out made him never want to touch her again. I have stayed thin, just belly & I will have the baby weight gone within a month so atleast I have that to my advantage. & I think our relationship is great. Idk what to do to prevent this though. Should I tell him he doesn't have to be there at the delivery?? & he works a lot so maybe I wouldn't have much trouble pumping & nursing in front of him. I'm not worried about him not wanting sex, it's more about him never looking at me the same way again & eventually he just decides we have nothing of a relationship. He says this happens to lots of guys. I have never heard of this. I have lots of friends with kids too & never heard anyone say it was an issue. Has this happened to anyone? Tips to prevent it please. Is there a name for this I can google for info maybe?

Re: Guys?? Labor/breastfeeding turns husband off sex

  • Does he want to watch the baby come out? I have a really hard time with medical stuff so I stayed in the room with my wife, but tried my hardest to not see anything. I wonder if he can do the same.

    Other than that it sounds like you both are communicating and that's a big step. I have heard of guys who don't care about sex anymore after having children, but they usually don't say why or at least don't know why. At least you know the reason and are talking about it.

    Tips to prevent it. I think a lot of it is up to your husband. I would agree that sex is pretty gross, but during the act it's fine. I would try to talk him into at least trying when it's time to start having sex again and go from there.

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  • He doesn't want to see ANYTHING coming out of my body. I haven't mentioned letting him wait outside yet but idk how he could be in the room & miss the mess & cord & placenta or even the nurses talking about when everything is on its way out & then later the nursing the baby. He comes in for ultrasounds. Vaginal exams he waits in the waiting room. We are communicating, I just feel like this would be easier to prevent than to fix after the fact since he couldn't fix it after his first was born.
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  • I sat by my wife's head and would just focus on her and try to pretend the other stuff going on wasn't there. I lost focus once and saw the placenta for a split second, but it was on a table so I didn't connect it to my wife. Being in the room and not seeing anything is hard, but it can be done.

    Does your husband have any suggestions on how to prevent it?

  • I haven't had a chance to ask him. We've both been working like crazy. :-< Idk how much he would be okay with. Not sure if he even knows. I'm worried about him being there for any of it since he's told me about the ex. I was thinking about having him step out any time they checked me & try not to look for the rest but idk if it's enough. The nurses & doctor will be talking about what's going on, what's coming out, etc. That may ruin it for him. So far I have only found one article online about this, written by a guy that said he didn't feel like his wife's body was his anymore & he couldn't think about her sexually after childbirth & he eventually started cheating & left her. & here's me all pregnant hormones freaking out about the thought of that happening to me & being left a single mom.
  • Could he wear headphones and listen to music while he's in the room?
  • That's a good idea
  • I read an article a few months ago that talked about how many husbands can't look at their wives the same again after watching them give birth.  I didn't watch my wife giving birth.  I think that's kind of weird to do, but there are a LOT of men who want to watch for some reason.  Some never recover.  Even if I did watch I don't think that would happen to me though.  
  • I had never heard of it before either. It's def scary being told at 7mos preg that it could likely happen to me. I wish there were more articles & info available on how to prevent it. I hope that someone who has experienced this can offer some advice. For now I have been trying to believe that my husband & I are stronger than that & maybe he didn't really love his ex & it took seeing all that & getting turned off for him to not want to stay with her. Like when you break up with someone & then realize the thought of being w that person sickens you & you could never go back. He told me he hopes it doesn't happen again though. So in his mind he is thinking it could. :/
  • He's not even ok seeing you breast feed?  Did you two talk about this before you were pregnant?  If you're okay with it, I guess just leave him out of it completely and when baby is all cleaned up and you're looking fresh agian, bring him in.  I think he's missing out on a lot by having this complex and I have heard of it.  I was scared my H would have that issue, too so I made sure he stayed by my head and away from the business end of things.  He heard that things were going bad quickly and baby was in trouble, I was in trouble and bleeding out.  He was SO glad he was there and he did look to see what was going on (I saw him), but he doesn't remember looking or seeing anything besides my pale face and me passing out.  He did; however, say that seeing me breastfeed DS right away (or at least attempt to) and breast feed from then on was such a beautiful thing to him.  Our sex life has actually picked up and he finds me MORE attractive now, hands down.  FWIW
    Egg Retrieval - Feb. 2013 -> OHSS.  FET#1 - June 2013(failed). FET#2 - October 2013(success!) Griffin Alistair: 6#10oz 20" long, born 6/19/14 @ 4:04am
  • He didn't tell me before. & he said with his ex it wasn't like breastfeeding grossed him out, just that he didn't want any kind of sexual relationship w her after seeing it. He felt like her body was for the baby & when she got on the bed asking for sex he was grossed out by her & he couldn't even do it.
  • I also asked why he didn't tell me before. He wanted another baby & was just hoping it wouldn't happen to us. But he just throws his hands in the air when I've tried to ask what I can do so that it doesn't happen.
  • Throwing his hands up in the air is a weird response. Does he even care if it happens again? It's obviously his problem and it's worrisome that he isn't doing anything about it. It's even more worrisome that he blows you off when you try to help him do something about it. I'm sorry I don't have any other advice, you might have to be really demanding when dealing with this and put him in his place. I believe in picking your battles and this might be one I would pick. Good luck.
  • Well if a battle is needed I will do it. For now I have until April to hopefully figure out a way to prevent it. He's not trying to be mean I think he just doesn't know what to do to fix it. I know w his ex he never figured out a way to look at her the same way again after their kid came. I know what him & I have is much stronger though. Still I am scared of going through it & what might happen to us. I'm hoping that in the next few weeks I will find a blog or article or something w first hand advice from someone who has been there.
  • Glad to see this topic.  I jokingly told my fiancee well before we found out she was pregnant that I would never want to view live birth.  I have seen plenty of gross things in my life regarding the body but the idea of seeing a child come out of my fiancee yes it would probably at least as of this point cause me to never be able to view her the same way and luckily she is glad about that and has no desire to have anyone besides the medical professionals anywhere near there watching/helping with birth.  That said I will be right near her holding her hand or doing whatever else she needs me to do.  I also don't have an issue seeing the baby fresh after birth, helping with breast feeding etc, I helped my ex with latching on etc and seeing her post pregnancy tired and what not didn't change my view of her.  It is simply the idea of seeing a child come out of her and actually seeing it that I think would change my ability to want to have sex.  It would not have anything to do with her body or how she looks it would be mentally getting over such a monumental event the next time we were to try.  Then again I could see it if say it was due to the baby coming early and I doubt it would bother me because it would just affect me a bit differently.

    I think its unfair for people to judge the man as selfish or anything else.  Men are human he is allowed to have certain views and its much better to be very honest about them from the beginning than to hide them because oh its not kosher to say anything like that and then ruin a perfectly good relationship.  If its a true issue for the woman unless she has absolutely no one else who can be there for her it should be a compromise between both just as with any other thing.  I'm in the odd place that with my ex she had a c-section and I watched them cut her open and as they were sewing her up I watched and that caused me no discomfort at all as I was used to seeing the human body opened up but the idea of seeing childbirth is not at all appealing.  I saw live birth in iraq from sheep and it was nauseating.  Its hard to explain to anyone if you're not on the guys side.  From some of the guys I know from when I was in most of them didn't want to see the birth either its not very easy to describe why because I don't think we fully understand why we feel that way.  Its certainly not because we care any less about our partners its just idk my best guess is that after seeing a child born it would almost just be hard to not imagine that every time you were about to have sex which would be an incredible turn off of course.
  • Thank you so much! My husband is a great guy. Really. He's the best. I dont want anyone judging either. I am glad he warned me. He did say he wants to be there for the birth & everything he just doesn't want to see anything but the baby. I'll keep everyone posted. We have 6-8 weeks left til baby time.
  • I'm lurking, but just wanted to add another thought.

    What your guy feels, is what he feels and that's fine, but what if you end up in a situation where you have no choice? My youngest was born on the bathroom floor, DH had to deliver her and got to see all kinds of detail. Even for my eldest he held one of my legs to help me push, and again he saw things.

    My point is, I wouldn't want to be in labour, and need some physical aid from my husband and feel anxious about his feelings. The reality is him having to deliver baby is unlikely, but have you got plans for another support person at the hospital? Someone who could hold your leg, or get a bit more up close and you not feel worried about. That way your partner is free to hold your hand and fetch water?

    Anyway like I said, just another thought. Best wishes.
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • I was thinking I could just tell my doctor beforehand that he didn't want to see anything so the hospital staff didn't push him to help :/
  • SLB0426 said:
    I was thinking I could just tell my doctor beforehand that he didn't want to see anything so the hospital staff didn't push him to help :/
    That's cool in terms of looking after him, but I'm asking about what plans are in place to look after you?

    Birth is easiest when the labouring mother is as relaxed as possible. Part of that can be achieved by having a support person you can rely on to be there entirely for you, and who isn't concerned about seeing stuff, and who you aren't concerned about what they see. Perhaps a mother, sister or friend, or you could consider hiring a doula

    It doesn't really matter who it is, but at the moment all I'm hearing is all your concern for him. What do you need?
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • I'd consider my sister if I felt like I needed someone but she's too far away. I have a dr & a midwife but other than that I want it to be just us in the room. My husband would be there for me if I needed my back rubbed or my hand held. I wouldn't be comfortable w him holding my legs just bc of him not wanting to see anything. I could tell my dr that ahead of time.
  • Wife and I have a deal. I'll be there, but I'm by her head the entire time with hopefully a sheet or something blocking my view below her belly button. She doesn't want me seeing that, I don't really want to see that, and we'll make it very clear to doctors beforehand. As for breastfeeding, I understand it turns breasts from a sexual organ into a productive organ, but at the same time, wife's are already up a cup size (8 weeks into pregnancy), if they weren't incredibly sore I wouldn't want to stop pawing at them. 

    But talk about it now, create the plan, tell the doctors, have it written down, execute the plan. If he's unwilling to have sex because you've had his child or are feeding his child, then he might just need to sit down with a pro for a bit to work out his issues, because they
    re his issues not yours. 
  • Yeah I know. Just hope it doesn't have to come to that point. Especially while I'm adjusting to baby schedule & all that exhaustion. I have been asking around a little & it seems men are 50/50 fine with viewing or think it's gross. I will make him stay facing me, & his back towards the action.
  • I'm 7 months pregnant myself, and now I'm freaking out. DH doesn't want to see anything and that's fine with me, but as PP have said, sometimes there's no choice. My aunt delivered in 45 minutes flat. With times like that sometimes the husband has no choice but to catch the baby. My boss's husband delivered her son, without gloves no less, because the doctors swore she wouldn't give birth for hours and walked out of the room.

    More than that, I had a miscarriage last year (I actually had two last year but only saw one). I went to the bathroom and in my underwear was the sac and everything. I stood up, freaked out as it was, felt "something," looked again and the chord was there. I had nightmares for months. I couldn't think of a lot of things the same after that. If it affected me that badly and 1. I didn't even see it coming out directly and 2. I never have to see my own body during sex, how much worse would actual birth be for him to watch..? I made sure he didn't see when I had the miscarriage because it freaked me out so badly I almost passed out (again), and I'm glad he didn't have to deal with it. But I can't exactly just go through this alone just because it might damage his view of me. He's not the one who's practically going to be ripped in half, after all..

    Married 4/13/13

    Loss at 6 weeks 5/4/2013

    Loss at 9 weeks 12/2013

    Healthy baby boy 7/12/15

    Due 1/6/18

  • Wow I never thought that this is such a burining issue! 
    SLB0426 - have you been able to find more helpful resources or work out a better plan?
  • We talked. We agreed that he was not going to look at anything but the baby. He wanted it like that anyways. At 37 wks my dr decided it was time for a csection bc baby was frank breech & failed bpp so it ended up that my husband was on the other side of the curtain w me anyways.
    So far he seems like he is doing ok w it all. He hasn't acted any different towards me. It's still another couple wks before we can have sex so we'll see.
    But no, there are zero resources about this stuff. I looked & looked before posting here & asking guys at work their thoughts.
  • I was so terrified of this happening with my DH, so I made sure everyone in the delivery room kept him away from the business end of things.  DH even admitted he thought he might see me in less of a sexy light if he saw all that jazz.  In all reality though, he did a good job of staying up by my head, but didn't have any issues with me breastfeeding or helping me with my recovery at all.  We didn't get intimate for about 3 months afterwards, but that's pretty normal for us anyways.
    Egg Retrieval - Feb. 2013 -> OHSS.  FET#1 - June 2013(failed). FET#2 - October 2013(success!) Griffin Alistair: 6#10oz 20" long, born 6/19/14 @ 4:04am
  • Well, this is a scary line of thought for me. My husband and I have always shared the view that the father should bring the child into the world because the mother has carried him or her for the pregnancy and the bonding encouraged by being transferred directly to a loving father is important. We're doing spouse-assisted birth with medical intervention only if necessary. That puts him quite directly on the business end of things. Now, he generally has nerves of steel and nothing grosses him out, but we're both first time parents so this is kind of new. It had never occurred to me that there would be fathers that wouldn't want to be involved, though. I always thought the medical profession pushed them aside and marginalized them. Now I'm wondering if we're in the minority and never realized it because it's not something you talk about. So are there other guys that WANT to be more involved in the delivery? Maybe they aren't because of social expectations or not feeling qualified or any reason other than they think the birth of their child is gross? 

    And my husband walks up and reads over my shoulder (which is pretty normal for us, not in a controlling and mean way, but in a we share everything anyway way) and scoffs at the idea of being grossed out or finding me less sexy for having his child. Well, if I have the only one in the world, at least I can be glad that I have him and he always knows how to make me less scared. But really? I've seen nobody else with this position and it makes me kind of sad. I mean, one person will be the first person to hold the newborn baby and that can never change. 
  • @phoenixryuu My husband doesn't get grossed out by much and wanted to be very involved, holding the baby right away and helping me breast feed, even helped change my postpartum pads when I was too light-headed to do so and didn't want to bother my nurse since he said he would.  He had heard one of his friends talk about how seeing his baby born changed sex for him and the way he saw his wife as less of a sex kitten and more of a vessel and mother...since then he didn't want to take the risk.  In staying by my head, he also missed the postpartum hemorrhage that would've made him panic. 

    Egg Retrieval - Feb. 2013 -> OHSS.  FET#1 - June 2013(failed). FET#2 - October 2013(success!) Griffin Alistair: 6#10oz 20" long, born 6/19/14 @ 4:04am
  • SLB0426SLB0426 member
    I'm sure there are men out there that are not squeamish. I just happened to not end up with one of those men. No judging please. My husband & I are best friends. Him & his ex were not married. He was one of those guys that said he was never getting married. & then we got together & we both just knew we were perfect. Also his 1st was not planned. Not by him atleast. Part of me thinks she did it on purpose bc they were rocky & actually he didn't find out she was preg til they'd already broken up so he went back for the kids sake. Also she is a LOT older than him & her weight probably close to doubled since prepregnancy. It was easy for me to believe that any of those factors caused his disgust but he said that it wasn't that. I also have, since he's told me, talked to many guys asking their opinions on child birth & viewing & I was surprised to hear that about 50% said its gross they don't want to see it.
    So it's been a few weeks & even though when my husband gets home from work I am usually feeding, changing, or sleeping, we have managed to find a few nights that we were able to get the baby sleeping early so we had some alone time & everything has been great. He's been an awesome dad & husband. I got lucky.
  • Thanks for the update. Glad everything is going well still amongst all the worry you had.
  • I just had my daughter in April and I was all worried about my husband seeing things that I didn't want him to see. I always told him I wanted him to stay by my head. When it came time to push, he had no time to process anything, before he could react the nurse put my leg in his hand and showed him what to do, he ultimately saw everything! He wouldn't have traded anything for the experience of being an active role in labor process. This is all part of being a couple. I felt so degraded by pumping and tearing but my husband helped me through it, thankfully.

    Case in Point: sometimes we don't have time to process & something we didn't initially want ultimately ends up being the best experience of your life!
  • Statistically 40% of men are unable to get over the experience of the childbirth. All sorts of psychological problems, including erectile disfunction. I would not want to see myself from that side and would not want my husband to look there either. It is very gross, remember woman poops during childbirth. Combined with watching her suffer from pain, it can really mess up some individuals
  • That's why water births are perfect! Lol no one is under there with goggles on so no one sees anything and baby comes out easier :-)
  • My husband and I discussed this and he said he didn't care either way, he preferred not to look, but I ended up having a c section. And when they were pulling the baby out he stood up and started taking a video of the baby being pulled out of me! Which was completely surprising to me but I guess in the moment he didn't care. He said it was beautiful. So whatever works indie you guys, make sure to talk about it and it will go fine. Great that you guys are communicating, some couples don't have this, you are lucky! Good luck to you both and congratulations! 
  • whymistawhymista member
    edited January 2017
    Wow you can really lie
  • RatpastaRatpasta member
    edited September 2017
    @SLB0426 it changed a bit for me when my wife and I had our daughter a few weeks ago.  Having to clean lady bits for the first time has weirded me out a bit....

    but guys are just have to know what they really like.  Something will light a fire under his ass - and you probably know what it is.

    My wife knows me better than I know myself so if she ever really wants me to do something, she knows exactly what to do

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