Life Parenting
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When it comes to finding ways to alleviate stress, we all know a tried-and-true trick is to just get it on in between the sheets. After all, nothing solves a problem in the short-term like the Big O.

It’s a bit of a bummer when that very same stress we’re trying to alleviate could actually affect things in the bedroom. Catch 22 anyone?

It goes without saying that when new parents first adjust to life with a newborn, there’s a bit of a transitional phase — most notably for the mum who’s suddenly weighed down with added responsibility, among other things. Well according to science (and moms everywhere), that can definitely affect things in the bedroom.

Researchers at Penn State recently looked into how a mother’s stress affects not only her own sexual satisfaction, but that of her partner as well. What they found is that when the mom was more stressed out, the satisfaction levels for both partners decreased. Interestingly, when dad was more stressed out, satisfaction levels stayed pretty much on par. Hm.

To collect their intel, the researchers checked in with 169 expectant couples, six months post-baby, to ask them about their varying stress levels during the transition. They then followed up again at the 12 month mark, when they asked both parents to rate their own sexual satisfaction.

One theory explaining the shift is that as women fall more under social pressure to become the perfect mom (like that woman exists!) with their gluten-free snacks and ‘heaps of spare time,’ they begin to feel less sexual. And as any partner of a woman feeling that way can attest, those feelings make for a two-way street when it comes to the satisfaction department. After all, it takes two to tango.

And here we thought sexual satisfaction peaking at the one-year mark was sad enough.

The lesson we’re taking away from this? Make sure both partners get at least a little bit of time to themselves to do the things they need in order to relax and feel whole again — especially when parenting takes up almost all of their time. Your sex life may just thank you for it in the long run.

Now if only we could avoid screaming toddlers barging into the bedroom at the worst possible times…