Dr. Michelle Escasa-Dorne of the University of Colorado has suggested the reason behind why breastfeeding women want more sex.
Michelle says that new mothers in the Philippines spend more time in the bedroom with their partner in the first few weeks after giving birth than they did before they became pregnant, which might be a type of survival strategy to keep the relationships with the fathers of their new babies alive and well, to ensure continued support for their offspring.
AdvertisementEscasa-Dorne studied how women from a society with a low divorce rate such as the Philippines adapt to being both mothers and lovers.
A range of studies previously conducted on how women in Western societies experience the first six weeks after giving birth show that they tend to devote more time to their offspring's well-being than to their partner, which leads to lower relationship satisfaction and less intercourse between partners. Escasa-Dorne set out to understand if similar trends are also found among women in a non-Western population with a low divorce rate.
The study found that breastfeeding women who had already resumed having their periods were more sexually active and committed than others, suggesting that women in Manila experience an increase in sexual activity after the birth of their children that may even be higher than pre-pregnancy levels.
As per Escasa-Dorne, this is consistent with a strategy in which women continue to invest in their current committed relationships. The postpartum sexual increase may be a means of continuing investment in a satisfactory, successful relationship in which future children can be successfully reared. For a mother in a stressful relationship, perhaps reflecting an unsatisfactory romantic relationship with her partner, or lack of support otherwise, resuming a sexual relationship may not be a priority as she focuses on her infant.
Even though a breastfeeding woman may not be sexually proactive, she may respond favorably when her partner initiates sexual activity. Maintaining the relationship may be important if one's current partner is beneficial to the partnership and to the tasks of parenting, said Escasa-Dorne.
The study appears in Springer's journal Human Nature.