New Dads' Interest in Sex Often Drops: Study
They're also stressed and tired, survey finds
One expert described how this major life transition affects couples.
"There's definitely an adjustment period where the parents need to realize that aspects of their relationship have changed," said Brian Swope, a family and marriage therapist in Philadelphia. "It may be that it's going to take longer for some things to go back to where they were before."
The study also found that postpartum sexual activity usually involves masturbation or oral sex. About 74 percent of partners reported masturbating within the first six weeks following childbirth, while 58 percent received oral sex. Only 34 percent reported vaginal intercourse during that same time frame.
"There is an expectation that intercourse is going to take some time getting back to normal," Swope said. "The participants really had an understanding of that, so there may be a greater importance placed on other forms of sex or sexuality."