Becoming a mother is a turning point for many women. But it seems it may be more of a turn off for their husbands.

A third of women bringing up children believe the man in their life no longer finds them attractive.

And almost half accused their husbands of "forgetting" who they were since they became a mother.

Asked which words their partner would use to describe them, just 12 per cent of mothers said "feminine" while the overwhelming majority - 69 per cent - simply said "tired".


The survey of British mothers between 18 and their late 50s paints a less than rosy picture of parenthood and its effect on the relationship between wives and husbands.

A third of those questioned felt they were simply seen as a mother and no longer as a lover. Only 2 per cent said their partner would think of them as "sensual" while a despairing more than one in five said they were regarded as "sexless".

The research from the website Netmums suggested women felt their husbands had "baby blinkers" on, and more than three-quarters said they made love less than before their children came along.

Many, particularly younger mothers, said this meant they had lost their self-confidence.

They felt "mumsy" and uninterested in their appearance or fashion and beauty.

A worrying 40 per cent said they had "forgotten who they were" before they had children, a phenomenon the researchers dubbed "mumnesia".

The results suggest younger mothers are feeling the most overlooked with just 19 per cent of those in their 20s saying their partners thought they were sexy, compared with 32 per cent of the over-50s.

More than half of the twentysomethings said they "hated" their post-baby body compared with 37 per cent of women in their 30s, 35 per cent in their 40s, and just 27 per cent of the over-50s.

Experts said it was unclear whether younger women were more prone to insecurities about their looks, or whether the shock of becoming a mother had a particularly strong impact which later wore off.

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums, said: "Mum and woman shouldn't exist separately - every mum is both and they should be celebrated and nurtured.

"Me time is hard but not impossible to find and a little goes a long way in helping us keep hold of the real me."

Paula Hall, a relationship psychotherapist for Relate said: "It's natural that men will see their partner in a different light and the fact they know how tiring it is shows they are empathising.

"They may perceive telling their partner they are sexy as putting pressure on. But especially for new mums it can knock their confidence. The key is that the couple communicate so they make their partner realise it's OK to still see them as a lover."