Breastfeeding And Sexual Intercourse: All You Need To Know

Breastfeeding and intimacy does not have to be overwhelming. Lets learn the facts!

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Breastfeeding is a wonderful event in a woman’s life. It is a time of genuine love flowing from mother to chil. I had the priviledge of breastfeeding all of my babies. There was so much satisfaction and peace when I breastfeed them. The situations was not always the best but I was able to overcome them with persistence and patience.

After having my babies, I really did not wish to even hear the word SEX before the six week mark and even after I was still sorta -like not ready. I know everyone is different and we all have different experiences right? Today we are going to discuss another hot topic: breast feeding and sexual intercourse. What are the effects of breastfeeding on a woman’s sexuality? Grab your favorite treats and lets talk about this not so popular topic that we hardly talk about but I know every postpartum woman thinks about. (Paid link).

When Is It The Safest Time To Have Sex After Having A Baby?

Oftentimes, after having a baby sex is the last thing on a woman’s mind

There’s no required waiting period for intercourse after delivery, though most health care experts recommend you wait four to six weeksTrusted Source to have sex again. This gives you time to heal following delivery or surgery.

Between the late-night feedings and early-morning dirty diapers, however, sex may be the last thing on your mind. Your body is undergoing a lot of change during this time. This includes changes brought on by breastfeeding.

Some women find that the extra attention to their breasts, as well as the engorged shape, make them feel less attractive. Others feel more attractive.

All of these things are normal. Keep these factors in mind when you feel ready to be intimate with your partner again after the arrival of your baby.

Does breastfeeding affect sex drive?

After birth, prolactin & oxytocin rise while estrogen levels fall affecting your sex drive

Absolutely yes, breastfeeding can affect your sex drive. Results from a 2005 studyTrusted Source found that women who were breastfeeding were more likely to delay resuming intercourse following the birth of their child than women who didn’t breastfeed.

After delivery, your estrogen level will fall, and the levels of two hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, will rise. These two hormones have very different impacts on your body, and each can interfere with your sex drive.

The combination of increased prolactin and oxytocin may make you feel great pleasure from breastfeeding. Your emotional and physical intimacy needs may be met by breastfeeding your little one, so your sex drive may decrease. You may not feel the need or desire to seek affection from your partner. This is exactly how I felt. Many women become aroused sexually and even can get orgasms while breastfeeding. I focused on loving my new baby . Sex was so far from my mind. After having a baby , you go through so much as a woman. After waiting nine months for this joy before me, and the business of postpartum, trying to get a good sleep and do the regular chores, I really had no time to think about sex. Some women even ignore their partners during this stage. (Paid link).

The opposite can happen too. The increased hormones and sensual touching can increase your sexual desire. The breasts are an erogenous zone. You may find that you’re more easily aroused thanks to the surging hormones and sensations in your body.

Often, we have to spend almost every waking minute of the day (and night) caring for our little ones. This doesn’t allow for much time, or desire, to be intimate with our partners.

It’s true that we can extrapolate many of the above changes to women who choose to bottle feed. However, the scores on the indices of female sexual function that assess desire are generally lower in women who breastfeed.

If you think breastfeeding is affecting your sex drive, it’s important to know this is normal. Between hormonal changes and lifestyle interruptions after a baby’s arrival, your libido may peak and fall for a period. In time, your sex drive should return to what it was before the arrival of your baby.

Breastfeeding Can Affect A Woman’s Self Image

Think positively about your self image. You are what you think!

Women who breastfeed may suffer alterations in their self-image. For example, breasts and areolas may also be larger, with continuous milk secretion or greater pigmentation. Breasts go from being an erotic object to the source of food for our little one.

Also, for many women, they’re very sensitive, making touch uncomfortable.

When breastfeeding, many women gain weight. What’s more, body fat is distributed in a very peculiar way, predominantly on the hips. Therefore, women may not recognize themselves in the mirror. These changes, which continue during breastfeeding, can make women feel unsexy, and this affects their sexuality.

Insomnia Affects A Woman’s Sexuality

Due to the multiple times that woman have to wake up to meet their baby’s feeding demands, mothers who breastfeed are more at risk of sleep deprivation than mothers who don’t breastfeed.

This, according to studies, could directly affect sexual relations. Many women need rest rather than intimate encounters with their partners. Clearly, a lack of sleep influences sexual relations. This was a real factor for me.

Leaking Breasts And Sex

Be prepared to experience leaking if you’re breastfeeding and having sex.

Within days of giving birth, your breasts will fill with milk. Touching, rubbing, or sucking on the nipples during intercourse may release breast milk. You may even leak or spray breast milk during orgasm.

These three techniques can help you manage this:

  1. Nurse or pump ahead of time. If you have the time, try to reduce the amount of milk in your breasts before having sex. This will reduce the risk of a leak.
  2. Wear a bra with nursing pads. If you and your partner are fine with keeping your breasts covered during intercourse, nursing pads tucked inside a bra can absorb any leaks.
  3. Talk about it beforehand. Talk with your partner about the chances of this happening during intercourse. If it doesn’t bother you, don’t worry about it. It’s natural.

Painful sex and breastfeeding

Take one day at a time!

While you’re breastfeeding, your body produces less estrogen. Estrogen is a key hormone for arousal and natural vaginal lubrication.

With the low levels of the hormone, you may find that getting turned on takes longer and your vagina is too dry for comfortable penetration during intercourse.

Take your time with foreplay, and keep a bottle of a water-based lubricant handy to make things easier when between the sheets.

Likewise, you may experience nipple pain because of breastfeeding. The feeding and sucking from your little one may make your flesh sensitive. If you’re uncomfortable having your partner touch your breasts during intercourse, make sure to talk about this ahead of time. Let them know you’d prefer to have a “look but don’t touch” rule. This way, your partner can get arousal from the visual while you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

How to talk to your partner about sex

Talking about sex with your partner can help you both to understand and determine if you are ready for sex

During this new and exciting time in your lives, it’s important that you be open and honest with your partner. Sex postpartum can be fun and pleasurable. However, as with everything else that’s new in your life right now — like 3 a.m. feedings, runny diapers, and tiny socks — you need to work through it with your partner.

Have a conversation about sex and how you feel about it. This can be tricky or uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these talking points to guide you:

  • Be honest. Reveal your insecurities and concerns. You will be a better partner and allow your partner to better serve you if you’re honest about how you feel — the good and the bad.
  • Consider what you want. Ask yourself what you really seek in pleasure and intimacy right now. If it’s not penetrative sex, say so. If something doesn’t feel comfortable, speak up. Likewise, listen when your partner expresses their concerns and desires.
  • Respect your body. You’ll know when you’re ready for sex again. If it’s not as soon as you want, that’s fine. You and your partner can explore other ways to be intimate. If you’re worried about pain or discomfort during intercourse, talk with your doctor. You might consider bringing your partner with you to the appointment too. This way you can both ask questions and feel more secure in your choices.
  • Don’t avoid awkward conversations. Your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy and in the months after your baby is delivered. If sex doesn’t feel as pleasurable anymore (delivery can stretch muscles), talk with your partner about trying a new position. Don’t assume it’s better to stay silent. Pleasure and intimacy are a two-way street.

Other ideas for intimacy

Staying close and happy can do wonders for your sexual relationship

Intimacy is more than sex. Sex is more than penetrative intercourse. If you and your partner are looking for ways to reconnect and engage one another in intimate ways, consider these techniques:

  • Spend time together. You may feel like you don’t have a minute to spare when there are dishes to be washed and bottles to be filled, but make spending time with your partner a priority. This way, you both know how important you are to one another, and your sexual passion can naturally reignite.
  • Kiss and make out. And keep your clothing on. This allows you to feel aroused again and may encourage sexual activities in the future that both of you can look forward to.
  • Try new techniques. Mutual masturbation, oral sex, and sex toys may also be a good idea in this postdelivery period. These techniques allow you both to get the level and type of intimacy you need while feeling connected with one another.
  • Care for one another. When you’ve had only a handful of hours of sleep and you’re covered in spit-up, the last thing you may feel is sexy or desirable. Be honest with your partner about your needs so they can help you. You may just need them to hold the baby while you shower. These small acts of care and love can go a long way to increasing sensuality and feeling loved.
  • Take care of yourself. You may feel like the walk from the couch to the bathroom is far enough, but you may also find that some forms of moderate exercise go a great way toward helping you feel better. Caring for yourself can go a long way toward helping you feel better, more desirable, and more passionate too. Exercise for your mental health — and your sexual health.
  • Go outside and enjoy nature together. It can do wonders for your mental health.

Is breastfeeding a natural form of birth control?

Lactational amenorrhea is possible for 6 months

Breastfeeding can be a natural form of birth control. This is known as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). If used properly, breastfeeding can be 98 percentTrusted Source effective at preventing pregnancy within the first six months after the baby’s delivery.

However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. LAM requires a very precise method. First, you must have a baby who is less than 6 months old. Second, you must exclusively breastfeed your infant, with feedings at least every four to six hours apart. If you use formula or solid foods in addition to breastfeeding, this method won’t work. Lastly, if you’ve had a period since childbirth, this method is no longer effective.

Research shows that only 26 percentTrusted Source of women practicing LAM actually met the criteria for it. If you’re using breastfeeding as a form of birth control, talk with your doctor about a backup method if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy. Learn more about birth control that’s safe to use while breastfeeding.

Bottom Line

Female sexuality is cyclical and very complex, being affected by multiple factors. Being aware of them and how they can affect us can help us anticipate and respect the changes that can modify the female sexual response in different stages of life, including the breastfeeding period. So I encourage you to do the best you can to make your sexuality while breastfeeding as pleasant as possible. I would love to have your email address to keep you informed. Remember to keep God first in your life and ask Him to help you in any difficult event of your life. If you are a male reading this I hope you understand how breastfeeding and sexuality work after a woman has a baby. Yes I know its a lot.

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Breastfeeding And Sexual Arousal: Removing The Stigma

Many women experience sexual arousal while breastfeeding which is normal

This website contains affiliate links, which means I earn money from products and services you purchase through my links at no extra cause to you. Thank you for your consideration.

Hello Mamas! Boy we have an exciting topic today. Breastfeeding and sexual arousal! You know I had a client come into my office the other day and she told me that she was five months pregnant and wanted to know if I delivered babies at my clinic. She had decided that she preferred to have an out of hospital experience . This was her second baby. No, I do not deliver babies I told her but I can surely mentor you during your pregnancy. (Promotional link).

She then proceeded to ask me what I did at the clinic. I told her our services . She commented on breastfeeding, that she was not able to breastfeed her first baby because it actually aroused her sexually while her baby breastfed. and she did not like getting aroused so early after having a baby. She asked me if there was something she could do to prevent it because she really wanted to try breastfeeding this one. I shared with her that my experience was one where I felt the excitement but not to that extreme. I just felt loving by mother oxytocin. I focused all that energy into my newborn baby. We are not all the same. There are different strokes for different folks.

Did you know that while firm numbers are hard to find, research suggests that between 33 and 50% of women have experienced arousal while breastfeeding? It seems to be a taboo topic because hardly anyone talks about it.

This Is Normal But We Hardly Talk About It

It’s real, 59 studies found that at least a quarter of women experience sexual arousal while breastfeeding

“It’s common, but women don’t talk about it,” according to Viola Polomeno, an associate professor in the University of Ottawa’s School of Nursing and a sexuality researcher. Arousal during breastfeeding is completely normal, according to nurses and lactation consultants, and it shouldn’t be a source of shame or anxiety. It’s not a woman’s choice, it’s how we are wired; but if a woman knows in advance how this works, she’ll be a little more comfortable with it. (Paid link here)

Mamas and dads do you know that there are 59 studies regarding breast feeding found that at least a quarter of women who report arousal while nursing feel a sense of guilt over it. Many are too scared to discuss it even with their partners. “The breast is an erogenous zone,” explained Mary Jo Podgurski, a nurse and childbirth educator in Pennsylvania. “But if a woman feels anything sexual while performing a motherly duty,” she may wonder, “What’s wrong with me?”Mamas absolutely nothing is wrong with you; nothing at all!

Here’s the Biological Theory To Breastfeeding And Being Sexually Aroused

There’s a biological theory, too, which boils down to the fact that many of the ingredients present during sexual experiences are also present during the act. When a woman breastfeeds, her body releases two very important hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin stimulates milk production and helps with bonding. It also makes women feel relaxed and sleepy. Meanwhile, oxytocin, famously known as the “feel good” bonding hormone, creates feelings of pleasure for the mother—and causes the uterus to contract. The other instance in which oxytocin is released and the uterus contracts? (Promotional link).

Some women become aroused enough to orgasm while breastfeeding. A Dutch study of 153 nursing moms, published in 2006, found that 8% reported orgasming while breastfeeding. Several experts mentioned this phenomenon to me as well. “We know that in a certain situation, if the mother is sitting with her legs crossed, that puts pressure on the clitoris and it can get stimulated,” said Polomeno.

Notably, some nursing mothers will shoot milk from their nipples while orgasming during sex—thanks, once again, to hormones. “When oxytocin is released into the bloodstream it can cause milk ejection,” says Diana West, a lactation consultant for La Leche League and author of several breastfeeding books. Another illustration of the way breasts, nursing, milk production, and sexual experiences are all, biologically speaking, connected.(Paid link here).

While the combination of nipple stimulation, hormones, and uterine contractions can all lead to feelings of arousal, these feelings in no way signal that a mother is turned on by her baby, or has sexual feelings toward her child. “You’re just pushing certain buttons,” said Podgurski. Yet education and communication about the topic is key to helping mothers—and the public—understand what’s really going on.

Years Ago Mothers Were Visited By the Child Protection Services

Years ago mothers baby was taken from her because of fear of sexual arousal influence on baby

While discussing arousal during breastfeeding today may raise eyebrows, a few decades ago—before the academics and researchers started speaking out—it might have sparked more serious consequences. Confessing such feelings may have even called into question whether a woman was fit to be a mother, said Polomeno. “I would say, 15 years ago, here in Canada, when women said they were aroused during breastfeeding, Child Protection Services would come in and remove the child.”

Society Makes This All Taboo: Women Need To Be Free To Speak About Their Feelings

The 2006 study on breastfeeding and sexuality describes a specific—and extremely disturbing—case of a mother losing her child here in the United States. The author, Roy Levin, a British behavioral scientist, wrote, “Ignorance about such normal physiological occurrences can sometimes create gross miscarriages of the law.” For example, he said, “a mother in Syracuse, New York in 1992 had her two-year-old child taken away from her after admitting that she became aroused on nursing, the authorities claiming that she sexually abused the child.“( Promotional link).

According to newspaper articles at the time, the mother had simply called a hotline with a question: Is it normal to be aroused while breastfeeding? The volunteer who answered the phone equated her question with sexual abuse and contacted authorities. The mother spent the night in jail was separated from her daughter. While criminal charges were dismissed, sexual abuse and neglect charges were filed in family court. (Government officials were also ignorant to the fact that it is completely normal and healthy for two-year-old children to nurse.)

Anthropology and biology aside—psychology may play a role in women’s experiences while nursing as well. Women’s breasts are sexualized nearly their entire lives, and research shows that more than 80% of women experience sexual arousal from nipple stimulation. There’s no reason to think that just because a child is born the sexual component of breasts disappears.

“Human emotional psychology is tied to hormonal experiences,” explained La Leche’s West. “Breastfeeding really is such a primal experience, and the hormones accentuate the situation.” Which means, for some women, the feelings of sexuality and eroticism typically associated with breasts can carry over into breastfeeding.

On the flip side, she said, some women focus less on their breasts during sex while lactating, to avoid blurring any lines. Every woman’s experience is different and deeply personal. “I would say almost every woman, even in her 90s, can tell you about her breastfeeding experience,” she told me, “because it’s so meaningful.”

While increased understanding has limited dramatic reactions to arousal, breastfeeding experts argue that we, as a society, should do more to fight stigma. “I’ve been talking about sexuality and breastfeeding during my Lamaze class since the mid-80s, because we need to talk about the stuff that our culture doesn’t talk about,” Podgurski said. Interestingly, she told me, it’s younger moms—particularly the ones in her teen support groups—who are more comfortable bringing up the arousal questions.(Promotional link).

“Teens will bring up the erotic feeling more so than other generations,” she said. “Someone will say it’s arousing, someone will giggle and say they’re happy their partner is there that night, and someone might say that it’s never happened to them.” The whole point, she said, is to communicate to women that they’ll experience a range of sensations after giving birth.

For her part, Polomeno stresses the need for communication on a larger scale and a more concerted effort between the media, public health departments, and healthcare professionals to normalize these feelings and increase awareness.

“So many prenatal healthcare professionals are not comfortable talking about it because they haven’t been trained,” she said. “We need to arm them with the knowledge.”

Bottom Line

While nothing is being done to help women with this issue, I would like to encourage you to not let that stop you from breastfeeding your baby. Set your mind to the fact that you are nurturing your baby. Focus your mind, like I did solely on loving your baby as you feed him. Remember you are what you think. Society has to change the stigma that becoming aroused while breastfeeding is dirty, because it is not and allow women to be free in expressing how they feel. I hope you learned something. Thank you for stopping by and do visit again. I would be happy to have your email list.

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