Breastfeeding and Sexual Intercourse

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.

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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.

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.

Does my partner get turned on when I breastfeed?

Seeing the mother-child dyad enjoy each other may be sexually appealing to some men. Breasts that leak can be both a sexual “turn-on” and a sexual “turn-off” (Wilkerson & Bing, 1988). On the other hand some may believe that lactating breasts are an attractive feature that should be avoided at all costs.

The mother may agree, or the woman may find this area to be extremely intensely pleasurable. This inconsistency could wreak havoc on the couple’s sexual relationship. Some men “like” the taste of human milk and need to be reassured that this is a common occurrence. Human milk flavor varies depending on the woman’s diet, so the partner should be aware of this.

Did you know breastfeeding can be physical, physiological, emotional, social, psychological, sexual, and sensual all at the same time? The partner may be envious of his child, who receives all of the mother’s attention (Walker, 1994). He may feel excluded from this relationship. Observing how much the baby and mother enjoy each other while breastfeeding could make him feel frustrated or insufficient (Rynerson & Lowdermilk, 1993).

The birth of a child is such a significant change in a couple’s relationship, the father should be aware that he must almost start over and woo and court her again, always in a non-sexual manner. He should make his physical and psychological presence known.

There is no greater and more potent sexual stimulus for a new mother than the constant, steady love and attention from her partner. This is something I really appreciated about my partner. He had a sense of genuine care and concern for me and his offspring. Nothing sexual during this time.

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Can I get turned on while breastfeeding?

Absolutely yes! for some women. During my experience it was purely affection towards my little star. Of course it felt good but it all was directed to my baby. Sex was by far the last thing I wanted to deal with.

On the other end of the inner mind, you may adore your new breasts and the elegance of nursing but consider that your emotions are inappropriate. Relax mama. “It’s completely normal. “After all, this is an erogenous part of your body,” Semans points out.

Then there are the women who are offended when their husbands suck on their nipples. Some are concerned about passing germs from husband to baby, while others struggle to reconcile the fact that their breasts are both erotic and functional. “I thought all of the changes in my wife’s body during nursing were really cool,” Duke Evans of Washington, D.C., says, “and I really enjoyed watching her breastfeed.” I even wanted to try some of my wife’s breast milk, but she refused.

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.

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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Amazon -newborn supplies –

Amazon -breast feeding essentials-

Amazon -Pregnancy essentials-

Amazon- Baby registry-

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Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

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