Breastfeeding and Sex Can Co-Exist
By Dr E on August 19, 2014
Most of us love having the giant full breasts of a nursing mom, but milk leakage is part of it!
Image credit: hebenstreit
Best Practices: Managing Leaks
Some men enjoy the taste of breast milk and find it sexy, others don’t. Rest assured that after the first month, your milk flow will stabilize and it will be less common to have milk leaking out during foreplay and intercourse.
When I didn’t want to deal with it when making love, I found the easiest way to stop milk flow was to use a sports bra. You can find some that look kind of sexy and feminine and if they are low cut, your partner can caress your breasts and enjoy them without the milk.
Image credit: Hans
The pressure of the tighter bra on the nipple will help stop flow and the thicker sweat absorbent bras will absorb up small amounts of milk.
Generally, I found nursing bras and pads to be very irritating and chafing. Later, I learned that this discomfort was shared by other women in the same situation.The nursing bras didn’t apply enough pressure to stop flow when I didn’t want it and the wet pads would move around and irritate my nipples.
A good cheap cotton sports bra (such as Hanes) that can be lifted over the breast for feeding (or down for hubby to get a good look or squeeze!) is a user-friendly option.
Sexual Arousal and Desire
By the way, it is totally normal to get sexually aroused when you are nursing your baby. It doesn’t matter if your DH or your baby is caressing your breasts or sucking on your nipples, it causes an oxytocin release and it is a turn on. Don’t worry about it. Just store the feeling up and jump Daddy later!
It is also normal to feel a loss of sexual desire the first six months to a year after having a baby. About a third of women notice a drop off in their libido. Most women report regaining orgasm function and enjoying intercourse equivalent to before pregnancy, but they just don’t “want it” or initiate sex as much as before.
If this is you, you are not just being lazy or selfish. Rather, there is literally a change in your brain that has done this to you. The brains of women with a newborn has lower response activity overall (including sexual responsiveness), suggesting that part of being “maternal” is a calm and less reactive brain that buffers the new mother from stress.
The decrease in sexual arousal is most likely a byproduct of a larger brain change needed to keep you from going nuts with this new crying creature.
You CAN breastfeed, even if it seems like a hassle or other people are telling you it doesn’t matter, or if it seems uncool. It is healthier for you and your baby and it is much cheaper and easier. Enjoy your body sustaining the child you made!
- Dr. E
Science can help us nurture and enjoy our sexual selves.
Dr. Ellington (“Dr E”) is an internationally recognized scientist in the area of sexual medicine and sperm physiology with over 75 publications.
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