How Breastfeeding Affects a Mom’s Sex Life

Apektado ba ng breastfeeding ang sex life mo, mommy? Here are a few things you can do 😅

Image Credit: Unsplash/Quin Stevenson

It’s quite normal for moms to expect that we won’t be having sex right after giving birth. But after waiting it out for a few months – just enough for our wound to heal, our hormones to normalize, and our energy to adjust, we might be surprised to find out that jumping into the sack is not that easy especially if we’re also breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding can affect our sex drive. But the good news is that we can still have an active sex life even if our baby is still not fully weaned off the boob. Here are a few things we need to know.

No sex drive

Breastfeeding can also dampen our want to have sex and we can blame the hormones again for this. Our bodies amp the production of the hormone prolactin to stimulate our breasts to produce milk, and in so doing, push down the production of estrogen, which then results in a lower sex drive. At the same time, our testosterone levels are lower while we’re lactating, and although this is a male hormone, it can also affect our desire.

What to do:

We cannot really alter our hormone levels but don’t despair. Once our babies start to eat more solids at around 6 months or so, our hormones will start to normalize and so will our sex drive. It would also help to be open about our lack of sex drive with our partner so that he’d know that it’s not a uhm performance issue.

Sore and leaky breasts

It’s common for moms to have sore nipples during the first few days of breastfeeding, but if it is still an issue after about six weeks – or around the time you get the all-clear to have sex, then it might be a latch issue and you might need to consult a lactation specialist or your pediatrician to be sure. 

Leaky breasts can also be common for breastfeeding moms and it’s ok to have them while you’re going at it with your partner. This might be due to the fact that your breasts are being stimulated, or they’re full of milk, or you’re having an orgasm. Milk letdown and the contractions you feel during orgasm are both caused by the same hormone – oxytocin.

What to do:

Leaky breasts during sex is not really a problem as some partners also find it sexy. But if you’re uncomfortable with it, you can try emptying your breasts first by feeding your baby or pumping it before getting intimate. Or you can also wear a bra with nursing pads.

At the same time, you can also try other positions. Some sexual positions might be uncomfortable for breastfeeding moms, such as being on all fours, as this could make their boobs sag and swing – making it feel heavy and sore. You can try lying on your back or the missionary position instead.

Uncomfortable sex due to vaginal dryness

Aside from having no sex drive, it’s also common for breastfeeding moms to feel a bit dry in the south. This is again due to hormones – the decreased production of estrogen also decreases the blood flow and natural lubrication to our vagina. This then results in uncomfortable or even painful sexual intercourse.

What to do:

You can opt to use a water-based lubricant to smoothen things down there. Water-based lubricants are generally safer than ones with glycerin, parables, and fragrances, as the latter might cause further irritation. You can also increase your water intake since dehydration can also cause vaginal dryness.

Irregular periods

Breastfeeding can also affect our period as the hormones involved in menstruation are suppressed at this time. But not having our periods does not mean that we cannot get pregnant. And there’s no definite timeline as to when breastfeeding moms will get their periods back after giving birth – it’s 6 months for some, while it can take a year for others. Hence, this might deter moms from having sex.

What to do:

Although it is still possible to track your fertility cycles at this time, it might be a better option to talk to your OB regarding the best birth control options for you.

Body image

Pregnancy and childbirth can affect moms physically – some parts might get bigger or looser, and thanks to milk, breasts might be fuller at times and saggy the next. Hence, we might struggle to feel sexy.

What to do:

In this instance, we can try to change our perspective and instead of seeing all the “flaws” from pregnancy and childbirth, try to appreciate our body’s strength and what it has successfully done – birth our baby.

Reference: The Bump, Healthy Women

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