5 Possible Ways Your Sexual Moods Will Shift While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and its impact can swing your sex life in surprising directions. You’ll find a kaleidoscope of changes – your breasts taking on new roles, mood swaying unpredictably, energy reserves fluctuating, and your entire hormonal tapestry undergoing a rewrite. Here we are navigating the sea of possible ways your sexual moods will shift while breastfeeding, a journey every breastfeeding parent shares.

Let’s talk about how your sexual life may change as a nurse, what might be causing those changes, and how you can tell your spouse how you’re feeling and what you need.

Does Breastfeeding Usually Affect My Sexual Life?

Almost all breast- and chestfeeding parents perceive a change in their sex life. However, no two parents’ experiences will be identical. “Getting back into an intimate routine after having a baby might be challenging,” says Molly Peterson, IBCLC’s lactation consultant at Peterson Lactation Services in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Multiple factors contribute, but the two most significant are the profound changes in lifestyle and hormonal balance that occur after having a child. Taking care of a newborn 24/7 can leave parents physically exhausted and emotionally “touched out.” Many hormones are involved in the desire for intimacy felt by breastfeeding parents.

Breastfeeding and the 5 Ways It Affects Your Sexual Life

How does breastfeeding influence your sense of who you are and how you feel in relationships? Let us spare you the suspense and give you a straight rundown of what to expect.

1. A loss of desire is possible.

Breastfeeding mothers and fathers often report feeling less sexually motivated after giving birth and/or continuing to care for their infant. Almost half of the breastfeeding parents polled (46.3%), according to a 2018 study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, reported a decline in sexual interest.

A physical therapist at Origin focusing on pelvic floor and obstetric health Ashley Rawlins, PT, DPT, says this is completely typical. Because they’ve been holding and caring for a newborn for so many hours, breastfeeding moms are often exhausted and experience sensory overload by day’s end. You can also place some of the blame on the hormonal changes that occur while nursing, particularly the reduction in estrogen. Hormonal shifts during nursing are necessary for the process, but they can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to have sexual relations.

2. Perhaps your sexual appetite has increased.

On the other side, some parents claim to experience heightened libido drives during breastfeeding. And if that’s your reality, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Breastfeeding is a proven way to increase libido. Due to their larger size and heightened sensitivity, lactating breasts may increase sexual enjoyment in certain women.

According to Dr. Rawlins, breastfeeding also increases sexual desire by releasing oxytocin, popularly known as the “feel good” hormone. The hypothalamus in the brain releases oxytocin (often known as the “love hormone”) in response to nipple or suckling stimulation. This hormone is involved in orgasm and is also released in response to touch, physical intimacy, and sexual activity.

3. There will inevitably be leaks.

Breastfeeding mothers who engage in sexual activity risk milk leakage or even spraying. It could be humiliating at first, but , afterward it could prove to be quite funny. The hormone oxytocin is to blame for both sexual stimulation and lactation “letdown.” Avoid having sex when you are full, or your baby hasn’t been fed in a while to reduce leakage. In most cases, this issue resolves itself within the first few months of nursing as your baby matures and your milk supply stabilizes.

4. It’s possible that baring your chest will be out of the question for a while.

Breast-fondling during intercourse may be a positive experience for some breastfeeding mothers, but other mothers may feel strongly against it. A lack of sexual interest in the breasts and their regular use as a source of sustenance are two possible causes of this.

5. You could be experiencing a dry spell.

Hormonal shifts associated with breastfeeding can reduce a woman’s sex drive and make her less lubricated than usual, both of which can dampen her desire to engage in sexual activity. Vulvar and vaginal tissue might become thinner and drier as estrogen levels drop. Dried-out Sahara region. Therefore, not only is it more difficult to ‘get the engine going’ after giving birth, but vaginal penetration can be uncomfortable, which can have serious consequences for your sex life.

Does Anyone Else Experience Sexual Attraction While Breastfeeding?

Peterson claims that while breastfeeding, it is normal to experience sexual impulses, even though this is rarely discussed. So why is that? Once again, the hormone oxytocin (produced during sex and lactation) is to blame. But that’s to be expected, so there’s no need for alarm. Having sexual sensations for a nursling does not indicate that the nursling is the object of our libido.

How to Express Your Needs to Your Loved One

Communicating our emotions to our partners is one of the most difficult parts of having sex while breastfeeding. It’s possible they won’t grasp if and when we’re not in the mood to engage in sexual activity. But telling them how you feel and what you’re going through physically can make a world of difference.

The cornerstone of a successful relationship is open communication. This could entail discussing alternative methods of being intimate or simply admitting that you don’t feel like being intimate. You might not feel like going back to bed yet, but you would still like to spend quality time together by holding, touching, and kissing. Communicating your emotions during the sexual act is also very important.

If you find that you need to diversify your methods of intimacy or perhaps take a break from sex entirely, know that this is perfectly normal and acceptable. Whatever you’re going through right now, just know it won’t last forever. You won’t always feel like the dripping, drained, hormonal new parent you are. Trust us; we won’t let you down.

Meaningful articles you might like: Lactation Cookies for Boosting Breastmilk Production, A Guide To Breastfeeding, Is it Worth it to Get a Lactation Massage if You’re a Breastfeeding Parent?