Pregnancy, and then, breastfeeding equals some extreme hormonal changes for your body. Your body begins to produce milk instantly after giving birth, so you can feed your baby, which means your breasts will be larger, swollen and slightly uncomfortable. Plus, once you start breastfeeding, you will discover that your nipples constantly feel cracked and sore.
After giving birth, your body tries to find balance with the lingering pregnancy hormones and the new hormones that cause your body to produce milk, causing havoc on your body. And to top this off, your body is exhausted from lack of sleep due to your new baby’s inconsistent sleep patterns.
Considering all of that, it is reasonable to assume that breastfeeding can change your sex life.
What do most doctors think about sex after childbirth? Most physicians highly recommend that you postpone having vaginal intercourse until after your first postpartum checkup. But some doctors say once you feel clitoral stimulation, there are no risks. But just because you can’t have vaginal sex immediately doesn’t mean you can’t cuddle or make out with your partner.
But, most new mommies admit that they don’t feel the desire to have sexual activity the first few weeks after giving birth. So if you are feeling that you can’t get sexually aroused easily, don’t beat yourself up, as it is perfectly normal for new moms. If you prefer to wait for your doctor’s approval before engaging in vaginal sex, there is nothing wrong with that either.
But even after you get the go-ahead for vaginal intercourse, you will find that breastfeeding will affect your sex life the following ways:
In order to breastfeed, your body needs to produce a hormone called prolactin, which stimulates the production of milk. Prolactin causes your body to produce less estrogen. Less estrogen means vaginal dryness. If you have vaginal intercourse while breastfeeding you will find that you will need to use lube.
Probably one of the most irritating side effects to breastfeeding is the fact that your breasts will leak milk even when you are not breastfeeding your little baby. Breast leakage can happen just hearing your baby cry, seeing a picture of your baby, even while having intercourse with your partner. Unwanted breast leakage is caused from a hormone called oxytocin, which often gets mixed signals from your emotions (such as getting an orgasm) to start producing milk. If you find leaking breasts to be a turn off for you and your partner, you might want to wear a bra while having sex.
Most breastfeeding mommies experience what is called mastitis. This happens when the breast tissue becomes inflamed and is extremely painful. When this happens any type of stimulation or touching can cause discomfort.
As we mentioned above, hormones are wreaking havoc on your body, plus you are sleep deprived, so it is very normal to have a lower libido. Breastfeeding hormones often cause women to feel uncomfortable with their bodies. If you find you can’t easily be sexually aroused, don’t feel bad. You can look for other ways to show your partner that you love and care for them such as cuddling, kissing, holding hands, etc.
Many breastfeeding mommies complain that they feel touched out, because their new baby is touching them all day long. Being touched out means that you don’t want any kind of physical contact after the baby is sleeping, even if it is by their partner.