After the birth of my first child, my husband patiently waited the recommended six weeks before even bringing up sex in conversation. I was glad. I had my hands full with a newborn and as a new mom my whole world revolved around my baby, I just wasn’t even thinking about sex. However, after I reached six weeks postpartum, I didn’t magically become interested in sex again.
This wasn’t like me. During my pregnancy, it seemed like I couldn’t get enough. Hubby had trouble keeping up with me. I had never felt sexier than I did while pregnant, why the sudden change just because I had given birth? I talked to my doctor at my check-up only to learn that my lack of sex drive could be blamed mostly on breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels are extremely high. This is why I felt so feminine and sensual. After the birth of the placenta, estrogen levels plummet and prolactin surges so that your milk can ‘come in.’ This change in hormones as well as the major body changes going on after the birth tends to leave the nursing mom feeling not quite so sexy.
Another tricky situation that comes with low estrogen levels is the vaginal dryness. Just because the psychological desire returns, doesn’t mean the hormone levels required for lubrication do as well. This can present a painful problem that can easily be remedied with some lubricant. If you suddenly find yourself in the throes of passion without any lube on hand, don’t fret. Breast milk also serves as a wonderful lubricant!
After feeding a baby every 2-3 hours, and for that 4 hour block of cluster feeding, you may feel a little ‘touched-out’. I know that during the entire time I am exclusively breastfeeding (ranging from 6-8 months depending on the child) my breasts are off limits to my husband. I just don’t want to be touched. Because we are open with each other, I have shared this with him and he respects my boundaries. However, sometimes I wear a bra during sex just to serve as a reminder.
While on the subject of bras, I would like to mention that when I had my first son, there was nothing sexy about nursing bras. I felt like a grandma in most (if not all) of the bras that I could find at the time. Feeling like a grandma was definitely not sexy to me (not that grandma’s aren’t or can’t be sexy). Now, however, there are a plethora of nursing bras that don’t make you feel like you’ve just sacrificed your femininity. I may just have to do a blog on nursing bras, now.
Back on topic, I am curious, how did breastfeeding affect your sex life? Was it different throughout the stages of nursing (newborn, infant, toddler, etc.) or with subsequent children? How did hubby (or significant other) respond?