It’s perfectly normal (and amazing!) that breastfeeding can have a major impact on your hormones, mood, and energy levels. But does it affect your sex drive?
Right after baby is born, your prolactin and oxytocin levels rise. Unfortunately, this also suppresses ovulation and lowers estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to vaginal dryness, a lack of intimacy and low libido.
The hormones that surge during pregnancy and breastfeeding are known to cause a lot of changes in a woman’s body, and they can play havoc with your sense of sexual desire. For example, while pregnant, your body increases the production of estrogen and progesterone — two sex hormones that increase sexual desire. Once baby is born, however, these levels drop drastically. The reason is that the hormone prolactin cranks up as a way to stimulate your breasts to produce milk. This suppresses ovulation and reduces estrogen, making you less likely to want sex. Also, the hormone oxytocin is released when breastfeeding — another sex hormone that can dampen your desire for sex.
These hormonal fluctuations are a huge part of why it’s so common for new moms to feel like they have no libido while breastfeeding. But there are a few other things that can play into this, as Romper reports.
One of the biggest obstacles is that without enough lubrication, sexual intercourse can be uncomfortable or painful. This can make you even less likely to be in the mood for sex, or it might lead to problems with your intimate partner. If you’re concerned about this, talk to a lactation consultant or your doctor for a recommendation on a lubricant that is safe to use while breastfeeding.
Women who are breastfeeding have a lot to focus on during the first few months after birth. They’re recovering from delivery and nursing a newborn who needs to be fed often throughout the day and night. This can make sex less of a priority for some new moms.
Additionally, if a woman isn’t getting much sleep at night due to a fussy baby or the demands of breastfeeding, she might not have any energy left for other things, including sex. That’s okay; everyone is different, and it’s normal for a woman’s libido to take a temporary nose dive after giving birth.
Another possible reason for a low sex drive is that breastfeeding can cause milk leakage, which can be embarrassing during sex. Leaking milk is usually the result of oxytocin, which is responsible for both sexual arousal and milk “letdown” (i.e., the release of milk). This can be caused by being too full or if the baby hasn’t been nursed in a while.
The good news is that a woman’s sex drive usually returns to normal as she nurses her baby for longer and/or more frequently. Additionally, if she starts feeding her baby solid foods at around 4 to 6 months, her hormone levels will start to regulate and her sex drive may increase as a result.
It’s no secret that breastfeeding can have a dramatic impact on your body. However, it may come as a surprise to many new moms that it can also have a major effect on their sexual drive. This is because of the hormonal changes that take place. The prolactin hormone that is produced while breastfeeding decreases estrogen and testosterone levels, which are both responsible for intimate desire. As the baby grows and transitions to solid foods, the amount of prolactin in the mother’s system will decrease as well. This should cause the libido to gradually return to normal.
While a lack of desire is common in most women who are breastfeeding, it is not universal. Some women find that they are more sexually aroused while breastfeeding, particularly if the baby is sleeping and there is plenty of time to devote to intimacy. This is because breastfeeding stimulates the production of oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone that is associated with feelings of affection and attachment.
It’s important to remember that even if you do feel more sexually aroused while breastfeeding, it is still possible that accidental breast milk leakage can occur during lovemaking. The good news is that this is a normal part of the process and it will eventually stop. The key is to try to relax and be as patient as possible.
If you have a low libido during breastfeeding, it’s important to understand that it’s totally normal. After all, the number one thing your body focuses on while nursing is making milk and getting your baby to eat solids, not sex. This means that your estrogen levels are going down, which in turn lowers your libido.
The good news is that your libido will likely come back as you get the hang of breastfeeding and you start to rely less on it for your baby’s nourishment. You might also feel more sexually aroused when you’re breastfeeding, since it releases the hormone oxytocin that causes pleasure and relaxation in many women. In addition, some new moms report feeling sexual arousal when stroking their partners’ nipples or using nipple massagers to stimulate them.
Of course, this can also be difficult when your nipples are so sore or full that they can’t be touched comfortably. If your nipples are painful to touch, try feeding them before you have sex so they’re not so full. Or try stroking the back or palm of your hands before you have sex instead, as some breastfeeding moms have reported this to be more enjoyable.