Sex after baby is a big enough change. There are a lot of things to adjust to as your body recovers from giving birth. Sex if you’re breastfeeding? You're definitely going to be trying something new. But if you're wondering, “can I have sex when I’m breastfeeding?”, the answer is simple — you can. As long as you don't mean sex while you’re breastfeeding because, I don't know, that might be a little awkward. But having sex as a breastfeeding mom? It’s far from impossible.
Breastfeeding & sex: Can I have sex when I’m breastfeeding?
Yes, you absolutely can have sex when you're breastfeeding says Rachael Anastasio-Collins, a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Registered Nurse. “It is safe for a breastfeeding mom to have sex and having sex with your partner will not impact your milk supply or the quality of your milk,” Anastasio-Collins says. “So, put that worry aside and crank up the Marvin Gaye.”
Some moms experience a decrease in their libido and maybe even some vaginal dryness while they are breastfeeding, Anastasio-Collins also notes. Again, not a big deal. “There's no need to worry, these are not permanent changes,” she says. “Just be open and honest with your partner about your needs. If you have the desire, but dryness is an issue, don’t worry — there’s a lube for that.”
Sex while breastfeeding: Will sex make your breasts leak milk?
There are definitely some physical changes to be aware of when it comes to breastfeeding and sex. “Hormones play a large role in our ability to make breast milk and sometimes those hormones can affect our sex life,” Anastasio-Collins says. “Some moms find that an orgasm causes their breasts to leak. Oxytocin, the hormone that causes our milk to flow when the baby nurses, is the same hormone that plays a huge role in orgasms and those feelings of closeness and bonding.” However, she's adamant — it's not a big deal. If you experience leaking during sex, Anastasio-Collins recommends that you simply press against your breasts for a few seconds to stop the flow or break out some fun, sexy lingerie and give yourself a break from the nursing bras and tank tops. You don't have to let a little breast milk in the sheets stop you from being intimate.
The most important thing to have if you want to have sex while breastfeeding is a sense of humor says Lori Atkins, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of Oh, Baby Lactation Care in Connecticut. She recommends you have “a towel nearby. That oxytocin surge with an orgasm is fun, but can be a little messy. Laughter is key.”
So, can you have sex when breastfeeding? If you feel like it, you absolutely can. Just remember that it might be a little different, and keep the lines of communication open with your partner. Being sprayed with breast milk during sex doesn't have to mean you give up your intimate moments, it just means adjusting, like every moment of parenthood. (Because trust me, there's a lot more messy moments to come.)
Rachael Anastasio-Collins, a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Registered Nurse
Lori Atkins, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of Oh, Baby Lactation Care in Connecticut
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