No matter how excited you are for breastfeeding, it can be hard to move away from the idea of your breasts being sexual entities and to what they are actually intended for — feeding and nourishing your baby. When you're hooked up to a breast pump, it is literally the least sexy thing in the world, but what about how it stimulates your breasts? Can breast pumps make you orgasm?
It sounds strange, but it's actually a very normal question to ask and science says yes, it could happen. According to research in The Journal of Perinatal Education, there are parallel reactions between breastfeeding and coital orgasm. Your uterus contracts with both breastfeeding and an orgasm, your nipples can become erect when they are being suckled and when you experience sensual excitement, your nipples are stimulated during both, and your milk ejection can be triggered by both breastfeeding and an orgasm.
So when your breasts are stimulated, whether through nursing or a breast pump, it makes sense that you could become aroused enough to orgasm, right? Baby Center noted that oxytocin, the hormone responsible for your milk let-down, is also the hormone present when you have an orgasm. One study even found that 40.5 percent of breastfeeding participants reported feeling sexually aroused at least once during their child's suckling. A breast pump could yield the same results as it stimulates your breasts.
It's not weird, gross, or bizarre — it's a natural thing that can happen because of biology. As La Leche League International pointed out, the feelings associated with arousal and breastfeeding often overlap, including increasing blood flow to the breast and causing your nipples to become erect. Anything you're feeling while you're pumping is something you could be feeling while you're in the throes of an orgasm or nipple stimulation to get you to an orgasm.
In fact, nipple stimulation is often used to jump start labor as it releases oxytocin which can stimulate contractions. Some women have even used their own breast pump to stimulate their nipples during labor, all to get that hormone. And because that hormone is related to orgasms, this can also explain why some women orgasm during birth.
Basically? Your body is a multi-tasker. It will use one hormone for many different things in your body, even if it means combining breastfeeding and an orgasm. Breast pumps can, theoretically, make you orgasm. And it doesn't make you a total weirdo — it's just biology. If you're feeling uncomfortable or concerned, talk to a lactation consultant to get more information about what's going on with your body and reassurance that you're a normal human being. (I mean, biologically normal at least.)