There are a lot of odd or uncomfortable things that happen to a breastfeeding mom. She may have no idea what's going on and, in some cases, may feel ashamed or too afraid to ask the hard questions. One in particular being, "Can I orgasm while pumping."
Unfortunately, the sexualization of women's breasts has created a number of situations that have been labeled as inappropriate by societal standards. When embarking upon the journey of breastfeeding and pumping, it can be bizarre to remove the idea of breasts as sexual and view them for their natural purpose – to nourish and feed your baby. And, speaking as a mom who has pumped before, I will assure you that it's the complete opposite of "sexy."
By no means is this a subject that's approached lightly, as sexualizing breastfeeding is and should not be what getting to the bottom of uncomfortable questions is about. As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite in addressing concerns for women who are experiencing something they don't understand and might even, incorrectly, believe something is wrong with them. Luckily, there's nothing abnormal happening. According to the Journal of Perinatal Education, becoming aroused while breastfeeding is a normal phenomenon. Sometimes your body, especially in the postpartum phase, reacts in ways totally out of your control.
In an interview with Romper, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Leigh Anne O'Connor says moms may feel guilty or embarrassed, but this occurrence doesn't mean they're deviant. "Many people experience heightened sexual feelings during nipple stimulation," O'Connor shares. "This can be during a sexual act or while nursing or pumping." Additionally, there are a few legitimate reasons it may happen.
One reason an orgasm could happen while pumping is because your body produces a hormone called oxytocin during orgasm, childbirth, and while you breastfeed (or pump), according to sexologist Annie Sprinkle. O'Connor adds that oxytocin is considered a love hormone, as is present during sex as as breastfeeding or pumping. Because this hormone is released during these times, it is possible to have an orgasm while breastfeeding, pumping, and shockingly, even during childbirth.
Additionally, according to aforementioned The Journal of Perinatal Education article, your uterus contracts during pumping or breastfeeding and while orgasming. But that's not the only parallel. Nipples can become erect, and milk release can be stimulated by both pumping and orgasm. Furthermore, "the emotions experienced during sexual arousal and the emotions experienced during uninhibited, unrestricted breastfeeding may be closely allied." So, in short, although sexual arousal isn't a common response to breastfeeding or pumping, it can happen to some moms and is completely normal.