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Does Breastfeeding Make You Horny?

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Thanks to the sexualization of a woman's breasts, there's a whole list of things that society deems unacceptable. Pictures of a woman's nipples on billboards, social media, or magazines for example. Even public breastfeeding gets a huge thumbs-down from many people because no one can stop thinking of breasts as sexual objects. Which explains why there's not a whole lot of women who want to perpetuate the stigma by asking, "Does breastfeeding make you horny?"

It's a question my friends asked me when I started breastfeeding my daughter, though not quite as straight-forward. People loved to question me about my boobs and breastfeeding, often asking if it "felt good" to feed my newborn daughter.

To some, this may seem like a totally invasive and  inappropriate question, but it does happen. And sometimes, with scary repercussions. A case from 1991 could be why many are scared to be honest about feeling sexually aroused while breastfeeding. A young mother, Denise Perrigo, was single and breastfeeding when she contacted a volunteer center for La Leche League International to ask a question. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Perrigo wanted to know if it was normal to feel sexually aroused while breastfeeding her daughter. Instead of answering her, she was transferred to a rape crisis hotline, and that phone call was then transferred to a child abuse hotline. She was soon arrested for sexual abuse and neglect and had her 2 year old child taken away from her.

A year later, the charges were dismissed and her child was returned, but the case proves how uneducated many are about the human body. If you've ever felt aroused while breastfeeding, here's one thing to keep in mind — it is completely, 100 percent normal.

According to an article published in The Journal of Perinatal Education, there is a huge correlation between the act of breastfeeding and having an orgasm. Basically, if you're turned on by your breasts being touched, then the same reaction could happen when you're breastfeeding. The article notes that nipple stimulation happens in both foreplay and breastfeeding, your nipples become erect during both sexual stimulation and breastfeeding, and oxytocin, the hormone responsible for the let-down of your breastmilk is also present when you have an orgasm.

Baby Center shared the same information, noting that sexual arousal while breastfeeding is a totally normal reaction to those hormones from lactation, and La Leche League International also noted the instance of oxytocin overlapping in both breastfeeding and sexual arousal.

If you're feeling aroused or horny while breastfeeding, remember that you are not alone. In fact, one study found that 40.5 percent of the breastfeeding participants claimed to have felt sexually aroused at least once during their child's suckling.

Also keep in mind that you are not weird, gross, or perverted. It doesn't mean you have any sexual attraction to your child or to the act of breastfeeding, it's simple biology. You literally can not control it.

Your feelings may make you wary towards any kind of sexual play with your breasts, which is also fine. Talk to your partner; keep an open, reassuring conversation about how you're feeling; and remember that everything you're experiencing is normal. As always, you can blame those darn hormones. (Specifically oxytocin, am I right?)