If you're a breastfeeding or pumping mom, you may have noticed milk leaking during postpartum sex. Though it may freak you out at first, you should know it's something many moms experience it at least once — if not several times — during their breastfeeding timeframe. Despite the normalcy, you may be wondering how to keep your breast milk from leaking during postpartum sex. Or, if it's not totally possible to prevent the leaking, what are some ideas to get around it.
According to Baby Center, the reason breasts leak milk during sex is because the hormone that causes the contractions felt during an orgasm, oxytocin, is also responsible for milk ejection and letdown. This is also why some women may unexpectedly experience arousal during pumping or breastfeeding. During these occurrences, however, there's nothing abnormal going on. In an interview with Romper, international board certified lactation consultant Leigh Anne O'Connor says that oxytocin is considered a love hormone and its present during sex, breastfeeding, or pumping. So to experience milk leakage or spray during sex is totally normal.
From experience, I can says that leakage will minimize or go away is with time. Once I adjusted to breastfeeding or wasn't going through a period where I was trying to up my supply, leaking and let down weren't as prevalent every time I heard a baby cry or during sex. In the beginning, there's a lot happening. Hormones are everywhere and the amount of experience and control your body has over breastfeeding isn't developed. Not too mention, you probably haven't had sex in a while either. So try giving your body some time to adjust before getting too frustrated.
In an article for Baby Center, lactation consultant Susan Condon wrote that leaking breasts are a reminder that lactation is going well but, unfortunately, leakage is not predictable.In general, Condon shared that leaking stops when your baby masters breastfeeding. One of her best tips for dealing with leakage included applying pressure to your breasts by crossing your arms over your chest and hugging yourself firmly when you feel a let down sensation. Condon also suggested breastfeeding or expressing milk more often or at the first sign of fullness. For example, if you know you're going to have sex, expressing milk beforehand may help prevent leaking during sex.
Because leakage isn't always preventable or predictable, a lot of times finding ways to better deal with it during sex can lessen the frustration. According to the aforementioned Baby Center article, bringing a washcloth or tissues to bed is a simple way to keep leakage from getting everywhere. To prevent yourself from having to deal with leakage during sex, you can continue to wear your bra and nursing pads. If you aren't a fan of either of those options, however, you can also just jump in the shower to have sex. This way you're even killing two birds with one stone: having sex and grabbing the ever-elusive shower.
Whatever option you may choose, keep in mind leaking during sex is likely to happen at one point or another, but it won't last forever. Give yourself time, try a few tricks to lessen the possibility or mess, and before you know it, it probably won't even cross your mind anymore.