Breastfeeding and Lovemaking

Ask Anne…

Question: I had my first child six months ago and I’m breast feeding her. My partner says he would like to suckle at my breast when we make love.

This was always part of our lovemaking before our  baby was born, and I enjoyed it, but now I’m worried that it will take away milk that my baby needs.

I like the idea,  but at the same time, it makes me a little uncomfortable. What do you think?

Answer:  Breastfeeding is a very intimate relationship between a mother and her infant, and it can be pleasurable and sensual, without being the least bit erotic.

Some new dads feel that their partner’s breasts are somehow ‘taboo’ while their partner is nursing.

The reality is that your breasts can switch from the ‘functional’ mode (while feeding the baby) to the ‘sexual mode’  in a matter of seconds, so you can still enjoy the same sexual activities with your partner that you did before your baby was born.

Some mothers feel ‘touched out’ while they are nursing, and their breasts may be sore or sensitive, especially during the early stages of breastfeeding. This is an issue you and your partner need to discuss and work through together. Most moms aren’t very interested in resuming sexuality activity for the first few weeks after birth, so problems like breast engorgement and nipple soreness usually aren’t an issue by the time they resume making love.

Breast and nipple stimulation will not  cause any problems with breastfeeding. Some dads like the taste of the milk and find that they enjoy their partner’s breasts even more when they are nursing, while others are not comfortable with the leaking and the taste. However, many men enjoy the taste, because breast milk tastes very sweet – kind of like melted ice cream.

It’s unlikely that your partner will remove enough milk during sexual activity to cause a significant increase or decrease in your supply. If you’re worried that your partner will empty the breast before the next feeding, you may want to nurse your baby before you make love.

Because the hormone oxytocin that is released during orgasm is the same hormone that causes the let-down reflex, some mothers prefer to make love after nursing so that the breasts are relatively empty. Many dads have been startled when milk jets across the room after orgasm occurs, and emptying the breasts beforehand is one way to prevent that.

All of this is entirely up to you and your partner, but there is no reason to alter your sex life just because you are nursing your baby. I’m glad that you felt comfortable enough to ask this question, because I think many women wonder the same thing, and are just afraid to ask.

Many women never feel sexier or more sensual than when they are breastfeeding their baby. Their breasts are  rounded and full, they feel more womanly, and they don’t have to worry about getting pregnant (at least in the early months of exclusive nursing). See Breastfeeding and Birth Control for more information about contraception and lactation.

Lactation is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle,  and you and your partner should enjoy every aspect of it without feeling guilty about a thing.

Anne Smith, IBCLC
Breastfeeding Basics

BFB I see Boobies

 

About Anne Smith, IBCLC

Anne Smith, IBCLC
As the mother of six wonderful breastfed children, three perfect breastfed grand babies, and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) with over twenty-five years experience in lactation counseling, I can offer you professional support, as well as information and advice based on my personal experiences over the years.

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