Breastfeeding and Sex: What One Does to the Other

There are many reasons why our sex drives take a nosedive after a baby arrives. For many women, breastfeeding tops the list of passion killers. Yes, our bodies’ and, more specifically, our boobs’ ability to feed our babies is astounding and beautiful but becoming a milking machine plays havoc in the bedroom. One of our girlfriends spoke for many when she said,

Breastfeeding makes me feel like a cow … not a sexy mama.”


Your breasts, once fabulous recreational objects, become entirely functional, vehicles for food delivery to your infant.  And you can find yourself literally in the hands of a stranger (lactation consultant) who will feel you up and teach you about latch-on, the “football,” and other innovative holds. The paraphernalia that accompanies breastfeeding is astounding: creams, nipple shields, pumps, pillows, and, let’s not forget, the whole “peek-a-boo” line of clothing. Sexy it is not.

And while few men will admit it, none of them are happy to see their former playthings become Junior’s exclusive domain. Most breasts remain off limits while Mom is breastfeeding. Having a feeder and a groper is quite honestly more than most women can bear.

So, what can we do about it?

The answer is not much. The very hormones, prolactin and progesterone, that our bodies produce so that we can make milk, also cause us to lose interest in sex.  And the two hormones necessary for the female sex drive, estrogen and testosterone, decrease dramatically while we are breastfeeding. It’s all part of Mother Nature’s plan to maximize the survival of our existing offspring. The breastfeeding hormones almost guarantee a lower libido for the nursing mom, making it less likely for her to get pregnant again while her newborn still needs all her energy and resources.

You can’t fight Mother Nature.  The best strategy is to be patient. Your sex drive will come roaring back. It hasn’t disappeared forever. It’s just hibernating while you get on with the business of giving your baby a great start in life.


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