Libido And Breastfeeding- The Real Reason You Don’t Want To Have Sex Whilst Breastfeeding

 

Melbourne Birth Photographer, Doula, and Placenta Encapsulator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been 6-8 weeks. You have likely stopped bleeding from giving birth. Of course, the husband is a bit “hey baby how you doing???” because well, it’s been a couple months…ok, maybe it’s been a few months or longer. “But husband, I am exhausted at the end of the day, I’m just too tired to have sex, maybe tomorrow.” Tomorrow comes. “Husband, I didn’t get any sleep last night…maybe tomorrow.” The list of excuses is infinite.

Now, I am not saying by any means that this is not a valid ‘excuse’ or a wrong reason. It is very valid. I just wanted to explain *why* we don’t feel the need to insert penis into vagina so quickly after birth, ESPECIALLY if you are breastfeeding.

When women are breastfeeding, our estrogen levels deplete drastically, so prolactin (the milk making hormone) can take over and help produce milk. Estrogen has a few functions. It is our ‘woman’ hormone, as testosterone is the ‘man’ hormone ( I use the term man and woman loosely, because our bodies naturally make both.) Testosterone is needed to make estrogen. This contributes to our monthly cycles, ovulation, and the aid in puberty as a young adult. This is also why the myth “you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding” is around. It is because lower estrogen levels suppress monthly periods ( not having a period does not mean you are not ovulating, hence why women get pregnant breastfeeding all the time.) Estrogen lowers milk supply. A result of having lower ‘woman’ hormones, vaginal dryness occurs. Pair that with a condom, and thats enough to make any woman want to run for the hills! Low levels of estrogen lowers libido. Making you cock your head to the side when the husband says, “Hey baby, how youuuuu doinggg???” with that raised eybrow…you know the eyebrow I’m talking about.

The other thing, aside from hormonal changes (aren’t our bodies clever to know not to produce lots of estrogen so we can breastfeed our babies adequately?) is the general feeling of being ‘touched out.’ You are likely holding your newborn constantly. They are always breastfeeding (normal!) so by the time the evening time comes, the thought of being touched in any fashion is unfathomable. I was chatting to my doula friend, Bethany from Belly Beans Doula in Melbourne about this feeling. The direct correlation with sex is intimacy…being intimate means being touched. So to avoid being touched, we avoid the intimacy.

 

So Lacey, how the hell do I combat these struggles!?

First off, know that you are normal. After birth, we are still going through crazy bodily and hormonal changes that directly affect our libido. A couple of things to help keep intimacy at a peak is:

1. lube it up baby!

Grab your favourite lube and use it! This isn’t meant to be an insult to you or your man/woman! Unfortunately, we associate being wet with being turned on, and if we don’t get wet ‘down there’ then sometimes our partner may think we aren’t turned on. But OH BABY we are, our bodies are just lacking in the estrogen department. Don’t be afraid to apply and reapply!

2. You do the touching!

When we feel touched out sometimes it’s fun to take the reigns. It’s your chance to spice it up! YOU do the touching. Please, be creative as you want. Tie your partner up if you want to so they can’t touch you. They may even appreciate the thrill and you can indulge in your new ‘no touching’ policy.

3. Go for the orgasm asap

It’s ok. Just go straight for the big O! Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Orgasms are completely different from being intimate. So when you are intimate with your newborn all day breastfeeding, we may just want to orgasm and call it a day. And that is ok too. 

 

 

Last but not least, communication with your partner is KEY. Explaining that you aren’t in the mood and making suggestions to help both of you achieve intimacy or fueling the orgasm is the best place to start. Sometimes, you can feel used by skipping intimacy and going straight for an orgasm, so communicating with your partner how to fill both of your needs is crucial, as to not make each other feel inadequate.

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