Sex After Baby: Does Breastfeeding Lower Your Sex Drive?

You want to do what is best for your baby, which is why you have opted for breastfeeding. At first you wrote off the lack of sex after baby to the endless diapers, constant night feedings and the overall feeling of just not having your body back. But now the months have passed, baby is sleeping through the night and you still have no desire for intimacy. Could it be the breastfeeding?

 

A Common Concern

Believe it or not there are hundreds of women out there just like you who are concerned about a potential link between breastfeeding and a lower libido. With about 70 percent of newborn babies being breastfed at the hospital and 33 percent still nursing exclusively after six months, there are going to be some women out there with similar concerns. As you know, there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding that include reducing infections, preventing childhood obesity and even helping you lower your risk of ovarian cancer. All of this is great, but what does it do to your libido? Unfortunately the answer is not that simple.

Hormones

The biggest culprit to blame for your lack of desire when it comes to sex after baby is due to your hormones. Breastfeeding can and will effect your hormones. Since your estrogen levels lower during breastfeeding and estrogen is responsible for keeping your vaginal lining moist and flexible, intimacy with your partner becomes less enjoyable. Furthermore, breastfeeding can increase levels of prolactin, which naturally reduces your sexual drive. And lastly, testosterone, the hormone that boosts a woman s libido is significantly lower while breastfeeding. So is all of this the reasons behind your limited sex drive? Not entirely.

 

Psychological Factors

Sexuality researchers are in agreement that a woman s sex drive is not purely hormonal.  For some women the act of breastfeeding actually meets their carnal desire for intimacy when it comes to touching. And though this is by no means sexual during breastfeeding, it satisfies a woman s psychological dependency on intimate touching, which eliminates the need to seek it out elsewhere. Secondly, some women have psychological holdups about using their breasts during intimacy at all aE” after all, they are now the baby s primary route for nutrition, which makes it less appealing for foreplay.

 

Lastly, you are a new mom. Though your little one is sleeping all night or even if they are just waking up for one feeding, you are still changing your life in a way you never expected. You have more responsibilities and instead of sleeping, eating or even showering when you want, you have another person who you must answer to first. For some women, lack of sex after baby has nothing to do with psychology or hormones; it is just pure exhaustion and stress.

 

Even if sex is not on your mind, make sure that you and your partner are using the basic principles of intimacy to keep your relationship at its personal level. Talk to one another, touch or even cuddle up when you watch TV together. Intimacy does not have to be sexual and for most new parents, showing sexuality without sex can be more rewarding and create stronger bonds.

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