How Does Breastfeeding Affect Your Sex Life?
If you have been experiencing a low sex drive, don’t worry. You are not alone! Most new mothers experience a period of little to no desire for sex, especially right after giving birth. But it can last for months after delivery as well.
This decline in sexual libido is attributed to the effect that breastfeeding has on your hormones. Breastfeeding decreases the amount of estrogen that your body produces, testosterone levels are lowered, and it increases the amount of the hormone prolactin, which is a direct cause of reducing sexual desire.
You may feel incredibly fatigued taking care of a newborn, getting used to your tiny human’s needs and preferences. This can also definitely factor into not having the desire or energy for sex.
Don’t resort to the idea that you have to give up breastfeeding your baby. Your sex drive and energy levels will return. In the meantime, there are ways to connect with your partner without giving up nursing. By all means, continue to breastfeed your baby!
How do you keep your love life from taking a nosedive during this tough period? Here are my top tips for reconnecting with your partner.
Don’t underestimate the power of a date night!
Find a sitter or have a relative come over for a few hours so that you and your spouse can go out and enjoy a nice dinner or a movie without children. You can even implement a rule not to talk about the kids while you are out, either, to try to concentrate on just the two of you. Think about the things you did before the baby, and maybe even try to recreate a date that you two had in the past.
If you can’t fathom being away from your baby for that long, or maybe financially you can’t afford a date night out, see if you can just take a nice walk together in the evening away from the baby after dinner. Have a neighbor or sitter come over even just for a half hour! It can recharge and refresh you.
To reconnect intimately, you can do many other things besides sex - maybe try lighting some candles and taking a nice bubble bath together with a glass of wine. You could also give each other nice massages with some scented oils, or even have a heated makeout session on the couch! If you wanted to go a step further, try blindfolding each other and feeding each other foods, wines, or even doing some intimate touching.
Talk About It
Lastly, make sure to take some time to talk with your partner about how you’re feeling. It’s important to share what’s on your mind openly. Having a good discussion to get everything out on the table so that your partner can understand to some degree where you are coming from will allow for support as well. Keep in mind that this is only temporary, and soon enough you’ll feel more like yourself and be ready for a regular sexual pattern once your baby grows and becomes more independent.
When You ARE Ready to Do the Deed...
Engaging in plenty of foreplay beforehand will help your body be more ready for sex. Additionally, you may want to use water-based lubricant. Most importantly, just take it slow and listen to your body!
Sometimes it can feel as if your sex drive will never return, especially if you have a brand new baby. Sex is the last thing on your mind. Your body is still recovering, and it needs time to rest and recuperate.
Don’t get discouraged! Your sex life will return to normal at the right time for you. Meanwhile, have an honest talk with your partner. Then, the two of you can try out some of these tips to help you reconnect and spark some intimacy.
Has your sex life been affected by having a baby and breastfeeding? Do you have other tips to share? We love talking about all things breastfeeding related in The Official Milky Mama Lactation Support Group on Facebook. We are all there to help each other out. Come join us!