Will breastfeeding interfere with my sex drive?
Reposted from the Baby Center
It might — but rest assured, this lack of interest in sex won’t last forever. Several factors may be responsible for squelching a new mother’s sexuality: The most obvious is the sheer exhaustion that plagues almost all women during the postpartum period, exhaustion that can be even more extreme when you — and only you — have the equipment to satisfy your newborn’s 3 a.m. hunger pangs. What’s more, nursing your baby every couple of hours (as well as constantly rocking, changing, and carrying him) may leave you feeling “touched out” at the end of the day, and thus less receptive to your mate’s caresses. Finally, breastfeeding can suppress ovulation for months following birth — nature’s way of preventing a new pregnancy from following too quickly on the heels of the last one. Unfortunately, this also means that the amount of estrogen circulating in your body is far below normal levels, causing vaginal dryness and a general dampening of desire.
Of course, every woman is different, and many nursing mothers report that breastfeeding doesn’t affect their libido one way or another. Some even feel more sexual than their bottle-feeding peers, finding breastfeeding an extremely pleasant, and even sensual, experience that can translate into amorous feelings for their partner. Nourishing a baby can also give women a renewed appreciation for their body, an attitude that may rub off in the bedroom.
If you’re not among these lucky few, though, remind yourself — and your mate — that it’s normal for a nursing mother’s sex drive to take a detour into the slow lane. Just be sure to keep the lines of communication open and find other ways to be intimate (take a bath together, trade massages, or pop the baby into a front carrier and stroll hand in hand after dinner). Most important, put it all in perspective: Many new parents decide that this temporary downturn in desire is a trade-off they’re more than willing to make for the health benefits and intense bonding that breastfeeding offers.
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