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Sexuality While Breast-Feeding

Topic Overview

Childbirth and breast-feeding may affect your sexual desire. Exhaustion, breast soreness, your baby's demands, and recovery from childbirth may reduce your interest in intimacy with your partner. But you may feel more comfortable having sex after the baby is born. Each woman's experience is different.

You can help restore a sexual relationship with your partner by anticipating the physical effects of breast-feeding.

  • When you are sexually aroused, milk may leak or flow from your breasts. If you find this bothersome, have towels handy or take other measures to prepare.
  • You also may experience vaginal dryness. If this becomes a problem, vaginal lubricants are available to provide moisture. You can also ask your doctor about taking birth control pills if it has been a few months since you gave birth. The type that contains a very low dose of estrogen may be helpful.

Some women notice that they become aroused during breast-feeding. Although this sensation is similar to a sexual response, it is not sexually driven. It is your body's way of preparing the breast for breast-feeding.

Talk with your partner about your feelings, concerns, and expectations. Also, rest whenever possible. Try to set up a time for the two of you to reconnect emotionally and physically.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised April 12, 2013

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