Nursing your baby can be a journey, and it may not be exactly what you expected. Some new parents struggle with sore or cracked nipples or mastitis, while others find feeding a little easier. It can be a great way to bond with your baby, but is it normal to get turned on while you’re breastfeeding?
While arousal may not be the most commonly listed reaction to breastfeeding, nursing can trigger strong involuntary responses within your body as hormones are released.
Breastfeeding arousal happens more often than you think. It goes with all the hormonal changes that are going on in pregnancy and childbirth.
Arousal during breastfeeding is linked to the breasts’ natural response to physical stimulation and the rush of oxytocin that occurs during nursing. In most instances, the emotional components of connecting with your newborn and actually being able to sit and relax also enhance breastfeeding pleasure.
These feelings have also been associated with an increase in breast size, increased sensitivity, and direct stimulation of the nipples.
What are the links between breastfeeding and orgasms?
Oxytocin provides a fundamental role in encouraging milk flow while you nurse. However, research has drawn direct parallels between breastfeeding and the physical sensations of sexual pleasure and arousal due to the effect that the love hormone has on the body.
During breastfeeding, oxytocin causes your uterus to contract and your nipples to remain erect. Along with the tingling sensation in your breast, this emulates your body’s reaction during orgasm. It’s reported that around 80% of women say that nipple or breast stimulation is necessary for sexual pleasure. And contact with the breasts and nipples is a fundamental part of nursing.
Breastfeeding and your sex drive: What you should know
You may have been taken aback by the arousal you experience while you breastfeed. However, the postpartum period (after you have a baby) can have a monumental impact on your sex drive and libido. Your body has gone through a massive physiological and psychological change. While it differs from person to person, your hormones will continue to be in flux for between six to eight weeks after you’ve given birth or as long as you continue to breastfeed.
As you mentally and physically adapt to life with a newborn, sleepless nights, and night feeds, it’s totally natural for your desire for sex to decrease if you’re tired. It’s estimated that up to 60% of women experience some kind of disturbance to their sex life in the first year after giving birth. Similarly, you may notice that your desire for sex fluctuates as you breastfeed.