Just when you thought you’d delved into all the “breastfeeding topics that shouldn’t be taboo but are,” there’s this one: the breastfeeding orgasm.
The struggles of breastfeeding are real—engorgement, latching difficulties, dry nipples, breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding at work… The list is long.
But breastfeeding is also wonderful, for so many different reasons. It helps you form a bond with your baby, lowers your risk of everything from type 2 diabetes to breast cancer, and provides some A-grade nutrition. It’s no wonder that the CDC recommends it until your baby is six months.
As it turns out, breastfeeding has another secret weapon: it can make you feel good—like really, really good. Welcome to the world of the breastfeeding orgasm.
Before we go any further, talking about unintentional orgasms is complex—particularly for survivors of sexual assault. If you need a quick answer as to whether or not having an orgasm during breastfeeding is a normal experience, yes, it is—but that doesn’t mean you’re required to just accept it and move on if it brings up negative feelings for you. Counseling can really help. As can reaching out to trusted loved ones. Peanut’s also a place where you can talk about these things, with zero shame. Head here to join the conversation.
Is it common to orgasm while breastfeeding?
Well, the science is in (and has been for decades): orgasms and breastfeeding have a complicated relationship.
First things first, there are two distinct concepts here:
1. Lactation orgasm.
When you breastfeed, you may get turned on. That’s primarily because of a hormone called oxytocin (street name: the love hormone) which plays a big role in both childbirth and breastfeeding. It also happens to be released when you orgasm.
When you breastfeed, oxytocin stimulates milk production. While it’s busy with that, it also does the job of causing contractions in your uterus to help it get back to its pre-pregnancy state.
Put this all together, add some physical nipple stimulation to the mix, and the potential for experiencing an orgasm from breastfeeding is most certainly there.
2. Breastfeeding sex.
Then there is having sex during the weeks and months (or years) that you’re breastfeeding. There are no rules here. It’s okay if you feel like it—and okay if you don’t.
Often, new mamas don’t feel like having sex, and not only because they are knee-deep in baby bodily fluids. After you give birth, your estrogen levels drop. Added to this, when you breastfeed, your body produces a hormone called prolactin to help with milk production which further drives down estrogen.
Why does this matter? Because estrogen and libido are happy bedfellows. A lack of estrogen may also lead to vaginal dryness. All in all, orgasms may be hard to come by (forgive the pun), and sex may be the last thing on your mind. (Don’t worry, it’s not forever.)
The bottom line? The world of the breastfeeding orgasm is a confusing one. On the one hand, it’s normal to have an orgasm while breastfeeding your baby. On the other, it might be more difficult to have an orgasm (or even feel like having sex) when you’re a breastfeeding mama.
This begs the question:
Is it OK if I breastfeed my husband?
Whether you want to breastfeed your partner is entirely up to you. The breasts are a very common erogenous zone for many people, so if this is what you’re in the mood for, go for it. (In fact, there’s a whole school of fetishism called erotic lactation.)
So that you’re in the know, your breast may leak when you orgasm. Use it, or don’t–up to you!
Heads up though, if either you or your partner has an infection or virus, it’s best to steer clear as it could be transmitted between the two of you. Also, make sure that you talk about expectations beforehand and afterward. This should be a pleasant experience. If it’s not, it’s not worth it.
So, if you need to hear this right now, you can still be a sexual being and feed your child. These concepts are not mutually exclusive.
Equally, orgasmic sensations are not always sexual. Our hormones can make us feel all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes these feelings are sex-related, sometimes not.
Either way, there’s no shame in however your body responds to what it’s going through.