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breastfeeding and sex drive
Hi,

I'm taking a class in reproductive endocrinology right now at college. We read a paper about a certain hormone (oxytocin) which is related to breastfeeding but also is related to orgasms and vaginal lubrication.

Being a class of largely college undergrads unexperienced in childbirth, we were wondering if when you are breastfeeding,

1) do you experience arousal from feeding your baby?
2) do you find you have an increased sex drive during the months while you're lactating/nursing?

Thanks for your help! It's in the name of (unofficial) research--future doctors in the class :o)
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Nope, quite the opposite. My sex drive was descreased while nursing and it is difficult to find arousal in something like that.

But, one of the great benefits to nursing immediately after delivery and during the firts week or so PP is that it produces uterine contractions that help to shrink the uterus. Many women are given Oxytocin after delivery to help accomplish this, but breastfeeding is an all natural way to do the same thing.

I cannot speak for all women who nurse or who have nursed, but I can tell you that breastfeeding was not arounsing in any sense of the word for me.

Good luck on your research.

Andi
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OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The only thing I think when my little guy nurses is OMG When will it end LOL!!!!!!!!!   No just kidding (kind of) I am getting frustrated because he is NOT eating much just nursing and he is 14 months old.  I would like to get a few things done and I cannot cuz he wants to constantly nurse still.   But no there is DEFINITELY no arousal at all to it.  I would imagine there are some women who may feel that way but I was NOT.  I hope your reasearch goes well for you.  Good luck and take care
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I do NOT have an increased sex drive either from nursing.  As a matter of fact I think I want it less (like NEVER).  I am way too tired.   I feel bad for DH but what are ya gonna do LOL!!!!!  Again Good Luck.
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I would have to say the women who are aroused by it would have to enjoy the pain thing,lol.
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Interesting--the study had presented an example of one woman who took oxytocin and she was very aroused by the entire process of breastfeeding and had a massive increase in sex drive.

But yours answers make more sense. Thanks!
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Yeah, teeth are a major turn off: ) Honestly, I breastfed both of my boys, one for 14 months, one for 15 months and now I see my breasts as a means for nourishing babies and probably always will. They no longer have a sexual function to me.

Many moons ago, I remember a similar thing coming up (may have been on TV or something like that)and couldn't believe that it was possible for women to become aroused while nursing. Really, it can be quite painful in the beginning and when they get teeth...ouch!

But you can't take too much stock in one woman's experience for your study. You are off to a good start, keep looking around, I am sure there are plenty of women who would offer you their thoughts on it.

Good luck!
Andi
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Engorgement, Contractions (as mentioned above), leaking, worrying if he/she is getting enough, worrying if the taco I had for lunch is gonna upset his/her little tummy, wondering how I'm gonna get the toilet cleaned with this baby attached to me, and now it's time to switch sides...
Sex? Oh yeah, that's how I got here in the first place.. LOL
No their was NO sexual stimulation whatsoever in all 5 of my babies nursing. Nurturing is the sense that takes over.
You can here the baby start to cry and voila, MILK! Nothing sexy about that..
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call me crazy, but i was aroused during breastfeeding.
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A hormone called oxytocin gets much of the credit for forging the bond between a mother and her newborn. Some doctors even refer to it informally as "the cuddle hormone." Oxytocin levels jump during labour, and again each time a mother breastfeeds. But this same hormone also plays a role in sexual arousal.
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I never got turned on at all with my son until he was about 6 months. Then it seems every time I feed him his afternoon "snack" before his nap, it is all I can do to not jump my husband! The lack of mucus is a bit troublesome, but that is why KY was invented. My babe is now 11 months, and I often have erotic feelings while he is feeding. The feelings are not towards my son at all. They are definitely towards my husband, and sometimes Brad Pitt :)
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LOL! :)
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Haha...that's great!! This is so interesting.
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I don't recall ever being turned on during breastfeeding.  As a matter of fact, I was expecting to feel that, due to some of the info I had read regarding that issue.  However, not only was I not turned on during breastfeeding, whenever my husband and i tried to resume normal sexual relations, I couldn't even be aroused in that area by my husband...(who is a hottie, btw...LOL)
It seems that my body had become a life sustaining entity and  that is what i existed for.  I was very "anti-sexual" for quite sometime.  Actually, the thought of anyone touching me in intimate places was a turn-off--way too much sensory overload.  
Hope this helps--MH
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kjsk brings up very good questions. It would be interesting to hear some men sound off on the subject.
And kjsk, don't feel bad that you didn't breast feed. I did with all five but 2 were very difficult and only lasted a couple of months and so they got the ole bahbah and LOVED it. It has to be a mutual decision between you and the baby. If Mom isn't enjoying it then baby won't. If baby isn't enjoying it then mommy won't. I had one that I gave a bottle to for supplementing and she wouldn't have anything to do with the boob again. The bottle requires less work for them and she was lazy.LOL Still is, J/K.. It is 6 of one half a dozen of another. I'm sure your choice was the best one for both of you.
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does anyone remember back in the early 80's (i think) a woman  was breastfeeding and experienced feelings of arousal? she called someone (a lactation consultant or someone in "that dept.") who she thought could help her explain these feelings that were confusing to her.  well what happened was, the woman reported her to social services and the breastfeeding mom was arrested. on the flip side, remember that woman just a few years back, breastfed her what was he 6 years? they were on all kinds of shows.

i am one of the few and far between who bottle fed. i know i am the minority and i didnt like admitting i didnt breastfeed. i did try to breastfeed but was NOT comfortable at ALL!! it felt so incestous to me (even though i have a girl).
before my baby, my husband liked the ole boobs (even though im on the smaller end). then, to have my tiny, innocent baby sucking on them made me uncomfortable. i dont think i could have ever let my husband near them again if i breastfed. its all psychological.

i would love to know how men feel after watching their baby be breastfed for months on end and then being intimate with their wife. well, you know, "playing" with them. wouldnt men at that point see breasts as a food source and not a sexual object? are they "put off" by it? who knows, its probably a big turn on for them. just curious. i guess that would be like the guy seeing their baby come out during birth and then going "down there" during "relations". thats a whole 'nother can o worms!!
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thank you for your reassurance on breastfeeding vs the bottle. i live in a town where bottle feeding is RARE and almost unheard of. so 1960's!!! i attended the bottle feeding class while i was pregnant and my husband and i were the only ones in the room!! that is one good thing about bottle feeding..hubby can participate too. i felt like an outcast going to all my dr. appts when nurses talked of breastfeeding. i felt like an outcast in the hospital when she was born and i bottle fed. i cried when my milk came in because i knew what i needed to do with it all but did not feel comfortable. i felt as if i was depriving my baby. i did try having her latch on but for me it was awful. i actually felt as if i were doing something wrong when i KNEW it was SO right.
if i ever got aroused, i'd die!! however, it sounds as if most do not. theres always another chance if and when we move onto our 2nd. maybe i will feel differently?
thanks again!
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that is sooo funny! its nice to add humor to the situation. well, my hub was very supportive for me to breastfeed and even tried to sway me in that direction but i will admit that it was me and my thinking.

if i breastfed, give it time and he'd forget all about what he saw and how they were being used. men!!
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My hubby was extremely supportive of me nursing the boys. While I was nursing, they were "off limits" (again, leaking kills the mood,lol) He was great about it, he even made a joke if he was holding one of them and they got hungry, he would bring them to me and while I got "ready" to nurse he would tell them to be patient because mommy was setting the table. I thought it was funny.

He did comment as time went by that he couldn't wait for them to be "his" again. But he also knew it was the best thing for them and so he waited patiently. Poor guy, we have been married for 5 1/2 years and I spent 2.5 years nursing, 18 mos pregnant (ouch, don't even look at them!) but he has been a great sport about it.

Anyway, I think those who were aroused are the exception to the rule. I have known many nursing mothers and have never had one say anything about arousal. But i suppose it could happen.

Andi
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It seems to mean that in order for  pre-modern humans to survive, a woman  had to find pleasure in breastfeeding. Otherwise,  she would be prone to neglect her baby. She also needed to find pleasure in sex, otherwise why have intercourse. So it is not surprising  that the feelings of pleasure will emerge from both acts.

Some people may argue that  breastfeeding  creates sensual pleasure, while intercourse creates sexual pleasure---and perhaps a distinction can be drawn. However, in any case  the naturally healthy  response for both acts  is rooted in the pleasure principle.

When the two are competing, it is not hard to conclude that nature would prefer that the breast feeding pleasure supercede the intercourse pleasure at least for a few months---and so it is that nature dictates.

Prioritizing the  pleasures of one's life is a daily challenge.
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