Topic Overview

Childbirth and
breastfeeding 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 breastfeeding.

  • 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 breastfeeding.
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 breastfeeding.

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.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

La Leche League International
www.llli.org

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women’s Health
www.hrsa.gov/womenshealth/index.html

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017