The combination of increased prolactin and oxytocin may make you feel great pleasure from breastfeeding. Your emotional and physical intimacy needs may be met by breastfeeding your little one, so your sex drive may decrease. You may not feel the need or desire to seek affection from your partner.
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.
The reaction isn't sexual it's hormonal. When you're breastfeeding, your body releases oxytocin that can cause sensations similar to orgasm in the form of intense contractions of the uterus.
In her book Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet, Amy Bentley argues that distaste for public breastfeeding in the US began with the sexualization of female breasts in the 19th century and was accelerated by the rise in processed baby food occurring around the same time.
Although breastfeeding is not a sexual act, some people may perceive it as such, especially because female breasts are often sexualized. Thus, one's comfort level with sexual topics and reactions to sexual stimuli may influence their evaluations of breastfeeding (public breastfeeding in particular).
What Effects Does Breastfeeding Have on Sex? There's no required waiting period for intercourse after delivery, though most health care experts recommend you wait four to six weeks to have sex again. This gives you time to heal following delivery or surgery.
It's often described as a feeling of relief, especially if your breasts are full. Some women say that breastfeeding feels like a tingling, warm feeling in the breast, especially at the moment of the milk let-down reflex that begins the flow. The sucking feels like a gentle tugging sensation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization also recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years of age or older.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans [PDF-30.6MB] recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months, and then continuing breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods until your child is 12 months old or older.
The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding “up to two years of age or beyond”. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that "[h]ealth outcomes for mothers and babies are best when breastfeeding continues for at least two years.
During the early 20th century, breastfeeding started to be viewed negatively, especially in Canada and the United States, where it was regarded as a low-class and uncultured practice.
The two authors believe heterosexual men are so fascinated by women's breasts thanks to a simple hormone released during nursing which helps to forge the powerful bond between mother and baby, which also creates an evolutionary drive for a strong nurturing bond between lovers.
You can nurse whenever your baby's hungry.
This includes private establishments such as restaurants or stores; all 50 states have laws that allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.
By the early 1970s breastfeeding rates had crept up to 28%, but that included babies who only went to the breast once or twice and most mothers assumed they would bottle feed.