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How your sex life can change as a breastfeeding mom
Discover how breastfeeding can affect your libido and what couples can do to keep intimacy alive.
By Simone Paget
Understanding changes in your sex life
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Nursing can definitely put a damper on your sex life, but it's important for couples to understand this is normal. When asked about what her sex life was like while she was breastfeeding, http://healthreviews2014.blog.co.uk/2014/02/26/vitamin-d-and-green-tea-play-down-the-size-of-the-fibroids-during-pregnancy-amanda-leto-review-17820905/
new mom Julie says: "I think breastfeeding is a beautiful way to bond with and nourish a baby, and I can't imagine doing it any other way. But, if my husband dared to ask for sex during the months I was breastfeeding, I was turned off -- I felt like everybody wanted a piece of me."
Many new moms share Julie's sentiment. While many new parents embrace breastfeeding because of its nutritional benefits and the bonding aspects, it's not uncommon that these same parents report a nosedive in their sex life. The good news? Research shows this is completely natural.
We turned to Jean Kouba, a registered nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who runs her own private practice, Halton Breastfeeding in Oakville, Ont., for some insight on the relationship between breastfeeding and libido.
Kouba recently conducted research on this subject, surveying 135 new moms about their experiences with breastfeeding and sex. She reports that it's completely normal for a woman to experience a loss of libido while nursing. She explains that the reasons libido is affected by breastfeeding include "biological, psychological and social factors."
1. Hormonal shifts can decrease libido
Similar to puberty, pregnancy and menopause, postpartum is a time in a woman's life when she experiences huge hormonal changes. "Blame it all on the hormones!" says Kouba. Androgens -- otherwise known as the sex hormones -- naturally decrease in women who are lactating. Many breastfeeding women will "naturally not feel in the mood," says Kouba.
2. Lack of sleep makes us crave less sex
Although it would definitely be a lot more convenient if all babies were on a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. schedule, Kouba reminds us that a baby is actually on a "24-hour wheel." Dealing with a fussy baby at two or three in the morning is a huge drain on your energy reserves. In fact, the women Kouba surveyed ranked tiredness as one of the top factors that impacted their desire to have sex.
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