Yes, a mother can get turned on by breastfeeding – and many women experience this phenomenon around the world. No, you are not alone! You know me, when it comes to answering direct questions, I won’t waste your time beating around the bush.
However, you should continue reading this article so that you fully understand everything that leads to this possibility, the implications – if any, and the control measures that can be employed.
Naturally, a woman’s body is designed to differentiate between when a woman’s breasts are sucked for intimate pleasure and when it is for breastfeeding purposes. To achieve this, the brain reduces a woman’s sexual drive after delivery through the help of two hormones, namely – oxytocin and prolactin.
So, when a woman is breastfeeding a baby, she is supposed to feel contentment – not a sexual urge – but this is not always the case. In many cases, women get aroused when breastfeeding, and if you feel this way, there is no cause for alarm.
In this article, we will address everything you need to know about getting turned on during breastfeeding.
[Also Read: Tips to Stay Awake While Breastfeeding a Baby]
Is It Normal to Get Turned On During Breastfeeding?
As predicted, once you settle the possibility of turning on during breastfeeding, the next question is usually centered on whether the phenomenon is normal.
When it comes to breastfeeding, every mother knows that no one can actually master the act. The breastfeeding experience may be totally different from that of the second child, or third child. Also, you may breastfeed one child with ease and find out that it is a struggle with the other – and vice versa.
However, it is safe to say one aspect of breastfeeding that is not common – because women find it awkward to talk about it – is breastfeeding arousal.
So, to answer the question, yes it is normal to experience breastfeeding arousal or be turned on as your little one suckles on your nipple. But before you turn away, wait! Science completely backs it.
According to a research carried out by the Nursing department of the University of Ottawa, Canada, the hormones that are responsible for pregnancy and childbirth have a big role to play in this. So, do not feel guilty about this, sometimes it is not your ‘dirty mind’ at work. It is your hormones – and you are not to blame!
What Hormone is Responsible for Breastfeeding Arousal?
A hormone called ‘Oxytocin’ is the culprit. It is secreted by the brain through the posterior pituitary; and can be identified by many names including ‘cuddle hormone’ or love hormone.
Oxytocin is a very important hormone in the female system as it is responsible for reproduction, childbirth and of cause – breastfeeding. It is also the hormone responsible for female sexual activities, behavior, orgasm, maternal instincts, to mention a few.
The Oxytocin hormone is responsible for so much, right? But when it comes to breastfeeding, Oxytocin partners with another hormone called Prolactin. The Prolactin hormone is responsible for the postpartum milk production in nursing mothers and the constant desire for a mother to always hold her baby.
The presence of Oxytocin, which is produced in large quantity during labor is responsible for breastfeeding arousal in women.
[Also Read: Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding a Gassy Baby]
How do I Prevent Breastfeeding Arousal?
There are many women who find breastfeeding arousal offensive – and some feel guilty because of it. Well, there is no medical prescription that can assist you with this, except you plan on going really advanced into celibacy therapy – which you truly do not need!
The easiest way to prevent breastfeed arousal is to take your mind off the topic when you are breastfeeding your baby. Try to engage your mind with something engaging.
You could also try changing your feeding positions. For instance, some experts believe that crossing your legs while breastfeeding can increase your chances of breastfeeding arousal. According to them, this is because crossing your legs causes your labia minora to come in contact with each other, thereby stimulating the clitoris.
With the high about of Oxytocin hormones in your system at that moment, you do not want to be having such stimulation.
Other Amazing Breastfeeding Facts You May Not Know
When it comes to pregnancy and nursing a baby, I always tell women that no one knows it all when it comes to pregnancy and motherhood.
In this aspect, I will highlight some breastfeeding facts that you may not know, despite being a mother or an educated awaiting mother. Although you will find some of them funny, they are true.
Without further ado, let’s look at some amazing breastfeeding facts you probably have never heard of before.
25 Breastfeeding Facts You May Not Know
1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nursing mothers are to engage in continuous breastfeeding for 2 years.
2. In many countries – especially in Asia, America, and some parts of Europe, some nursing mothers breastfeed their babies until they are five years of age.
3. In the United States of America, breastfeeding in public was a crime punishable by law in some states until 2018 when it became legal for mothers to breastfeed their babies anywhere across all 50 states.
4. Sweden is recorded as the country with the highest breastfeeding statistics of 98% against using a formula. This is largely because they have the most generous parental leave policy in the world.
5. Breast milk contains a hormone called Serotonin; it is responsible for making babies sleep. So, now you know why your baby is likely to sleep after a feed.
6. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), exclusive breastfeeding is compulsory for the first six months of a baby’s life; but only 25% of mothers meet that goal.
7. According to medical experts, mothers who engage in extensive breastfeeding are less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression.
8. Mothers who engage in extensive breastfeeding are less like to have breast cancer.
9. After delivery, a newborn baby cannot see clearly except the mother’s face during breastfeeding.
10. According to reports, in many cultures such as the Kung San of South Africa, nursing mothers breastfeed their babies 50-100 times daily.
11. Breast milk is an already made balanced diet perfect for your baby – I guess you should know this already!
12. After Breastfeeding your baby, there is no need to give water. Breast milk is 87 percent water. If there is anything in the world better than water, it is breast milk.
13. Just as every meal tastes different, so does breast milk. So, trust me when I say your baby knows when you have eaten something different, from the taste of your breast milk.
14. As your baby grows, the nutritional composition of your breast milk changes to suit the baby’s nutritional demands. The necessary nutrient, vitamins, and minerals needed per stage of your baby’s development are contained in your breast milk.
15. The taste and milk composition of your breast milk change with every feed. Wondering why your baby is never tired of breast milk? It is because it is different every time!
16. According to reports, breast milk boosts immunity. This is because breast milk contains blood cells that help to fight infection.
17. Breast milk helps to heal wounds faster because it contains special anti-inflammatory properties.
18. A baby can identify their mother’s breast milk by its unique smell. Hence, if paying attention, a baby can tell which his /her mother’s breast milk is.
19. According to experts, breast milk is capable of killing cancer cells.
20. Today, statistics reveal that 57.6 percent of American babies are already on formula within the first six months of their lives.
21. You can tell the type of meal a woman has eaten through the smell of her breast milk. For instance, if a nursing mother eats garlic, her breast milk will smell like garlic. The moment she starts to breastfeed her baby; everyone would be able to tell she had garlic.
22. Breast feeding burns a lot of calories. According to experts, a breastfeeding mother burns between 400 to 600 calories per day from breastfeeding alone. Ever wondered why nursing mothers eat so much?
23. Breast feeding excises the brain. This is due to two hormones called Prolactin and Oxytocin – released to aid breastfeeding. These hormones are also called the ‘Feel Good’ hormones.
24. According to medical research, babies that were breast fed extensively are less likely to suffer from gastro intestinal, respiratory, or ear infections.
25. According to research, regardless of whether a nursing mother is right or left handed, she will produce more milk from her right breast.
[Also Read: What to Eat And Avoid While Breastfeeding a Sick Baby]
More than 70 percent of nursing mothers get turned on by breastfeeding, but the topic remains some sort of taboo even among women. I believe that mothers – and women, in general, need to talk more about issues such as this.
We must learn to move over certain religious and societal stereotypes to enable us better understand ourselves and our world.
Breast feeding is a very complicated activity and as I mentioned before, no one can claim to be a breast feeding expert. This my opinion, is one reason why women should feel free to open up about their breast feeding challenges to other women.
Also, nursing mothers need to ask more questions and research about the changes they experience in order to get expert advice, rather than remaining in the dark.