This is really serious. Isn’t it? Even the headline just turned your eyes and mind “on” to read and settle this issue once and for all. Ok. Ok I know.
And I can almost feel your heart pounding faster and you adjusted your position to take in this information, huh?
Calm down and read through, ok? You are not alone if on seeing this article you had a thump in your chest or you took a deep or shallow breath.
Now let’s get down to business. Shall we?
You are having that feeling in your heart because this is a topic that, until recently, hasn’t been well-researched, and because anything that exposes the always blurred lines between sexual pleasure and other kinds of physical or sensual pleasure, many people have the experience of arousal or orgasm during breastfeeding, and then feel shame or guilt, as if there is something wrong with them.
A lot of things happen before, during and after pregnancy all of which only the woman can explain or relate. Many women feel many things in their bodies as a result of these changes-internal and external changes-especially the internal ones.
Read on to know how it happens to you and why.
No two pregnant women feel the same things. No two breastfeeding mothers feel the same thing. In fact, even the same woman has different experiences with her different pregnancies, meaning she can fell different things with the coming of each baby.
Almost everything about a woman’s body is affected by pregnancy. All these changes are because of the increased production and also inhibition of some chemicals in her body known as hormones. These hormones control many body processes and are actually the reason for all the funny feelings you feel when pregnant, beginning with the dreaded morning sickness .They are also responsible for the mood changes and weird cravings that you develop as your baby grows inside you.
There is however a serious dimension to these changes that happens after birth of the baby. The chemicals assist your breast to produce milk and also to expel the milk as the baby suckles.
SEXUAL AROUSAL AND ORGASM?
“I breast fed both my daughters and loved it….a lot. Most women say they enjoy it and makes them feel good. So I always thought it was normal for women to ….hummmm….feel all warm and tingly and even get turned on by it. I actually had orgasms while breast feeding. I felt great!
Now I am feeling like a freak. Someone told me getting turned on, especially to the point of orgasm is sic.
I can’t explain it…it is not that I had sex on my mind…and breast feeding did not feel sexual…it just felt so good it turned me on I guess.
How normal is this?”
Many women feel like this but are too ashamed to admit it or to accept it and tell themselves that it happened to them. They feel guilty and it is understandable depending on a lot of factors like culture and religion. They keep on repressing it and denying and it may get to a point of maybe refusing to breastfeed or initiating alternative feeds just to feel sane and peaceful.
Yes. Breastfeeding might look easy, but it can be quite painful for the first few weeks or months. Getting a baby to latch onto a breast at all, let alone correctly, can take time, and those 8-12 feeding sessions a day can leave a woman’s nipples feeling raw and sore.
Many of us only know about this pain when sometimes the breastfeeding mom complains that the baby “bit” her nipples especially when the baby is getting older. It can really hurt. We accept all that.
What however some of them are afraid to talk about or even accept that it is happening to them is sexual arousal that can happen in some of them as the baby sucks on the breasts.
Many women have reported feeling sexually aroused during this time while many others have noted that they never experienced it. Breastfeeding is often pleasant for women because of feelings of closeness and tenderness with their child, and yes — sometimes it can even be arousing.
The closeness and bonding it brings has no other substitute. And I think that’s why it feels so good and relaxing to breastfeed.
The hormones released during lactation explain some of the connection between breastfeeding and arousal. When a baby suckles at her/his mother’s breast, the nipple stimulation causes the release of prolactin and oxytocin. Affectionately known as the “cuddle hormone,” “trust hormone,” and “love hormone,” oxytocin is also released in large quantities during childbirth, and in lesser quantities during hugging, touching, and orgasm.
The release of oxytocin can sometimes cause uterine contractions, similar to those experienced during orgasm. Again, while these sensations may feel odd and uncomfortable in the context of breastfeeding, it does not mean this sexual desire is directed towards the child. It simply means these hormones are working properly!
In one study of people who were breastfeeding, 40.5% of the participants reported feeling sexually aroused at some point during infant suckling. 16.7% reported being aroused frequently during breastfeeding.
However, the context and purpose of a baby sucking and an adult (husband) sucking on the breast are different. While the baby does it to get food, the man does it purposely to arouse and pleasure. Another fact also is that it seems that the baby exerts stronger pressure on the breast during sucking more than the adult.
In another paper that reviewed several studies between 33-50% of respondents described breastfeeding as erotic (25% of those responded that way said they felt guilty about it. Breasts, and especially nipples as we know, are highly erogenous zones, for both men and women. This fact should be considered when talking about this issue.
In another wonderful article, a lactation consultant, Susan Condon explains what happens during breastfeeding .Hear her:” There is nothing to be embarrassed about.
It’s a normal physiological response to lactation hormones. Breastfeeding feels good! If it didn’t, very few mothers would do it. It might help to understand just what hormonal responses are taking place.
As your baby nurses, prolactin — known as the “mothering hormone” — stimulates the body to manufacture milk. This hormone gives you a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Oxytocin, another hormone secreted during breastfeeding, causes the alveoli to contract, releasing milk into the ducts, the milk sinuses, and your baby’s mouth. This hormone is responsible for the tingling sensation some mothers feel before a milk ejection reflex, or letdown, and the postpartum uterine cramping felt while breastfeeding.
Oxytocin also causes labor contractions during childbirth and pleasure contractions during orgasm. Varying amounts of oxytocin are attributed to these different contractions”.
That is a clear outlining of the physiology of breastfeeding which also explains why you feel what you feel sometimes. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
The shame and guilt felt by these women could be traced to upbringing, level of knowledge, society and sometimes religious backgrounds. Some are not able to differentiate this feeling or to separate it from the feeling they have during actual deliberate arousal and it all leads to shame and guilt.
It is a natural occurrence over which the woman has no or little control. It is all caused by the surge of hormones which secretion is stimulated and intensified by the sucking action of the innocent baby.
When It Can Become an Issue
There was a story of a lady who declared that she was usually turned on during breastfeeding and while it happened, she would follow it up with masturbation to complete the act and feel good like shed just had sex.
This is an extreme case that should be discouraged but we are still not in a position to judge her because no one knows her orientation and her peculiar sexual problems.
Almost every woman would feel a sense of moral incorrectness to think that she was having arousal for, or sexually attracted to her own innocent suckling. And it is normal to feel that way. Another important fact you should not neglect or deny also is that it is normal to feel aroused during feeding your baby but it should not make you to stop.(once again, not every woman feels aroused). Some have even complained that breastfeeding is such a painful experience for them. So, different stories from different women.
If you read to this point, you would have understood why it happens, and knowing that the feeling is actually encouraged by your increased hormones after giving birth, would help you to be peaceful.
Let those who have never experienced it not drag the other women to the judgment seat because in this case, you can never know what you don’t know.
Let it not lead to masturbation. Let it not make you feel guilty either and let it not cause you to become uncomfortable feeding your baby. You are not lusting after your own child.
If you have been feeling bad, or if you think your mind gets aroused, think about your husband. After all, as a married woman it is normal and desirable to desire your man. Go have him.
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