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Breastfeeding Is Messing With My Sex Life. Help!

My sex life hasn't been the same since baby's birth, and I hate to say it but I blame breastfeeding. Advice?

What you’re going through is totally normal! Breastfeeding can have an effect in the bedroom, but there are ways to get back on track — you just might have to change things up a bit. Here’s how to deal with some common sex issues for breastfeeding moms.

Decreased sex drive

In order for your body to produce breast milk, there must be elevated levels of prolactin and progesterone, as well as a decrease in estrogen. These changes in hormones often lead to decreased libido. New moms usually also feel stressed or tired (or touched out, after all that feeding!), which can contribute to a low desire for sex. It’s a good time to explore other ways to be intimate, whether it’s a sensual massage or a candlelit dinner. We know you’re exhausted and a night on the town might sound like more of a chore than it used to, but a little romance goes a long way.

Breast leaking

Okay, so it can be pretty embarrassing when your boobs — formerly a big part of sex — are now leaking while you’re trying to do the deed. (And they might be sore too!) It’s okay to kindly ask your partner to keep hands off for a little while, or to keep your bra on (with absorbent breast pads), or to keep a towel handy while you’re intimate. But the best way to get through it is to have some humor about the situation. Don’t be embarrassed — just laugh!

Vaginal dryness

Those same hormones that help you produce breast milk can also make things pretty dry down there, which can be really frustrating! This problem’s easily resolved with some sexual lubricant.

Remember while you’re dealing with any of these issues that it’s important to communicate with your partner. Communication, not only through words but also through intimacy, is an important part of maintaining the relationship that brought this new life into the world. Being open with your partner will help him understand any problems you’re having, and you two can work through them together.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Top 10 Breastfeeding Problems Solved

"What I Wish I'd Known About Breastfeeding"

"Do People Really Have Sex After Babies?"

By Dawn Cedrone, RN,