Nursing Affecting Sex Life? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-08-2010, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 20 months old and I am still struggling to figure out how to juggle nursing and having an intimate relationship with my husband. The physical demands of suckling my marathon nurser seem like a lot and even though he's dropped off in his demands over the last year, I'm still not finding myself interested in physical interaction with my partner when I get a break from nursing.

I love my husband very much and am attracted to him. I just feel like my body is devoted to my nursling. It's especially apparent if we do try to make love and my husband plays with my breasts. I don't like to look down my chest and see him sucking my nipples or playing with them - I feel like that is my son's domain and it seems weird and gross. Am I the only person who has these issues? I feel like it is abnormal but I'm hoping someone can help me make sense of what's going on.
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#2 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I think nursing and decreased sex drive go hand in hand for some. I know it's that way for me. The last thing I want to think about in the course of a day is THAT. Nursing is tiring and it literally drains my body of everything by the end of the day. My DH does.not.get.it. I feel bad for him b/c I know it must be frustrating, but I try and reassure him it won't be like this forever.

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#3 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Night nursing has always totally destroyed my sex drive. Once the baby is SSTN, things started to improve, and once the baby weans, everything goes back to normal.

It's not fun, but it's not forever either. My best compromise has been to consent to intercourse a couple of times a week but insist on no foreplay when I'm in that "touched out" stage. My dh finds this very depressing, but less depressing than no sex at all. I also think it's better than no sex at all - it not superfun the way it usually is, but it doesn't hurt and it mitigates my guilt and keeps my girl parts in working order. And I'm pretty sure it keeps us from getting emotionally distant during this phase.

Of course, some women can't have intercourse without being uncomfortable unless they are very turned on - in which case you have a harder problem to solve. But in any case, it IS normal to feel this way and it DOES pass.
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#4 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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You are not alone on this at all. I hate that I feel this way sometimes. I too, am very much in love with dp and attracted to him, but by the time we have time to ourselves (not very often) that isn't the first thing on my mind...sleep is. My son is about the same age yours and nurses 4x a day ish and still nurses at night. We do have a couple of date nights throughout the month where ds stays with his gma and gpa, and the pressure is taken off a little, but not much. Do you ever get a night to yourselves?

I wish it were different. We are working on it. I think for me, it has alot of how I perceive myself. I think I need to remember that I am more than just ds's mom. I need to again perceive myself as sexy, etc. What do you think? Does that sound the same as you? How about biology? I wonder if there is some biological reason some women feel this way?

Well, anyways, just know you aren't alone.

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#5 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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that this is the real reason for natural child-spacing. AF has nothing to do with it. Me not wanting to do it 'cause beings are attached are why I don't want to do it!

Crunchy con wife with 1 DS and 1 lil DD born in Jan. I love breastfeeding, CDing and Friday night family bed.
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#6 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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i definitely notice a d/c in our intimate life when i'm nursing. i just don't have the desire. things aren't as, um, "frictionless", b/c nursing seems to leave me dry. also, being without my AF all but shuts down my primal desire to be intimate. there are moments where i desire to be with my dh, but they average anywhere from 2x a week to once a month. it's tough, but dh is really understanding and, often times, too tired himself bc of work/school/kids. these early years of parenting, i've found, have been tough on our intimate life, but thankfully it's not causing huge issues.
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#7 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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I think there must be some hormone that makes women, or at least me, not very interested in sex while lactating. It's not that I dislike it...I can get into it if we actually do it, it's that I have no drive to initiate it.

When DD1 was nursing I was not particularly interested in sex. Then I got pregnant with DD2 and the milk dried up (though DD1 (3 years old) was still nursing but not getting anything) and my drive returned. After DD2 was born and the milk was back (both DD1 and DD2 were nursing) my sex drive vanished again. I'm sure it'll return again after weaning is completed.

So maybe women are hormonally programmed to not be as interested in sex 'til their baby is old enough to not need the milk that would dry up with pregnancy. Sometimes I think that polygamy makes sense - though I'm much too jealous to actually wish it were so!
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#8 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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Not abnormal.

Two words: Astro. Glide.

I agree that it must be some evolutionary adaptation, but I also think it's unfair to men to ask them to go years without sex. So I put out, he buys the lube, I get a massage, and I do get to set limits. My boobs don't like fondling while nursing, so I just ask that he stay off the nipples, and I tolerate the rest.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#9 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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My DD is 11 months old and sex life has been a REAL struggle. Nursing has left me VERY dry downthere and it has been VERY painful to have sex. We try forplay and KY jelly. I am finally noticing that I am getting some discharge down there daily, so I think next time we try to have sex it won't be as bad (we have only successfully had sex 4 times since my DD's birth). Breastfeeding hormones do this kind of as natural birth control. Your body is busy support this baby so it doesn't want you to make another one. I think my case has been very extreme as nursing has taken a lot out of me and I struggle to keep weight on, I literally have to eat constantly to maintain my weight!

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#10 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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For me, it wasn't necessarily nursing. It's just been the demands of having small people hanging on me all day and making demands, whether they're nursing or not. Mine are all weaned now, but two of them are still at home all day, and I know that at the end of the day I'm just so DONE with having people hanging on me and making demands of me and I just want some physical boundaries, and sometimes sex just seems like one more demand, or one more crossing of my boundaries. It's been a real struggle for us, especially since we had the twins, since two babies meant I was that much more "touched out." I think also that I just forget to think of myself as a sexual being-- I'm so tied up in the "mama" role.

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It's not fun, but it's not forever either. My best compromise has been to consent to intercourse a couple of times a week but insist on no foreplay when I'm in that "touched out" stage. My dh finds this very depressing, but less depressing than no sex at all. I also think it's better than no sex at all - it not superfun the way it usually is, but it doesn't hurt and it mitigates my guilt and keeps my girl parts in working order. And I'm pretty sure it keeps us from getting emotionally distant during this phase.
It's been this way for us, too. I've also noticed that the more often I just decide to just do it, the easier it gets. Having more seems to lead to wanting more, KWIM? I have to really make the effort-- start planning for it in advance, so that by the time it's time, and all the kids are in bed, and we actually CAN, I've maybe got a fighting chance of being ready.

But it's still been a struggle for us. Luckily DH has been patient and understanding throughout.

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#11 of 15 Old 01-16-2010, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so glad to hear other people are in the same or similar situations! I was really starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I agree that there must be something biological about it. I also sometimes get a slight urge, but it always seems like that is not a good time and by the time a good time comes around, the urge is gone and I'm thinking about sleep or something else. We have probably had sex less than 10 times since the birth of my son, but part of that was that my husband started getting really demanding just a few weeks after the birth and even cursed at me a number of times (something he would NEVER have done before). I felt so pressured that I completely shut down. It's been really slow for us to recover from that experience and it didn't help that we moved across the country and started new extremely stressful jobs all around that same time. I think the suggestions to just decide to let it happen once in a while are a good idea and I would like to shoot for that. I do think it will get easier with some practice. lol!
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#12 of 15 Old 01-16-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I hope no one is offended, but a glass or two of wine can go a long way to making things more pleasant. I agree that it's not just the nursing, its the being touched out by the end of the day. Try a glass of wine, maybe read some trashy romance novels, that kind of thing, to get you more in that mindset. Also, explain to your hubby that you feel like everyone has needed you physically all day, and now you need your needs met. Maybe have him give you a massage every evening or something, with no strings attached, andwork up to more. Or go get a massage from a professional, to just help you relax. Good luck!
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#13 of 15 Old 01-16-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intunement View Post
I also sometimes get a slight urge, but it always seems like that is not a good time and by the time a good time comes around, the urge is gone and I'm thinking about sleep or something else.
I would also take the time to tell your DH about your urges... that way he knows you ARE sometimes thinking about him and sex, but getting the timing right is really difficult. I know that it makes me husband feel a little better when I at least tell him that I wanted to do it, even if we didn't get to.
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#14 of 15 Old 01-16-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I know how you feel (my ds is 12 weeks and nursing all the time). Actually, having sex more increases the hormones that make you want to have sex more...at least that's what I've read anyway. It seems to work. I wear a tank top to bed so the milk machines are off-limits. I've never really told my dh they were off-limits, but I guess he assumes that because he can't see them, he doesn't touch them lol! Try not to completely avoid dtd. Even though it may seem exhausting thinking about it, I always end up feeling happier and closer to my dh afterward. It's worth it and important to our relationship. I also agree with one of the PP: drink a glass of wine and let go a bit
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#15 of 15 Old 01-17-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I wear a pretty bra for sex, it turns my DH on, the lace etc... and I keep my breasts in check and protected. I have been nursing for 5 years now, I don't even remember what it was like to have them touched (bare) during sex.

Even with the bra I leak sometimes during sex.

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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