Breastfeeding & Sensuality

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Extreme breast sensitivity makes me uptight about sex

Dec 2001

I am somewhat successfully breast feeding twins, however, I find that my breasts are really taking a beating. This is particularly evident when I want to be intimate with my husband. I find that even the slightest movement toward the breast region gets me a bit uptight for fear that he might touch those o' so tender food dispensers. I'm wondering is this just happening to me because of twins and overuse or is this the case for all breast feeding women? It's been so frustrating to my husband that I've promised to stop breast feeding at 6 months, but I truly would rather continue for all the wonderful benefits it provides. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

I breastfed my first child for 8-9 months, my second for over two years. I heartily recommend putting the priority on breastfeeding your child for at least one year. This is now what is even officially recommended by the American Pediatric Society (sp?). If your husband agreed to have children, one must assume he knew that some sacrifices would have to be made. I would stand tough for your child. You might want to get a book called The Mother Dance by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. In it she mentions a period in Paris France when small babies were sent to the country to be breastfeed by wetnurses so the wives could return to putting their husband's sensuality first. As you probably imagined, the mortality rate for these small babies was exorbitant. Good Luck! Anonymous
Please don't stop breastfeeding only because your husband wants to be intimate with your breasts. Nevertheless, I understand where you are coming from.... my nipples were always sensitive - and not in a good way. After breastfeeding (I still am) they are even more sensitive. My partner gets frustrated because I rarely let him touch them. More recently, however, they have been getting better. I think part of this is related to getting my period and sex drive back. I don't want to preach, but breastfeeding is so important (both nutritionally and emotionally) AND it doesn't last very long in the big picture. If you can make it to a year (or even if you wanted to go to two years and up), it seems a small sacrifice on your husband's part to not play with you nipples so that your children can benefit. Think about weaning long and hard (and evaluate whether you think your twins are ready) before you do anything. Once you wean, you can't go back....
It sounds as if you are just beginning the breastfeeding journey (if your children are less than 6 months). It did indeed take a number of months before my breasts were less sore. In fact, I was one of the last in my mother's group to stop being engorged at night, or to not need to wear nursing pads (to stop from leaking). For me, this was about 11 months, but for most of the mother's in my group, it was about 4-6 months. It was worth it for me, but only you can answer that question. It may help to wear a bra during sex, and of course to have a patient husband!
There does seem to be a relationship for me between breastfeeding and sex. Sometimes when I've been sexual, my nipples may feel overly sensitive, but this usually bothers me more nursing than lovemaking. So because my girl's almost 3, I curtail the nursing a little early. Your case is different though, but I would definitely continue nursing till your goal of 6 months and even consider going beyond that. You and your husband can make love many ways, and it should be okay if he doesn't have full access to your breasts for awhile, there are many other things to do! Soon your breasts are going to welcome him again but the baby is only a baby once! Good luck.
Come on ladies, you can continue to breastfeed and allow your husband liberties. It's not a your baby or your husband situation when it comes to your breasts. They can share them. If you can get them involved with one part of your body, they can be more patient about waiting for the other parts to get back to normal. I didn't have any complaints from my husband about a lack of anything, so no guilt.

I don't intend to get graphic or anything, but my husband loved my breasts more when I was breastfeeding. He was fascinated by the larger size and the whole milk issue. He loved to watch the babies feeding and he didn't mind giving them a bottle of expressed milk when I had to work overtime. He was very involved with them when they were little. I always nursed before coming to bed and whenever my breasts were sore and chapped, he was the one who would massage the medication onto them (which also felt good and helped my milk flow). He was never left out of anything and leaking breasts didn't bother him in the least. If anything, he made them feel better which in turn made me feel better. marianne