Breasts, Sex and Pregnancy: A Guide to Your New Mom Boobs
Just like many things in your life, your body is going to change dramatically during pregnancy. And once your new bundle of joy is born? Parts of you may be totally unrecognizable.
One body part in particular that is going to undergo an complete transformation are your breasts, and trust us, you're going to have questions.
Our labor nurse weighs in on some common queries when it comes to mom boobs to get you up-to-speed.
Q: My breasts didn't do much for me during sex before I got pregnant. But I had an orgasm when my husband got busy with my girls. Am I normal?
You bet you are. During pregnancy, your breasts get larger, more sensitive and receive more circulation than ever before. Women like yourself who may not have received much sexual pleasure from them before pregnancy are pleasantly surprised at how much they receive during pregnancy. It's one of the bonuses of being pregnant.
Consider it Mother Nature's gift to women as payback for some of the less enjoyable parts of pregnancy like nausea and stretch marks.
Q: If my husband stimulates my breasts while I’m pregnant, will I make milk early?
Probably not though if you do leak a little liquid during pregnancy, don't worry about it. Lots of women leak colostrum or clear fluid from their nipples when they're pregnant. It's not exactly the same stuff you'll produce when you're breastfeeding, but it is your breasts' way of priming the pump (so to speak). As long as you and your breasts are enjoying it, your husband can, too.
Q: My breasts are so sensitive it hurts to wear a shirt. Is that normal?
If you want to go topless at home and it's not going to upset your roommates – by all means go for it. Having very sensitive breasts is normal. Not wearing your shirt…not so much.
What kind of shirt are you wearing, honey? Burlap? Find a comfy bra (sports bras without seams are good choices) with no lace or scratchy material and some nice soft t-shirts. We wouldn't want you to get arrested for indecent exposure now would we?
Q: I’ve heard that nipple stimulation will bring on labor. Is that true?
It's true for some women who are already very ripe for labor. Nipple stimulation can stimulate the release of Oxytocin, which is the hormone that causes contractions. If your body isn't already extremely close to going into labor, nipple stimulation probably won't push you over the edge, but some women say it did the trick for them.
What's even more likely to get labor started is when couples start with nipple stimulation and then, when one thing leads to another they have sex. Sex (especially if your guy ejaculates inside the vagina) is also rumored to get labor started.
There aren't a lot of studies to go on with the nipple-stim and sex theories, but countless generations of women say it's effective. We don't just have to take the ladies' word for it either. Their partners (who realize this might be there last chance to have sex for a while) swear by the technique too.
- RELATED: How to Induce Labor at Home
Q: Why are my nipples so dark all of a sudden?
It's all part of the hormonal changes going on in your body to prepare for breastfeeding. Babies can't focus their eyes very well after birth and they need a lot of color contrast to find the nipple. That's why nipples get dark, to make them an easy target for babies to find. Chances are after you're finished breastfeeding, they'll fade back to their pre-pregnancy color.
Q: I had a boob job. Can I still breastfeed?
That depends. If you had breast augmentation (made them bigger), you probably can. If you had an implant slipped in under the breast tissue and didn't have your nipples moved, chances are good you'll be able to breastfeed. If you had breast reduction (made them smaller), you probably can't. It depends entirely on how much tissue was removed, whether milk ducts were severed, if nerves are still intact and whether your nipples are still hooked up to the milk ducts.
This is a really good question for your breast surgeon. Ask exactly what he/she did during your breast surgery and whether he thinks you can breastfeed. No matter what kind of surgery you had (augmentation or reduction), schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant to find out about your options. I've known many women who went just a little smaller who can still breastfeed.
Q: I had my baby six months ago and now, when I have sex, milk sprays out of my breasts. What should I do about that?
Put a towel on your chest and try to have a sense of humor about it. It's normal. You can try breastfeeding or pumping before sex, but other than that there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it. Your breasts are going to do what they're going to do, but I'd wager that as long as it doesn't bother you, your partner won't mind either.