Netmums of Facebook recently shared a video of one of their own Sophie breast feeding a child while laying in bed. The child was a boy, assumingly over two and was playing with his mothers other nipple. This sparked outrage, disgust and some encouragement in the community.
A few weeks ago, I saw a screen shot posted on Facebook. The shot was of a mom’s status.
This mom claimed that she masturbated while breastfeed her son and she enjoyed it.
The sexualized breast is problematic for most persons (even moms themselves and breast feeders) to overcome when discussing breastfeeding. Breast are commonly seen as objects of attraction and not of vessels of nutrition.
Admittedly, both incidents in Facebook disturbed me. There is a conversation to be had about arousal during breastfeeding. This is a thing and it needs to be given space to be addressed. It also opens a discussion about age limits and when a mother should stop breastfeeding.
Let’s speak about the video. The mom involved has a You Tube channel so you can catch the videos there.
The video disturbed me. It’s not about breastfeeding beyond one or two. It’s about the way breast feeding was portrayed. We in the breast feeding community have been trying to normalize breast feeding through education and awareness. We have advocates posting your breastfeeding selfies and candid shots. Then here comes a lady, laying in bed, breastfeeding while her son plays with her exposed nipple.
Don’t get me (and a lot of other mothers wrong) there is nothing inherently wrong with the image. The issues is, that this image, like it our not affects the breastfeeding discussion negatively. Some mothers commented on the mothers face and expressions during the breastfeeding session. Some moms commented that the act of feeding nor the child made them uncomfortable but the mother did.
I’d leave this discussion here. Feel free to pick it up and leave me feed back.
Now, on to arousal while breast feeding.
According to Baby center it is completely normal to feel arousal while breastfeeding and it is nothing to be ashamed about. Life hacker’s Article covers it also. You see there are a lot of chemical and hormonal releases that occur while breastfeeding which lead to feelings of satisfaction and arousal. Also, for moms who have always been turned on by foreplay involving breast will still find it arousing.
Acting on these arousals while a baby is present or attached to you is disconcerting to say the least!
“Oxytocin, which is secreted by the posterior pituitary, has two major functions in relation to breastfeeding: a) a new mother feels her uterus contract during breastfeeding, and b) it is responsible for the milk ejection reflex during breastfeeding and orgasm.” There is a really good but slightly long study about the taboo surrounding arousal while breastfeeding called Sex and Breastfeeding: An Educational Perspective.
Fact is that is happens. It is normal. As a mother you have to compartmentalize these feelings and realize through research and education that it is normal but not to abuse this by acting on these feelings while your baby is present.
There is so much more I can say but this article is a work in progress. I need feed back and discussion! What are you views? When should you stop breastfeeding? Do you get aroused? Does your partner get aroused when you breastfeed? How do you cope with issues of breast feeding?