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Women Who Orgasm During Breastfeeding

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You don't have to feel ashamed -- it's perfectly natural. An expert tells us why.

woman breastfeeding

Dr. Wendy Walsh: When I was pregnant with my first child, I was hosting a show for TLC called "How'd They Do That?" And every day, my mind was asking the same question about pregnancy and breastfeeding. All my female coworkers became a petri dish for me as I probed their minds for information about what the heck was going on with my body.

I was the most nervous about successfully breastfeeding. Frankly, I had no idea how the two orbs with nerve endings directly connected to some pleasurable southern region could be converted into a cafeteria. One morning, as I sat in the makeup chair with my middle bursting with new life, I posed a seemingly crazy question: Could a woman have an orgasm while breastfeeding?

There was a pause. There was a sly smile from the makeup artist. The hairdresser hooted and hollered. Others just laughed their asses off. But I didn't take my eyes off the makeup artist.

Later, when we were alone, I asked her again. She smiled again. "It's more of a sensuous experience," she said, "not a sexual one. It feels warm and cuddly and pleasurable, but it's different from sex. If you had an orgasm, it wouldn't be on purpose."

Years later, I thought of this conversation. I was in one of my human sexuality classes in my psychology Ph.D. program, and we were learning that the nerve endings in our body can respond to physical stimulation even if our brain is not on board. In this case, we were talking about rape, and the confusing feelings that can happen to victims of rape when during this horrific crime they sometimes experience a spontaneous orgasm. What an awful thought.

When my first daughter was finally born (pried out after 42 weeks in the oven), breastfeeding was anything but pleasurable. I like to call the newborn phase of breastfeeding "the vampire weeks," as that tiny, violent, sucking machine increases milk supply. But after a few months, I realized my makeup artist was right. Totally pleasurable. But a far cry from sexual arousal.

As I continued to nurse, I read far and deep into the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child. One thing I learned is that prolonged breastfeeding can help reduce your chances of getting breast cancer because it stops your periods and the monthly assault of estrogen on your breasts. That was enough for me, since my mother died of breast cancer. I continued on. I also learned that often babies suckle for comfort rather than from hunger, and that there are psychological benefits to this suckling. That sounded good too.

You saw the title of this article, so you know where I'm going here. I never, ever, mentally connected a breastfeeding experience with a sexual experience. The mental boundary was so great that I was convinced it was impossible. Then one night while I was sleeping, I had one of those fabulous dreams that, if a guy had had it, would have involved moisture. You've heard about them. I woke up from the dream to find that my tiny vampire had been doing some nocturnal suckling while I slept. Let me tell you, the experience totally freaked me out. And that was it. I had a co-sleeping bed beside me after that. I needed that bundle an arm's length away.

Later, in another human sexuality class, I asked my professor about this experience. She confirmed that it is possible and probably quite common, although people have feelings of shame about it. Pleasurable breastfeeding was probably one of nature's ways to make a survival behavior attractive. She also told me that many women quit breastfeeding for this reason. For some women, the feelings of an infant suckling can be so pleasurable that they feel it is somehow wrong. That made me feel sad too. Breastfeeding is not pedophilia. Nature brought mommies and babies together for one of the most physically pleasurable relationships on earth. Let them suckle -- and do enjoy it, ladies. It is such a short period in both of your lives. And if your body responds without your consent, relax. Just buy a co-sleeper bed.

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136 comments so far | Post a comment now
Creepy!!! September 4, 2009, 4:48 AM

That’s kind of gross that after finding a nocturnal feeding “pleasurable” she made sure to buy a co-sleeper, I am assuming to have more “pleasurable” feeds in the night. YUCK and just so wrong.
I’m totally pro-breastfeeding but once you introduce “orgasm” and “senuous” into that very natural act of breastfeeding an infant it becomes just gross. I can’t even imagine it being either - and I don’t think there is any such thing as a “cuddly” orgasm. Its a sexual response which really shouldn’t be linked w/breastfeeding.

Creeped out September 4, 2009, 5:57 AM

How sick. I’m pro breast feeding as well, but anyone that has an orgasm while breastfeeding, well I’m sorry but that IS pedophilia. And then to go buy a co-sleeper just to keep having these pleasurable feeds at night, I say go buy a vibrator. Don’t use your baby to get off.

Emma September 4, 2009, 6:09 AM

gross gross and more gross sick, you are just sick lady!!!

Daryl September 4, 2009, 6:12 AM

Are you both stupid??? She bought a co-sleeper bed so that the baby didn’t latch on to her while she was sleeping and have it happen again. (TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU…the baby was originally sleeping next to her in HER bed, so she bought a co-sleeper so that the baby could be close by but no longer next to her in her bed.)

m September 4, 2009, 6:18 AM

ok obviously the previous two posts don’t know how to read very well, she said she bought a co sleeper to AVOID any future surprise night feedings, because when baby sleeps in bed with you, he or she may help themselves to the breast at night while the mother is sleeping, which is exactly what happened to her. This way, with the baby in a co-sleeper, it would have to cry and wake the mother before it could have a feeding, to avoid any future experience. Come on guys, grow up. Obviously neither of you have ever breastfed a baby.

Katie September 4, 2009, 6:19 AM

I didn’t get the same thing you ladies did. I got that she bought the co-sleeping bed so the baby wouldn’t be quite so close to her. Perhaps I misunderstood. However, I don’t find this article gross. Having attempted to breastfeed both my children and having major problems doing so I applaud any woman who can do so for an extended period of time. If one happens to orgasm, well she related that to being similar to orgasming during rape so I don’t find it wrong. Sometimes it’s just uncontrollable I’m sure. Not that I’ve experienced it, but I don’t think of it as pedophilia either.

Bev September 4, 2009, 6:47 AM

Sorry guys, I used to co-sleeper so that the baby COULD easily roll over and latch on in the night -not get get my son further away. Anyone who has ever used a co-sleeper would know that.

Orgasms and breastfeeding -wrong and gross.

Samantha September 4, 2009, 7:39 AM

Breastfeeding is intended to be both pleasurable for mother and baby. That’s what strenghtens the nursing bond. I’ve read it can happen and Im not at all grossed out..Its nature, during breastfeeding the hormones(oxytocin, the feel good hormone) is released and sometimes the body is filled with sensation. I loved breastfeeding for the closeness w/my children it provided. Breastfeeding is not shameful and neither is this blog. It’s completely natural!!!

abbi September 4, 2009, 8:26 AM

this is really gross.
score one for the women who don’t want to breastfeed because they realize the beautiful sexy objects they are without wanting to ruin them on baby.

Riana September 4, 2009, 8:44 AM

It’s people like the first couple of posters that make women feel ashamed if it happens to them. While it may be awkward, it is a completely natural response. She said in the article that there are nerves connecting the two regions (why some women find it pleasurable to have their breasts touched during sex). And like another poster mentioned, it releases a “feel good” hormone. The mental and physical response that happens in the breasts during milk “let down” after the baby begins nursing is the VERY SAME response that happens during orgasm. Some women just have a sensitivity that would cause it to be felt in other places as well. There is nothing shameful about it. A baby is being given the best nutrition possible, and mom’s body is just having a natural, yet strange to experience, reaction. So what! I breast fed both of my children for 16 months each. I didn’t orgasm per se, but nursing, especially in the first few months, did give my body that surge of hormones and relaxed feeling that an orgasm also produces…all within a few minutes after let down and not EVERY time I nursed. There is NOTHING gross about a mother feeding her child. I respect women who formula feed, but not if it’s because they think that nursing a baby is sexual and animalistic. That’s just ignorant and those people really have more of a problem with their own psyche than women who accidentally orgasm while nursing. Sorry you couldn’t get past your own immaturity to give your baby the best nutrition possible.

Riana September 4, 2009, 8:50 AM

And that is something else - pregnancy will ruin your breasts, not necessarily breast feeding. If you’re so selfish, maybe you just shouldn’t have children. Grow up.

Brigitte September 4, 2009, 9:01 AM

It makes me a little sad that people can be so ignorant to the wonders of biology and physiology. How incredible and wonderful that our bodies and our babies are so beautifully in sync.
I found your article warm, funny, accurate and touching. Thank you for writing it.

Camille September 4, 2009, 10:31 AM

Riana & Brigitte,
It just goes to show who was paying attention in biology class. Better yet, it goes to show who was paying attention in school period. You can’t help those who lack intelligence and an open mind. Just leave them in the gutter and hope their children will rise above the ignorance. Sorry to sound mean but seriously people. This never happened to me but I do remember the feeling I felt after “let down”. I miss it too.

Strange September 4, 2009, 10:38 AM

“I respect women who formula feed, but not if it’s because they think that nursing a baby is sexual and animalistic. That’s just ignorant”

I love when someone is open-minded as long as it fits their definition. If you respected formula feeders, why they do it is irrelevant, otherwise you are ignorant.

I was a breast feeder. I cannot imagine it being “orgasmic” at all and associating the two actions - nurturing a baby and an orgasm is creepy. Milk letting down is NOTHING like an orgasm AT ALL. However, if I had had an orgasm during feeding I would have discontinued breast feeding since I would not want what is a sexual release (orgasm) to be tied in with feeding my child.

Bettina September 4, 2009, 11:26 AM

Thanks for being willing to talk openly about a subject many moms secretly wonder about and is considered taboo. Let’s avoid the judgements ladies … let’s marvel at the amazing capacity of the human body to provide the perfect disease-fighting nutrition and make it enjoyable to mom, and that means the full gamut from little or no physical feeling to intense physical feelings, including spontaneous orgasm … we are all wired differently and some mother’s bodies are more responsive to hormonal changes; these are simple physiological differences and there is no “good” or “bad” about it! Bravo for having the courage to take this subject on! By the way, there are some suggestions that women who breastfeed are more comfortable with their sexual selves and are more ready to return to sexual relations with their partners than their counterparts, but not enough research has been done. Thisis probably a topic for another post, and I am sure that all will be madly twittering over it!

Riana September 4, 2009, 2:31 PM

““I respect women who formula feed, but not if it’s because they think that nursing a baby is sexual and animalistic. That’s just ignorant” I love when someone is open-minded as long as it fits their definition. If you respected formula feeders, why they do it is irrelevant, otherwise you are ignorant.”

How about this: I respect that it is a personal decision, or sometimes a requirement, and there is nothing wrong with formula feeding. Nutrient-wise, it is more than adequate for baby. Breastfeeding is also a personal decision. However, the decision to formula feed BASED on it being “gross” or “uncivilized” or “sexual” is ridiculous, ignorant, immature, and selfish. Let your body do what it was made to do! You’re providing not only nutrition, but immunities to your child, and also reducing your risk of several diseases in the process.

Kind of Embarassed September 4, 2009, 2:45 PM

I really identify with this article. I am a nursing mother and I co-sleep with my infant. There have been times when I’ve had sexy dreams only to wake up and find my baby nursing. Yes, it was weird. I was horrified and uncomfortable. But having a orgasm because of a dream isn’t the same as orgasming because of a baby. It wasn’t pedophila. That’s a disturbing leap for one’s mind to make. I assure you, it had NOTHING to do with my baby and everything to do with Jason Statham and a amazing kitchen scenario.

mercaties September 5, 2009, 11:02 AM

Just one more reason I’m Pro-bottle and yes, I’m a mother of two.

Anonymous September 5, 2009, 4:35 PM

My husband and I adopted our child, but I was surprised to find this article, because I have wondered about this in the past. As a woman who would be “missing out” on some aspects of the, “becoming a mother” experience, I often had questions about many things I would not be experiencing for myself. Only, this wasn’t a question I was willing to ask anyone. I just remember thinking to myself, that there was probably no way I would have been able to breastfeed, even if I could, because my breasts are extremely sensitive, and the thought that I might have an orgasm while feeding my baby was horrifying to me. Obviously, it wouldn’t be because of the baby! That’s the horrifying part! There’s just a very strong connection between the two areas for me. This article probably would have been helpful (had I been a woman actually capable of nursing) if I was a new mother trying to decide between breast or bottle. I’m sure there are MANY women who WORRY about this, and if they read this article, at the very least, they will get some relief to know that it’s normal if it happens.

Sarah September 9, 2009, 4:22 PM

to the people saying that the writer is “gross” or “pedophiliac” for having an involuntary and natural, albeit awkward, bodily response to breastfeeding represent the kinds of people that makes bill maher say that americans are stupid. your ignorance and immaturity is mind boggling.

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