So we’ve beaten the breastfeeding horse to death.
Is it for every woman? No.
Should it be? Yes… No. We’ll agree to disagree.
But we haven’t really discussed how it affects your sex life. The plural “your.” As in, his (or hers) and yours.
James Braly wrote an article on the New York Times’ parenting blog, Motherlode, that talks about the effects that extended breastfeeding have on the spouse.
Braly fully acknowledges the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the child, but wonders if it’s really all that beneficial for a breastfeeding mother’s partner.
He also mentions that while women remind men often that their bodies are their business, they fail to remember that their bodies also play a part in both partners’ sex life.
And I can see his point. I mean, what man would be turned on by a child who is old enough to “have a full set of teeth and chores” suckling at the breast of his wife. The woman he used to enjoy a sexual relationship with?
That may be the extreme, but my guess is that men will go without sex (or with minimal sex) for a time. But eventually, a husband who has been permanently replaced by nursing children could seek it out elsewhere. Or they will just daydream about getting it elsewhere while they practice sexless fidelity – never a good thing for a marriage.
I’ve spoken with friends (both male and female) about this matter. Some said they were torn between finding their wife desirable (especially with her bigger boobs) and weirded out that their wives were now the vehicles of sustenance for a new baby they adored. Other husbands didn’t seem to be phased, but their nursing wives were.
Many women were self-conscious about the way their bodies looked after giving birth, and about their inability to control the ever-present, and un-sexy spring of milk.
Braly’s article also made a good point about a man making the choice to maintain monogamy in his marriage for the good of his partner and that of his family, even if sex provides an immediate benefit to him. Why then, do some nursing mothers not consider the good of the marriage when the benefits of nursing are getting in the way of a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse?
I’m going to have to side with the dads on this one.
Nursing mothers, sex is extremely important to a relationship. It’s practically the most important thing for men. Hard to hear, but true. Even annoying at times. Ok, a lot of the time.
And it’s hard to remember (my friends are laughing at me right now!), but making your spouse happy should be the No. 1 priority.
Your love, respect and admiration were the reasons you jumped into the parenting pool with him. So why not throw him a life preserver once in a while?
Partnership precedes parenthood, and a mother who nurtures her marriage is doing the single most important thing a woman can do for her children in the long run.
Amy Grace is married with two children. Read her Fridays on momaha.com
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