Your brain is why breastfeeding might seem gross to you
My mom never got to breastfeed me. She claims that she did not have any milk. However, I am starting to doubt that now because of a conversation we had a few months ago. She asked me if I was still breastfeeding my 15-month-old (back then she was 12 months old). I said, “yes, twice, once in the morning and once at bedtime.” She looked at me kind of weird and asked if I liked it! I knew she was asking because she was thinking about if I liked it in a sexual way. I was mind blown! I never thought she would think that. She said she thought that because Noemi was not a baby anymore, I probably feel different while breastfeeding her. What?? Hahaha, I just cannot stop chuckling as I am writing this. I told her “Mom!! It is a different feeling! And I am not thinking anything sexual while breastfeeding her.” I think it is more how or what we let our brain think. I think that is one of the main reasons most women do not breastfeed at all, or why some just quit shortly after trying.
Breastfeeding is such a personal choice. I cannot judge those moms who feel some kind of physical arousal while breastfeeding because it might be something they cannot stop feeling due to a combination of hormones, and how our brains are wired. However, some of those moms who have that physical arousal stop breastfeeding and go on saying that breastfeeding is gross or disgusting. Is it because they feel that way about themselves for feeling aroused? Oh great! Now I feel like I am judging. Sorry. I know there are some women who are not moms yet but think that breastfeeding is gross. I also know some women who refused to breastfeed their children because to them breastfeeding was gross. Perhaps, to those women is to whom I am probably asking this. How come the act of a partner licking, per se, the breast, is not thought as disgusting or gross? The answer is plain simple: our breasts have been sexualized for a long time. Yes I get it, it feels great sexually but if they cannot separate two seemingly different actions and their purpose, then why cannot they think that there is nothing gross about breastfeeding, but it is them who might not know how to control their thoughts relating it to sexual behavior?
I went to some online forums and searched about this topic because I thought that it was weird how some women who have not been moms sexualize such a loving, nurturing action. I found a lot of comments calling breastfeeding gross, disgusting, sick to the stomach, freaks me out, etc. Some comments were in the lines of “my boobs are for my boyfriend, I can’t imagine feeding a baby,” “have you seen how breasts look after breastfeeding?” There was one that really stuck with me. One that said something like “those moms who breastfeed are the same ones who stop having sex after kids.” Wow! Hahaha really hard. Yeah, very uninformed comments, and because of that, some women feel guilty when starting to feel something else when breastfeeding their child.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information includes an article called Sex and Breastfeeding: An Educational Perspective, in which they talk about a study on the impact of breastfeeding on fathers, “I am not suggesting that it is wrong or immoral to experience sexual pleasure from the breasts as a part of sexual behavior. I am insisting, however, that we recognize this as learned behavior, learned in a particular cultural context.” I guess it is nobody’s fault. It is just the way society has defined women’s breasts: as sex objects. It is our responsibility to unlearn that; at least when it comes to breastfeeding.
Have you ever read or heard that the brain is the most powerful sexual organ? In fact, there is evidence that women can use only their brain to achieve an orgasm without physical stimulation! So, I think to myself, if we can achieve that, then we can do the contrary for sure. We can even apply it while we are breastfeeding so that we will not feel anything sexual. Maybe I am not the right person to say this because I am not in the percentage of the women who feel aroused when breastfeeding. I will say one thing for sure, if I notice my mind going towards thinking something sexual with my husband, I just acknowledge it (because, after all, it is normal) and then put a stop to it. If I do not do that then, I think I would be allowing my brain to keep thinking about it and consequently allowing my body to feel physically aroused when I should just be focusing on feeding my child and feeling this motherly love for her.
Things I have done while breastfeeding to keep my mind occupied when my mind starts to wander are:
∞ Read a book
∞ Watch T.V.
∞ Have a smoothie
∞ Eat a snack (not crunchy because at a certain age they get easily distracted)
∞ Read something online
∞ Brush and/or braid your hair
Those are a few I can think of off the top of my head. Time goes by really quickly when you are keeping your mind occupied. On the other hand, when my baby started to get easily distracted by whatever I was doing besides breastfeeding her, I would just think how those moments are to cherish. So I would think of all the love I have for her to give her and how soon she would not breastfeed anymore. Remember it is not forever and it could stop anytime. They will not want to be held because they will be too busy exploring the world around them!