Breastfeeding and Sex - Use A Good Lube

Breastfeeding and Sex - Use A Good Lube

“I had no idea breastfeeding affects your vaginal lubrication, why doesn’t the midwife or GP tell you this after you’ve had a baby?”

This was a comment we often hear when we advise people post childbirth who are worried about getting back to enjoying sex or may be experiencing vaginal dryness for the first time. Yet, we know using a good irritant free sexual lubricant can transform your sex life post childbirth.

Many tell us they have no idea that breastfeeding their baby impacts upon their vaginal lubrication, making sex feels uncomfortable or painful. Some think there is something seriously wrong with them, they are no longer being turned on, or the delivery has damaged them in some way and worry unnecessarily when using a good sexual lubricant can resolve their issues.

Some are frustrated that no one, including their midwife, health visitor or GP had never mentioned this to them. I know my GP didn’t advise me with all three children, he just said “have a glass of wine and relax!” Recommending using a good sexual lubricant would have been more helpful!

Why does Breastfeeding affect our Natural Lubrication?

Oestrogen levels drop following delivery and can remain low for the first several months or longer when breastfeeding. This is because we produce prolactin, a protein that enables mammals (and birds), usually females, to produce milk. However, prolactin impacts upon oestrogen production which, in turn, impacts upon our vagina health and ability to secrete natural lubrication.

This is why using a irritant free vaginal lubricant such as YES water based lubricant, YES oil based lubricant SUTIL Luxe and SUTIL Rich will make sex feel more comfortable, pleasurable and last longer. If you’re not using condoms you can use both YES water based lubricant and YES oil based lubricant to create a Double Glide effect for longer lasting sex play, whether that is masturbation, using a sex toy or intercourse.

If you are using condoms, we do not recommend using YES oil based lubricant as it is not condom compatible.

You may prefer a silicone lubricant such as ID Velvet which is longer lasting but not compatible with silicone sex toys.

In addition to using a good sexual lubricant some people may find using a vaginal moisturiser really helps such as YESVM and SUTIL Luxe can also be used as a vaginal moisturiser too. You can apply both using our Lube Tube

Ingredients really matter when it comes to your intimate health and sexual pleasure so always check the label because the vast majority of lubricants contain at least one ingredient, if not more, including glycerin which can cause/exacerbate thrush, glycols, parabens, dyes, perfumes, glitter and alcohol.

Vaginal Atrophy and Breastfeeding

For some, this is much more than vaginal dryness, they can experience vulval pain, dyspareunia and vaginal atrophy. Decreased oestrogen levels can also cause urinary symptoms such as dysuria, urgency, and frequency because we have oestrogen receptors in our bladder and urethra and rely upon them to keep our bladder healthy too.

They may benefit from using local oestrogen in addition to an irritant free lubricant and vaginal moisturiser whilst they are breastfeeding. So talk to your GP as a short course of local oestrogen may be really beneficial for your vagina and bladder health and sex life.

Talking about Sex needs to be Compulsory

Talking about sex post childbirth and recommending using a good sexual lubricant needs to be part of midwifery training and antenatal care. Many already do recommend using lubricant, but not all. As you visit your midwife on numerous occasions, it would take a few minutes to have a chat about sex post childbirth even if it is the last thing you are thinking about whilst pregnant!

It could be included in a discussion about contraception with your GP when you go for your 6-week check up too.

When it is being mentioned, often poor products are recommended, many of which cause irritation, thrush or were never designed for intimate use and sex play. I still hear about people being told to use KY, Vaseline, olive oil, Baby Oil or products never designed for intimate use. I know that coconut oil is a popular recommendation by some healthcare professionals.

However, you are using condoms for contraception any oil based product including YES Oil based lubricant will destroy latex condoms, increasing your risk of getting pregnant even if you are breastfeeding.

If you are using condoms be aware that some people think they’re allergic to the condom when it is the ingredients in the lubricant on the condom. Just because a condom brand says their lubricant is natural without listing the ingredients does not mean it is free from irritating ingredients which is why you need to choose brands that list the ingredients on their packaging, do not just take their word that it is “natural”.

Getting the right fit is important for comfort and effective contraception as one size does not fit all.

If you’re not using condoms, YES oil based lubricant is not only great for enjoying pleasurable sex, it’s ideal for massaging any scar tissue or episiotomy scars to help it become more flexible, heal faster and prevent vaginal tightness.

So if you are breastfeeding, use an irritant free lubricant and if you’re a midwife, doula, breastfeeding counsellor or GP please recommend using a good sexual lubricant to your patients to help them get back to enjoying pleasurable sex in whatever way they wish to or are able to.