Breasts change when women become mothers. From the early months of pregnancy onward, a rush of hormones alters breast shape, size, and internal composition. During pregnancy, they swell to facilitate breastfeeding and are further affected by the act of breastfeeding itself.
Meanwhile, men stay the same. We’re horny idiots looking for any excuse to interact with boobs before, during, and after pregnancy. But even the horniest and most stubborn dads quickly catch on to the fact that new mom boobs are off limits for them during the early days of motherhood. Your baby needs those breasts more than you. And, thanks to the radical hormonal changes they’ve undergone and the unpredictable nature of breastfeeding, breasts are often painful, achy, and sore for new moms. The last thing mom wants while breastfeeding is some thirsty dad fixating on their boobs.
But breastfeeding doesn’t last forever. Eventually, the discomfort recedes and the situation shifts entering a new and uncertain phase that horny idiots may have difficulty navigating. To establish clear rules of boob engagement, we asked nine moms for advice. Here’s what they said.
Don’t Reach for The Clasp Until it’s Time
“When the baby was young it felt really uncomfortable to go without a bra, especially when I would get engorged. And for the first few months I was very leak-prone. For my own comfort and so I could more easily forget about the giant milk fountains attached to my torso I would keep my bra on during sexy times. For the same reasons I did not want them specifically touched in a sexual way, it was basically a weird turn off. My partner was fine with this as [my breasts] were on baby-duty in his mind as well. As time went on, I eventually was more and more comfortable with my boobs being on double duty and they started to get worked into the fun more and I started to shed the bra again.” — Heather, mother of one, Wisconsin
Try Not to Be Overzealous
“When you’re a nursing mother and you’re constantly feeding your baby, the last thing you want is anyone else near your breasts. The good news? Once you’re done nursing, your breasts are again your own and you’re happy to share them with your husband.
The truth is, nursing a baby is exhausting and demanding and also very rewarding. But after having a small human attached to your breasts much of the day and night, the last thing you want is anyone else getting near them. They’re swollen, they’re sometimes sore, they’re leaky. They don’t feel sexy, and most of the time as a new mom, neither do you.
Husbands: be nice to your nursing wives. Get them a drink of water while they feed your babies, sympathize with their discomfort and exhaustion. Go get them some cabbage leaves to soothe their breasts if asked. But most importantly, don’t try to cop a feel until you get the green light.” —Elizabeth, mother of three, New Jersey
Trust Her Insight
“Husbands have to be patient about treating any parts of a mom’s body in a sexual way. Super patient. Like more patient than they’d ever expect to have to be. I mean, your sex life will pick up speed again eventually but it could be on pause for months and months. My partner was very sweet. I could tell he wasn’t excited about waiting but he did anyway. I appreciated that. When I was ready for it, it was really hot.” —Vanessa, mother of one, Bronx, NY
Don’t Motorboat ‘Em Too Soon. It’s Weird.
“After the first kid, I did not want my husband’s face around my breasts. When I breastfed my daughter it felt like I had a special, like, magic connection to her and having him there seemed gross. When the mister and I messed around for the first time after [my kid] was born, he went for my boobs but I gently pushed him away. He got the hint but didn’t say anything. When I stopped breastfeeding, after a couple of weeks it didn’t seem weird anymore. I can’t explain why. It was like a light switch went off in my head. ” —Arden, mother of two, New York
Respect Her Signals
“If she doesn’t want you touching her boobs take it as a sign that she’s not ready for sex. After birth, your hormones aren’t just in overdrive. They’re in overdrive working on something totally different than usual. Think of it like a factory during a war. All of a sudden it’s making tanks instead of cars and the tanks need to be ready tomorrow.” —Veronica, mother of two, Virginia
Just Accept the Inconvenience
“Dads should know that for a while after the kid, your wife’s breasts are not going to be part of your life and you should just accept that. But judging from my experience, dads probably aren’t going to notice they’re gone because of the baby. Don’t forget that you’ve all of a sudden become parents! You’ll be up all night taking care of your newborn and spend all day bonding with them and being amazed at how cute your kid is. I don’t have a lot of specific memories of the first month of my son’s life other than generally being really tired and happy. I’m pretty sure when my husband couldn’t live without boobs he snuck into the bathroom and caught up on Pornhub on his phone.” —Stacy, mother of one, California
When She’s Ready, Pay Special Attention to Them
“Breastfeeding sucked for me. My little one didn’t latch correctly and my nipples got sore and cracked. My breasts got bigger but not at the same rate and felt lopsided. When I weened her off, I thought they looked really saggy and was very self-conscious. When [my partner] and I had our big post-baby ‘date night,’ I really loved the attention he paid to my boobs. It let me know I’m still hot.” —Emily, mother of one, Massachusetts
Three Golden Rules of New Mom Breasts
- Talk to the owner, not the boobs
- While you may admire the boobs, resist the urge to touch or snuggle them
- Service boobs are working boobs
—Edna, mother of three, Florida