Breastfeeding and Romance

Emily Elling

Posted By: Emily Elling

Emily Elling lives downtown Indianapolis with her husband of 10 years and her four unintentionally hilarious children, Piper, 7, Nola, 5, Gage, 2, and baby Paul, born January 2012.

It feels trite to say it, but women's bodies are simply amazing machines. We can grow life, we birth people, and we even can sustain and nourish that little human once he's out of the womb. Every time I think about it, I'm simply blown away at what a women's body is capable of accomplishing.

But like clockwork, when the baby comes out, my self-esteem plummets. You see, for me  I've always felt my most beautiful while pregnant, and then the exact opposite after birth.

Seriously, what's up with that? Kind of messed up, don’t you think?

While I'm pregnant, even when I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy and at my largest, I feel confident in my skin. I love what my body is doing and getting ready to do, and I feel strong and beautiful.

But the moment I give birth, something happens deep in my soul. My body, which just birthed new life, feels stretched out and gross. I detest how my stomach now looks, and my breasts become for one purpose and one purpose only, feeding the baby.

Fortunately for me, my husband gets it.

He understands that I'm all sorts of messed up and going through hormonal changes that just need to run their course. He loves me deeply, and understand that sometimes the best way to be romantic and show is love is to let me have a soak in the tub and an early bedtime.


Romance and breastfeeding? It looks a whole lot different that romance and not breastfeeding.  But in my opinion, it’s OK, and nothing to feel shameful about.

And I hate to admit it, but I completely understand when women say that they want to be done having babies, because they “just want their bodies back”. I get it, I really do. But on the flip side, I also understand that nursing a baby is a short period in my life in the grand scheme of things. And while yes, I do want my body back, I want my nursing relationship with Paul to be healthy and good even more.

I keep telling myself, my body will be my own some day soon. But for now, it’s Paul’s, and that’s ok. And anyway, feeling beautiful and sexy is a state of mind. Right?

4:00pm on Thursday October 4


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