Breast Stimulation: Okay If TTC?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband and I are have been married 10 months and are talking about having a baby. Since we started talking about it, I've been paying closer attention to my periods and have noticed that they come anywhere between 24 to 30 days. This concerns me because we are both in our mid-30's and I know that my chances of conception is lowering by the year.

When I am on my period I have bad cramping but I don't like taking medicine for it. We have noticed that when my husband gently messages my breasts and sucks on my nipples, the pain from cramping calms down. However the flow of my period is heavier and sometimes it even shortens how long my period lasts.

We both enjoy this intimate time but is this something that we should refrain from, would this practice effect our chances of making a baby?

ANSWER

Not at all! Breast and nipple play produce oxytocin, which makes the cramps a little stronger, which helps to evacuate the uterine contents sooner. This will come in very handy at the end of your pregnancy (after 37 weeks) when you are trying to get your baby to come.

Prior to getting pregnant, have all the fun you want! But you might want to lay off during the pregnancy, in order to prevent a miscarriage.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.