Does Sperm Affect The Baby During Breastfeeding is one of those important questions new moms ask.
The reason being that nursing mothers do engage in sexual activities with their partner.
During these sexual activities, a woman may have sperm released into her, or could ingest it during oral sex.
Being a breastfeeding mother, one question comes to mind – does sperm affect the baby during breastfeeding?
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You may wonder why the above question is asked, and here’s the reason – medical research has proven that what a woman eats & drinks can be passed into her breast milk.
This means there may be a possibility of finding percentages of sperm inside the breast milk, which will of course be consumed by the baby.
In this article, I will be discussing the effects of ingesting sperm on breast milk, how it affects the baby, and whether it improves or reduces the quality of the milk, or has no effect at all.
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Table of Contents
Effects Of Ingesting Sperm On The Baby
As I mentioned earlier, research has shown that any substance a nursing mother consumes can be passed into her breast milk, and such substances include sperm.
So, does sperm affect the baby during breastfeeding, positively or negatively?The answer is NO and YES. Let me start with the “NO”.
So far, there has been no proof of adverse effects of “healthy” sperm on the breast milk. Take note of the word “healthy”.
Healthy sperm has been found to be harmless to the baby, as it doesn’t contain any toxins or poisons. Rather it contains several nutrients, which include calcium, potassium, fats and proteins.
As for the “YES”, well the sperm of a person who has an S.T.I (sexually transmitted illness) can negatively affect the baby when ingested by the mother.
This is how – If the sperm of a man who has an STI is ingested by a nursing mother, a percentage of that sperm will be passed into her breast milk along with the disease the sperm carries.
This means that when the baby drinks its mother’s breast milk, he/she will be exposed to the same virus in the sperm and this is very dangerous for the baby.
Can Sperm Released Into A Breastfeeding Mother Affect The Breast Milk?
The answer here is NO, sperm released into a nursing mother during intercourse will not affect the breast milk itself. The quality of the milk her body produces will not change.
However, if the sperm released into the nursing mother causes her to get pregnant, then the production of the milk will stop. This is so her body will be prepared for the new baby growing inside her.
In a situation where a nursing mother conceives, their milk production will be reduced significantly. This is because the pregnancy hormones (which include estrogens and progesterones) which are found in many birth control drugs, slows the action of prolactin.
Prolactin is the hormone responsible for stimulating the breasts to produce milk.
Other than pregnancy, a nursing mother’s production of breast milk and the milk’s quality itself will not be affected if sperm is released into her.
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Can A Nursing Mother Get Pregnant?
During the first few months after child birth, exclusive breastfeeding can act as a contraceptive and prevent pregnancy. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months after birth gives a nursing mother about 98% chance of not conceiving.
After the first 6 month period, the chances of getting pregnant would increase, especially when the baby’s diet is no longer exclusive to breast milk.
If I Get Pregnant, Can I Continue To Breastfeed My Baby?
As a caring mother, many questions may run through your head as you nurse your new born. Besides asking does sperm affect the baby during breastfeeding, you may also ask if it is safe to continue breastfeeding your baby if you get pregnant.
It is normal for mothers to assume that breastfeeding while pregnant could lead to birth complications such as miscarriage or premature delivery.
Some research has suggested that healthy pregnancies can accommodate breastfeeding practices, and new borns need not be deprived of breast milk because of a new pregnancy, but that’s for healthy pregnancies!
For pregnancies that have risk factors of premature birth, well there has been no concrete information available regarding the safety of breastfeeding during the pregnancy period.
Women who risk premature child birth are advised to take caution as far as breastfeeding is concerned. Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about this.
However, there has been no solid research or proof that suggests breastfeeding can induce premature child birth or pose any threat to the nursing mother.
For The Sake Of My Newborn, How Long Should I Wait Before Having Sex Again?
There is no set time for a woman to re-engage in sexual activities after child birth. However, it is common for doctors to recommend a 6 week waiting period, this is so that your vaginal exhaustion and sores can heal.
Besides vaginal exhaustion, child birth could also lead to –
- Vaginal tears
- Vaginal dryness
- Low sex urge
Keep in mind that if you experienced vaginal tears during child birth, and you passed through a surgical repair procedure, then you need to wait longer than 6 weeks before you can get back to having sex. Your doctor is in a best position to give you a timeline.
Studies have also shown that the first two weeks after child birth is the period where you are at risk of complications, so abstaining during that period is best.
For the sake of your newborn, and to reduce the risk of further complications, it is best to prevent pregnancy for the first 18 months. This means not allowing sperm to be released into you, do not ingest it either.
So, does sperm affect the baby during breastfeeding? Well as I have mentioned in this article, healthy sperm that is passed into the breast milk will have no harmful effects on the baby when consumed.
On the other hand, sperm from a man who has a sexually transmitted illness, which is ingested by the mother, would lead to “poisoned” breast milk, which will be harmful to the baby.
If you’re a nursing mother, be sure your partner is healthy before engaging in oral or unprotected sex with him.
You might want to consider your baby’s well being very important at this stage!