It’s less of an issue of whether the baby will remember nursing while his parents have sex and more that the parents don’t get vital alone time.
But this week one woman's out-of-the-ordinary breastfeeding story drew national attention and criticism.
Here's the deal: Vlogger Tasha Maile published a YouTube video in 2015 that’s now getting attention because she was asked about it on the British talk show This Morning.
In the video Tasha posted, she says: “I’ve had a lot of people ask me if it’s okay to breastfeed and have sex. From what I remember, I remember sleeping with my ex-husband and my son was on me breastfeeding and we would have sex from behind or something. There’s nothing bad about making love at all, ever.”
Once the video came out, people promptly freaked out, accusing her of being inappropriate and even committing incest. Tasha was quick to defend herself on the talk show, though, saying that nursing while having sex is just part of being a multitasking mom. “I was happy to breastfeed while making love,” she says.“If the baby is okay, the baby’s okay. They’re not sitting there judging you and thinking ‘my mom and dad are having sex.’ It’s a 2- or 3-month-old baby. They’re so innocent."
Plenty of people questioned whether Tasha is screwing her baby up by breastfeeding and having sex at the same time, but clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D., says he doubts it's an issue from a psychological standpoint.
“The baby is too young to comprehend what the parents are doing—a child that young has no mental concept of sex,” he says. “It is two people moving their bodies while I enjoy my breakfast.” Babies are also usually so consumed with nursing that they’re oblivious to what’s happening around them, he points out, so it’s really unlikely that the child would notice that anything is up.
But women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., says it’s less of an issue of whether the baby will remember nursing while his parents have sex and more that the parents don’t get vital alone time, even during such an intimate act. “Even if you are breastfeeding, which of course, is a commitment and takes up time, it is vital that the mother maintains her identity separate from her baby,” she says. “She is a also a wife and lover and has needs on her own.” Wider also calls it “healthy and necessary” for parents to carve out private time for intimacy.
Yes, nursing is time-consuming and yes, women are amazing multi-taskers, so Tasha's argument makes sense on some level. But it's also important to carve out time for just you and your partner to enjoy each other. Take the time to be you and not just a mom—you deserve it.