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Breastfeeding and Nipple Clamps

Mar. 5, 2014
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Will nipple clips affect my wife’s ability to nurse our future child?

I am not aware of any research or anecdotal information that indicates that safe, short-term use of nipple clamps interferes with the ability to successfully breastfeed in the future. I wrote a column in response to a similar question a few years back, “Is Breastfeeding Affected by Nipple Clamps?”  In this column, I interviewed kinky educator Madison Young, who, at the time, had recently given birth and was breastfeeding. Madison shared her tips for using clamps safely before, during and after pregnancy and finding a kink-friendly prenatal health care provider.

As Madison mentions, she is an expert in kinky play, but not in childbirth or nursing. So I followed up with Lucky Tomaszek, Tool Shed’s education coordinator and former home-birth midwife, to get a different perspective.

Lucky says, “Breast milk is produced all the way back in the chest wall and as far back as the armpits. Because of this, putting pressure around the areola directly behind the nipple poses no risk to the intricate network of milk-producing glands and ducts. During nipple clamp play, the few ducts at the front of the mammary system are temporarily compressed, but they are quite able to withstand these periodic events. The only time caution would be needed is in the last trimester of pregnancy and the first several months of breastfeeding a new baby. During that period of time, putting uneven pressure on the mammary system anywhere could cause swelling that could block the duct and lead to mastitis.”

So, follow our usual guidelines for safe kinky play, communicate with your partner, respect each others’ boundaries and limits, and enjoy nipple and breast play without worry.

Laura Anne Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than 15 years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXPress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.


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