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According To Experts, Breastfeeding Changes Your Body And Can Even Affect Your Sex Life In Really Weird Ways

Having a baby is arguably the greatest miracle of life. Rumor has it, breastfeeding your baby takes second place. Extensive research has revealed that breastfeeding can provide mother and infant all kinds of benefits including providing her with proteins that stimulate against allergies and eczema. What’s more, it can make vaccines more effective and make babies smarter. But what ways can it affect your body?

Here’s what you can expect.

1. While you breastfeed, your body releases oxytocin and prolactin, which means you’re going to feel *really* good.

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Breastfeeding your baby is an emotional experience. Your body becomes flooded with oxytocin when you breastfeed, which is nature’s way of ensuring mom wants to breastfeed. Every breastfeeding mammal produces is laden with casomorphin, which has a sedative effect on your baby. Your body does this to solidify the bonding experience between you and your baby.

2. That means that most moms experience mood dips when they stop breastfeeding.

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Of course, some moms are very happy to scrap their nursing bras, while others can suffer from hormonal mood swings once they wean. One way to help prevent a severe mood dip is by weaning very slowly. An abrupt stop to breastfeeding might feel like whiplash to your body, which has been flooded with oxytocin and prolactin for months at this point.

3. You lose 5 to 10 percent of your bone mass within the first six months of breastfeeding.

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University of Pittsburgh’s own associate professor of endocrinology, Mara Horwitz, says that, in order to ensure the baby is getting enough calcium, the body takes it directly from the mother’s own bones.

4. You have a higher risk of gum disease.

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While you’re pregnant, your hormones change, and you lose the estrogen that is typically there to protect your bones, so once you start breastfeeding, you start leeching calcium like crazy. That lack of calcium also leads to an increase in risk for gum disease. In order to combat this lack of calcium, it’s important to take at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Think dark leafy greens, fortified orange juice or fortified almond milk, and it will help.

5. The good news is that you’ll eventually have stronger, healthier bones than you did before.

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According to a 2012 study by Osteoporosis International, women who breastfeed for 33 months or longer eventually have stronger, larger bones than moms with less than 12 months of breastfeeding.

6. Your boobs are about to hurt way more often.

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Except, this time, it won’t be your body’s monthly warning that your period is on its way. For the first few weeks of breastfeeding, when your boobs start to ache, it means you need to wake up Bebé and feed her. You can take a warm shower before nursing to help with milk flow and will have to apply cool compresses to your breasts between feedings.

7. You may notice hard, marble-sized lumps in your breasts.

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That’s also normal. If you’re breastfeeding still, it may be a clogged milk duct, resolved by massaging the area as you breastfeed until that side goes dry. If you’ve already weaned, it’s likely your body absorbing its own milk.

8. Your boobs are going to deflate after weaning, pero no te preocupes–they’ll perk up in six months.

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If you’re starting to feel at all anxious about the entire breastfeeding process, remember that everything is temporary. Once you “dry up”, it might feel like your boobs are hangin’ low, but that’s just a natural temporary loss of fat. As your body comes back to equilibrium, fat will return to your boobs.

9. While breastfeeding, you may experience vaginal dryness, tightness or tenderness.

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That’s because your body has produced lower estrogen levels while breastfeeding. Some women experience a lower libido while others experience a higher libido while breastfeeding. Either way, you can absolutely use a lubricant to relieve the symptoms and go about your business.

10. Your breasts might leak while you have sex.

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Don’t fret. It’s the most normal thing in the world for you to squirt breastmilk when you’re feeling aroused. It’s also far more common to not want to have sex at all, given the body’s production of prolactin, which you need to produce breastmilk, but which also decreases the libido.

11. The longer you breastfeed, the longer break you’re likely to get from a period.

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Some women get their period immediately after birth, though they aren’t typically ovulating until six months later. Far more often, while mothers are breastfeeding, they’re also delaying their period. Breastfeeding is high energy work.

12. You’ll probably lose weight while breastfeeding.

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Breastfeeding burns an average of 200 to 500 calories per day, and you’ll want to make sure you’re eating as often as you’re hungry to ensure optimal nutrition to the Bebé.

13. For mothers with a history of carpel tunnel, you may need extra support while breastfeeding.

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Make sure you relax your grip on Bebé and have enough pillows to support your arm (one under the arm), your back and even between your legs. Stretch your fingers and circle your wrists between feedings.

Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’

Culture

Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’

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Back in 1992, MTV first aired “The Real World,” which went on to define reality TV forever. The shows premise and tagline — “This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a house… and have their lives taped…to find out what happens…when people stop being polite…and start getting real… ” — seemed like a fresh concept. At the time, viewers were simply taking in how people from different backgrounds got along. A lot of the time, they didn’t. In the middle of all that TV drama, something unusual was taking place: viewers were meeting individuals that presented extraordinary stories. In the show’s 27-year span, only one person stood out among them all and is remembered for literally changing the world. 

In 1994, MTV’s “Real World” San Francisco featured a 22-year-old Cuban named Pedro Zamora. 

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For those not familiar with Zamora, his life story is a remarkable one of survival. He was just 8-years-old when he and some of his family members left Cuba on the Mariel Boatlift and settled in Miami. Sadly, his mother died of cancer a couple of years later when he was 13. Zamora still excelled in school. It was around this time that he realized he was gay. While he did come out to his family, they mostly feared that Zamora would get discriminated against because of his sexuality. 

At 17, Zamora found out he contracted HIV and decided to bring awareness to his disease. 

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While attending Miami Dade College, Zamora became a fierce AIDS educator. One of the most impressive traits that he possessed was that he could engage with people of different ages and backgrounds. He was a great speaker. It was his charming characteristics and profound knowledge that made him perfect for TV. He ventured into several famous talk shows of that time to speak about what it was like to be a young gay man living with AIDS. 

With the encouragement of friends, Zamora felt he could reach more people with his message of empathy and education about HIV and AIDS by auditioning to be on MTV’s “Real World.” Naturally, he was one of nine to be cast on the show. 

As a cast member on the show, Zamora helped to educate his housemates about living with AIDS. Those moments on MTV also informed millions of viewers. Zamora loved for people to learn about his Cuban culture. 

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Today with the lack of Latino representation in the arts and entertainment industry, we now see how rare it was to have two Cuban Americans on MTV talking about their culture and family. Another castmember that has continued to be in the limelight was Zamora’s housemate Rachel Campos Duffy. She was a young conservative back then, and she still is today as the wife of former GOP representative Sean Duffy (he too was a former cast member of the “Real World” Seattle). While Rachel and Zamora clashed on various topics, including his homosexuality, their bond broke through her closemindedness. 

While Zamora died shortly after the last episode of the “Real World” aired, his legacy continues to be inspiring 25 years later.

Zamora’s housemate and one of his loudest advocates today, Judd Winick, who wrote the 2000 book “Pedro and Me” said this on social media: 

“I’d ask that on this incredible milestone that we try to remember how he lived, and how he literally changed the world, rather than focusing on our loss of him. By appearing on The Real World in ‘94, he showed everyone what it was really like to be living with AIDS, to be living out, to love, to be loved by friends, supported by family—to have a full life. And it seems crazy that this was a lesson that needed to be taught. But it did.” 

Rachel echoed that sentiment on the 25th anniversary of his death on Twitter: “@RealWorldMTV changed many lives -including mine. #PedroZamora died 25 yrs ago today, but his impact lives on. I miss Pedro & the days when MTV respected young people enough to make shows like the Real World, San Francisco.”

For those of us who watched Zamora on the “Real World,” we learned about showing empathy and compassion for those that suffered AIDS and HIV and continue to live with it today. Zamora also taught viewers to always show kindness, respect, and love for one another.

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Click here for more information on the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship and The Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship

READ: A Single Mom On DACA Is One Of The Newest Cast Members On MTV’s New Season Of ‘The Real World

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

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Two years ago, actress and singer Selena Gomez opened up to fans about her experience with lupus and undergoing a kidney transplant. The summer before she took a public break from her music career. The singer had been traveling her for Revival world tour when she announced her decision to take a break to focus on her health. She cited anxiety, panic attacks and depression as side effects to her lupus diagnosis and expressed her need to take care of her health. Now, Gomez has revealed why she spent so much time out of the spotlight. She was undergoing a kidney transplant.

Since her surgery, Gomez has been open about her experience and its impact on her physical and mental health.

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The singer opened up even more about the process of recovery during a recent podcast, in which she revealed that she’d experienced body shaming her health led to weight gain. During an appearance on a recent episode of “Giving Back Generation,” a video podcast by Raquelle Stevens, Gomez said criticism impacted her “big time.”

During the interview, Gomez said that after being attacked by body shamers online she decided that she needed some time away from social media. This was primarily because they were having so much of an impact on her mental health.

“I experienced [body-shaming] with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” Selena told Stevens during the podcast. “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body-image stuff.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.” 

Speaking about how the autoimmune disease has affected her weight, Gomez said that it’s normal for her to fluctuate.

“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life — it depends on even the month, to be honest. So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that,” she explained. “In reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”

Gomez went onto further explain how the body shaming affected how she has chosen to interact with her fans moving forward.

“I’m very happy with living my life and being present. Because that’s it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away. For me that’s it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever. I don’t need to see it. I participated. I felt wonderful and that’s where the extent of it is,” she said. “I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say about it… I don’t care about that stuff but I did start gaining weight and I didn’t mind it. And that hurt…I’ve experienced people who try to control that kind of stuff before. This is my time and I want to do it the way I want to do it.”

It’s not the first time Gomez has opened up how criticism about her appearance has affected her mental health and how she chooses to include social media in her life. 

In 2018, Gomez explained that she was taking a step back from social media because she was being affected by disparaging and negative comments online.

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”