When women become pregnant many things happen to their bodies. One of which is the swelling of the boobs. For someone like myself, with lots of help from Calvin Klein and Victoria’s Secret, this comes as a welcomed addition. As the months progress you begin fielding questions about breastfeeding… if you are going to do it and for how long etc. The natural answer is “yes of course! It’s the best thing for the baby!”. You buy nursing bras and camisoles that are scary looking (which almost require directions to put on) and you register for “my breast friend” (I laughed out loud when I registered for it) and you maybe buy a book or take a class. FYI – NOTHING can prepare you.
Yes, breastfeeding is an emotionally bonding experience and has great benefits for the baby but OH MY GOODNESS is it painful. Painful is not a good enough word. Bee sting and needles come to mind. No one told me that my nipples would bleed. And not only do they bleed but a scab seems to form over them and then 2-3 hours later your child sucks off the scab and makes them bleed again. I am sorry if this makes you throw up in your mouth but no one tells you these things when you are preparing for your precious bundle of joy.
My first baby is basically tongue tied. They have a medical term which states that the frendulum is too tight but the bottom line is, when she nursed it was hard for her tongue to wrap around my nipple so everything was worse. I was about to give up when L was 2 days old and my mother refused to let me. She said I would get over the pain and get used to it. She was right. I did. But not without real tears streaming down my face the first two weeks of her life. Truthfully, the needles and stings only last for the first 10-20 seconds and then it’s fine but you better pray hard that your baby does not fall off and have to latch on again. I am convinced no man would make it past the first feeding.
Physically, you are in disbelief of the sheer Pamela Andersonesque job that has taken over your front torso. Your husband will stare and want to come closer but STOP HIM! They can only look from afar because if they even so much as brush up against you, your boobs may just explode with milk. I remember visiting a lactation consultant 3 days after L was born trying to figure out why breastfeeding was hurting me so much and all of a sudden milk started dripping everywhere and I panicked. The consultant said I was having a “let down” and my milk was coming in (it should be called a let up b/c your boobs only get harder and stand up higher) and thus began my relationship with breast pads. You won’t be getting your period for the next couple months ladies and instead of tampons you’ll be checking out with breast pads. Equally as embarrassing when leaving the grocery store. Oh and if you work you might want to pick yourself up some milk bags for pumping too. Disclaimer: be careful when your milk comes in, milk can spurt out of your nipple and hit your child, husband, or anyone within five feet of you so watchout!
The pump – the pump – the pump. Where do I begin? It is like going to the bathroom in terms of relief. After a couple let downs and no baby around to take the edge off, the pump makes it happen. You just put those udders up against the funnel and turn the switch on and boom you’re a cow. Fresh pumped leche and a quick drop in breast size for another hour or three. I am unlucky or lucky enough to work out of my car and so the Hooter Hider is my best friend. Say what? Hooter Hider? Oh yes, the apron that can hide your baby from flashing people in public or hide the funnels while you pump in your car, which is my choice. Make sure you take a cooler with you too.
By the end of this posting you are either high fiving me because you know what I am saying is the truth or you are re-thinking the breast feeding decision all together which is not what I intended. It is a wonderful, life altering, experience to rock, with your baby in your arms, and feed them. Women have done it since God gave us creation and it is what He wanted us to do, not to mention its FREE and very convenient. No worries about packing formula when you leave the house with diaper bags and toys and strollers. You have something better that you can’t forget about… piping hot, freshly pressed milk. Oh and don’t eat anything spicy, acidic, raw or anything with milk because you are not allowed to enjoy food, unless you want a screaming baby with that salsa. Xoxo til next time!
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Luke11.27.NIV