Last week was World Breastfeeding Week.
How do you even celebrate that? Not sure...
I’m no expert or lactation coach, but I do have about 4 years of experience under my belt. I breastfed Sophia until she was 20 months; and I’m currently breastfeeding Nelps, who will be two in November.
I don’t talk about it much though. Only to people who ask. Why? Because I know there are so many moms out there that don’t or can’t breastfeed. I’ve been super close to someone who breastfeeding didn’t work well the first go around and I know how much pressure and guilt she put on herself. I don’t want ANY MOM to feel that way. If you’re feeding your baby nutrients and they are thriving. Good for you!
Also, if it comes up, I am guaranteed to get the question "How long do you plan on nursing that baby?" I don't have an answer to this question. I guess before she goes off to school. What's it to you?
Anyways, If you breastfeed, see yourself breastfeeding future children, or have friends/family who breastfeed; some of these situations may be familiar.
You may find yourself crying and pleading with baby to latch correctly (like they’re actually listening to you).
You may find yourself biting on a pillow while your baby latches because the shooting pain is almost unbearable. It goes away.
You may find yourself in unbelievable pain when your boobs are full. You think they may actually bust at any moment. Need.Baby.Now.
You may wake up smelling of old sour milk with your boobs out of your shirt. Sounds like a bad night out at the bar.
You may get looks in public, not because you are breastfeeding (well, yes you will...), but because your baby just pulled down your top and people are starring at your naked boob.
You may find people starring at you while you breastfeed, even if you use a cover up. Angelo & I went out to dinner and we saw some high school friends at the same restaurant. The restaurant was packed so we decided to sit together and catch up. I pulled out my nursing cover, and starting nursing Sophia at the table...covered. The girl literally asked me 20 questions about breastfeeding after she informed me that she was sorry she would be starring at me the entire time. Not to make it awkward or anything...
You may find yourself in the car, leaning over, with the side of the carseat jammed in your ribs just to get the baby the boob.
You may find yourself walking around Disney World totally forgetting that you were just feeding the baby that is strapped to you. That baby is now looking around the park and your boob is out, also looking around the park getting some fresh air. Once you feel a breeze, you quickly cover up and try not to make eye contact with anyone.
You may find yourself sitting at a restaurant, baby on left boob so you can use your right hand to eat. Just sitting there and having a normal conversation with your husband. This is your new norm-Baby always on the boob! This leads to...
You may find yourself with two different sized breasts because you constantly have your baby on one side.
You may experience “Niplash”. At some point, your baby will decide to whip their head around to see what a noise was, with your nipple still in their mouth.
You may find yourself working out at the gym in a sports bra, when all of a sudden your boobs start leaking everywhere and you try to disguise it as sweat. Everyone knows that's not boob sweat.
You may find yourself asking your husband or whoever is around for water, snacks, the remote, your phone, a blanket, your book, anything you need since you're stuck under a half sleeping / half eating baby.
You may find yourself trying to stretch out your arm as much as possible to try and reach your water bottle or remote.
You may pull a muscle trying so desperately to reach something, somewhere, while breastfeeding.
You may find yourself doing exactly the same thing you were doing before the baby came, just now with a nursing baby strapped to you. If you saw me the first 6 months of Nelp’s life, she was in the Ergo strapped to me, probably on the boob.
You may find yourself unable to wear certain bathing suits because your baby finds them so easy to pull them down, just for funsies.
You may find yourself going to sleep and waking up to a beautiful baby's face that topped off their milk tank every couple hours thru the night without even waking you. This is both laziness and awesomeness.
You may find yourself accidentally leaving boob pads everywhere you go. You may take it out, feed baby, and either totally forget to put it back in or figure you have absolutely no hands to put it back in. Then you feel sorry for whatever 16 year old busboy has to pick it up and wonder what it is. Oops. My friends used to call me the boob pad bandit since you could probably find me if you followed the boob pad trail.
You may feel like this in the shower.
You may find yourself being the answer to all baby's needs. Baby's hungry? Sleepy? Angry? Bashful? Dopey? Give them the boob.
You may find yourself breastfeeding on the toilet because you couldn’t possibly hold it anymore. Your husband may walk in and give you a strange look, and you may reply, “What do you want me to do?! I had to go!!”
You may find yourself getting angry when you have to wear a bra or clothes. Especially at the beginning, it’s just easier to walk around topless.
You may never of thought you would want to slap a baby until one bites you while nursing. It's just that initial reaction. HAHA Totally kidding people! No babies have been slapped...pillows...not babies.
You may find yourself thinking nothing in your closet is breastfeeding friendly. "I have nothing to wear! I can't breastfeed in that!" Then you may find yourself cleverly finding any way possible to get a nipple out of anything, no matter how much stretching of the boob you have to do. With my first, I had a wedding rehearsal to go to a month after she was born. I had already bought the dress before this breast feeding adventure so I didn’t give the fit the dress any thought. When the time came, I spent a good 45 minutes in the bathroom that night feeding Sophia with my dress hanging on the door. There was no other way to breastfeed without taking the entire thing off. Lesson learned: Always wear stretchy material!
You may find yourself looking at your boobs in the mirror with horror! You wonder what happened to them, and then you quickly remember all the stretching you do to them. Your boobs will never be the same. Ever.
You may think your heart couldn’t possibly grow any bigger while you snuggle up to a baby you are feeding. Just know that it can…because love makes room.
I know breastfeeding can be intimidating to new moms and you have a thousand things running through your mind before you have to chance to attempt breastfeeding. “Will I be able to breastfeed?” “Will my baby latch correctly?” “What will I do if I can’t?!” Instead of that, just relax, and trust that you’ll figure it out. If you don’t end up breastfeeding, you’ll figure out what’s best for YOUR baby.
Cheers to all moms!!