It’s not only sore nipples and engorged breast that are gonna get ya down. Oh, no honey! Theres a whole load of fun weird stuff in store for you that you have yet to be informed about. Maybe Im just coming off a really long night of breast feeding a two month old every two hours and need to rant a little bit about how much this sucks… Literally! Or maybe I want other sleep deprived nursing mamas out there to know you are not alone in some of your feelings and perceptions of your nursing experience. So here are the six things that suck about breast feeding that no one has told you about…
1. No One Else Can Do It For You
This is my fourth child and I have never been able to exclusively breast feed any of my babies until now. I don’t know what changed but suddenly these tatas just decided they finally have got the hang of things. No formula needed to save the day. But that means mama’s on full feeding duty. And the only way I can get a break from it is if ONE; I pump which takes twice as long as just feeding the baby, or TWO, I use formula and skip a nursing session which leaves me with painful engorged breast, that Im later begging said baby to “please get the evil out!” So nursing it is.
2. You Smell Like Cheese
No one tells you this. I had to discover it all by myself with my first baby. And it was a very perplexing moment for me. I was changing my clothes on one of those first nights home from the hospital and as my shirt passes over my head I smell a faint whiff of, dare I say mozzarella? “What the heck!” Followed by several awkward minutes of smelling my various pieces of clothing for the source of this new body odor and discovering that it is was yet another by product of my
mutation metamorphosis into motherhood.
3. Wearing A Bra To Sleep Sucks
We all know one of the best feelings in the world for women is taking off your bra at the end of the night, right? Well say good bye to that. You can take it off all right but you’ve got to turn around and put that sucker right back on, plus you get the added bonus of stuffing your bra with nursing pads! And If you don’t do this you will regret it in the morning when you wake up in a cold wet puddle of your own breast milk all confused and wondering if you peed the bed, or if someone peed on you.
4. You Get Breast-Milk Envy
You will have the strangest feelings towards your breast milk and others. A couple of weeks ago I went to pick up some donated breast milk for my sister in-law and this lady whips out her “extra” supply of breast milk. My jaw about hit the floor when I saw her supply. There must have been over fifty full bags of milk in the box she was donating. I was like “Dang girl! Respect!” I realized in that moment I was in the presence of greatness, the gold medalist of human milk supply was standing right in front of me. It was a little glorious. I myself have a very precious supply of only eight bags of extra milk which equals out to be about a day and a half supply for my baby. It took me two long weeks just to gather that much, and it was my pride and joy. Then as luck would have it when my sister in-law came for her donated milk my older boys accidentally threw in my meager supply with the donated milk and I was left with a with just a sad empty place in the freezer where my trophies of extra breast milk once laid proud and triumphant. Im not going to lie, I cried a little bit.
5. You Talk About Your Boobs All The Time
Especially if you run into another breast feeding mama, than its boob this and boob that. “Are your boobs still sore?” “Does your baby bite your nipples too?” “My boobs are just so big, here you should feel this…” Somehow once that baby pops out the topic of your booby business become fare game to all women and some men at that. And you don’t even mind that much anymore because your boobs and your baby are your whole life right now. In fact you look for opportunities in conversations to slip in a little booby talk. The need to find some solidarity in this crazy breast feeding time in your life is strong and you actually find comfort in others horror stories like how Calie’s baby bit off her nipple one day when it got startled and then she had to go into the emergency room to have her nipple sewed back on. True story.
6. You Flash People
Even if you don’t want to, your are going to flash somebody your boobs while you are breast feeding.
Wrestling with a cover, a shirt, a bra and a baby at the same time while your milk is letting down is a complicated skill to be mastered over time and there is a learning curve. I have only now after four kids started to nurse while in the presence of others for this exact reason. And even now my tween boys have gotten an education into the anatomy of the female breast that they would have preferred to skip. And my two year old daughter is fascinated by my breast feeding due to exposure and is always asking me how my boobs are doing. Sweet girl.
Don’t get me wrong Im all for breast feeding and am so excited and grateful that breast feeding is working so well for me this time around. I have not always been so lucky. I love knowing that I am providing my sweet baby girl with excellent nutrition while burning off the cheeseburger I had for dinner. There are so many positives to breast feeding but there are also hundreds if not thousands of articles on that already. I want nursing moms to know that its okay if there are hiccups along the way and that strange things are going to happen to your body that might seem strait out of a comic strip. It’s not all magical and/or seriousness. Sometimes you’re going to be weirded out, horrified or just out right laughing due to the strangeness of it all. But one thing does remain true for all new mothers that we can all testify of and that is the woman’s body is amazing!