Another contribution for Mothering.com’s breastfeeding week extravaganza! Yesterday I covered the sentimental side of breastfeeding, but this story needs to be told too. That it’s not all milkshakes and mozzarella sticks when it comes to your milk. Sometimes it’s a freaking headache and you’ll wail SIMILAC TAKE ME AWAY but even then– carry on, intrepid boobfeeders!
A non-exhaustive list of the annoying parts of breastfeeding…
Men Don’t Lactate. Oh, the joys of those first few weeks. When you’re up every 68 minutes nursing a hungry newborn and quietly sobbing into the sleeve of your flannel PJs. Your partner dreamily half rouses– “Aww, it’s OK. You’re such a good mommy. I love you. What can I do to help?” DO YOU STILL HAVE THOSE STUPID PURPOSELESS DECORATIVE MAN NIPPLES? Then go back to bed I guess.
This Pattern: You’re sitting down to nurse. You push the baby’s fist away from his mouth. Push your shirt out of the way. Push your hair out of your face. Now the fist is back at his mouth. Now the hair is back in your face. Now your boob went hiding under your shirt again. Repeat repeatedly.
The Boppy Pillow. Like every female, I registered for the Boppy because I just assumed it was, like, the law. It markets itself as a nursing pillow but you should know that it sucks in that capacity. It works if you’re in a chair with arms. If you’re in bed? You know, like when you’re in the hospital or when your newborn is sleeping at your bedside? The times when a functional breastfeeding pillow would be most helpful to have? IT SUCKS. Your elbows will float celestially above the Boppy and you will say OMFG YOU DUMB PILLOW, I’M NOT A FREAKING SEVEN FOOT TALL FEMALE MOOSE, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. The Boppy will take the brunt of a lot of your pent-up anger. It’s good for that I guess.
You Need to Wash Your Bras All the Time. Bras were always kind of like jeans for me… on a pretty liberal laundering schedule. Now they are snagging everything in the laundry, accidentally getting dried on high, hanging all over the house when the electrician comes over, etc.
Nursing in Public. Lordy, enough said. I actually wouldn’t mind this so much if my child would just EAT LIKE A NORMAL BABY. Except the second I toss a blanket over him he writhes and squeals like some kind of crazed banshee infant and causes a big old scene. See also: pumping outside the house. Hell.
Nursing in Bed. You know what’s awesome? When both arms are holding a baby so you have to use your butt cheeks to scooch yourself up against the headboard of the bed. Yea that feels terrific on your crotch 74 hours after you’ve birthed.
Also, Side Lying Nursing. Side lying nursing is actually heavenly once you’ve mastered it. The mastering process just takes 2 months. It doesn’t sound difficult to lay down with your baby and line your boob up with their mouth, does it? IT IS. Whuh… OK… is my shoulder supposed to stick out like that? Maybe I can cross that leg over to counter-anchor my shoulder… hmm…. OK…. no. Just going to lay here awake. Looking like a freaking Pterodactyl fossil.
You Smell Like a Farm Animal For a Few Weeks. Here’s something you should know if you have yet to begin your journey– newborns barf everything up, and it takes your boobs a couple of weeks to figure out how to retain milk without leaking it all over the joint. I gave up on nursing pads when I grew to resent them as just another thing I had to fumble with and be frustrated by. I resigned myself to just having a pleasant fragrance about me. It was not attractive.
Speaking of Farm Animals… Pumping! Did you ever wonder what it was like to be a prize heifer on an industrial dairy farm? Me either. Pump your breasts and live the dream.
“Breastfeeding Melts Away the Baby Weight” Breastfeeding melts away your ability to not eat a package of peppermint Milanos for dinner.