When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I started dutifully in the hospital, and have nursed through multiple rounds of mastitis and many clogged ducts. As any nursing mama knows, breastfeeding has its ups and downs.
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond with your little one, but can also be extremely challenging (and painful) as well. I get through it all by finding the humor in everyday situations. Consequently, I’ve come up with a list of things that might be true if you’re in the same boat as me…
You might be a nursing mama if:
#1 Your bra has crumbs in it.
All the time. I eat more meals with my son attached to me than not, and there is just no way to prevent all those crumbs from finding a new home.
#2 You wear a nursing scarf and that also has tons of crumbs in it.
Just the other day, I looked down after eating my lunch at work and found an entire slice of cheese just sitting there. It was an unexpected bonus since I thought all my food was gone.
#3 You can’t close your raincoat unless you’ve pumped or nursed in the last hour.
I haven’t done the math behind this one, but my jackets fit all sorts of different ways depending on what time of day it is.
#4 You’re not even remotely bothered by the fact that a random customer at Chili’s might have just seen your right boob.
At this point, it might as well be an arm or a foot. It’s out there all the time.
#5 Realizing you forgot to put in nursing pads strikes sheer terror into your heart.
This has only happened to me a few times in public, and I’m here to let you know that a maxi pad ripped in half is not ideal, but will totally do the trick in a pinch.
#6 You’re hungrier than you have ever been before in your life, and you will fight someone for that last fry/chip/piece of anything.
I eat and drink almost every time I feed my son, and I often have a backup drink/snack on hand, too.
#7 You wonder at times if your breasts are filled with sand.
If you’ve ever tried to nurse while seriously dehydrated and/or with plugged ducts, you know what I mean.
#8 It seems like every fabric in the house smells like milk.
Towels, your shirts, your skirts, the couch, your dog (J/K… or am I?)
#9 The sound of crying makes you unsnap your nursing bra.
It’s like a Pavlovian-type reaction at this point. Forget the fact that you’re in the grocery store, and your little one’s not even with you.
#10 You can go from totally comfortable to feeling completely trapped in like ten seconds.
Being in the same place for an extended period of time is sometimes wonderfully comforting, but sometimes the feeling of never being able to leave your chair can be horribly confining. Sometimes, I feel like I’m jumping out of my own skin, and I fantasize about running around, waving my arms in the air, and yelling “I’M FREE! I’M FREE!”
#11 Your boobs are two different sizes.
I remember reading that babies often favor one side over the other, and it has definitely been true for our son. Trying to even things out by pumping on the non-favored side has NOT done the trick.
#12 Your baby is often wearing what you’ve been eating.
I was eating a homemade toffee bar the other day, and when my son woke up, he had chocolate smeared on his forehead. This may have also recently happened with a cupcake.
#13 The sheer weight of your responsibility washes over you every once in awhile, and completely without warning.
The realization that you are giving your body to your child, that you are literally sustaining their life with your body, can stop you dead in your tracks.
#14 You realize that any pain or discomfort that you have gone through to get here is totally worth it when you look into your child’s eyes.
The pain I had with mastitis was only second in my life to the pain of labor, but I would go through it again and again for our son.
At this point, our son is about nine months old, and while we have our nursing routine all worked out, there are still hiccups now and then. When he wakes me in the middle of the night for an unscheduled snack, I see myself as having two choices: I can either sit miserably until he falls asleep again, or I can embrace the moment and re-stock my little table with a midnight snack. Will I find part of it in my bra later? Probably.