***This is not a post to say anything negative about non breastfeeders, but simply to discuss some of the beauty, pain, joy, and hilarity of breastfeeding.
I realized the other day that I have been breastfeeding 3 tiny humans almost solidly for the last 28 months. That’s almost 2 and a half years of giving my boobs over to my boys; with no end in sight, at least not any time soon.
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies. My mom breastfed all 4 of us, and knowing all of the benefits, of which there are too many to count, there just was no question for me. When I found out I was having twins, I was a little nervous to go from no babies to two and doubted my ability to handle it at times. Luckily, my mom nursed 4 babies successfully, two of which were twins, so she knew the ropes and helped me along.
I quickly learned: two babies, two arms, two boobs…no problem! ☺
Breastfeeding has not always been the most popular choice,, and there has certainly always been controversy surrounding the topic. Nonetheless, it has become somewhat of a culture; one I am very proud to be a part of. Thankfully, today it is becoming more of the popular choice and people are not scared to advocate for women who breastfeed to be able to do it without judgment, even (gasp) in public.
I never really expected myself to become such a breastfeeding advocate and love it as much as I do, but here I am. A fairly crunchy, breastfeeding (uncovered, in public), baby-wearing, co-sleeping, bed-sharing mama of 3.
I started thinking the other day of all the things that go into breastfeeding successfully, and what life becomes as a result. I started making a list of my own, but I’m part of a wonderful breastfeeding group on Facebook, so I asked them to chime in on this list.
Here is what we came up with!
You Know You’re a Breastfeeding Mom When…
1. Everything in your wardrobe is based on boob accessibility.
2. When any child cries, but especially your own, your boobs automatically pucker up and get ready for action.
3. Any boob shaped item is attacked by your child.
4. You are so used to having your boobs out that you have to remind yourself to check them before leaving the house.
5. You no longer have any sense of shame when discussing your breasts…with anyone!
6. Your first thought is, “I wonder if breastmilk would cure that!?” (Breastmilk can cure almost anything!)
7. Riding a roller coaster now includes a milk shower.
8. Everyone asks you, “Aren’t you going to pack a bottle or some food!?” but all you really need is your body.
9. You use breastmilk as creamer.
10. Your baby starts to root and tries to latch onto anyone who tries to hold them.
11. You’re entire schedule, work or home, revolves around your boobs and feeding your baby. (Or pumping if necessary).
12. You grab your boobs to see which is bigger to determine which side your baby should eat from. And you don’t think twice about who is watching.
13. Someone asks if you’ve spilt your drink, only to look down and realize you’re a leaky mess and it’s coming from your boobs.
14. Even at 16 months old, and beyond, boob juice will knock your baby out cold.
15. You say things like “boob juice and liquid gold” on the regular.
16. You go all day long only to realize your nursing bra has been unhooked the whole time.
17. You can’t remember when the last time you wore a real bra was.
18. Everything in your house has breastmilk on it and has become a staple in every outfit. And you’re not bothered.
19. Your baby insists on scooting down to your boob no matter how you’re holding them.
20. People ask you when you’re going to give it up, as if it’s going out of fashion or there’s an exact cut off time.
21. There is no one in the world happier to see your boob than your baby.
22. You’re a pumping mom and 80% of your brain power is used determining if you have enough milk for the week/next day.
23. You know the saying, “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” is a lie that came from someone who has never pumped 6 ozs and spilled it everywhere, because you have in fact bauled over your own spilt milk.
24. You go to the bathroom in the middle of the night with one or both boobs hanging out due to your breastfeeding co-sleeper.
25. You look like Madonna with your nursing flaps wide open at the beginning of each day.
26. You are hesitant to go places that won’t enable you to pump if you’re without your baby. And you don’t go anywhere that won’t allow you to either have your baby or a pump (preferably your baby) if it’s going to be longer than 4 hours.
27. You carry your pump bag like a purse.
28. You find a dried booger on your boob and have no idea how long it’s been there.
29. Someone is always touching your boob, and it no longer phases you at all.
31. Everything you wear is for quick pump/feeding access.
32. You cut your finger and squirt breast milk on it in hopes it will heal faster. And you feel proud when it seems to work.
33. You have to put a note in the fridge that says, “NOT FOR COFFEE!”
34. You answer the door for UPS and after the fact realize you still had your pumping bra and flanges on. Or that you forgot to put your shirt down.
35. You look forlornly at all your pre-baby, non-Breastfeeding friendly clothes and think, “Not today, but someday!”
36. Your husband exclaims, “Ahhh, you’re leaking on me!”
37. You’ve said the words, “Ah, eat!! The milk is going everywhere!” to your baby.
38. You have to remind your baby your nipples are not elevator buttons…or twisty nobs, or toys, or made of playdough.
39. The first time your baby sleeps through the night you don’t know if you should celebrate or cry, and you have two BIG reasons you debate waking them up!
40. It feels good to be “let down.”
41. You’ve whipped your boob out almost everywhere (tactfully of course)…including church, restaurants, friends homes, etc. A baby’s gotta eat!
42. You plan everything you do based on the length of time it will be before you can feed your baby again.
44. You’ve been sprayed in the face with your own milk while your baby squeezed it in the middle of eating.
45. Lactmed is your most Googled site.
46. Everything you eat or drink, and all medicine, must be breastfeeding friendly. And even if you need a certain kind of medicine, you don’t take it if it’s not lactmed approved.
48. You’ve learned how to do almost everything you used to do with two hands with one working arm and a baby dangling from your boob.
-going to the bathroom
-changing another child’s diaper
-brushing your teeth
-making other toddlers food and/or sippy cups of their preferred beverage
-pretty much anything but driving a car…and you so would if you wouldn’t go to jail!
49. Your boobs can solve almost any problem.
50. Your boobs look like deflated water balloons, but you’re ok with it because of the wonderful things they’ve done.
What has your experience been, and what would you add to the list?