Wait! Hold on! Chill! Lest you think I’m bashing breastfeeding, let me be clear: I think it’s great. I love how healthy it is for my son, the convenience, and the cost (free, other than those cooling gel pads I’m dependent on). And oh, the intimacy: When my son Ben puts his little hand on my boob as I’m nursing him, I melt. Breastfeeding is beautiful, bonding, nutritious — and sometimes, very strange.
1. When you’re suddenly aware of your breasts all of the time
Before having this baby, I never thought about my breasts during the course of a day. And now, I can’t stop thinking about them. They tingle. They’re sore. They’re soft. They’re hard. Are they going to leak? Are they leaking right now? I AM SO TIRED OF THINKING ABOUT MY BOOBS.
2. When your baby prefers one side over the other
Inevitably, my son is more content to nurse on the right side, and I’m pretty sure my boobs are not different flavors. A quick Google search revealed that it’s normal for one breast to outperform the other in terms of milk production. Who knew boobs could be righties, too?
3. Your innocent baby’s ferocious head shake
You know the move: Right before a very hungry baby latches on, he does this frantic side to side head shake that makes it seem like he’s about to pulverize your boobs. Attack! Attack!
4. Fearing that your husband will touch your boobs
The other day, as my husband bent over to pick up the baby after I’d nursed him, his shirt brushed against a breast. “AAAACK! DON’T TOUCH MY BOOBS!” I roared, likely terrifying him into never touching me again. But OMG, they’re sensitive.
5. Lopsided boobs
In the words of my 10-year-old, “Mommy! The left one is bigger than the other one! Ha ha ha that’s so funny!” [See: baby prefers to nurse on right boob.]
6. When your baby sucks on the wrong part
You run a risk watching TV or texting while you breastfeed, because if you take your eyes off your baby, there’s a chance he might detach and then randomly start sucking another part of your boob when you’re not paying attention. O-U-C-H!
7. Torpedo nipples
Whoa. Who knew they could get that gigantic?!
8. Feeling up your own boobs
When I can’t decide which side to start nursing with, I cup each boob and jiggle it up and down to see which seems heavier — like I’m examining grapefruits at the grocery store or something.
9. People who refuse to make eye contact while you’re nursing
You’re sitting there feeding your baby with a nursing cover over your chest because family is visiting. And a relative walks into the room, realizes what’s going on, immediately turns his head to one side and stares at the wall as he talks with you. Even though no part of your chest is showing. What’s up with that?
10. Say “moo” if you can relate.
It is impossible not to feel like a dairy cow as you sit there with a plastic cup over each boob and a pulsing machine sucks out milk.
11. When you inevitably try the milk.
I’ve been wondering what breastmilk tastes like. So one day, when I wiped a dribble of boob juice off my son’s chin, I put my finger in my mouth. No, it did not taste like chicken. It tasted like really sweet … milk. To my baby, though, it’s the most delicious thing ever. And that’s pure awesome.