Saturday, 4 February 2012

Jugs of confidence

This post is all about boobs. Well, breastfeeding. Which kind of incorporates boobs. But it's not just for the other Mums out there. It's definitely worth reading if you are a childless girly who's thinking she might want to breastfeed one day. And if you're a bloke then it's worth reading if you like a laugh.

Before I start I would like to make it clear that the benefits of breastfeeding more than outweigh the negatives. While I pass no judgment on those who choose to bottle feed their babies, breastfeeding can not only reduce things like cancer for both you and your baby in their later life but the health benefits are fantastic for your little one. Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of infection, cot death and improves emotional development and bonding with your baby.

But man, can it be a bit of a slog at times.

For a start, I have always liked my boobs. Really liked my boobs. Now, whenever anyone mentions the words 'Belgium' or 'plastic surgery' my boyfriend starts to twitch. That's not to say there's much wrong with them at the minute. There really isn't. And I have been rather lucky in that I still quite like my boobs. However, I have never wanted to have particularly big boobs and at the moment they stand at a rather ample (in my opinion) 34DD. I loved my average-sized 34C cleavage and am praying that when I stop breastfeeding all will be resumed. But apart from suddenly looking like an extra out of Shameless in tops that previously made me look demure, they still appear to look ok.

I worry about stretching. Particularly in the middle of feeding when Ava swings round rather rapidly because she heard the theme tune to The Tweenies starting on TV. You have never seen a nipple stretch so far in your life. You'd think she would have the decency to stop sucking whilst she turns around to check out the opening credits. But this is what I get for being cocky. I mentioned in a previous post that I had managed to avoid stretchmarks during my pregnancy. That was true. Until Ava was born and my milk came in. I have since discovered some (albeit tiny) stretchmarks on my boobs where the poor things have had to cope with shooting up about 2 cup sizes in the space of a week. To be honest they really are tiny, and  you can only notice them if you are up very close (an honour only 2 people are lucky enough to have). And if I put fake tan on then they are invisible. They still had me reaching for the bio-oil and checking out the price of breast reductions in Yemen though.

Then there are the nipples. I have always considered myself a sort of average-sized nipple kind of girl. As you do. But apparently not once you start breastfeeding. My sister nearly choked on her Chinese the first time she saw me feed Ava in the comfort of my own home. Apparently mine are now the size of "satellite dishes". Nice.

Then there is the ensuing hilarity that comes with the actual act of breastfeeding itself. For a start the beginning is extremely painful. To the point that I would nearly draw blood from my boyfriends arm for the first ten seconds of every feed. This only lasted a couple of weeks, I hasten to add. And breastfeeding doesn't hurt in the slightest now. Apart from various creams suggested by my health visitor, the other failsafe, tried and tested and "really does work method" was the cold cabbage leaves. And so off my boyfriend went, with instructions to return with a green savoy cabbage. And not to return home unless he did. And it really does work. A leaf in each bra soothes sore nipples almost instantly. However, not being the tidiest person in the world with a new baby girl to look after, there were subsequently random cabbage leaves lying around various rooms in our flat for weeks. At the side of the bath, the bedside table, randomly lying next to the kettle. And the look I got off a staff member after I accidently left a couple lying on the cistern of a restaurant toilet will not be forgotten in a while. She must have wondered what the hell I was doing leaving random cabbage leaves in public toilets.

Then there's the leaking. Oh, the leaking. That you start leaking when your baby cries isn't that much of a surprise to me. I mean, nature's smart. But no-one told me that you start leaking when ANY baby cries. So it's not that bloody smart. You can imagine the nightmare I had on the one day I forgot to wear breastpads and entered the doctors waiting room for immunisation day. In a sheer white blouse. I won't go into detail but to say it was embarrassing is an understatement.

One other word of advice. Try and not be as forgetful as me. Often (partly due to baby brain, which does exist by the way), I need to physically feel each boob in order to remember which one I fed Ava from last. You can always tell as the emptier one is soft and squishy wheareas the fuller one is hard to the touch. But don't forget yourself and do it in the middle of Marks & Spencer. The security guard definitely thought I was feeling myself up in the middle of the food section. In retrospect, I really should have waited until I got into the feeding room.

I hope I haven't put you off. Breastfeeding is an amazing thing to do and everytime I do it I feel proud and emotionally closer to my baby girl.

Just stock up on breast pads.

And don't wear sheer.


Gia said...

Hahah wow, I definitely didn't know some of that stuff! Like leaking - thought it was random, I didn't know crying triggered it (though that makes sense)

P said...

Eeek... I'm never having babies!

Sarah said...

This is an amazing post, I've been chuckling all the way though it - Thank you :D

Dawn Young said...

Yep. ANY baby crying triggers it! It's just fun fun fun ;-) x

Dawn Young said...

Bet you do ;-) x

Dawn Young said...

Glad you like! x