Whose Body is This Anyway? Part 2- It’s All About the Boobs

Like many of the things pregnancy and baby-related, I thought breastfeeding would be simple. As simple as: you have the baby, your milk comes in, you breastfeed the baby until you see fit. That’s how it goes- as simple as that- in VERY FEW CASES! Breastfeeding is not as easy as you may think, but this post is not about breastfeeding. It’s about the stuff that happens to you actual BREASTS that no one bothers to mention or at least they don’t go into it in much detail- Have no fear, Queen Overshare is here!

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Somewhere during that 2 hour period of skin to skin bonding with my baby, a midwife came in and asked me if I was going to breastfeed him and if I wanted to try. I said yes, they turned Liam’s head towards my breast and he made his way- unassisted to the nipple, latched on and fed until his little heart was content. Great right? Amazing! Loving, sweet touching and all that!

Why however did the boob he wasn’t feeding from hurt?! And more so, why did no one tell me about this? So with that put out there, here goes my list of things that happened to my boobs that I wasn’t prepared for…

  • In Trinidad, we have a saying ‘don’t let yuh right hand know what the left is doing‘ (or something like that). If this applied to breasts, then I’d be in trouble. Aside from the ‘pain’/tingling in the breast that I wasn’t breastfeeding from, out would spout milk as well. Anywhere from a goteo to a full fledged chorro. Granted, this happens more if the baby hasn’t breastfed in a few hours and not every time you breastfeed. But it almost always still catches me by surprise.

What can you do? Wearing breast pads is handy so that you don’t get your shirt wet. My favourite disposable ones are Medela and Chicco brand. They’re soft and discreet and not too expensive. I also bought some washable organic bamboo nursing pads but as fancy as that sounds, I honestly didn’t like them that much. They’re bigger than the disposable ones and absorb a bit more, you can also obviously wash them and use them time and time again, but I just prefer the disposable ones.

 

  • I don’t know if this has to do with pregnancy and breastfeeding or my skin just happened to be really dry but OH DEAR LORD did my boobs itch the first¬† couple of months! Obviously you can’t scratch too hard because breasts are sensitive, that or you’ll end up squirting milk everywhere! But I just wasn’t prepared for the constant itchiness.

What can you do? There are tons of creams for this but I didn’t like any that I tried. What worked for me was olive oil- extra virgin. Right after getting out the shower I’d rub olive oil all over my boobs and let them air dry (or at least try to- let’s face it, long, luxurious showers are a thing of the past). If you don’t have time to let them air dry; you can gently pat them dry. The olive oil on your nipples is safe for the baby as well. (Says our pediatrician).

 

  • Then there was the one (read thousand) time, my boobs were so full that they were rock hard, a little lumpy and hurt like a bitch! This happened a lot in the beginning. They recommend you feed the baby every 2-3 hours for about the first 2 weeks, then you feed on demand- that can be as often as every hour or two or more than 5 or 6¬† hours if your baby sleeps a lot. Because our bodies are wiser than we realise, so our boobs tend to fill up around the time our baby will want to be fed. Perfect! Or maybe not, because sometimes they fill up really fast and you might have the spillage I mentioned before long with some pain and tingling. But what you may also notice is that your boobs are hard (call them firm if it makes you feel better) and they hurt to touch. They also look very ‘veiny’.

What can you do? Take a warm shower or put warm wash cloths on your boobs. This alleviates some of that pain and tenderness and it helps get rid of some of those lumps. It may cause the milk to leak out though.

 

  • WHOSE boobs are these?! There is so much that can go under this heading. The fact that your baby is now the CEO of your breasts is probably the top of the list. Your baby gets the boobs when are where he/she wants/needs. Once they hit about 2 or 3 months and start observing things around them, so they pull your boobs in which ever direction that catches their attention and without much gentleness while feeding! Also the fact that it’s hard for your boobs to be used during ‘sexy time’ because getting milk squirted in your eye or face is pretty much un-sexy (unless you’re into that kinda thing…). But in direct response to my question… your boobs when full are round and firm. After breastfeeding they are soft and saggy! My haven’t fallen to my navel just yet but once they aren’t full, they are somewhat sad looking! The joys of motherhood, I suppose! Does this get better? I’m not sure because I’m only 5 months in and will probably be breastfeeding for at least another 5! Who knows though. I hope it does but if it doesn’t at least I know my saggy boobs would be the result of a good deed and a full baby!

What happened to you boobs after pregnancy? Anything really strange or funny? Please feel free to share in comments.

 

***Just as a disclaimer (after the fact): This is about my experience. While other mothers have shared that most, if not all of these things have happened to them as well. This is not a guide to what will happen to you but if any of it does- know that it’s perfectly normal or at least, that it’s happened to me! However, if anything feels uncomfortable, too painful or just off, please see your doctor, midwife or lactation specialist.

I don’t have a bloody manual/Why are you asking me- Part 1

Chatting with other mothers over the past few months, there’s one thing that’s common among all of us- our husbands/boyfriends/baby daddies can sometimes act SO FRICKING USELESS!

Let me put it out here now, that this is not an attempt to bash my husband- the poor man tries (probably not his best or hardest- but he tries). If you’re reading along and shaking your head or shuddering- you either:

  1. Have the perfect husband/boyfriend/baby daddy OR
  2. Are in denial or a damn liar

 

I currently live in Spain. Here like most other countries, it’s highly recommended that you…

I had to stop writing to go give Liam a bottle. Mind you, I’m in the living room with the door closed and heard him fussing. HuzBun dearest is in bed, next to his crib… (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO). I couldn’t breastfeed him because I am enjoying a beverage (of the alcoholic persuasion) while writing. We’ll leave the details of that for another post.

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As I was ‘saying’.. it’s highly recommened that expectant mothers (and fathers) attend prenatal classes a few months before the baby is born. In these classes, (usually) a midwife preps you for what to expect during pregnancy, labour and delivery and then post partum.

I say all of this to say, that my husband attended these classes with me- he even TOOK NOTES- so for the life of me, I CANNOT understand WHY he asks me so many (obvious) questions on a DAILY basis, as it regards to our son.

I could literally write a book or (refer to title) manual on this. But I will summarise in sections so that you can skip to what interests you.

 

WHY IS THE BABY CRYING?

While I wish I had the answer to this question almost every time my son cries, the truth is your guess is almost as good as mine. Yet still, at the faintest little whimper, he (huzBun dearest) looks at me and asks me what is wrong with the baby.

My advice: Just shrug your shoulders or invent something. It makes no sense arguing or getting too deep because he will ask you again the next time the baby so much as frowns.

 

THE BABY IS HUNGRY!

I exclusively breastfed Liam for the first 3 months. I only started giving him formula because he developed the appetite of a grown man and my poor breasts couldn’t keep up. Not that I wasn’t producing enough milk (in most cases, your body produces as much as needed and sometimes even extra), but true talk- my nipples felt like someone cut them with razors and then dipped them in salt water (or rubbing alcohol)- they hurt! (again, that is for another post).

It turns out, when they don’t ask you why the baby is crying, it’s because they’ve already decided that the baby is hungry ad if you’re breastfeeing your baby and don’t have pumped/expressed milk, then obviously the only way the baby can be fed is by you. Now this is all well and good but has he:

  1. Checked the baby’s diaper
  2. Tried to entertain/play with the baby
  3. Does he remember the last time the baby was fed to actually decide if it is in fact hunger?
  4. Tried to put the baby to sleep

This list can go on and on… but let’s not.

What I want to say most times: Not everytime the child cries does it mean that he is hungry. Can you please discard other issues before running to me, with that ‘matter of fact’ smirk and telling me the baby is hungry? K, thanks!

My advice: Smile (or not) and say, he/she might not be and calmly ask if he has done the stuff on that list I included above.

 

WHERE IS…?

I lost my job in early June 2 and a half months before I was due (yet another thing for another post…) So I was at home with lots of time on my hands and a little bored, So I decided to organise all of Liam’s clothes by type, size and season- and all of his things by use (sponges, lotions, bath gel, wipes, blankets, etc). After working on this for about a month, I proudly tried to show it off to huzBun dearest- he however wasn’t very enthusiastic, if I’m to be honest. So now, 5 months (and 3 days) later, almost every time he has to bathe, change, clean, burp, play with the baby, he STILL asks me where the stuff he needs is.

What I want to do most times: CUSS and say ”Well, you maybe should have paid attention when I was trying to show you back in July! It has however been 5 months (and 3 days), so maybe- JUST MAYBE you should investigate in your free time and make a mental note of where everything is!

My advice: Act like you didn’t hear him ask you where whatever it is is. (I never promised good advice, this is just what I do from time to time). You can also label drawers/shelves etc- but be warned that even with labels, he will probably still ask you where things are.

 

This post is becoming quite long. Trust me, I could go on and on.

I’m curious to know, other mums out there, what are some of the annoying questions your significant other asks you. Share in the comments section and I’ll include some in Part 2 of this post.