5 Things I've Learned About Breastfeeding

by Sarah Cottrell
Originally Published: 

My boobs used to be really cute. No, really, they were. They were small, but nicely shaped and perky to no end. But then I had kids, chose to breastfeed, and that was the end of that.

My second son loves nursing, and needless to say, after a year of being the milk bar I don’t even recognize my boobs anymore. I have, however, learned a few new things:

1. The Boob Is Now A Binky. The left one specifically. He can’t seem to fall asleep until he has smooshed his little face against it like a pillow. Since that pillow is pretty fluffed up by bedtime, he has to nurse it dry to deflate it enough for sleep. If that isn’t proof enough, during the day he jams his hands down my shirt to pull out his Booby Binky. His big brother stole his Lego? Binky time. He bonked his head? Binky time. Grocery store is loud and scary? Binky time. Needs to hide his graham cracker? Shove it down the shirt with his Binky.

2. Hands Off The Goods, Dad. Anytime – and I mean any time – my husband makes a move toward my chest my son seems to sense it. He is like a quarter pint sized Yoda using the force to protect the milk supply. Sex is already difficult after kids because there is no time – or place – to do it, but it becomes even more awkward because touching these baby-seeking missiles triggers the milk switch. Nature made boobs to be a smart delivery system… just not smart enough to tell the difference between baby time and husband time.

3. Public Exposure. Honestly, this one scared the crap out of me. While I was pregnant I read story after story about women who were shamed in public for nursing. While I do not intimidate very easily, pregnancy and newborns turn even the most seasoned moms into vulnerable creatures. I wasn’t excited about my nipples causing a stir. Then one day in the middle of the grocery store my infant son started screaming. Without even thinking about it, I whipped out my boob and started nursing him in his baby sling while searching for non-chlorine baby wipes.

4. More Whine Than Wine. Probably the worst truth of all about breastfeeding is that unless you want to pump and dump until you are blue in the face, you really can’t drink countless glasses of wine. As much as I kid about loving my wine, I have to measure what I drink and time it enough so that I can be sure the sweet libation is not getting into my milk supply. I like wine, but my baby probably wouldn’t. So, I whine a lot. But you know, the kid has got to wean at some point in the next 500 years, right?!

5. Free Range Boobs. I used to have lots of bras that were every color of the rainbow. Some were padded, some were silky, and some looked kind of like Ace Bandages but were unbelievably comfortable. I don’t wear any of them anymore and am now sporting free-range boobs under my shirt. And why is that, you ask? Since my cup size moves up and down a few sizes throughout the day, and because the kid is always attempting to pull a boob out of my shirt, a bra is now about as functional as a turtleneck on prom night.

Nursing is a difficult job. It taxes a mother’s patience, lady physique, libido, and ability to get anything done. I want to say that no matter what it is worth the work involved and that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, but that is only half true for me. I adore my little Linus, but I do miss my boobs.

What did you learn from breastfeeding?

Related post: 10 (Mildly Shallow) Reasons To Breastfeed

This article was originally published on