It was somewhere in between my naked, engorged bosoms dripping milk onto the carpet and the ensuing raucous laughter from my husband, that I knew things had changed.
No longer were my boobies a quiet source of pleasure, hanging about until they were needed, they now had an altogether different purpose — and that purpose wasn’t subtle.
As soon as I met my baby, they screamed constantly for attention. Rolling over in the middle of the night, they hurt; when baby was hungry, they pulsated; and when husband wanted to have a nice normal conversation about his day, they leaked.
Whether you’ve ‘been there, done that’ or have still the joys of breastfeeding to come, follow me now on a journey post-pregnancy where your once well-behaved boobs bite back.
Knock yourself out.
Let’s start with the obvious here; if your boobs felt big during pregnancy, they’re absolutely enormous now. When the milk comes in 2-3 days after baby’s born, your breasts will swell significantly and they’ll become heavier than a couple of milk churns. If you don’t want to knock yourself out in the middle of the night, get yourself a comfortable front-fastening bra. And yes, I’m afraid you need to sleep in it.
Breast pads are a girl’s best friend.
In the first 6-8 weeks of breastfeeding, your boobs can ‘let down’ their supply at any time. Whether you’re sitting in front of the TV or venturing out to the shops, thinking about babies or not, if you don’t pop in your faithful breast pads the occasion can quickly turn into a wet t-shirt competition. I remember risking it once and I’m not sure who was more embarrassed — me or the Bunnings doorman.
Breast pump and duck!
If you think it feels strange (at first) to have a teeny tiny person suckling on your nipples, then breast pumping is something else. Keep the setting on low unless you’d like to see your precious teats stretched beyond all recognition. And for goodness sake, take the flange off slowly when you’re finished. It’s quite easy to get your husband in the eye with that milk jet. Duck, darling!
You’ve got visitors.
Yes, we all know it’s natural, and yes, we should never be ashamed of breastfeeding in public. But in those first few weeks, when you’re getting used to it all and visitors are coming thick and fast, it’s hard to know what’s acceptable in others’ company. Let’s face it, your father-in-law came to see the baby, not your mammories. However, you can be assured that no matter how well placed your muslin wrap, nipples always pop out to say hello at the most awkward times. Especially when baby thinks it’s funny to have a look around.
Pull over, mumma.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, when your newborn baby demands his snack, you gotta dish up the goods right away. Eating your dinner? Forget it. Sleeping? What’s that! Driving? Pull over, mumma! For the baby, it’s like her world is ending. For you? Let’s just say, sitting in the car outside the gym at peak hour with your boobies hanging out is just part and parcel of being a new mum.