I love breastfeeding. This is my time with my baby and nobody can have this time with her but me. In preparation for breastfeeding, there are endless classes and books on how to master this activity. The benefits of it, for both you and your baby, are numerous. All that being said, what you don’t learn from the classes and books are the follies of breastfeeding.
I’ve been breastfeeding for four months now and have had experiences that I’m sure some women can relate to, while others will probably not admit to even if they are true.
From the beginning, I have been very fortunate in my dairy supply. And it showed. I would wake up with two rocks on my chest, while my shirt looked like I was the loser of a water balloon fight. Before I found the help from my pump, I would walk around the house without swinging my arms, for fear of grazing one of my boobs, as they ached terribly. As soon as the lactation consultant said I could pump for relief, I raced home, hooked that “sucker” up and got the most amazing relief.
While I was home on maternity leave, I would stock pile my milk as much as possible, unsure if I’d be able to keep up with the pumping when I returned to work. Thanks to the hands-free bra, I would get sidetracked watching quality programming (a.k.a. Kathie Lee and Hoda)…and all of a sudden feel something on my legs. I actually overflowed the bottle. There it goes, running down my legs. That was a fun mess to clean up while still sporting the hands-free bra.
**Note to new Smarty Moms: buy the hands-free bra. It will change your life. Honestly.
There have been other times when I wasn’t sure if milk is flowing at all, so I did the ‘ol pinch and of course, a steady stream goes shooting onto my daughter’s face. Thank goodness she will not remember these days.
Then there was the time when my husband was being super sweet and offered to give our daughter a bottle in order to give me a break from the marathon nursing sessions. He confessed that he poured more than half of the milk out because it was difficult to get the milk from the bag into the bottle. Now ladies, even if the milk is plentiful, it’s still not enjoyable to be hooked up to an apparatus to have it drawn out of you. Needless to say that liquid gold is forever lost down the drain.
**Tip for Smarty Moms: use your breast shield as a funnel to pour from the bag in to your bottle.
I’m back at work now and thankfully have been able to maintain pumping. As you can imagine, it’s easy to get sidetracked at work, too (no Kathie Lee or Hoda required). There have been days when I forgot a part and have to pump one breast at a time and it’s not like I can really explain why I was late for my meeting… Then there’s the time that I completely forgot to attach the bottle – and got my work pants nice and soaked (and that was my first pump of the day, too…on a Monday!)
I find humor in all of my milk milestones and hope you have some funny fiascos to share, too. Whether breastfeeding or not, I’m sure we’ve all encountered them. Come on, don’t leave me hanging.