The 7 Stages of Breastfeeding No One Warns You About

You’ve decided to breastfeed even before the baby arrives, and so there you are shopping for nursing bras. Everything seems so exciting. You’ve “estimated your size” and feel you’ll have plenty of room once your milk comes in. Life is swell.

Then the baby comes.

After the baby gets here, your milk arrives shortly thereafter — unless it takes a hot minute, which can happen — and then everything is totally different than you imagined.

Here are the seven stages of breastfeeding — the good, the bad, and the ugly — that no one else will tell you about.

The ‘oh crap, my nursing bras are too small!’ stage

You thought you sized correctly but you didn’t, and the bras don’t fit. You can barely squeeze a nipple in that vaguely ’80s bra with unnecessary flowers and other grandmotherly details.

contain yourself in the Band-Aids — I mean, the nursing bras — you bought.

Read More: The 7 Stages of Breastfeeding No One Warns You About

Milk Does a Body Good,

Laura

I Miss My Breastfeeding Days, but Not For the Reason You Think

I recognize that many women have difficulties breastfeeding, but for me, breastfeeding was one of the best times of my life. It was one of the times in my life in which I felt like a superstar.

Did I have sore nipples? You betcha.

Did I struggle at first with my daughter’s latch, enduring a shallow latch and in turn, bloody nipples? Yes! TMI?

Despite the tough first few weeks, I felt like a champion when I nursed. I didn’t have to worry about all the parenting strategies that I do now, such as redirection, positive discipline, socialization, and more. All I had to do was be me, be present for my baby, and nurse her.

I recognize that I just easily summed up the infancy stage in three breezy words when the reality is that the first year of a child’s life can be exhausting, demanding, and stressful. But for me, I felt confident. I didn’t know much yet about motherhood and I wasn’t always sure I was 100 percent correct, but I always knew I was responsive to my baby.

Read More: I Miss My Breastfeeding Days, but Not For the Reason You Think

Simpler Times,

Laura

What to Say When People Tell You to Stop Nursing Your Kid

There you are nursing your infant, baby, or toddler when someone says to you, “When are you going to stop nursing him already?” They act as if you’re not providing a source of food and comfort to your child, but instead, letting him run around destroying people’s private property or yelling obscenities at the top of his voice. The tone is always the same: disgust, condescension, or irritation, as if you’ve personally disturbed this person’s peace and quiet with your nursing.

You’ll never totally change this person’s mind, who either A) doesn’t understand the benefit of nursing, or B) has taken a totally inappropriate but sexual view of nursing, not uncommon in prudish America, where you can shove your “ta-tas” in a bare-all shirt but not nurse your kid in public without comment. However, you can speak your mind about the choice you have made with your child to nurse your baby. But before you say a peep to this protester, remember that, no matter what, it’s your baby, and you and his or her other parent call the shots on how you feed your child. In other words, it’s no one’s business.
Still, it can’t hurt to have a few comments in your parenting arsenal.

Read More: What to Say When People Tell You to Stop Nursing Your Kid

The Nursing Days Were Great,

Laura

Breastfeeding My Baby Literally Saved My Boobs — And My Life

Boobs. Breasts. Fun Bags. Titties. Tits. Boobies. Mommy’s Milk Makers.

If it pertains to breasts, I’ve heard it all.

When I started out in the world, I was the flattest girl of them all. Growing up in a house of six people with five of them being much older, well-endowed females, getting boobs was on my “to-do” list. I couldn’t wait! I thought it would be so cool. I remember the day my childhood best friend got her first training bra. I was so jealous I stood in the driveway until my mother got home so I could convince her to “bandage up my nipples” with a 28AAA training bra that was training, well, zilch. Even if I was nowhere near womanly, I felt like one with my white lace junior bra adorned with tiny flowers right in the center of the two cups. Damn right, you know I was pulling out all the exercises:

“I must, I must, I must increase my bust.

Okay, so that never happened besides once or twice. I wasn’t stupid. I knew squawking like a chicken wasn’t going to grow me any ta-tas. It was either in the cards for me … or not. Time would tell.

It was all fun and games — until I actually got tits.

Read More: Breastfeeding My Baby Literally Saved My Boobs — And My Life

Tits Okay Now,

Laura

“I must, I must, I must increase my bust.

Okay, so that never happened besides once or twice. I wasn’t stupid. I knew squawking like a chicken wasn’t going to grow me any ta-tas. It was either in the cards for me … or not. Time would tell.

It was all fun and games — until I actually got tits.

Why I Had to Breastfeed: One Mom’s Story

breastfeeding

I am not a doctor or a nurse. This is not a diatribe on how women must breastfeed. I make no judgments about what other moms do, and quite honestly, it’s not my business. Or yours.

How you want to feed your baby is kosher by me, as long as you don’t feed your baby worms. That would be so wrong.

But for me, I had to breastfeed. Under no circumstances, was I not going to. And it wasn’t just for health reasons and because breast milk is so awesome for babies. While I don’t care what you decide with your child, if you ask me, I will say that breast feeding is awesome.

Here’s why I had no choice but to be a successful milk factory.

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