Sunday, July 15, 2012

Breast Friends

Yo folks. So sorry for the post-lacking. I am super busy but here is a little post I wrote on the road. WARNING: I talk about boobs the whole time. You're welcome.

So all this summer travel has inspired me to post about a topic near (literally) and dear to our hearts...breasts. These culturally charged parts of our anatomy come in all shapes and sizes and serve a common function for all (most maybe? I need to research this) our mammalian friends, which is, they produce milk. And let me tell you, my calf/pup/piglet/kid LOVES him some milk. So much so that as we drive, swim, shop, eat, and play I am usually interspersing said activities with breastfeeding. This makes my girls (aka breasts) a very flexible (pun intended) commodity.

Exhibit 1: where did these come from?

This phrase ("where did these come from?") probably best describes all of pregnancy and parenting in general. Like, "Where did these breasts come from?" or "Where did these stretch marks come from?" and my personal favorite, "Where did these kids come from?". For me, and every mommy friend I personally know, mommy boobs are a total surprise. Boobs grow, areolas grow, stretch marks appear, you start leaking. All very horror-movie-ish. But the great thing about it all is that for the first time ever your boobs are this irreplaceable tool to sustaining human life. And they just know what to do without being told. For me as a mom, it's kind of nice to have one thing that doesn't need to be bossed around.

Exhibit 2: the sag effect

It is a universal fact (actually it is totally not universal, but I like to think all nursing women are sharing my sag story) that milked boobs equal saggy boobs. There has to be a reason. I thought. And a few weeks ago I had an epiphany. I told Clint, "I got it! Mother Nature makes nursing breasts saggy so that they can adjust to all positions." This makes sense. Most women are not out there yelling this from the rooftops but breastfeeding takes on many positions. Liam's personal favorite is the laying position. With a little sag in the breast I can sleep on my side or back while Liam cuddles up next to me and sucks. Never though I would be proud of the sag, but it is effective when trying to sleep and keep Nuggets happy.
To finish my epiphany story, Clint responded, "No boobs get saggy 'cus they fill up with milk and empty milk so know, like when you blow up a balloon and let the air out. That balloon will never be the same."
I am still working on brainwashing Clint to agree with everything I say. Thanks for crushing my empowering Mother Nature theory babe ;).

Exhibit 3: nursing in the car (in seat belts...don't freak out mom)

So I mentioned locations of nursing and these locations are basically everywhere. In they last week I have breastfed lying in bed (a bunch), at the side of a pool, in a GAP changing room, in an Old Navy (not changing room), in a few restaurants (Nuggets got to eat too folks), in Yosemite Mariposa Grove and the location I am most proud that I safely negotiated was nursing Nugget while he was in his carseat and I was still buckled in. I hovered, more or less, and the "sag effect" chipped in a bit too. The way I see it, I wouldn't judge a momma for feeding her toddler some snacks, why judge a momma for feeding her baby milk?

Exhibit 4: oxytocin (aka: I'm sleepy)

Finally, breasts when feeding release this nifty hormone called oxytocin into your body and your baby's body. This, as I learned in neuro-psychology, is the feel-good hormone (and you thought I would never use my degree). It also makes you sleepy which thus makes mom's the victims of inadvertent naps. I feel very much like a victim when I lay down to feed Nugget and wake up 2 hours later to find him ready to play and nothing accomplished while he slept. These moments are the moments I must give myself 2 pep talks. 1: you sleep when he sleeps. period. and 2: being with your baby is never a waste of time (it doesn't last forever I hear).

So there you have it. Breast are not scary. Spoiler alert Hollywood: breast, most of the time are not even sexy. But they can be milk-makers. They can be saggy. They could possibly have stretch marks. And they are a happy gift in the world. I'm sure glad I have mine.