Ah breastfeeding ... one of my most favorite subjects in case you didn't know. And I'm one of those people who longs for my breastfeeding days. I may lactate just thinking about it ... or if I smell a newborn, which happened today, though I didn't leak. Much. But for all its gloriousness, there are some very serious things I need to tell you about. Things I will say in a whisper. Some side effects, shall we call them? Yes, side effects.
Of course if you decide to breastfeed, you are giving your baby the best start, the liquid gold, the best yumminess, blah blah blah. You all know that already. But this ... what I'm about to tell you ... is what really happens if you decide to breastfeed.
1. Your kids may grab your boobs like they own them long after you stop nursing. But there is a part of you that will love it. It's like you're proud. When my son calls my breasts "milkies," I like that he knows that's where his milk came from and that perhaps he will respect women more in the future because breasts to him won't just be sexual objects. (Maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm way ahead of myself.)
2. You will look at your breasts as amazing things forever. Three words: They. Make. Food! And forget that people say nursing ruins your breasts. Nursing makes them more beautiful! They become multi-purposeful! They are your womanly assets!
3. Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer. (Not all side effects have to be bad in case you didn't realize this until now. This is so good!) A new study says that breastfeeding for a year cuts your risk of breast cancer by a third, particularly for those women who have the disease in their family history. Rejoice!
4. Breastfeeding may result in you wanting to burn your nursing bras after you have weaned. Some of the bras I bought are so hideous I don't know how my baby didn't puke at the sight of them. And then the ones I got that were really pretty ... well I felt weird wearing them. It was like oh hi baby, let me nurse you. Just let me un-snap this sexy, black lace number and ... what?!
5. You may feel a phantom letdown at the sight of a newborn. You may not only have your uterus longing for another occupant, but your breast for another barnacle.
6. Your breasts may be more sensitive to the touch. Like superiorly so. Like OMG easy on the nipple kind of stimulating, which could be great. Or not.
7. Walking around topless will become no big thing. It's about time women can be topless ... men can! Equal topless rights, I say!
8. There will be something about the smell of your baby's sour breast milk breath that you will love.
9. You may find the fact that you can hand express a squirt of breast milk exhilarating. It's almost like superhero powers.
10. You may end up having no problem discussing breastfeeding with other moms or anyone who asks, and it may become one of your favorite topics. Hi, my name is Michele, and I love talking about breastfeeding.
11. You may miss it terribly when your breastfeeding days are over. Sad, but true. But hopefully you took lots of photos of yourself nursing your wee one to remember.
Were you aware of these side effects? Which ones are you dealing with the most?
Image via shingleback/Flickr