mom-smiling

Reclaiming my breasts

babies bonding breast fed breastfeeding breastmilk Sep 27, 2019

I never thought I’d see the day, I could finally put my breasts away.

 It’s been a long time coming. And it’s been quite the roller coaster. But I committed to 2 years. So, for 2 years I did it. Day in and day out. Morning, noon, or night…on demand. I worked around the clock for this little twenty-pound meatloaf. As a feeding machine. 

 Now, I’m all about that breastfeeding life. I breastfed my son until he was 2. That’s how I determined my cut-off period. With him I said I was gonna do it for as long as he wanted it. I was one of those moms. But then one day I got one cold hard look at my breasts and was like “we’re done here sir”. And I stopped. Just like that. No weaning and no problems. It was perfect. 

 Even breastfeeding was a cinch with him. He was a natural, so was I. We never had any issues with any feeding, latching, or irritation of the breasts. It was nature taking its course. I am supposed to breastfeed. And he is too. I never pumped or fed him with a bottle. He was truly a breastfed baby.

 With my daughter, I wasn’t so lucky. I was confused because I’m like “I know I did this before. Quite perfectly in fact.” I didn’t understand what was going on. The nurses and lactation specialist swore everything was perfect. And it was in the sense that she latched. She got milk. She’s good. 

 I, on the other hand, was in excruciating pain. I still don’t know if it was because she had a ferocious suck or if my breasts had grown more sensitive or what, I just know that shit hurt like a mf’r. 

My shit was torn to the white meat. I had to fight my reflexes to fight back when someone attacks me like that. And I had to breastfeed her alllllllll fuckin’ day. That shit was brutal. I started pumping so that worked for a little while, but she was a breast baby. Plus, I was only pumping enough to feed her right then and there so I’m like why bother. I dunno how many lactation specialists I went to see, and they all said the same thing – that we were good. But I’ve been here before and it never felt like this. 

 Once we got past the painful stage which lasted what seems like forever, it wasn’t so bad. But then she started practicing her acrobatics while breastfeeding. She would have full on performances in my lap, at the expense of my nipples, and just refuse to be still. I’m like what the fuck is going on? Is it empty? Are you tryna suck up the last drops? Just relax. 

 And then she started this thing where she would breast feed on one boob and play with the nipple on my other boob. Twisting and turning it and causing all kindsa mayhem. A mess.  

 So, needless to say I didn’t love the breastfeeding experience the second time around. I mean it was perfect for when she was first born that I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to make bottles. But I could’ve done without all the pain and suffering.

 Doesn’t matter. We made it. July 14, 2019! It feels great. This is what the “free the nipple” movement is really about. Giving the nipples back to breastfeeding mothers. We were slaves to these babies, their feeding schedules, their feeding habits. They owned us and sucked us dry. 

 But I survived. We all do! And we’re doing what’s best for our babies, while bonding with them at the same time. My daughter still be going for them. You should see the way she looks at me when I’m naked around the house. Now I always have to make sure I’m covered up when she’s around because I don’t want her to attack. She has this thing now where she at least once to touch them. Like “if I can’t suck ‘em, let me hold ‘em.” So, I do. Baby steps. Plus, we’re still bonding.     

 So this isn’t all about me, I can share some tips because in all my pain and suffering, I did learn a few things about sore nipples for my ladies who may experience it: 

·     Use your own breastmilk to put on the breast every few hours

·     Use your hands to wash your breasts. Make sure to wash well

·     If you use a cream specifically made for sore and cracked nipples, make sure to cleanse before feedings 

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