Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's Talk About Boobs

Picasso Maternite, 1963

Since Baby P has come into the world I have had my breasts out far more and with many more people than I ever cared to share them with. I mean, a lot.
Firstly because breast feeding is so time consuming in the beginning. Baby P and I did not have a solid introduction unfortunately. He had trouble latching on, amongst other things. Those first couple of weeks were filled with him crying because he was hungry followed by me crying because it hurt so bad. It felt like razor blades stabbing my breasts. Uggghh. I shudder just remembering it. Every time he nursed, it took a long time so needless to say, those boobs were out!
Even though our nursing sessions are going much smoother now there is such a learning curve with the whole thing. Now, while I was pregnant I read every book under the sun, like a good first time mommy. I read blogs, forums, and talked to other moms. I was pumped and prepared for my birth. However, I was terrified of breast feeding. In retrospect, I wonder if my hesitation is what brought on this myriad of problems. But I digress.
The worst part was not the pain or insecurity. Oh no, that passed. It's the mastitis and abscess that developed in the past seven weeks. Yeah, that's the WORST part.
It began as a plugged duct and continued to morph into an infection until it basically looked like my breast was about to explode. Ew. I won't be posting any photos of THAT.
At seven weeks I had to get the abscess drained which was super painful and pretty gross. My midwife suggested we do some "self healing" as we called it. My other option was going to a breast surgeon or the ER and risk getting sliced open. No thanks.
In any case, all is getting better now as I am on my second round of antibiotics, healing and hopefully all this is behind us.
The challenge of breast feeding is not something most women talk about and I wish more would. Maybe new moms wouldn't be so discouraged if they knew, in the first place, how to prepare for this new experience.
Just know, if you can push past the first few painful weeks, it's a bond like no other. It's an amazing feeling knowing you can nourish your child. But just like many things in parenthood, it's a sacrifice, body and heart.


  1. Sara Fältskog EldrosDecember 10, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    YES, this, and many many other things concerning parenting and motherhood, should be discussed MUCH more.

    Don't know about the U.S, but in Sweden, the mommies are pretty much on their own when it comes to breast feeding. In some hospitals, the nurses are very supportive and give you all sorts of advice (good and bad). In others, new moms and babies have to figure the whole thing out themselves. And if you haven't read all those how-to books before giving birth... well, too bad.

    Because there IS a special technique to it, anyone could tell you that. And there is much emotion involved, too. Your own insecurity and terror of breast feeding affects the process itself, sure it does. But don't beat yourself up about it. Of course it's scary, and also a big prestige thing. What if I can't feed my baby?

    I think you're doing everyone a favor by telling it like it is, and share your own experiences like this. Keep it up.

    XO, Sara

  2. I know how you feel! I actually had a truly easy/ painless breastfeeding experience (still nursing at almost 7 months), but did have to get used to the constant exposure. They eat all day!! My shirt was always open! And I had mastitis too in one side. I remember thinking it was more painful than giving birth. It was terrifying, but my body healed eventually. Try taking lecithin supplements to reduce the chance of reoccurrence. Once you are a mother, your breasts don't really belong to you anymore. But just remember that YOU grew a human, and are now fattening him up and giving him all that he needs to thrive. It's amazing, and worth it. It will get better.

    Ps- where are you guys living now?