Milkmaid Mom

Before I had kids, I never would’ve imagined that I’d write about breastfeeding for the whole world to see. And that I’d do it repeatedly.

I also wouldn’t have imagined that I’d eventually breastfeed without any kind of cover in public on a regular basis. Who knew I’d be so open about my boobs?

But the thing is, I’m over breastfeeding.

I’m not stopping or anything. I’m just admitting that I’m not the mother-who-loves-to-nurse. I don’t find it to be the communal bonding session other people do. Instead it’s an easy way to save money, a useful thing my body can do, and great for someone like me who’s often too lazy to remember to feed her baby any solid food.

So I’m going to take a moment to complain about breastfeeding for a while. I feel like when discussing it we must resort to the kind of crunchy earth-mother speak that never comes naturally to me. Instead, I shall indulge one of my special talents: venting. And another one of my special talents, oversharing, which I’m sure goes without saying.

  • Nursing pads. Hate them. Was going to write a review of them and could never summon the energy to say much. I had a really active let down for so long that I’ve just barely been able to stop wearing nursing pads in the last week or so.
  • Nursing bras. They’re comfy and all, don’t get me wrong. Some of the comfiest bras you’ll ever wear, especially when your boobs are suddenly much larger than you know what to do with. But. I miss being able to go without a bra. Because with these things, support is required. I miss sleeping bra-less. I miss early morning pj time without wearing a very expensive sports bra under my shirt.
  • Oh, and I feel like mentioning that despite their great increase I didn’t even get decent cleavage. Come on, boobs! That’s just not right!
  • Every few weeks Tessa suddenly changes up her latch and causes me excruciating pain. After a while it’ll get better but then it happens again a few weeks later. We’re going through this again now. It sucks.
  • She’s also doing this thing lately where she pushes her arms against me for leverage and then pulls herself back while chomping firmly down. OW OW OW. She does it a lot.
  • She also forgets that it takes a minute or so for the milk to come in. She forgets despite the fact that it has ALWAYS been this way since she was BORN for EVERY feeding. Babies, man.
  • I am ready to see what the damage is, just how they’ll change once they’re not filling up with milk every hour or two (Tesser is a frequent eater) and I’m ready to get my normal nipples back. They’ll change back to normal, right? RIGHT? Because right now it’s like it’s constantly chilly out.

Despite my complaints, I’m planning to keep going until we hit 12 months or so. I’m certainly not going to switch to formula now, especially with somebody still having 3 feedings a night. Bottles at night are the only thing worse than boobs at night. And I am WAY past pumping. Thankfully, I can now go several hours without pumping. Honestly, for something that’s supposed to be so wonderful, that’s spoken of which such reverence, it’s so often painful.

I have decided that my lack of sentimentality about breastfeeding isn’t a deficiency. It’s just how I am. Like how I bond with my babies more slowly over time as I get to know them. Or how I lack the patience to cloth diaper.

It’s okay. Of course it’s okay. I formula-fed my first baby, I’m more than able to deal with any breastfeeding guilt.

I hereby declare the comments on this post to be a judgment-free zone where you can post about the happy hormone magic of breastfeeding or where you can add your own complaints about bites, blisters, sagging, sleep or whatever else you’d like.


  1. says

    I just have to say kudos to you for keeping up with something that’s caused you pain. I didn’t have the willpower for that. It’s refreshing to read an honest perspective on such a hot topic.
    Cheryl recently posted..Perfect Storm

  2. says

    I had to stop nursing earlier than planned with all three of my kids due to a sudden drop in weight gain. It was more of a quality than quantity issue. I certainly produced enough if the amount my son gulped down was anything to go by, but his constant nursing didn’t stop him from dropping from the 75th to below the 3rd percentile between 4 and 6 mths. It wasn’t so bad with the girls because we knew to look out for it. Actually, I didn’t even get that far with #3 as I quit at 8 weeks because she was never not hungry. One night I nursed off and on (mostly on) for 4 hours. When she happily gulped down a bottle of formula (and I was the one feeding her!), I knew it was time to make the switch.

    When it came to switching to formula, I felt enormous guilt as my body couldn’t do what it was supposed to do. I was surprised at how comfortable I was with nursing my son, as I hadn’t given it much thought beforehand. It was more of a “Let’s give this a shot and see if it works”. And it did, for a while at least. Yes, the first 10 days were toe curlingly painful with all three, but once it went away, everything was smooth sailing. With my eldest girl, I was determined to do a better job, and was devastated when it didn’t work out. I did all the right things, but she still stopped gaining weight. I really mourned the loss of that nursing relationship. When I was pregnant with #3, I was so looking forward to nursing. I could not wait. I dreamed about it. And as it turned out, she was my most efficient nurser. But I didn’t enjoy it. I felt nothing when it was time to feed her. It was more of a burden than a joy, and that made me sad. Maybe it wsa a form of PPD, but I never had that happy hormone rush like I did with her brother and sister. Maybe it was because the stress of taking care of older siblings, one of whom had homework for the first time. Life with three kids was hard work (it still is). We’re not having any more kids, and sometimes I think we should just so I try one more time to get breastfeeding right, but I know I need to let it go.

    And now I will conclude this rambling essay with one more thought. The one good thing about quitting when we did – none of my kids had teeth yet so no biting!!
    Zoë recently posted..Sadness

  3. says

    My Baby G weaned just this week, at ten months, and after an initial day or two of hormone-induced wistfulness I can say that I am SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. I have nursed all three of my babies, and I have never been a mom who loves nursing. Ever.

    Your nipples will eventually recover, but it will take a while. Have faith. And when Tessa is done, buy a really really nice bra as a reward. And to keep the girls in line. 😉
    Hannah recently posted..fragile

  4. Jenny says

    I did not breastfeed. Did not want to. I may have been able to – no idea. Never wanted to, never tried. My rant is just about how it’s always posed as the best thing you could ever do for your child & that the only people who don’t breastfeed are those who can’t. Bullocks. 🙂 Anybody have a problem w/ that can suck it – but there won’t be any milk. Sorry.

  5. Jenny says

    Not that I have any problem with people who do breastfeed & don’t try to convert others. You want to do it – more power to ya.

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