My right boob is on strike. Seriously! She absolutely refuses to cough up milk for poor Nibbles, except for a tease once in a while. Could this be because I spend a disproportionately large amount of time typing with my right hand while Nibbles nurses on the left? Aaaargh! Just when I thought I could finally start enjoying the whole breastfeeding experience. “Natural, bonding experience for mother and child”? What rot! That’s exactly the kind of expectation that makes a new mom feel inadequate, worthless and pathetic – as if there aren’t enough triggers for a breakdown anyway.
I visited my pregnant pal the other day. There she was, rubbing her taut, stretchmarkless belly, as I forced my boob into a squirming Nibbles.
She: “I can’t wait to feed my baby!” *sigh*
NP: “Wha…? So you plan to breastfeed, eh?”
She: (enthusiastically) “Oh yes”
NP: “Hmmm…cool. Cool. uh, just remember, it’s not supposed to hurt, ok?”
She: “I know that. It’s the most natural thing in the world – a mother feeding her child”. (stares dreamily into the distance, hand on belly)
NP: (cringes) “Ah yes, yes. I meant, it’s not supposed to hurt – much – but it might, you know? In fact, it will initially, but shouldn’t for much longer after that. You can use some lansinoh cream for the soreness – safe while feeding, right? Right. But if it does hurt for longer than 2 weeks, don’t keep mum and bear it, thinking it’s supposed to, coz that’s bull. Go see a lactation consultant ASAP so they can check the latch, ok? And make sure your kid’s pediatricain supports breastfeeding and doesn’t try to con you out of it – unless you want to stop, of course. Whatever works for you girl. Ah, well, I don’t know what I’m talking ab…Nibbles! Quit wiggling and drink up. What? Already? Ok, let’s try the other side; maybe there’s some milk there? Please? Pleeease?”
She: (stunned at NP’s outburst. NP, who casually shrugged off everything from morning sickness to labor pains) uh, I need to pee.
Dammit. Way too much info. No wonder my mommy friends whispered gravely amongst themselves and never let the truth slip when I was a bubbly, wobbly pregnant dreamer, eager to soak up the joys of mommyhood. I think I’ll distract her with chocolate.