I've always had a love-hate relationship with my sizable chest. So, it wasn't all that surprising that, when I breastfed my son, I had a lot to say about my big boobs and their new utilitarian role. In fact, I would guess there are more than a few standard texts all women with big boobs send while breastfeeding.
My contentious feelings about my breasts started pretty early on. When I was about 10 years old, my mom took me to a posh "ladies shop" to buy me my first bra. The store had tissue-paper-lined drawers and all sorts of frilly, fancy undergarments. I remember thinking they were so beautiful. I really wanted one particular lace and silk buttercup yellow bra, which I kept picking up and putting down. Unfortunately, it was not available in my size, a problem that continues to plague me to this very day, and I ended up with an industrial looking over-the-shoulder boulder holder.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and rewarding experience, sure, but it can also have its fair share of challenges. Women with large breasts have their own set of problems to face when they're nursing, which leads them to seek out understanding and solidarity in the form of the following text messages:
When Your Boobs Get Even Bigger
For me, the biggest surprise I faced when I got pregnant and started breastfeeding, was that my already large chest grew even larger. My boobs would enter a room long before I did, and I had to get in some seriously advanced yoga positions to even see my toes.
When Your Boobs Have Taken On A New Look
I couldn't believe how different breastfeeding could make my breasts look. It wasn't just the size, either. Everything about them seemed to change, including a new network of blue and purple veins snaking over them like a map. I had to tell someone about my boobs' new appearance, if only to try and accept it.
When Your Boobs Make Too Much Milk
Contrary to popular and misguided belief, big breasts do not produce more milk than smaller breasts. However, they can hold more breast milk at one time, which means if you haven't fed your baby in a while (like when you're sleeping) the milk still has to go somewhere.
I would wake up in a little puddle of milk each morning which, you know, isn't the best wake up call in the world.
When Your Boobs Don't Make Enough Milk
Even though I would leak breast milk at night, I was suddenly "empty" whenever my baby was hungry. I would look incredulously at my enormous breasts, wondering what the hell was in those damn things if it wasn't breast milk.
When You Can't Figure Out Who's Eating Who
Watching my tiny baby trying to get a hold of my mammoth breast was comical. It looked like he was being consumed by my boob, rather than the other way round. If I stop to think about it, I imagine I would look the same if I tried to take a bite out of a hot air balloon.
When You Start To Panic
There were more than a few occasions when my boob would cover my son's nose, I would have to push the skin down to make room for his tiny nostrils. Even though he seemed quite content, I would constantly panic that he couldn't breathe.
When You Can't Really See Your Baby
My breast would create a sort of shelf, wherein my baby could be doing anything and I would have no idea. I am pretty sure he was just nursing, but it was fun to speculate about the things he was doing under my breast that were going on unseen.
When You're Engorged
Anytime I was away from my baby for more than an hour at a time, my boobs would get so engorged I would be in pain. I honestly thought they were going to burst through my shirt as though I was changing into the Incredible Hulk.
When You're On The Receiving End Of Unwanted Attention
Large breasts already attract a lot of attention, with our without a nursing baby attached. However, when there's a chance you might pop a big boob out in order to feed and sustain another human being, all the weirdos in the world seem to get very excited.
Honestly, it's just another barrier to public breastfeeding that makes it that much harder for nursing mothers to feed their children safely and efficiently.
When You're On The Receiving End Of Gross Comments
Once I gathered my courage to breastfeed in public, and subsequently ignored any looks shot my way, I realized it was extremely difficult to hide what I was doing. Unlike a friend of mine, who is small chested and can breastfeed incognito, there was nothing "stealthy" about feeding my son. As a result, I was sometimes subjected to some strange and often inappropriate comments about my breasts when I was nursing. Ugh. Screw the patriarchy, you guys.
When You Have To Purchase Gigantic Bras
I thought I was used to buying big bras, as I certainly could never find my size in a normal department store. Then I started breastfeeding and the bras I was buying only seemed to grow in size. My nursing bra had so much material it took up half the drying rack. Of course, the peek-a-boo removable cup made me look even more ridiculous.
For women with large breasts, life can be a bit uncomfortable. So, if you're receiving a text message or two from a breastfeeding mom with big boobs, just be kind.