When I first gave birth, my son had this infuriating trick he'd do, where he'd latch on perfectly whenever my midwives or his pediatrician were around to see, yet do the exact opposite when there wasn't anyone around to help me troubleshoot. At five days in, I'd had enough, so I found a lactation consultant and it was one of the best choices I ever made. She showed me some tricks, and answered my questions — at least, the ones I actually dared to ask. Of course, there are certain inappropriate questions every mom wishes she could ask a lactation consultant, but doesn't.
By "every mom," it's entirely possible that I just mean me. Either way, when you actually get the chance to talk to a person who's a certified expert in breasts, questions come up, you know? Like, "Why do men have nipples? Could my husband be doing some of this?" or, “Where is the secret stash of nursing bras that actually fit, aren’t fugly, and don’t cost eleventy billion dollars because I know you know the answer or so I desperately hope.”
For real: meeting with a lactation consultant is super helpful, so if you have a real but kinda awkward question, don’t be shy; make the most of your opportunity to talk to an expert. But also, don’t feel too weird if anything like the following questions crosses your mind. Then again, maybe such things would never occur to you because you're normal and I'm the only one who wonders weird things during appointments. Whatever, internet, you can judge me when you stop Googling wild sh*t when you think nobody's paying attention.
“How Do My Boobs Compare To All The Other Ones You See?”
You're the only boob expert I know. Well, you're the only one with an actual certification attesting to that, anyway. Am I normal? Am I way better than normal? No, there are no other acceptable answers.
“So, Like, How Big Of A ‘Sacrifice’ Is This About To Be?”
Yeah, yeah, moms sacrifice for our kids and love it it's so rewarding blah blah right yes. Just how much more adjusting to my new body are we talking about here? Should I just bury all my old bras or will I actually recognize my breasts again someday?
“Will I Ever Be Able To Wear That Strapless Dress I Paid Way Too Much For Again?”
Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes...
“Will I Ever Be Able To Buy A Decent Bra In A Regular Store Again?”
Actually, this isn't even that inappropriate, this is just real. Also, why don't stores carry more sizes? Which legislative body voted and decided that if you do find a nursing bra in your impossible size in a regular store, it must be the most boring thing you've ever seen in your life? And how is it possible that Victoria's Secret doesn't sell nursing bras? Missed opportunity, much?
“What’s The Best Way To Rage-Destroy A Breast Pump Once You’re Done With That Part Of Your Life?”
Do you recommend a baseball bat, á la Office Space? Or is it better to melt it in a celebratory, "My child has weaned/I'm quitting my job/I'm just gonna combination feed when we're separated and not feel at all guilty about it/Any Other Amazing Possible Reason To Stop Needing A Breast Pump" bonfire?"
“Which Circle Of Hell, Exactly, Do Breast Pumps Come From Anyway?”
Pumping breast milk is kind of the worst, but which specific kind of the worst? Is it the third circle, because gluttony? The fourth circle, for greed? Oh, wait no. I got it. It's obviously the fifth circle in Dante's hell. Anger.
“How Far Can The Average Mom Squirt Milk?”
Is this a thing someone somewhere is keeping track of, like how fast cheetahs can run, or how long it takes a spider to build a web? Better yet, is there a competition I can enter into? Do the Guinness Book of World Records people make house calls?
“I'm Exclusively Breastfeeding And My Period Has Already Returned. Is It My Boobs That Need To Be Recalled Or Is This My Uterus’ Fault?”
From everything I heard and read, I was supposed to have something like six months (or more!) without the red menace. Kid was on me like glue every two hours, including overnight, yet there I was four months postpartum, turning my bathroom upside down looking for the Diva Cup I hadn't seen since before my positive pregnancy test. WITAF, you guys?
“Seriously I Feel Cheated. Which Member Of The Breastfeeding Propaganda Council Can I Complain To?”
I. Wanna. Talk. To. The. Manager. Y'all owe me some answers.
“If We Are What We Eat, Does This Mean Me And My Baby Are *Both* Salted Caramel Cupcakes? Or Just Me?”
Also, how many would I have to eat in order to make him smell like salted caramel? Purely scientific investigation going on here.
“Nipples. Just Tell Me Everything You Know.”
Also, are they really stretching as far as it seems when my baby forgets to unlatch before turning his head?
“Yeah, Yeah, There Are No Silly Questions, But What’s The Weirdest Question You’ve Ever Heard?”