13 Texts All Breastfeeding Moms End Up Sending Each Other, Because #BreastfeedingProblems

Ad failed to load

In my 33 years, I've made a lot of friends. School and college friends; theater friends; work friends and, eventually, mom friends. There are overlaps among all the aforementioned groups, but one particular subset has easily become the weirdest and most lovely I've encountered: breastfeeding friends. Unlike a lot of my other friend groups, my fellow breastfeeding moms don't have a lot in common outside of being moms and choosing to (and/or being able to) breastfeed. However, like any other group, we band together, bond together, bitch together and, of course, send texts all breastfeeding moms send each other.

Considering I don't have too many IRL mom friends, I really have to thank the internet for providing me with my breastfeeding tribe. Internet, sometimes you suck, what with all the racist memes and ranting uncles on Facebook who don't realize The Onion is satire, but every now and then you really deliver. While many people are perfectly fine not joining a mom group of any kind, for others (including yours truly) finding a mom group is a great way to have a space where, at least for this one particular aspect of your life, you don't have to explain anything. I love being able to say something like, "Went to a party for my son's friend today that started at my daughter's nap time" and not have to explain why it's frustrating and nothing short of a horrific challenge. Making friends with whom you connect, perhaps even initially, on breastfeeding may sound odd, but considering the undeniable fact that nursing takes up a lot of time and energy even under the best of circumstances, having someone who just "gets it" can be really nice.

I'm definitely not inferring that you can't talk about these issues with friends and family members who aren't parents or who didn't choose or where able to breastfeeding. (My kid-free, male best friend has been on the receiving end of a lot of unsolicited texts/phone calls/in-person conversations about my engorged breasts and leaking, bless his patient heart.) You certainly don't have to get weird and cultish about breastfeeding to glean value from joining a community of people based on this one shared life choice. But when it comes down to it, the texts between two or more nursing parents is a truly beautiful thing.

Ad failed to load

"This Is Actually Harder Than It Looks..."

You'd think one-handed texting would be pretty simple, but depending on how wiggly your baby is being or how much you have to concentrate on getting your little darling latched on (or to remain latched on), successful multitasking might not be in the cards. This is especially true in the early days, weeks, and months of nursing. (For many people, after a while you can do pretty much anything while nursing.) To be fair, we probably write this out to everyone, but no further explanation is necessary for fellow breastfeeding moms.

#PumpingProblems, The Struggle Is Real

No one else will know the annoying, defeating, sob-inducing anger of crappy pumping sessions like someone who is also going through it. Because, sure, you might have great people in your life who will give you sympathy, but they don't get that potent mix of feeling simultaneously like a failure* and like you've been cheated out of something that is rightfully yours like a fellow mom who has also been acquainted with a pump.

*no one who does not respond well to a pump for any amount of time is a failure, by the way, but it's an emotional disaster and in one's more emotional moments it's easy to give in to self-deprecation; again, people who have been there will likely get what you're going through

#PumpingPride, Because Sometimes You Hit The Lactation Jackpot

The uninitiated will just feel like "Oh, okay, that's what happens when you hook yourself up to a breast pump, right?" Or maybe they'll even think "Oh wow, that's a lot for one sitting!" But beyond being (maybe) mildly impressed that's where their reaction ends. But your milky sisters will understand that this is cause for great celebration. They will know that this is an unexpected and glorious bounty. They will understand that deep sense of happiness and pride you feel: not unlike that of an old time-y prospector who has just discovered a massive hunk of gold while panning for flakes in the river.

Ad failed to load

Someone's Got Your Back In Scouting New Locations

Unless you're a breastfeeding parent, most people will not take into account the fact that being out means trying to figure out where and when you will be able to nurse. While many women (especially the seasoned experts) can nurse pretty much anywhere with minimal issues, some women require an actual seat, privacy, and/or quiet. And, honestly, no matter who you are convenience is always appreciated. So fellow nursing moms will always have this in the back of their minds when they suggest outings, and it's awesome to have someone at your level on this one.

Commiserating Over Feeling Like A Human Cow

Breastfeeding is draining. Literally, and (often) physically and emotionally. It's nice to just be able to say what's going on and not have to explain how you feel about it to someone to feel completely understood and to automatically receive the kind of support you need.

Feeling A New Camaraderie With Actual Cows

This is an honest-to-goodness, actual text I have sent. Look, after you've nursed a child and know the kind of resources of time, food, hormones, and mental preparation that goes along with it, you look at dairy animals differently. Whoever said, "There's no use crying over spilled milk," obviously never pumped 20 minutes for 1 ounce before. So when I've had to dump out expired cow's milk, I've felt just terrible for the cow who was milked only to have the fruits of her efforts thrown away. I've tried to explain my feelings of existential ennui to non-breastfeeding people and they don't get it the way someone who has ever breastfed does.

Ad failed to load


This is like when you get 10 ounces in 10 minutes, but better! And this is a weird thing to brag about to someone who doesn't have to worry about storing human milk in their freezer in order to ever hope to go out on a date or out with friends. But a nursing mom? She knows that one's freezer stash represents both security and freedom. For real, those storage bags should be emblazoned with screaming bald eagles swooping in front of a billowing American flag or something. So announcing how much frozen boob juice you keep in your house isn't weird to her: she knows what you're really saying is "GIRLS NIGHT OOOOOOOOOOOOOOUT!"

Brainstorming Solutions To Life's Biggest (And Most Painful) Problems

Having other breastfeeding moms to turn to for not only support but actual advice to particular problems is invaluable. Because who else would you turn to? The Internet? Go online for any medical issue whatsoever and you're just going to convince yourself you have cancer. Your doctor? Ummm... do you know just how many questions moms (especially new moms) have? The doctor would seriously just ban you from their practice if you called with every single question you had. So other nursing moms, who have been there and had experience with some of the things you have, are a girl's best go-to information source for all things nipple-related.

Sharing Is Caring

Because when you do stumble across a great hack (like delicious lactation cookies) what's the point in keeping it yourself?! This is also great to head off some of the aforementioned "asking for advice" texts at the pass. Look, any mom needs all the help and guidance she can get and you never know when information will come in handy. Maybe this will be advice your friend doesn't even need, but she'll have a friend who can benefit. Spread the love, people!

Ad failed to load

Because It's Not A Pity Party If You're All By Yourself

Unless you have had this you have no idea and I need to talk to someone who knows exactly how many "Oh you poor baby"s I need right now.

Because Some Things Just Sound Creepy If You Say Them To Anyone Else

Until you see the transformation your breasts make between "empty" and engorged first-hand, you just won't understand how incredibly different the same pair of breasts can look within the span of a few hours.

Needing Someone Who Will Really Feel You

Again, it's a "no explanations required" sort of statement when you're talking about breastfeeding. Other nursing moms get that you mean the little on-boob smiles, watching your baby pop off only to fall directly into a milk coma, and getting to cuddle with your soft little squish-squish on the regular. This particular experience is unique and it's nice to be able to reflect on its nicer moments.

Ad failed to load

Needing A Judgment Free Safe Space To Keep Things Real

Even when you love breastfeeding, sometimes you hate it, too. Sometimes you wish you could just stop. And sometimes you hate it because you're having a hard time and you're worried you'll have to stop. But because breastfeeding falls at a precarious three-way intersection of women's bodies, parenting, and what-people-eat-and-when (three incredibly loaded social issues), saying "I hate breastfeeding" can often make other people bristle or earn you judgmental backlash. But if you have a breastfeeding mom (or, if you're really lucky, moms) you're close enough to text on the regular, you won't get that judgment. Just the support you need to to know that even under great conditions this breastfeeding business can be trying and it's wonderful to have a safe space to vent.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik