Whenever I hear someone describe breastfeeding as a journey, I tend to roll my eyes. However, in the quiet moments when I’m being honest with myself, “journey” is actually the perfect word to describe the overall experience. From thinking about and preparing for breastfeeding before your baby is even born, to working your way through the sometimes incredibly difficult learning period, to getting it (or not ever really getting it), to adapting to the needs of a growing and developing child, to deciding to stop; breastfeeding is an ordeal. And, in the end, breastfeeding will change how you feel about your boobs, solidifying the undeniable fact that this "journey" has some lasting, life-changing affects.
While there is much discussion and debate as to whether or not breastfeeding does, in fact, changes the size, shape, or appearance of breasts, I think that’s mostly wishful thinking to assume it doesn't. The great majority of breastfeeding women I've talked to (which I recognize is not scientific, but is telling) report that breastfeeding a baby physically altered their breasts; ranging from a little bit to a whole lot. These changes, no matter how big or small, can cause even the most confident of breastfeeding mothers to feel uncomfortable about their postpartum bodies (and breasts, in particular). That being said, I have no authority with which to talk about permanent cosmetic changes, because my breasts have not physically changed in any perceptible way since nursing my two children. Don’t get jealous; it’s because I’ve had the breasts of a 57 year old wet nurse since I was 12. (It’s OK, my boobs and I totally love each other.)
Still, regardless of one’s feelings on the appearance of their breasts once they’ve retired from nursing, there are a whole swathe of emotions involved that, in the end, have very little to do with appearance and a whole lot to do with the "journey" you've been through, together.