If you've breastfed before, chances are you're well aware of what happens to your boobs when all is said and done. But if you're about to start your nursing journey, or you just don't have shamelessly honest (almost to a fault) people surrounding you, post-breastfeeding life is probably a mystery. Why? Well, because there are things no one says about post-breastfeeding boobs, but I will. After all, honesty is the best policy, and when it comes to anything parenthood related it's better to be armed with all the information than left in the dark.
My experience may not be true for everyone who breastfeeds, of course. There may be slight (or massive) variations in boob changes between different post-nursing humans. But I'd be pretty damned shocked if you didn't experience your post-breastfeeding boobs as almost entirely different body parts than your pre-breastfeeding boobs. And, honestly, that's kind of comforting, in a way. Us parents can have wildly different experiences, but there's usually a common thread in there somewhere that makes us feel less alone.
Full disclosure? I was a "free the nipple" kinda human before "free the nipple" was a thing. I've bared my bosoms for all sorts of reasons, in all sorts of ways, at all sorts of ages. Mostly due to quick changes backstage while an undergraduate actress, but also because, sometimes, I just felt like it. So I'm maybe not representative of the entire breast-owning population, but I feel confident in stating that if you breastfeed your relationship to your breasts will likely change, and sometimes drastically. So what are the tips you're unlikely to be told about post-breastfeeding boobs by anybody but me? Read along, my friends:
Forever. Like, that lopsidedness never goes away. Ever.
Yes, you read that right. Your post-breastfeeding boobs will lose all sensitivity. It's not all bad news, though. For me, at least, it was a fabulous thing, although I realize not everyone will feel that way. Consider this a warning to love your boob sensitivity while it lasts.
They Will Always Lactate
OK, so it's not like I just walk around leaking all the time after my nursing days had come and gone. But the capability to lactate, once you have, always exists. In between child two and child three I would sometimes be out and about, hear a baby cry, and feel the familiar tingle of a letdown. It's disconcerting if you aren't prepared for it, so consider yourself warned.
They Will Always Look Different
There was a time when this would've bothered me. But, honestly, I'm fine with my different-looking breasts now. If it's something you feel will be challenging for you, consider starting your acceptance process now.
They'll Demand You Buy New Clothes
Because, seriously, your clothes will look hella weird on those lopsided breasts.
They'll Require You To Change Your Body Image
It's not just a lopsided issue (though mine are seriously almost three whole cup sizes apart). It's a whole body issue. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding will change the way your body looks, the way others see your body, and the way you feel about your body. In the U.S. people assigned female at birth have a complex relationship with body image and, in my experience, post-breastfeeding boobs will burn the whole thing down.
They'll Make You Forget Your Pre-Breastfeeding Breasts
Eventually, all of this is moot, because you won't even remember the pre-breastfeeding boobs. And you know what? That's just fine with me. But if it's not just fine with you, that's OK, too. When it comes to breast lifts and the like, it's your body. You do you. Always.
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