It's no secret that breastfeeding offers a number of health benefits to both moms and their babies. Breastfeeding can also be an amazing bonding experience. But let's face it: Nursing moms also face some unique struggles. We get harassed for feeding our babies in public. We often have to figure out the logistics of pumping and storing milk while working or being away from our children for extended periods of time. Not to mention, there's So. Much. Leakage. And honestly, Bekah Martinez's Instagram photo is something to which all breastfeeding moms can relate.
In case you've lost track of Martinez since she tried to win the heart of Arie Luyendyk Jr. on The Bachelor, she's a new mom! She welcomed a baby girl named Ruth with her boyfriend, Grayston Leonard in February, according to Us Weekly. And judging by her latest photo, she's definitely breastfeeding little Ruthie Ray. On Tuesday, April 9, the former Bachelor contestant took to her Instagram Story with a predicament that most nursing moms have experienced for themselves. Martinez is wearing a white crop top in the selfie while also sporting some obvious milk stains. She captioned it with, "*goes to the grocery store for 20 min without breast pads*."
Ah, that pesky letdown will get you every time. Having breastfed four children, I've been in this situation more times than I can remember. Usually it's because I forgot to put in breast pads after changing my bra from working out, or after getting out of the shower. I've even gone to bed a few times without nursing pads — only to wake up to a milk-soaked bra, shirt, and fitted bed sheet.
Leaking can happen when breasts get so full that they overflow — or because of the letdown reflex. To me at least, this leak looks like an unintentional letdown. Especially during the early weeks of breastfeeding, it's common for nursing moms to experience letdown at times when they're not feeding their babies, according to BabyCenter. Like when a mom hears her baby (or another baby) cry. Or, if she thinks about her baby, smells her baby, or sits where she often feeds her baby.
This isn't the first time Martinez has been open about her postpartum experience. As USA Today reported, the mom of one shared a photo of herself breastfeeding her newborn in February — along with a powerful message. "Let’s stop saying moms are 'lucky' to get their pre-baby bods back," Martinez captioned the raw photo. "'Lucky' is getting the opportunity to carry a child within you. 'Lucky' is having a healthy baby." She continued:
'Lucky' is watching your body change after bringing new life into the world, not squeezing into your old high-waisted jeans a week after giving birth. I am truly lucky.
Personally, I love that Bekah Martinez has been so honest about her postpartum experience so far — leaking breastmilk through her shirt, and all. Women deserve to have an idea of what they're getting themselves into before motherhood smacks them in the face, after all. And I'm sure fellow moms who follow Martinez on Instagram have been nodding their heads right along to her posts. Keep up the realness, mama!