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SALT LAKE CITY — Recently, I posted the following on my Facebook page:
“TMI alert: While I love nursing, I could do without the ever-changing bust size. One second I'm one size, and five minutes later, I'm another and then back again. Someone please invent a bra that changes sizes automatically. This would alleviate a lot of embarrassment or the constant need to wear a sweatshirt.”
Knowing full well that this could be seen as too much information, or maybe even offensive to some, I posted it anyway, figuring I would get at least a few moms who related or at the very least, found it funny.
To my surprise, I was met with many “likes” and supportive comments (no pun intended).
There were those who wrote words of agreement, one friend stating, “No kidding! So awkward to be busting out of the bra, then having noticeable 'air pockets.'"
I had multiple mothers shooting out ideas on how to remedy the problem. One suggested having inserts that you could discretely put in your bra after nursing. One posted a picture of a bra invented for storing alcohol, thinking that maybe we could store water in stead, and adjust accordingly.
My personal favorite was one where the bra could be turned into an air pump of sorts, kind of like the old Reebok Pump basketball shoes of the early 1990s. We could just pump up air when we needed it, and press the release button when we didn't.
As the conversation kept going, I realized how liberating and freeing it was to talk openly about a subject that is often considered taboo, or in the very least, something that causes people to blush.
It was so liberating, in fact, that I figured, why not keep the conversation going? After all, as absolutely wonderful as nursing is, it is not without its humorous, uncomfortable and downright embarrassing moments.
So, here it goes.
Have you ever accidentally doused your child in milk without even knowing it?
Case and point: My baby has had a bit of a stuffy nose lately, and will often unlatch to catch a breath. Unlike bottles, there is no stopping the flow once it's started, and before you know it, milk is everywhere: up his nose, in his hair, down his neck, and sometimes all the way over on the end table next to me, with one stream going the distance.
Along those same lines, once one side starts, the other goes, too. So, while I'm feeding on one side, my “white gold” as I often call it, is seeping into the nursing pad and leaking on my shirt. I work hard to make this stuff. Such a waste.
Then there's the need to keep track of which side you last nursed on, lest you end up lopsided. I've learned this the hard way. My youngest daughter favored the left side, and rather than fighting her, I succumbed, letting her feed mostly on that side.
When It came time to wean her, it was very apparent which side I nursed on. Due to my disfigurement, I soon found myself doing something only 14-year-old girls do, but shouldn't: buying a fake insert.
Yes, I had to stuff my bra. Humiliating.
Then, of course there is what is called, "let down" when your milk comes in. To illustrate the feeling when this happens, think of what it might feel like to be plugged into a light socket. It literally feels like electrodes are moving through you.
As if these little inconveniences weren't enough, there is a little, no, massive condition known as mastitis. To give you an idea of how this feels, imaging being punched in the chest, causing massive swelling and pressure in that area, then being run over by a bus, all the while being told to keep nursing on the affected side, as to relieve the pressure.
One word: torture.
I break into a cold sweat just thinking about it.
All jokes and non-joking aside, nursing is an absolutely amazing thing. I am so grateful for the ability I have to nurse my children because I know there are some who cannot. I am grateful for the time it allows for me to relax and bond with my baby. Finally, I am grateful for all the health benefits nursing provides for me and more importantly, my baby.
Arianne Brown is a mother of six who loves running the beautiful trails around Utah. For more articles by Arianne, "like" her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @arimom5, or visit her blog, timetofititin.com.