I’ve been breastfeeding for a little over 9 months now. I know a lot of moms who didn’t particularly care for breastfeeding but persevered for the health of their child, and I know moms who said that breastfeeding helped them build an intimate bond with their baby. I am the latter. I love breastfeeding. I love that throughout my day, nursing allows me to stop any and all chores; to slow down and enjoy my baby in the midst of chaos. I love that it has given me a new appreciation for my body and has allowed me to sustain my baby. Throughout this “mom” journey, my body has not failed me. More than ever, I have seen the incredible things it is capable of. This shell of mine that houses my soul – accented with stretch marks, lumps and scars – might have seen better days, but it’s mine, and I am so proud.
Now that Cache is 9 months, I’m slowly beginning to see our breastfeeding journey come to an end. I’ve read a lot on Google about “9 month nursing strikes” and how babies become disinterested in nursing around this time. I’m not sure what causes this? I can’t say I’m upset. We began “baby led weaning” around 6 months of age, and it seems to be keeping its end of the bargain! My pediatrician mentioned the nursing strike might be temporary, so we’ll see how this next month plays out. If he IS done from nursing, i’ll need to find another way to incorporate milk into his diet ’til his first birthday.
Because our nursing journey has slowed down, i’m not making as much milk as I once did. And let me tell you – my breasts are sad. frowning. moping. I caught a glimpse in the mirror this past week, and I was shocked at how different they looked. I almost wasn’t prepared for it. Sure, it’s only common sense that your breasts change a little from nursing, but I didn’t know they would change this drastically!
If you’re a breastfeeding mama, then you’re probably familiar with the La Leche group on Facebook. Before Cache arrived, I had a few friends invite me in preparation for my breastfeeding journey, and I am so thankful that I had access to a group like this!! If you’re unfamiliar with La Leche, it’s a group of nursing mamas who offer support, encouragement, information, and education on ALL things breastfeeding. I have used this forum multiple times – from my first weeks of breastfeeding and suffering from chapped nipples, to diagnosing thrush. This group has been an invaluable resource for me. (If you need to be added to a group, you can find one HERE by choosing your state.)
Back to my sad, moping breasts – I couldn’t shake just how “loose” they had become. Was it just me? Before Cache, I used to go braless. After Cache, I couldn’t seem to get my bra on fast enough. I was even hiding them from my husband! Surely other moms were going through this, too? I knew the only way I would get answers was by asking other moms how their breasts changed during breastfeeding, and I have to admit, I was embarrassed to ask…only because it wasn’t something moms seemed to talk about.
“I feel really embarrassed to ask this question, but we’re slowly weaning off of breastfeeding (9 months old) and my breasts look like shriveled raisins. 😬 is this normal? has anyone else experienced such a drastic change in the way their breasts look? i have never been big chested. i am back to my b-cup. but they’re so droopy that i am highly considering a lift after i complete my breastfeeding journey with all my kids!”
And let me tell you, some of the responses were down-right funny…so funny that I had to share with you!
But perhaps the one that resonated with me the most was this:
I was amazed to discover just how many women were also unhappy with the appearance of their breasts after breastfeeding; so amazed that I sat my husband down and read through every single comment with a sigh of relief.
Moms – let’s be better about creating open discussions for things like this. If I have learned anything this year, it’s that we need each other.
Is there a topic you’re interested in discussing on this blog? If so, let me know in comments.