Friday, March 23, 2007

Breasting change

I have started breastfeeding again which is really quite weird because I thought I had finished. I was heartless enough to stop so that I could get on a plane and go somewhere far away from suckling creatures. A seriously bad mother thing to do but I figured the baby, who was 16 months old had had a good innings on the breast front. The nocturnal feeding finished some time ago and I was down to just morning and bedtime anyway; I explained to her, suitcase by the door. "You won't even know they've gone", I said. "They'll write, OK?"Astonishingly though, I might have decided breastfeeding had finished but my breasts decided otherwise and promptly flipped back into operational mode as soon as I got home, despite the fact I had not fed the baby for 10 days. I am rather impressed at their determination to maintain functionality. It was really quite a Stalinist mother of the nation thing for them to do. They appear to have a mind of their own. I am wondering whether they will want to take charge of the television remote control on an evening.

I am a big fan of breastfeeding. I am about as far as you can get from statuesque and if I had not breastfed my babies, I would never have known the charm of life as a woman with big breasts, and, it means you can eat more. Apparently it is quite good for the babies too. A friend told me recently she ended up with two differently sized breasts courtesy of breastfeeding. Apparently she used to let her babies do most of their feeding from one particular breast. She used her free arm to make tea, hoover and juggle, or some such other one-handed activity. She told me this and I laughed at her and her lopsided breasts. Since I am profoundly jet lagged and had little else to do last night with a sleeping husband by my side, I decided to see whether breastfeeding has had a similar effect on me. I did this very carefully - firstly, because I think you should be scrupulous in matters scientific and secondly, I did not want my husband asking me what on earth I was doing, or worse, whether he could help. With the right hand, I took the appropriate handfuls and then cross-checked my findings with the left hand. I scooped and weighed thoughtfully. Do you know, I think they are different. How about that? You do not get told that in the breast is best glossy little leaflet you carry away from the maternity ward. That your breasts are going to be different sizes from here on in and may want to watch Coronation Street on a Monday.

19 comments:

Sarnia said...

So handy isn't it?

Or rather - wasn't it?

Latch brat on boob and with free hand cook spag bol; smack older brats around on head etc (only joking earnest Mummies who might think I'm a bully! I'm not really!)

Could never get to terms with the expressing lark though.

Yuck anyway. Glad that's all behind me. Thank God my children are civilised members of the human race now and very amusing people in their own right.

Tim said...

I have only just found your blog and find it fascinating. I will add it to mine as a link.

http://pubadventure.blogspot.com

Helena said...

Sixteen months, that's good going. I am still feeling guilty that I stopped breastfeeding my middle baby when she only six months old as I had to go to my brother-in-law's wedding. She still sucks her thumb and I'm sure it's ALL MY FAULT. And I spent the whole wedding weeping (both milk and tears).
But I have to admit I am relieved it's all over now. Here in France the women have NO guilt; onto the bottle as soon as they pop out they go and the women go off for a manicure.
www.helenafrithpowell.com

Bernard said...

My sister used a saftey pin that she switched sides each time she fed the baby to ensure the "tanks" were emptied evenly! I have'nt asked her if her breasts are lopsided, its not the sort of thing a brother asks his sister"!

Nina said...

Funny how that is, isn't it? The functionality thing, that is. WRT the difference in size, you may be surprised that they more than likely started out different sizes, albeit not noticeably.

jane said...

Despite my enjoyment of the discussion re breast-feeding, I am still worried about your son being bullied at school.

On your behalf I am furious that the school have either not noticed him a) constantly walking into blunt objects and injuring himself, or b) being the victim of sustained and hideous bullying. Either way, they should have been paying more attention.

I am sure you are a bit sick of even well-meaning advice, but maybe you should take to visiting the school at random times just to keep them on their toes, i.e, have a look at what goes on in the playground. Check if there's a supervising adult around or is he/she standing indoors chatting with hands firmly wrapped round a steaming coffee mug, oblivious to the fact that your son is getting roughed up, or excluded from play,or whatever. Bullying takes so many different guises, not only physical, so don't be fooled if he pretends everything is ok just to spare you the anxiety he probably feels every day. You need to get him to talk to you.

I have experienced the gut-wrenching helplessness you feel when your child is being bullied and the everyone seems to be powerless to do anything about it. In the end in desperation I walked down to the school-gate with our local beat-bobby (back in the days when there used to be policemen on foot), and made a great show of pointing out the little swine I knew were the culprits. He nodded and pretended to write in his book. It was fantastic to see the expressions on their faces, and I don't apologise at all for scaring the sh*t out of them. At least they left him alone after that.

Best wishes,

Jane.

mutleythedog said...

If I were a bitch I would have a t least 28 nipples - so hard to tell really!

Anonymous said...

picture please :-)

Jude said...

I spent 7 and a half years breastfeeding my three children, mostly because the last one just wouldn't stop. To me, the optimal age for weaning is 18 months. The weirdest time was when I was a seasonal park ranger at Mesa Verde National Park. I'd lead a tour into the ruins, then take a portion of my 1/2 hour lunch break to head into the sparse pinyon/juniper forest, emerging ten minutes later with a half-filled bottle of milk which I then put on ice in a cooler to take home to my daughter. Then I'd head out to lead two more tours. The things mothers do.

Anonymous said...

16 months! That's really good going. I must admit, I only managed to do it for weeks before I gave up... There's nothing natural about it, baby couldn't latch on and I spent most of the time feeling like Daisy the cow and in pain! Anon [again]

Rare Breed said...

I loved breastfeeding too - and yes it left me with lopsided breasts - ho hum.

I managed it hands free as well - as a very dear freind bought me a sling that I could attach to me with baby inside and be totally hands free - thank god it wasn't called 'blue tooth' - just gummy!

Calamity Jane said...

An acquaintance of mine was still breastfeeding her kids at 7-8years old. Little Britain and "bitty, bitty" springs to mind.

Breasts usually are slightly unbalanced even without breastfeeding. If you're right handed the right one tends to be bigger and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

I've always -- at least as long as I can recall -- had one breast larger than the other. Or in my case, not quite as small. I tried briefly to breastfeed my three babies here in the U.S. in the 1960s when not even the doctors recommended it. With no instruction nor support, I only kept at it for a few weeks with each one, so do not think it affected the size.

james higham said...

Fascinating insight into something I'll never experience from the other side.

paulaemde said...

I breastfed my two wee-ones until they were 12 months and 14 months, respectively. I got pregant while still breastfeeding, so I only had a few months between weaning the oldest and the arrival of the youngest. My nickname was "mild truck".

I did notice a few things: 1. one breast, I called "the firehose", all the milk came out quite fast - at least when I pumped, which was rare; 2. one breast, I called "slow food" which seemed to take forever to slowly drip out the milk.

Both of my boys preferred the "firehose" side and fussed when I put them on the "slow food" side. Thus, one of my breasts was like something out of a porn movie and one was quite small. Lopsided? indeed!

Now that everyone in the house is weaned, they've evened out a bit. Wouldn't have traded that time for a thing, but glad it's passed. The nightime feeds during the winter were the worst! But, handy, handy, handy! Never had to clean a bottle or clean up yucky formula spit-up! Three cheers for breasts!

Anonymous said...

Of absolutely no connection whatsoever to breasts [similar sized or otherwise] check out the blog by another 'downshifter', only in the south of england this time.

http://pubadventure.blogspot.com/

Sounds like he has his hands full as well..

Ms J said...

what an interesting posting this one...i nursed my baby for 3 months, then i had to make a choice of either resuming my sexlife (i cant get in the mood without some boobplay) or to continue breastfeeding the little giy. i selfishly chose the former and started formula on my baby.
we all make choices and no one should make us feel bad for it.

dovegreyreader said...

Still lopsided 20 years later here, I'd always understood it's often the left one because babies settle better next to your heart beat but the left- right handed thing makes sense too.I seem to remember helping to wallpaper a staircase and feed a baby at the same time.

fluffyhelen said...

Only around 2% of women have breasts which are equal size. I'm 23 and have never breastfed and mine are uneven too!

C'est la viƩ, isn't life strange sometimes?

I love your blog too. I'm adding this to my daily feeds.