As World Breastfeeding Week draws to a close, I thought it worthwhile to remind ourselves of the importance of supporting breastfeeding moms throughout the year.
In societies where most new mothers greet their babies without any knowledge of breastfeeding, one way to offer support is by sharing your “breast stories.” Here is one woman’s tale:
In my twenties, I loved my breasts.
When I became pregnant a decade later, the love affair ended. The unimaginable swelling in pregnancy was followed by the rock-hard burn as my milk came in.
“Frozen peas,” recommended the preternaturally calm woman from La Leche League. “Make it stop!” I cried in rage, bra wide open, nipples on fire, clutching tubes of lanolin.
Gradually breastfeeding became easier and I appreciated my breasts differently. Not just playthings: life-force!
When my daughter stopped nursing, it saddened me. I not only lost the daily intimate moments we had shared, I now had limp balloons where once were juicy peaches.
Luckily, modern bra technologies and helpful clerks have restored my shape, at least with my clothes on. And naked, at certain angles with dim light and squinty eyes, I imagine a return to perky glory.
Lisa S, mother of 2
“Love Affair” is one of 48 short stories on motherhood published in the book Purple Leaves, Red Cherries.
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