Taking a Walk Down Mammary Lane :: Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

Taking a Walk Down Mammary Lane :: In Celebration of World Breastfeeding MonthEvery year, the world sets aside the first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week to recognize breastfeeding and boobs and their contributions to society by way of providing nourishment to new generations of baby humans. Given this mammoth contribution, I am not sure the girls actually get their due credit. I mean, they get credit… but the world could really do more to celebrate the magic that is a breastfeeding boob. I’m not going to pretend I am some kind of breastfeeding guru or that I have all the answers when it comes to breastfeeding. Indeed, I am just a regular old motherish kinda chick that popped out a few babies and then popped out a boob to feed them. But there are things you don’t ever want to forget, things you wish had never happened, and things that still leave you giggling years later- many of which are too good to end up on the cutting room floor. So, since it is World Breastfeeding Week, let’s talk mammary moments.

Please feel free to share yours. I’ll break the ice with a few of my very own favorite mammary memories. 

Annihilation of the Nipple

While in the hospital after delivering my first son, I was told he was a big baby and that I needed to supplement with formula until my milk made its grand entrance. Yeah, I was a newbie. I fell for it. My brand new baby was smart enough to figure out it was a lot easier to bottle feed than breastfeed and promptly rejected my natural motherly offerings. Sensing my frustration, my cousin {by marriage whose second baby was born one month prior to mine and who I barely knew at the time} happily intervened and offered support. I can still hear her words. “Guuuuurl, you are going to come over to my house and we are just going to watch movies and breastfeed aaaaaaall day.” Before we even settled into a good girlfriend vibe, my dear cousin would declare that my nipples did not protrude enough for proper latching. Using her thumb and forefinger, she then proceeded to grab one of my naked nipples and squeeze it multiple times – in an attempt to reach satisfactory protrusion.

Immediately after, her mother called her out of the room to fuss at her for pinching my nipple.

In the end, we would become great friends. I was in the delivery room when her fourth child was born and she was in the delivery room when my third child was born. Nipples would be the least of our concerns by this time – but that’s a whole other post.

That Time I Thought the Well Went Dry

Taking a Walk Down Mammary Lane :: In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Month

Between four and five months, Kid One began latching and then backing away from the boob. Since I was back at work and it was becoming increasingly hard to keep my supply up – I was afraid the well had run dry. Being a concerned mother and not ready to throw in the towel, it was imperative that I know. Making the challenge somewhat easy – the constant expansion and retraction of the boobs had left my girls… long and longer. Determined to know, I flipped my tall boob over my chin and bottom lip, latched on and took a quick sip. And yes, there was still magic in the mammary. The human body is an amazing thing. 

Preposterously Pleasant Pump Parties

I had one of these every day for an entire semester. Three breastfeeding mothers. Every day, we would grab lunch and meet in the only little room with a lock we could find. We mastered the art of the tucking breast shields into our bras in the exact right position {because it absolutely sucks when your aim is off and your nipple misses the nipple tunnel} and hitting the power switch in six seconds or less and then scarfing down our meals. We had thirty minutes to make it all happen. Six boobs. Three pumps. Endless uncensored conversation. And the sound of liquid gold being electronically extracted on the high setting and dropped into a storage bottle. If those walls could talk. But… so glad they cannot.

Still Got It

Some years back, I had an abnormal mammogram and was sent to have an ultrasound. The issue was determined rather quickly. An amused doctor would later report that my still active milk ducts made for difficult viewing. Nearing a decade after my last baby and these old raggedy things are still on duty making the magic happen. I am almost 50; they must think I am going to be using these for grandparenting because there isn’t a chance in the hot place another baby will be exiting this body. It’s going to be a NO for ya girl.

When the Boob Buzzer Sounded

By the time the third baby was born, breastfeeding came easily. We fell into an effortless groove. Before I knew it, a year had passed. This baby was now walking and talking and making moves of her own and had shown zero interest in letting go of the boob. My first two effectively self-weaned, so I never really gave consideration of when to stop. It happened naturally. But the girl baby {est 2006} – she would probably still be on the breast if I hadn’t made a conscious decision to wrap it up. At about 14 months, we reached that moment. I was in my bed – minding my own business when that little chick rolled up on me. She lifted my shirt, pulled down my bra, latched onto the nip and looked at me like – WHAT. Any baby violating bodies and handling gear like that can handle a sippy cup full time. Game over. 

The Whole Breastfeeding Journey

Taking a Walk Down Mammary Lane :: In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Month

In the end, my short protrusion-challenged nipples and long boobies managed to eke out sustenance for three babies. We put 24 months of breastfeeding miles on these tatas. The babies thrived. The boobies took a hit. No regrets though.  Not a one. Mammary Mission Accomplished.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

 

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2 Responses to Taking a Walk Down Mammary Lane :: Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

  1. Avatar
    Dani B August 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm #

    Love this, Joi – too funny! 🙂

  2. Joi Bailey Green
    Joi Bailey Green August 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm #

    Thanks Dani!

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