Wanna know what breastfeeding feels like? Try this:
- Take off your shirt
- Go get a blow torch
- Go get some sandpaper
- Go get a bunch of needles
- Go get a mousetrap
- Go get some acid
- Apply all of these to your nipples simultaneously
And there you have it. No one ever tells you this before you have your baby. You hear about how beautiful breastfeeding is. That you’ll bond so much you’ll never have a fight throughout their teenage years. That it’ll decrease your chances of breast cancer by some big percentage (sorry, I’m too lazy to go look up how much exactly). They even woo you with colorfully patterned breastfeeding covers and pillows, and give them adorable names like Hooter Hiders and Boppy.
And then suddenly one day you’re lying in your hospital bed vice-gripping the back of your newborn’s head as you beg them to latch onto your cracked, bleeding, tortured nipple, and you think, that girl in 50 Shades of Grey didn’t have it so bad.
Why did no one tell you this? Two reasons. Having a baby is supposedly the most beautiful moment in your life and no one wants to taint it. I stress the word supposedly. And no one wants to discourage other people from breastfeeding either. Understandably. It’s good for so many reasons.
Like supposedly it helps you lose the baby weight. And again I stress the word supposedly. The other day my mother-in-law sent me this article about Kristin Cavallari and how she attributes losing almost all of her baby weight to breastfeeding. Discussing her svelte post-pregnancy figure, she said, “I can honestly say I owe it all to breastfeeding. I read somewhere that it’s like running six miles a day.” Okay, biatch, what the f-word are you talking about? I breastfed my son for ten months and I’m still wearing the “interim” jeans I got at Tarjay. I wear them every day because I refuse to go buy another pair since I’m planning on losing this weight any day now. But until then there are two whole shelves of $200 designer jeans in my closet that I can’t zip up over my lard baby.
And besides, Kristin Cavatappi, even if breastfeeding were the equivalent to fen-phen without the heart attacks, losing all that weight still doesn’t make the nipple pain worth it. Working out six days a week with Jillian Michaels would be less painful than the shit my nipples went through.
So you’re probably wondering why then. Why did I breastfeed for 10 months? Well for one, it’s a great excuse to escape when your least favorite relatives come over to visit, not to mention a great excuse to get to choose what you and your husband watch on TV. “If I’m going to let this poop-machine clamp down on my nips every 3 hours, then I’m going to watch Dance Moms and so are you.”
And here’s another reason to breastfeed. Formula is like a bajillion gazillion dollars, even if you buy it at Costco (or as I call it Sample Heaven). Oh, and here’s another one. The health benefits. Not only does it help prevent breast cancer in mom, they also think it might help prevent cancer in your kiddo. Plus, it boosts their immune system, helps their brain development and even helps prevent obesity. Sorry, I don't have anything funny to say about those.
And last but not least, as time goes on breastfeeding gets better. Dare I say enjoyable? Kind of sort of. It’s like your nips develop calluses. Not literally thank God. I like to think of those first couple of weeks as booby boot camp. So to all of you fellow breastfeeders out there, I say “Hoo-ah!” And to those of you who didn’t breastfeed, can’t say I blame you.