Waking up to a milk-stained pillow, witnessing strangers gaping at your exposed boobs and massaging your rock-hard breasts in the shower only scratch the surface of the hilarious joys that come with feeding your infant.
Here are some of the not-so-joyful rules of nursing that all breastfeeding mums know to be true.
1. Never single-side pump without a towel close by
All hail Mount Squirtmore! Once that let-down starts on the side that is not being pumped, you can expect the milk fountain to flow! Place a towel on the other breast and hope for calmer seas to come.
2. Regardless of how many times you’ve done it, there is no comfortable way to breastfeed in the car
Side-of-the-road breastfeeding is never too relaxing.
3. Nothing ruins a night out without bub quite like forgetting your breast pump
There is no better way to party hard than stopping mid-drink for a quick express session in the washroom stall. Bonus points if your breast pump makes a slight squeaky sound and the other bathroom goers notice a strange noise coming from your stall.
Extra bonus points if you forget the breast pump and have to hand pump in the cubicle, dripping over the toilet.
Come on, you know you’ve done it before.
4. And don’t forget the calculator either
If you’ve had 4.34 standard drinks over the course of 3.21 hours, how many minutes do you have to wait to feed bub again?
Maths, it turns out, is not completely useless after all.
5. Feeling yourself up to determine which side is heavier is part of everyday life
Accidentally latch baby on to the fuller side? You’re playing with fire.
6. The moment food is placed in front of you is the moment your baby will require a feed
I cannot count the number of times I’ve looked down at my children’s heads mid-feed and noticed crumbs all over them. Mums get hungry too, okay!
7. ‘Freezing your tits off’ is not just a saying
Just ask any mum who has breastfed through winter.
8. Crying over spilt milk is perfectly acceptable
Liquid gold, people. Liquid gold.
9. The “breastfeed sprint” should be an Olympic sport
If you’ve ever had an older child choose to escape the park at the exact moment you pull out the boob to feed your younger child, then you know the sport we’re referring to. It requires cardio, stamina and a whole lot of balance to pull off the breastfeeding dash.
10. Cabbage was not designed to be eaten
A second glance at the shape and feel of cabbage leaves and it’s clear they were meant for one thing only – to alleviate engorged breasts.
11. To your little one, nipples make the best teething toys
Lucky they look so sweet when they are looking up at you with those cheeky grins on their faces.
12. Wet t-shirts (especially just on one-side) are back in style, okay
No shirt is also perfectly acceptable. The same goes for bras.
13. Breast milk makes the best antiseptic
Conjunctivitis? Squirt a little in his eye. Cracked nipples? Milk will fix that right up. Broken leg? Put some breast milk on it.
14. “Excuse me, but your boob is out,” is a phrase you have heard (probably more than once)
Because sometimes in your sleep-deprived state you forget to put them back in between feeds. It happens. Apologies to my neighbours unexpectedly dropping by. And my in-laws. And the postman.
15. Non-breastfeeding friendly clothing results in the dreaded over-under dilemma
16. Nothing says ‘sexy’ quite like a bit of milk in the face in the middle of alone time
Unless, of course, you’re also sporting an oversized ugly maternity bra. Or, even better, a pair of the off-white reusable breast pads.
Breast pads – hate them.
Migrating breast pads – even worse.
Forgetting the ugly things at home – the absolute worst.
17. For an infant, nothing is better than the boob, unless there is something more interesting to look at
Infants seem to love this game. Take a chug. Look around. Take another chug. Leave the breast squirting left, right and centre.
18. And, finally, despite all the above, there is no greater feeling in the world.
Yes, breastfeeding can be uncomfortable at times. It can be awkward at times. And it can be downright annoying at times. But it is also a heartwarming experience and a fleeting part of motherhood that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
After all, it won’t last forever. Soon you’ll be left with two not-so-inflated relics formally known as your breasts and a mind full of imperfect but beautiful breastfeeding moments to cherish.
Need some more feeding advice? Our Parent School lactation experts can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one session.