Mourning the end of breastfeeding goes through stages. It takes a couple of weeks to stop feeling sad and to arrive at the very excellent last stage: celebration! Your child has passed a milestone that we call ‘Completely Weaned’ – and you’re firmly in the territory where your body is yours again.
We couldn’t blame you if you forgot what it was like to not be a 24-hour snack bar for a hungry, growing child, so to help you remember, we’ve made this handy guide to all the things you can do now that you have your boobs back.
1. Make your partner do all the bedtimes
It’s been mum on bedtime feeding duty for so long, you’ve forgotten what the world looks like in the evening. Now is the perfect time to hit your local gelato shop for a twilight scoop of dulce de leche gelato and let your partner sit in the dark, waiting for an hour while the toddler falls asleep.
2. Buy new pretty bras
Soon after you finish breastfeeding, your breasts will settle into their new size and shape. That shape might look a bit more deflated than you remember, and the size quite different. This isn’t a time to lament the things you can’t change though. This is a time to fix them. With shopping.
Go to the section of the lingerie department you’ve been avoiding since you got pregnant. It’s the area with all the laciest, prettiest bras, and they all have underwire. Buy yourself a stack, and maybe some matching underpants too.
3. Go away for a girls’ weekend
Remember weekends away with friends? For me they involved shopping all day and dancing all night.
After kids, the girls’ weekend is a different beast. The shopping ritual remains, but you’ll probably buy things for the kids. Instead of using the hotel room as a dressing room for your night out on the town, it’ll become the place where you all sit around in your pyjamas on the gigantic bed, eating room service and falling asleep at 9pm in front of a movie. Bliss.
4. Binge on ridiculously spicy food
And anything else that the baby objected to when you were breastfeeding. Once I ate laksa and my son screeched his little heart out when he fed later that day.
The jury is out on whether what you eat affects the milk you produce, but it doesn’t sound far-fetched, and in my humble experience, it seemed to make a difference. Now there’s no breast milk, spice is fair game. I’ll take that bowl of laksa and raise you a gigantic scoop of chilli.
5. Throw away your nursing clothes
All those stretched out, milk-stained tops, dresses and bras have got to go. From here on out you can wear skivvies, or dresses made from stiff, unstretchy fabric if you feel like it. You’ll never again have to plan your outfit based on whether it’ll make exposing your breasts in public easy. Unless you’re planning on having more babies. In which case, still throw out the old tops. When the new baby arrives, you can buy yourself some nice new nursing clothes.
6. Drink and be merry
But take it easy. You’re not your old, 21-year-old uni student self anymore. After teetotalling during pregnancy, and keeping it to an occasional glass of wine while you’re nursing, your tolerance for alcohol is very low. Go slow and enjoy the fact that a single glass of bubbles is probably enough to last you an entire evening.
Leaving this stage of your relationship with your baby can be hard, but we promise it gets easier. In no time you’ll be topping off an afternoon of shopping with Thai food for lunch. And your shopping bags will be full of pretty, lacy bras… with underwire.