I’ve been missing something since I had my two babes. I never really appreciated them beforehand, but seriously, Where did my boobs go?
I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding.
I had Edie in Seattle, where, in my unscientific research, breastfeeding is highly popular. Before I got pregnant, I volunteered with an accomplished epidemiologist, who’d spent many years researching the benefits of breastfeeding as breast cancer prevention. With a history of this cancer in my family, I was sold.
Learning to breastfeed is hard. In those initial weeks, I stressed about whether we were “doing it right”, calling my mom friends and hospital-provided lactation consultation for guidance. We eventually got the hang of it, and continued with Edie for about a year, and Emmeline for about six months.
Overall, it was a positive experience. I don’t think it’s for everybody, and that’s ok. My experience with moms who choose not to do it, or aren’t able to do it, is that they feel ostracized, often apologetic that it wasn’t for them. Personally, I don’t care what you do with your boobs or how you feed your baby. But I understand the pressure, as the many positive benefits of breastfeeding are published throughout the web and on all pieces of birthing literature.
But no one talks about the breast aftermath. While my cups never runneth over, I now have the chest of a teenage boy. My husband recently reminded me that when we dated, my chest was one of my favorite assets. I DO remember thinking that, once upon a time! I liked my chest. It was both muscular and feminine. I had boobs that fit my frame – nothing crazy, just…nice.
Years later, my dear children have sucked me flat. Now I hate my chest. It’s not feminine or sexy at all. When I wear a sports bra….wait, why do I even wear a sports bra? Nothing’s there to bounce or flap or sway one little bit.
Even though my husband is totally complementary and kind, I’ve concluded that I want a boob job (I could call it breast augmentation, but that’s not how we talk, so boob job it is). I’ve started researching the surgery, and come to find out, I’m not alone. Women often turn to this surgery for the same reason. Just Google “post-breastfeeding boobs”; saggy, flappy, and sunken chests abound.
I’m happy I breastfed my kids, and wouldn’t do it any differently. But as a healthy and active American woman, my life expectancy is pretty long. Do I want to spend the rest of my life with a chest I loathe? No, and modern medicine allows otherwise. I don’t need anything big or even particularly noticeable. I just want to appreciate my chest and feel confident about my body again.