August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, a great cause with many valid goals, none of which will be conveyed here. When I saw that it was Breastfeeding Week, I immediately thought, heck yeah! Breastfeeding is possibly the least natural thing I ever did in my life, and I salute any woman who attempts it.
Breastfeeding is walking through life as a human bar. What’s on tap today? Why, you! Just when you finally evict that little person who’s been hogging your abdominal cavity, turns out you can’t eat anything spicy because it upsets Junior. Wait, maybe it’s dairy causing his gas. Before you know it you’re living off of Saltines just like you were nine months ago.
There are lots of myths around breastfeeding, the most laughable of them being that you’ll lose all the baby weight by doing it. Right—I looked awesome after seven months of letting someone bite me in a sensitive area. Another fantastic lie is that pumping is easy and convenient. I came home from work once and told my husband the pump was speaking to me, chanting “lac-tate, lac-tate” while I sat for 30 minutes with tubes hanging off me in the office mother’s room.
A note to anyone in a relationship with a new barista: Do not attempt contact with the udders. For that is their role right now and she’ll probably hurt you if you try to use them for anything else.
There is the ongoing debate in our ever-so-compassionate country about breastfeeding modesty. I say a woman who has had about six hours of sleep over the past three weeks can cover or not cover whatever she darned well pleases. Plus, childbirth does something to you: You stop caring about modesty. While I was in the hospital after Sally was born, the janitor came to empty my trashcan while I was topless. Several times. I could not have cared less. The only person I would have tried to pull myself together for was my anesthesiologist—He Who Gives Drugs [bow respectfully]—and that guy was long gone.
Nursing is incredibly convenient—have boob, will travel—and I admit I was a little nostalgic and sad the last time I fed Sally. But then I drank a few glasses of wine without fear of intoxicating my infant, and I felt better.
So rock on, human vending machines. This is your week: Give that sucker a bottle and take a nap.