To be honest, I’ve really enjoyed breastfeeding my daughter. Now that she’s a toddler on a clear path to self-weaning, there are times when I miss the good old days when we had nowhere and nothing much on the agenda aside breastfeeding. But to be fair, here’s a word of advice to new mamas or at least words of camaraderie for those who are in the leaky zone now: For the first several months along your breastfeeding journey, and maybe for long after that if you’re extra lucky, you’ll want to stock up on those breast pads. Because your milk, like your baby, can have a mind of its own!
I liked the machine-washable cotton pads because I’m not a huge fan of anything that resembles a maxi pad. Also, I already had one of those constantly in place downstairs for the first several weeks after my daughter was born. But if disposable is your jam, buy a big old box, Mama. Because just like those tears of pregnancy, the milk shall flow uncontrollably. Here are some of my personal favorite times that your breastfeeding boobs will definitely leak:
1. When your baby cries. Nature’s sad but sweet little trigger that it’s feeding time at the zoo. Even if you thought there was nothing left in there — ha! Baby belts and the floodgates open.
2. When someone else’s baby cries. Particularly annoying, but chances are, it will happen to you, too. I worked so many outings around our nursing sessions and would think we were good to go post-feed. We’d sit down at a reading circle or music class, another baby would cry, and boom — bring on the leakage!
3. When a baby on TV cries, even if it’s just a commercial. Seriously, boobs?
4. When you cry. Those hormones are still raging, b-feeding mama, and every time my eyes overflowed, it seemed my boobs did, too.
5. As soon as your weary head hits the pillow and you’re just seconds from finally catching some precious shut-eye.
6. Anytime you actually get to sleep a little longer than usual. Nothing like waking up at 3 a.m. to be punished for the fact that you finally got that kid to sleep in stretches longer than two hours. Thanks, boobs!
7. First thing in the morning. Even after that first feeding. These are the times when you get to enjoy a baby on one boob and a breast pump on the other because anything that brings some sweet relief and keeps your shirt dry a minute longer is a good thing.
8. About 10 minutes shy of the end of the first good nap the baby’s had all week. What type of exhausted new mom paces the living room floor praying for the baby to awake from that coveted slumber? The type whose boobs are leaking yet again because we’ve gone past 1.5 hours and it’s too late to pump. Damn you, boobs!
9. Whenever you make it to a yoga class (or anywhere) without the baby. Keep those hands in prayer position and no one will see a thing!
10. On date night. Because your boobs don’t really care that you finally fit back into that cute little dress you’ve been saving since before you got pregnant.
11. When you’re at work and your meeting runs over. Visions of breast pumps will dance in your head…
12. The day you finally tried to break out a silk blouse. Oops. Have fun explaining that one to your dry cleaner!
13. On your way home from work, no matter how strategic your pumping sessions were that day. It’s a precious balance, that evening commute, and the boobs can only take so much.
14. Months after you thought they’d stopped leaking. A shift in the routine (for us, it was the introduction of solid food) can throw things off. Don’t toss those pads until you’re totally sure, because there’s nothing like leaking on the go, months after you thought that chapter was over!
More for Breastfeeding Moms:
- Celebrity Moms Breastfeeding Their Babies in Public
- Infuriating Things My Husband Says After I’ve Been Up All Night Breastfeeding
- I’m Going to Breastfeed in Public (& I Don’t Care if You’re Offended)