• Leslie Crews

Your Nipples Won’t Fall Off. I Promise - What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Updated: May 14

Photo by Eibner Saliba on Unsplash

Breastfeeding is the weirdest thing. One day you’re boobs are sexy, the next they’re a 24/7 restaurant to a lone hangry customer that pays you in poopy diapers and spit up.

As a member of the itty bitty titty committee I looked forward to the day where hormones and lactation would turn my Bs into voluptuous Cs. But pregnancy and nursing has done nothing. I feel cheated by the pregnancy boob fairy, but it’s fine. I’ll get over it.

Though nursing a baby is the most natural way to feed a child, the process of learning and adjusting to breastfeeding didn’t feel natural to me. For the first month I felt like I was being hazed into an exclusive sorority. It was painful and exhausting, but ultimately worth it.

I delivered my baby girl by way of an emergency cesarean. I’m convinced that a cesarean could have been avoided, had I not agreed to being induced, but I’ll save those details for another story.

When labor is induced before a woman’s body is ready to have a baby, there could be delays in breastmilk production. Synthetic hormones are helpful in getting labor started, but nothing is better than your body’s natural release of hormones through labor and delivery to prepare your body for nursing.

I never experienced leaking colostrum when I was pregnant. There was never an indication that anything was happening other than the occasional pin pricking sensation in my breast. I didn’t know what to expect.

The Induction

Before being induced, I knew there was a risk of having delayed milk production. I’d already predicted that my induction would lead to an epidural (that I was terrified of), which would lead to a cesarean (which I was terrified of), which would lead to delayed milk production. I stressed over it, which did nothing to help. And my predictions played out just as I expected.

To add more stress to the matter, my induction process began on a Wednesday but I didn’t deliver my daughter until Friday. Inductions are not quick and they’re not easy. I was on a clear diet for the majority of that time, which sucked and isn’t the best diet for a soon to be breastfeeding mom.

The Delivery

I’d dreamt of delivering naturally and the