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My Broken Boobs

My Broken Boobs

My boobs don’t work.

They are useless.

This is a difficult thing to admit, because before pregnancy, I've got to say, I had an unbelievably impressive rack. Every day, perky and filling up a [full] 34C, the girls did me proud. At the time, I’d heard of the lactivist mothers, those insisting that, as a society, we have over-sexualized breasts when their real role in life is pure function. They’re meant to feed babies. 

I guess I understand. But I liked my sexy boobs. And so did my husband. You know where that led: now we have a daughter.

Even before Iris was born, breastfeeding was my choice. My mom had breastfed (she was the hipster of her time, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, making her own baby food!), and I wanted to follow her example. She always talked about what a bonding experience it had been with all of her babies. Plus it just seemed practical, cheap, and easy.

My endowment was a joke through my entire pregnancy. Hyped up on hormones and weight gain, the girls swelled to an impressive 40F by the time I was in labor, and the nurses would just shake their heads and say, “Your baby’s going to be well fed!” Right there in the hospital, Iris latched immediately, sucking away like it was what she’d been made to do. The nurses were pleased, the lactation consultant was impressed, and I was beaming with pride that my daughter and I already worked so well together as a team.

But after a few days, something just didn’t seem right any more; and sure enough, at her first well baby check-up, little Iris had lost nearly 15 percent of her birth weight. While we fumbled through the unexpected practice of bottle feeding and countless hours of pumping, I also struggled with immense amounts of guilt: I had starved my child, I wasn’t healthy enough, I was doing something wrong, I’d already failed as a mother.

 

Thankfully, I had a doctor willing to talk about low supply and the effects my induction may have had on my milk. Two months later, pumping eight to ten times a day, I was still only producing an ounce a day at most. I had to make the decision to no longer exhaust myself, and that’s when I began full-time formula feeding.

And Iris is fine. She loves to eat, she is a healthy weight, and I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of bottle feeding. It wasn’t what I’d pictured initially, but then what is in motherhood?

While I noted daily the benefits of bottle feeding, charging myself along, I also anxiously awaited the return of my normal body. I was a bit impatient in this, and I soon realized the traumatic truth: without breastfeeding, my body would not so easily loose nature’s hold on stored fat. After all, breastfeeding can burn at least 500 calories a day, and between that and regularly lifting 15 pounds of pudge and drool, most mommies can expect to squeeze back into their jeans within a few months.

Not so with the bottle! And in my vanity—I possessed so much more than I’d ever realized!—what I mourned the most was the loss of my blessed bosoms. They did not deflate as quickly as I’d anticipated; six months into motherhood, and I’m still squeezing into a cup size larger than I was pre-pregnancy. And even worse, their slight decrease really was deflation. I now have two sagging stress ball balloons hanging from my chest.

And also they don’t work.

May I ask you, oh ye lactivists, what is to be done with my chest? What do you do when your boobs are neither sexual nor functional? What are they then?! 

Image Source: Trevor Noel

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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Join The Conversation
AmburHubbard AmburHubbard 2 years
There is a small percentage of women who truly can't breastfeed. I'm sorry that you fell into that percentage. I can't imagine the sorrow. But a good mommy finds a way to keep her baby fed. Boobs do weird things with pregnancy and lactation. They will be different as your whole body will have changed some. Just because they are differet doesn't mean that they can't be the sexy boobs you might want them to be. I suppose it comes down to the attitude you have about the way you look. Be confidant and don't look back.
LisaBriscoe LisaBriscoe 3 years
Ahhhh the joys of motherhood. I have one boob that works fine and one that doesn't work at all. Picture that girls! I've been nursing my daughter on just 1 side for months so if you want a deformity come to the beach with me!! But hey, at least my baby girl is healthy and happy. I'm hoping that the big one will shrink down to normal when she weans.
ash84422 ash84422 3 years
oh the ironies of life, My barely b's fed my son for 2years... Sorry girl, I guess a breast reduction is in order?
Sunny96437 Sunny96437 4 years
I can relate and I haven't even started breastfeeding yet. My actual milk has not come in an won't until I deliver, I'm told. My boobs were 34C and now I can't seem to find a cup that will fit me. Most C's aren't big enough and most D's are too big. So, I'm stuck in the middle. My boobs use to be a lot more perky and my nipples were already big. Now my boobs just seem like flat pancakes.. or balloons that someone stretched out and left that way. Now my nipples are incredibly massive since they were already large to begin with... I plan on breastfeeding as long as my body lets me and I'm terrified to see what the end results will be. I already don't like the look of my breasts in the mirror..
LoriGross35435 LoriGross35435 4 years
Wow can I relate! This is the first time I've heard anything about being induced playing a factor in not being able to breastfeed. I was induced with both of my girls and had about the same production results that you experienced. With my first daughter I was just devastated but time does heal all wounds and by the time I had my second daughter five years later I had finally come to the realization that I couldn't make my body do what it didn't want to, even though I did try by using Reglan. I learned not to beat myself up over it and to just enjoy my girls because you never get this time with them back. Thanks for sharing, it's always nice to hear how you aren't alone!
MariaRosaliaMarquez MariaRosaliaMarquez 4 years
I know how you feel dear. I am a full time mom and a mother of 3, ages 9, 7 and 5, all of whom I am proud to say I have breastfed them until they could walk. My breast were not that big as I am petite, but I was just blessed to have fed my kids with so much milk. One diet I should share that we Filipinos prove to be very healthy and effective is eating Malunggay or scientifically known as Moringa Oleifera. It is cooked as soup base with chicken and green papaya fruit called "Chicken tinola" and with some chili leaves if you like. It could help you increase your milk supply as it is rich in folic acid, vit c, calcium, iron, vit b and it is a natural milk enhancer, it may as well help you with other sicknesses. You may ask your doctor about Moringa Oleifera. Well, anyway, after I have finished with my youngest I totally got the shock of my life and saw my breast sag like a deflated balloon, but after sometime, I continued my regular routine ate healthy and exercised regularly I felt my breasts were having some flesh and muscle again that eventually made me feel proud that I have breastfed. Maybe what you should probably do is to enjoy your motherhood whether breastfed or with the bottle, since stress could be a cause that the milk will recede and stop coming out of your breasts. But really its a case to case basis and just relax and feel absolutely blessed that you have an angel to take care of, and our female vanity would only come second/third priority. God bless.
ErinGibbons99527 ErinGibbons99527 4 years
I can somewhat relate. The only thing I can't relate on is that mine weren't broken. In fact, they worked quite well. But with all of my son's medical problems going on, I didn't have the time nor the patience to pump 6-10 times per day. Everyone tried to make me feel guilty about it. I did for a little while. But then, I realized it was my own decision. What my point is, whether or not your boobs are "broken" does not make you who you are as a mother. The way you care for and love your child is what makes you as a mother. :)
analyon analyon 4 years
I loved this article. I understand the whole breastfeeding thing. My mom is a lactation consultant and a huge activist for breastfeeding, so of course, it was of no surprise that I would have to breastfeed my son when he was born. I also had the same experience where my son latched on quite well when he was born but he apparently did not eat or I was not producing because he had also lost a ton of weight while in the hospital. So I came to the decision to bottle feed but I kept trying the boobs. We both eventually got the hang of it and I was producing like nobody's business. At times I felt that all I was to my son was just a meal. My hubby used to call me "moo cow". Which of course was not great for myself esteem or confidence let alone that I was feeling super fat and I guess, if you knew the right technique, you could tip me over. I think whatever the decision on how to feed your child, whether it be breastfeeding or formula feeding, your boobs are never the same. My boobs are no longer sexy and they are no longer the same from before pregnancy but I guess they did what they were meant to do and now I just need to live with the fact, that I will have to always wear a push up bra cause goodness knows that if I don't my girls will be way below my knees before I hit mid age and Victoria, your welcome because your secret is my expensive indulgence to feel normal and elevated!
CoMMember13609076884776 CoMMember13609076884776 4 years
Wow, what a hot topic! I too have had my share of problems breast feeding my two sons. I am not a "lactivist" but I do strongly support breast feeding whenever possible and when the mother decides it is best for herself and baby, as well as other her children. I don't judge other people in their decision to continue nursing or bottle feeding. I feel that I need to share my story as, perhaps, a middle ground. I also have large breasts with large nipples (not great for newborn's lil mouths) and I have inverted nipples. With my first son it was clear that within 24 hrs of being born he was not getting enough milk so we introduced formula and we used the syringe and tube alongside my nipple to supplement and hopefully increase my supply ... I was never able to increase my supply enough for him to be satiated. We continued with S and S for a couple of weeks and then introduced the bottle. He seemed happy to suck at the breast and then finish up with the bottle although he never had a great latch. In the beginning I pumped after each feeding to increase my supply but I never had that much milk. To those who say that it was the induction? Maybe but I'm pretty sure not. I saw lactation consultants for over a month and even a speech/language pathologist to help with his sucking but nothing worked. Actually no, they did give lots of pointers and tips and encouragement. I kept trudging along through many tears and very lengthy feeds (incl pumping an hour or more) all because I wanted to breast feed so badly. I don't know how to describe why I was so determined but it was just something that I REALLY wanted to do. I don't look down on women who decide to discontinue because I have been there and is a personal choice. I weighed the pros and cons and with the constant support of my husband (he made me think long term when I really wanted to quit) I continued nursing and then supplementing with the bottle until he was 8 months old. So when my second son came along I was so hopeful that I'd have more supply this time but sadly, no. After a week of solely breast feeding I was so happy but then it became apparent that he wasn't regaining enough weight and so we started with the tube and syringe again (we were old pros this time around). But there were some differences: I was not induced this time and my lil boy seemed to have it in for my boobies! He did not like to latch (I think it was b/c of my inverted nipples) and so I pumped and pumped and then started using a nipple shield - which did help! But low supply was still an issue. I tried feeding more often. I tried drinking tea, warm milk, lager, stout, wine - all of those old wive's tales. I tried massage, warm compresses, baths, showers... You name it! All to relax and let down. It did help to mentally picture my milk flowing into baby's mouth. But still I have to supplement with the bottle. After about 10 weeks I was able to lose the nipple shield and he was happy to latch (probably b/c my nipple was more out by then). Since then I have been happy with our routine. I now only pump once or twice a day and I have to finish up each feed with the bottle except for the first feed of the day when my breasts have enough of a stockpile. So here's what I've learned: do what suits you and your family but i do challenge everyone to not give up too soon - set a time goal - 4, 6, 10 weeks and at that time assess your life and determine how long could you do this for and how badly do you want to breastfeed. And to all you folks who think that every woman can breast feed what do you say to the woman who's tried everything? I do have a love-hate relationship with my breasts. Sometimes (when I'm down) I think "well, I'm a failure as a mammal my mammories dont even function correctly). Right now my youngest is 6 months and I don't know how much longer I will continue to nurse him but all I can say is that when I am nursing him I am soooo happy that I did perservere. But if you get that same feeling when bottlefeeding then I am genuinely happy for you. Sorry this got so long (I guess I needed to get this off my chest - ha ha...)
ArtiesaWoods ArtiesaWoods 4 years
Thank you for this article! Been there done that and got the t shirt. I started out strong with the birth of my son until 2 weeks after his birth. It was new years in the middle of the night and I couldn't pump enough milk to feed my screaming baby. I too had been induced and wondered if this played a part I was killing myself every day pumping just to get between 1 and 2 oz of milk. When I had my daughter...no induction with her...I thought things would be different. They were and they weren't if that makes sense. My daughter couldn't drink my breast milk with out getting severe acidic diarrhea. So in hopes of her intestines one day agreeing with my milk, I pumped and stored. Sadly after two weeks I couldn't pump more than 4 oz a day. So yes...boobs can be broken...and no its not just from the induction Autumn claims. Listen up people...having gobs of kids does not make you an expert!!! If you want to be an expert go to school!!!
AutumnSousanis AutumnSousanis 4 years
You barely mention the role your induction played in 'breaking' your boobs. Your boobs are Not broken. I'm certain, if you have another child, and are able to deliver as nature intended and without medical interference, your breasts will also function as nature intended. You WERE able to produce a little milk, so be confident that you can produce a lot, if your body's hormones are left alone!!! and not interfered with by induction and hospital protocols. (I've had 6 births, from hospital to home births, I know what I'm talking about.) Look into Ina May Gaskin's books for a more thorough explanation. You are not broken. Hugs to you.
BeverlyRich BeverlyRich 4 years
lol i love this article! my boobs were broke too!
KayBeighton KayBeighton 4 years
For what it's worth, I breastfed two babies for a total of 4 and a half years and 7 years later I still have a nice pair of 34F boobs, considerable better than the 32Bs I started with!
kristy6505 kristy6505 4 years
Hi Sarah, I know all too well how you feel, reading your story was like reliving both my pregnancies and there after (except my breasts were slightly smaller then yours to begin with) I was only 23yrs also after my second child and became very depressed about my breasts. My figure had returned and I was proud of that but I had two deflated balloons that didnt work, I opted to get breast implants, did so and have not looked back since, I fill dresses out in the right areas and its improved me sex life! If you still have breast tissue there and enough of it thn id suggest a lift maybe, if your like me and had nothing but skin with a nipple i'd go implants or fat transfer, I think that feeling good about your breasts and body is part of being a strong sexy women, mother and partner! As far as breast feeding goes well it took alot for me to come to terms with not being able too, I am trying for another baby and have taken everything natural to conceive and prepare my body for another baby but if once again I cant breast feed I will be just happy to have a healthy baby that I can watch my partner have some joy in feeding bub! Hope you feel better about your girls soon x
HeatherCzujak HeatherCzujak 4 years
I had much the same experience with the breastfeeding situation - and the same "vanity" as you described! Whereas I was not so well-endowed, I was at least happy with what I had! Not so post baby:( Between the deflation and becoming SMALLER - I was not impressed. I am happy to say that, close to a year out, they have become a little less deflated feeling but, unfortunately, still haven't returned to where they were. Thank you for writing this article - I thought I was one of the few out there that felt this same way!!!
RJ59181 RJ59181 4 years
I am so sorry that has been your experience. Please consider that just because you couldn't breastfeed your first, doesn't mean you can't breastfeed subsequent babies. Each pregnancy, birth and baby is different. If it's what you want, it's worth trying - and I think you said that well in your post. :) Many, many women who plan on breastfeeding are not told that being induced or using drugs to control pain can greatly affect the start of breastfeeding. It's not that either of those things are bad or you can't use those tools and breastfeed, it just makes it more difficult. For example, most do not know that Pitocin (artificial Oxytocin - the hormone that is responsible for orgasm, labor contractions and the let down of your milk) can interrupt your body's ability to product oxytocin for several days. That means when it is most crucial - the baby isn't getting any colostrum or milk (depending on when your milk comes in). Without being able to remove milk, a mom's body gets the impression that the baby is dead or not available - so mom's body stops producing milk. It's a supply and demand issue. It is said that one intervention leads to another - and in a situation like that - formula is an unfortunate intervention needed to keep a baby healthy. That is why the primary encouragement of any lactation professional (I'm a CLC) should be to feed your baby.
JeanneGustafson JeanneGustafson 4 years
The main thing is a healthy child. I had similar problems and ultimately decided to do both for a while. My son and I had the bonding experience, and we supplemented with formula to ensure he had enough to grow on; I believe every mother and baby have to work out their own best solution together and breastfeeding is no more one-size-fits-all than breasts. I'm sorry you're not happy with your post-pregnancy breasts, but I believe with continued proper diet and exercise they can get back to a similar condition--just remember it can take a lot more time than many professionals would have us believe, especially if you're over 30. Good luck!
CoMMember13631156466798 CoMMember13631156466798 4 years
I feel your pain. I to had a 44dd and now I dont even know. Thay sagg now. My other half still thinks their beautiful but Im upset that Mine did not work right ever. My first breast feed ing session with my baby girl was all bad. Nothing came out and it was painfull cus she had such a tiny mouth. I only BF her for 3 months and it was never enough. I started only able to pump out 1/2 oz a day and she was getting fussy at the breast cuz she could not get anything out no matter how much she was on. Their was just nothing comeing out. She was not gaining as well. So Formula all the way. Shes now 6mo and healthy. Im so sad about not being able to BF for longer.
RobynBurke RobynBurke 4 years
I went form a C to a DD down to barely a B after I breastfed my first,I'm now breastfeeding my third and I make 8 ounces of milk a feed but the girls aren't so perky anymore they're more like deflated balloons
DanielleElliott DanielleElliott 4 years
Mine are perfect- but i also fed my daughter with Similac...
JaedynTaylor JaedynTaylor 4 years
And before ppl jump in saying they'd love to be a size 6... You wouldn't. It's a tough job finding clothes that fit properly where I live and everyone assumes you have an eating disorder... I eat like a pig!! Any tips anyone has to gain weight I'd appreciate
JaedynTaylor JaedynTaylor 4 years
I breastfed my daughter (now almost 3) for the first few months but had to switch her onto formula as I my boobies broke. The breastfeeding made me lose masses of weight (I dropped straight down to a size 6) and I still cannot put the weight back on :'( my breasticles are now officially dead, a boobalicious 34C before pregnancy, a mahoosive size when I was pregnant, and now a flat, lifeless 32A :'( I'm seriously considering surgery but feel abit guilty spending that much on myself when it could pay for my daughter and me to go on holiday. I'm hoping that by gaining weight (eventually..its jus not working!!) my lovely girls will return. But if I had to do it all again I would, breastfeeding was best for my daughter and I loved the bonding and connection it created, broke my heart when I had to stop.
KellyBalderson KellyBalderson 4 years
My breasts never retuened to their pre pregnancy size either...a VERY perky 34c...after 3 children they are large and saggy...wish I could have a boob job... If you have another child, your breasts may work next time. I have a couple friends who could not breast feed the first time around and were able to the second time around. Best of luck to you! And you are still an amzing mama!
TraceyHobt TraceyHobt 4 years
2 words: Boob Job. Best thing I ever did at age 40. Made mama feel oh so special. Growing old gracefully is for the birds. Now we have science :)
MeaganSargent MeaganSargent 4 years
I was a 36C at the start of my first pregnancy and I exclusively breast fed both my babies and my youngest is turning 3 soon... and here I sit at a 42DDD!!! People assured me they'd go back down! When? Smaller chested women tell me " oh you're so lucky!!" It makes me wanna slap them!! lol Whats lucky about this? Expensive bras? back pain? maybe the fact that my chest is XL but the rest of my is a L... so my shirts hang off of me in the middle but not in the chest, I feel silly. out of proportion!!! I can't wear a lower cut shirt... without stares from drooling men or scowling females I can't wear higher shirts without giving myself uniboob.. I give up. But I think we can ALL agree our little ones are well worth it! :)
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