Lovely jubblies or empty socks? If your boobs have changed after the tiring triathlon of pregnancy, birth and nursing, you're not alone. But despite the stretch marks, they are amazing. Don't forget it. Sarah Ivens gives a first-hand account of how pregnancy changes your chest.
I’m going to come right and tell you that my boobs now resemble semi-thawed bags of frozen vegetables; sort of lumpy, misshapen and squidgy to the touch. TMI? They are also mismatched. They were never perfectly paired, but now the left one is substantially heartier than the right – it clearly put up a better fight against pregnancy and 13 months of breastfeeding than the other - and stands proud and plump compared to its defeated next door neighbor.
I choose to sleep with a bra on now, for fear of rolling over and crushing one in the night, as it snuggles into my armpit like a newborn puppy. I thank Mother Nature every day that I don’t have to get my boobs out for anyone to see but my husband.
He is in total awe that for six months they managed to keep the love of his life, our son, alive. I remember when my milk first came in, in abundance, and calling him into the shower room where I was squirting under the hot water like a Fembot from the Austin Power’s movie. I laughed, he looked amazed, and then our boy cried… and was immediately placated by his Jersey cow of a mother.
“In the first three months post-delivery I couldn't handle my new boobs without a crane”
In the first three months post-delivery I couldn't handle my new boobs without a crane, a cabbage patch or an ice pack. Once, when I was engorged and in pain, my husband returned from the supermarket with a packet of shredded, pale Chinese cabbage instead of the deep green leaves I’d desperately requested an hour earlier, but I didn’t throw a strop. I just stuffed my granny bra with relish and relief.
Some people try to tell you your boobs won’t change, but they will. Mine leaked, overheated, bounced, shrunk and ballooned. At times they hurt like hell; at other times I felt like I’d been bestowed with the greatest gift on earth: to nourish my child with my body.
“I’d advise all new mums to look at the wonder of what your body is doing”
They do return to their former glory, somewhat, eventually. Often with the added bonus – if you were a buxom lady like I was – of settling into a smaller state. I’ve dropped two cup sizes and can now go out in a strapless top without the threat of an unwanted unveiling while reaching for a high shelf.
I’d advise all new mums to look at the wonder of what your body is doing, rather than focusing purely on the external. There is truly nothing more amazing than a baby being conceived, carried, born and nurtured. If men did it, we’d never hear the end of it.
Three things to remember :
- Don't waste your time and money on miracle creams or chest exercises – go straight to a lingerie shop or website (once you’ve got to the size you think you’ll stay) and invest in well-fitting underwear. Get professionally measured if possible.
- Think of your stretch marks as your mamma warrior tattoos. Not pretty, but hard won.
- If still in doubt, head to a pool, gym or spa and observe the people around you. Nobody is perfect, even pre-baby bodies and boobs. You’re just idealizing them.