Boobs, Babes and other Natural Disasters

part of the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna, Italyby Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Let's hear it for nursing mothers! We who bare all {grin} for the sake of our children! While my ta-tas are now retired from public domain (and insured by the post-nursing necessity of industrial strength ta-ta holders), I fondly remember the seven years of Godiva-ish freedom nursing provided.

I'm sure experts' question the transformation of shy girl guarding her budding bosom to relaxed Earth Mama, indifferently plopping her babe's dinner onto a table in a busy restaurant.  Turns out there is a natural transistion - although not all mamas experience all stages!

The Turtle: This one's easy to recognize - she's purchased the pastel tent that hides everything from the neck down, fiercely shouting to distant passer-bys "I'M NURSING BUT YOU WON'T SEE ANYTHING!"  She might be found hiding in a rest room, perched uncomfortably on the handi-capped sink as she feeds her wee babe. The $35 Hooter-Hider (aka - tent with a view) is perfect for those in the Turtle stage!

Fortunately, by the time child #2 comes along, the turtle emerges and finds less bulky ways to care for her young!

The Model: Those nursing clothing catalogs are her best friend! The clothes may be expensive (trust me!) but she'll be perfectly coordinated in clothes designed for easy boob retrieval! Unfortunately, some designs work better than others, and many of us are left with $50 shirts that gape open in large vertical slits - giving "easy access" a whole new meaning!

The In-Your-Face Nurser: These are the ones who lay their boobs on the table and continue their meal! They hike up their shirts to neck level and let their child enjoy! I've always admired this type - although never had the audicity to emulate their actions. Mothers of multiples are almost always in-your-face - by necessity! There's just no such thing as modesty when wrestling with two or more! Given how much time I spent nursing singles, the committment and will power of nursing multiples must NEVER be underestimated. Amazing women!

The Casual Nurser: Many moms (including myself) adapt naturally into this after experiencing the Turtle & Model phases.  We learn that loose shirts worn easily over nursing bras (or bras that can be easily lifted) provide excellent protection and easy access. We opt for discretion - but aren't compulsive about it. We know a rambunctious baby will eventuall bare our chest to interested onlookers - but deal with it.

The Angry Nurser: It's her time to change the world - and she's doing it - two boobs at a time! She stands up for the rights of nursing mothers by provoking argument and change. She's In-Your-Face - with attitude! Her indignation and arguments are ready - and she's just hoping someone will dare to condemn her.  I wish she'd been around when a volunteer at the National Zoo told me I couldn't nurse in the gorilla building - I'd have to go to the bathroom. I just stared at her, and she eventually left me alone, but I dearly needed the angry nurser that day!

It doesn't matter what type of nursing mother you identify with - we all deal with similar issues.  We've all had leaky boobs, saturating our shirts with sour-smelling milk. Some gals have such forceful let-down they squirt out several feet - always entertaining in public!  We've had to fight with babies that refuse to latch on correctly, resulting in cranky babes and sore mothers!

Let's not forget those active nursing older babes & toddlers. Those creatures that latch on then proceed to do a back-flip over your shoulder - without letting go! We've lost sleep. flashed our in-laws and changed bra sizes almost daily!

But we know, without doubt, that the discomfort, time committment, smelly shirts and droopy boobs are worth it! So let's hear it for those happy, lucky babes who know the comfort of a mother's breast!

Let's hear it for breastfeeding mothers!



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