I have a confession. Before Kaleigh (our flower girl and the first baby I’ve really hung out with) was born, I didn’t think people breastfed anymore. I figured by now, science had come up with some form of uber-milk made out of soy and about a dozen engineered materials that would have dwarfed any beneficial effects breast milk would have. I also figured that humans kept producing milk for legacy purposes, just so nature can continue to qualify us as mammals.
Apparently, I was wrong. There are a ton of beneficial effects to breast feeding, both for baby and mom. A bunch of them are health related and stuff, but you’re not here to read about the scientific benefits of breastfeeding. You’re here to read about the horror it elicits in me. And since I had the unfortunate displeasure of having to see her reading material on the kitchen table during breakfast, you all now get the joys of reading about it here.
Oh, and any women reading this who are not necessarily looking forward to the prospect of being pregnant, you probably will want to punch out now.
Let’s start with some terminology:
- Plugged Duct
- Breast Pump
- Nipple Soreness
- Inverted Nipple
- Nipple Confusion
The better portion of those terms sound like devices and techniques from the Spanish Inquisition. Except for “Inverted Nipple”. That sounds like a shot you take at a frat party.
Let me deviate for a minute. My brother-in-law is a farmer. I don’t know shit about farming, so I’m always interested (in the way a little kid is interested at career day at school) in asking Eric questions. Apparently, the urban legend that a cow’s utters will explode if you don’t milk them is bullshit. I also realized that 5 minutes worth of googling can save you a few awkward looks from in-laws.
That being said, keep in mind that engorgement is the swelling of breasts due to “overfullness”. Coming from a guy who can largely summarize his world views by “Bigger breasts are better”, it was initially hard for me to find the problem in this. Yet Meg’s breastfeeding class (more on that later) outlined a way in which one can dunk her breasts into hot water in order to, er, drain them to alleviate this issue. Naturally, they supplied an instructional picture of the technique, which I can honestly say will cause this baby to be an only child if I ever have to witness this act in real life.
“If you leak, try to look on it as a minor annoyance.” Yes, that’s an actual quote. I’d write a punchline to that, but nothing I can come up with is funnier than the phrase itself.
As I mentioned, Meg went to class for this, since apparently women don’t innately know how to use them to this end (to the end of getting a bartender’s attention, however, seems to be genetically coded in their genes). There are different ways to hold the baby such as the cradle or side lying. There is also one called the football hold, which always makes me think of the Heisman Trophy. In addition to all that, there are techniques and guidelines towards aiming the nipple as you attempt to dock it with the baby. Ever see in a movie where a plane refuels another in mid-air? Ya, that’s less complicated than these instructions.
So while Meg gets to deal with all this, I get stuck with the crap jobs like burping and diapers. She gets to feed the baby, and I get to deal with it when it comes back out. (6)