Why breastfeeding is like being a teenager again

Why breastfeeding made me feel like a teenager againMy breastfeeding days made me feel like a teenager again. Hear me out on this one.

Baby E gave up breastfeeding a few months back. I no longer have to wear tops that can pull up or down. Sadly, my membership in the itty-bitty-titty committee has also been reinstated. I haven’t quite said good-bye to my comfy (and now very roomy) nursing singlets. There may still be the odd maternity bra or two in my rotation. But, on the whole, I am glad to be out on the other side.

Here’s why the months I dressed for breastfeeding reminded me of being 14 years old.

You are completely style clueless. When I was a teenager, I was completely lost as to style and fashion. I once wore a head to toe white linen and lace pantsuit (with matching floppy hat) and thought I was the bees knees. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I established anything resembling personal style. Having to create outfits that accommodated breastfeeding, spit-ups and disguising a still rounded belly all on three hours sleep led to a similar style confusion. I wanted to look as amazing as the yummy mummies around me, but I am pretty sure most of the time I was just one hot mess.

You are very concerned about leakage.  You know those TV ads for sanitary products that feature young girls in black pants, backs to the wall shuffling along for fear that they have (hushed voice) leaked? I was terrified of that as a teenager. Whenever Aunt Flo came to visit, I was sure that I was going to embarrass myself with a tell-tale stain on my butt. Eventually, I got over that, only to face a similar problem after giving birth. I was blessed with a lot of milk when I was breastfeeding. Loads. Milk trucks fill. I am bragging now. I also sported two wet patches with embarrassing regularity. In related news, those hideously large maternity pads looked very similar to the ones I sported as teenager.

You are self-conscious about your body. Is there anyone more self-conscious about her body than a teenage girl? Curves appearing where flat planes once lived. Hair sprouting and learning how to tame it. Boys noticing and girls noticing and both potentially unkind. More than one girl has reached for baggy clothes to get through it all. And more than one new mumma has reached for yoga pants and a huge shirt (with two tell-tale marks on it) to disguise a body that she is not familiar or happy with. Sometimes, it’s just like puberty all over again.

You wear exactly the same thing as your friends. I am not sure if it was an Annie Hall moment or channelling Shania Twain, but my friends and I sported a very particular look during the later high school years. Mens’ shirts and ties featured heavily. It’s such a teenage thing – dressing exactly like your friends to express just how different you are from everyone else. When I was breast-feeding and catching up with my other new mother friends who were doing the same thing, we all wore a variation of the same outfit. In winter, jeans (still maternity) and a Target nursing top. It wasn’t uncommon to be wearing exactly the same Target nursing top. In summer, maxi dresses with low necklines. We were the new mummy tribe and it was obvious.

All outfits are rated by their ability to easily access boobs. The last time I gave so much thought to whether the girls were easy to get to I was fifteen and had my first serious boyfriend. Enough said.

What do you think? Did breast-feeding seem like a second adolescence to you?

19 thoughts on “Why breastfeeding is like being a teenager again

  1. HandbagMafia says:

    I’m still breastfeeding my 2.5 yr old and I can relate to every point here. Thankfully, the leaking stopped some time back but my wardrobe is shocking. I remember standing in Crossroads in a sleep deprived haze and asking the young lady working there what she had that looked nice but that I could easily get my boobs out of. That took some explaining!

    • Robyna says:

      Hahahaha – I can just imagine it! Good on you for keeping on going with the breastfeeding – my littlest gave up at 18 months and I do miss it a bit.

  2. Cristin says:

    So funny and so true! I made it 10 months and never stopped feeling like an awkward teenager. I almost wore one of my Target nursing tops out the other day in a fit of no clean laundry, and then I realized that EVERY other mother would recognize it as a nursing top instantly!

  3. Heike Herrling says:

    Oh. So. Much. To. Look. Forward. To!!!!!!!! I’ve bought a couple of Target nursing tops, and a few tops from Peachy Mama in preparation. As for what I’m going to wear with them – I’m clueless. I’m very much over my maternity pants (all of which were for summer anyway).
    Let’s not even consider what I’d wear if I had to go to a special occasion. Or an occasion that wasn’t that special… but that required something a little nicer than super casual wear. I think I’m going to have to find myself a nice wrap dress and call that a complete wardrobe! I don’t want to spend the earth – but I guess I should invest well now, because I’m going to get a few years out of this teenage revival. If all else fails, I’ll just dress the baby really cute and then everyone will be looking at him and not me… right?!

    • Robyna says:

      Hopefully you can pick up a few pairs of jeans for winter – with a jacket and a feeding top, you will be all set. And perhaps a really cute pair of boots as a feel-good item? I swore by wrap dresses – and you can always make them wintery for the five cold days we will no doubt have!
      And yes, everyone will be oohing over the baby 🙂

  4. chethay2012 says:

    Hahahaha! Brilliant! Having been breast feeding *almost* continuously for the last ten years – maybe a month or two’s break between one child weaning & falling pregnant again, 95% of my wardrobe is boob friendly 😉 Must say though, I am looking forward to wearing a fancy semi push up bra again!
    Thanks for joining us at #TIK

    • Robyna says:

      I was too! And then the girls deflated and I realised that I needed a very special push up bra to achieve former glory 🙂 That’s a long time breast feeding and being pregnant – I am guessing that a drink whilst wearing that semi-fancy push up bra would also be on the agenda!

  5. Laney@thelaneyfiles says:

    Brilliant post, love the one about you and your friends always wearing the same things while breastfeeding. I’ve always found Target t-shirts to be most accommodating while breastfeeding, in that they were still somewhat flattering, glided over my still round belly and didn’t cost much. But then one day in woolies I bumped into another breastfeeding mum, a stranger, who looked at me and said, ‘nice t-shirt’ – it was exactly the same Target top!!

  6. mamasvidaloca says:

    I related to this post on every level! I cannot go an buy any item of clothing without first thinking “Will my boobs be easy to access in this?” and not at all in a sexy way either! LOL Love this post!

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