Tuesday, 30 April 2013

My new breast friends

Breastfeeding has many benefits of which we all know but for me personally breastfeeding has helped me establish a better relationship with my breasts.

My breasts and I didn’t get off to the best start. I spent much of my early teen years looking down at two budding nipples protruding from a flat surface that eventually grew into two molehills.
I first realised my body was changing at about 11 years of age. I still remember my Dad telling me, “You know, I think you should wear a bra now. At your brother’s birthday party today I could actually see your nipples through your white shirt.”

Thanks Dad, so subtle and sensitive.

My mum who overheard the conversation told my Dad that I was still too young for a bra. They began arguing about my breasts. Right there in front of me. I lay there in the darkness of my room, shocked and embarrassed. Welcome to puberty.

Two years passed and at 13 I was still bra-less. I was the only girl in my sport’s class wearing a crop top. It was in these change rooms, with all of the other developing girls boasting of C cups and underwire bras that I began to feel left out.
I wondered if puberty had taken a detour and focused its attention on my underarms and eyebrows. They seemed to be growing hairier by the minute.

My self-consciousness over my breasts only grew worse that year after my boyfriend dumped me. For the past two days of our relationship we had been clandestine lovers, secretly holding hands behind the bike shed at school. Then suddenly he dumped me. I didn’t have to wait long to find out why.
In our science class that afternoon he typed into his calculator the numbers ‘55378008’ (which spelt ‘boobless’ when the calculator was turned upside down) and passed it around the room. Everyone was in hysterics. I remained stone-faced and stoic as a little tune played around and around in my mind, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.”

As my teenage years rolled on I slowly started to see the benefits of their small size. Exercise was certainly not a problem. No sports bra needed. I didn’t get breast sweat on hot days and guys looked at my face not my chest.
When I hit my early twenties, I met and married a wonderful man. Then after a year of being married, I fell pregnant. I discovered that pregnancy is full of terrible side effects – nausea, vomiting, constipation, hemorrhoids – and one very good side effect – hormone induced breast implants. I was thrilled! I finally had a cleavage and my bras actually fit me. I never felt so womanly. I could wear low cut dresses and not feel like I was 12 years old.

Things got even better when my little girl was born and my breasts turned into a fulltime milk-making factory. Well, hhhhello mama! It was like I finally hit puberty. While the other mums on the ward cried over their sore, swollen breasts I couldn’t stop checking myself out. Neither could my hubby.
I ended up breastfeeding for 17 months and I am now currently breastfeeding my baby son who is ten months old. Unfortunately for m, a woman’s breasts do adjust according to their babies’ needs. So I didn’t remain busty like Pamela Anderson for long. But I could at least fill a bra and I’d even grow in size if my baby skipped a feed.

With this new-found acceptance of my bosoms I feel it’s only fitting to apologise.
So, dear breasts, bosoms, boobies, whatever, I know we haven’t always got along but you have proved me wrong in regards to your potential. Sorry that I was at times ashamed of you, that I tried to build you up with tissues and padded bras. Sorry that I never thought you would amount to anything. I was wrong. I’ve now grown to love you. You hold gold ammunition, you have been life-givers to my two babies, you are unique, you are intelligent in producing milk at the right time, and you are sensual – no matter your size. Thank you for who you are, who you both are, the bigger one and the little-bit-smaller-one. You are now my new breast friends. Just please don’t disappear once I wean my boy in a few months time!




  1. Brilliant. I LOVED this post. I can't stop smiling- thank you! You write so well and take me along in the story everytime. Breasts are incredible things! And I'm happy to hear your relationship is growing stronger with them!

  2. Mel I seriously couldn't stop laughing as I read this, so well written and funny. Jared had to come see what was so funny and seemed to enjoy the read as well! So glad to hear you've got a big and a little-bit-smaller one too!!! I'd forgotten about upside-down calculator words, ah the memories and changes. Please write more, very entertaining.