Maternity bras are the pits. You suddenly have these ridiculously large boobs, and have to ensconce them in flimsy things that couldn’t hold a pair of empty seashells in place. Some are better than others, and various people have recommended websites to me selling “pretty” ones. But try going for a strenuous walk (ie above 2 km an hour) in one of those and tell me how your back feels thereafter.
It’s truly weird, having such big boobs all of a sudden. You get used to your own profile over the course of a couple of adult decades. As you start to shed some of the baby weight, you think, hey, I might be able to fit one of my old tops. And so you try it on. And it no longer reaches your waist, and you have to look away from the mirror because all you can see there is someone else’s chest wearing your once petite clothing. And you didn’t even know it was petite at the time. Ah, all those years when you could have thought of yourself as waif-like, wasted on thinking that you need to lose a pound or two. If only you had known then what you know now, staring at your reflection only out of the corner of your eye in the hope that that will somehow minimise what you see there.
Not that there is anything wrong with big boobs. Lots of people actually undertake surgery to attain what breastfeeding women curse and cajole into button-down shirts or specially designed t-shirts with discreet flappage every day. It’s just that, when you are not used to them, and then suddenly THERE THEY ARE, it’s hard to know what, exactly, to do with them. How do you dress them appropriately? How do you take them out for daytime walks? How do you get them to sleep comfortably at night? It’s like suddenly being lumped (no pun intended) with two household pets, but with no friendly RSPCA to donate them to if things don’t work out.
The other thing about breastfeeding boobs is that they change size during the day and night. No one really tells you that. So your bra straps are constantly getting looser or tighter, doing that annoying sliding down your arm thingie which just gives you shoulder strain from sub-consciously trying to keep the strap up. Now there’s one they don’t talk about in post-natal Pilates.
I was never into showing cleavage in the past, mostly because I never really had any to speak of. Now, I show cleavage without effort or intention, and I am not sure I like it. At least it distracts from the baby weight I am still carrying everywhere else – everything is in Reubenesque proportion except for my height. I am like a short, K-Mart-dressed Eurasian version of those erstwhile lovelies.
For now, I have to resign myself to my “voluptuousness” (I do love a good euphemism). On the plus side (again, no pun intended), I can blame any splotches on my tops on the baby rather than my own, uncoordinated eating efforts. And I can train myself to look in the mirror for short bursts. It’s not as if a person stays the same forever anyway. Who knows. When my boobs return to their former size, I might even miss their company. Although seeing my feet again will probably make up for it.