Nursing gave me a supposedly-perfect body (but I wanted my A-cups back)

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By: LudoCC BY 2.0

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can work a number on a woman's body — the changes experienced are wide and varied, and it's impossible to anticipate exactly what your own body might be like. We're all about body confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin, and this piece (warning: link might be a bit NSFW) from Ms. Fit Magazine is on just those ideas:

When the girls were born and my milk came in, I was shocked to see that my pregnancy bras were way too small. Generating enough milk for two babies made my breasts large and my stomach flat. For the first time my bubble butt went away. My skin was glowing and my stylist went on about how fabulously thick and shiny my hair looked. My difficult pregnancy had rewarded me not only with two amazing children, but with an improved figure as well.

I was astonished by this transformation into my ideal body. I felt lighter on my feet and more comfortable in my skin. In one year, I had gained 50 pounds, and then lost 65. I had gone from a size 6 to a maternity Large, then back down to a size 4. I went from a bra size A to B and then C. I felt like a real woman, feminine in a way that finally matched how I had always felt on the inside.

But there was a catch. My perfect body was limited to outward appearance. I did not feel sexy at all. I felt exhausted because I never slept more than an hour at a time. I felt overwhelmed by having two infants who were completely reliant on me. I was famished because I was producing so much milk that I couldn't eat or drink enough to keep up with my hunger and thirst.

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  1. I too went from an A to C and back. I'm not gonna lie–even when I was tired and touched-out, I loved "filling out" tops for the first time in my life. Last weekend, I went swimming for the first time in four years without hormone-enhanced breasts. I did have a moment of mourning when I put on my swimsuit and looked in the mirror and realized my busty days were through. But in general I like my post-kid body much better–probably entirely because I don't see it as a sexual object anymore but as a vehicle of love.

    7 agree
    • The same thing happened to me, boob-wise, but I totally hated it. I was so happy to go back to my regular size post-breastfeeding! SOOOOOOOOOO happy.

      4 agree
  2. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!! Thank you sooo much for posting it! nothing made me love my body more than watching it go through all it's changes and coming back (somewhat) to it's old self. I sorta look the same as I did before, but I love my body and my small breasts now that I know what they have done and what they are capable of! totally happy to have the old girls back when I was done breastfeeding:)

    2 agree
  3. Urgh. I just realized the other day how small my breasts have gotten since Kat was born. After my son they got big and stayed that way, and I was up to a DDD for a while. Now I'm just a D and my bras don't fit and many of my shirts are baggy. I miss my boobs and I feel less womanly for sure. 🙁
    Edited to add: Wait, my boobs might to back to their old size once I'm done breastfeeding? Is that the experience other women have had? Help!

    1 agrees
  4. I agree with the ideas in this article. I loved having larger breasts for a hot minute, but really didn't enjoy the "cantaloupes in a produce bag" feeling when I attempted to exercise. Not to mention how tender they were constantly from nursing and pumping.

    I'm back to a B cup, and do miss picking out any bras I want with no fit issues, but I also like going braless, and not wincing every time I so much as graze up against a table or wall. And with exercise and proper diet, I'm almost back to my nursing weight, but this time with plenty of sleep.

  5. I haven't had kids yet, but this whole aspect is something I'm looking forward to in a "I wonder what it will be like for me?" aspect. My sister completely lost her bubble butt, and now has no butt. I've got a total spoon shaped figure with a bubble butt that's hard to find jeans for…..so I'm interested to see if it disappears when the day comes, and how I'll feel about it.

  6. i don't know what it is about the article but it makes me feel uneasy. like it's written under the guise of being body positive but it isnt? i've been breastfeeding for 9 months now and my boobs are still gigantically huge (seriously i have very few tops/dresses that fit and i can only find one nursing bra that even begins to contain them).

    even though i have practical issues i still put acceptance of my body over everything. there is no 'wishing for my body back' because guess what, my body is permanently altered by my decision to have a baby and that's that. even if i end up losing weight, going back to my previous bra size, everything. so with that in mind i've let go of it. despite that almost everything i read about body image + pregnancy is written with the idea that losing the baby weight is more important than being happy with what i have now.

    1 agrees
    • I think the whole point of this article is about feeling ambivalent about the bodily changes of pregnancy and breastfeeding, even when they would normally be considered positive changes. Ambivalence about various aspects of parenthood is definitely something this blog doesn't shy away from, much to its credit.

      6 agree
    • Why isn't it body-positive? She tells us that her C-section scar and boob stretch marks are marks of pride. She talks about the battle to get comfortable with her body as it changed. It seems positive to me.

      2 agree
      • Because when I read about how someone feels their body is 'perfect' at a size 4, the unwritten implication is that anything above a size 4 is less than perfect.

        5 agree
        • I'm not sure that's true, she specifically says, "My perfect body" and what's perfect for her may not be what's perfect for you. I think she's speaking personally, and not generally.

          I know that I have a unique vision of what I think perfect is in regards to my own body. It's not possible for me to be a size 4 with these hips, so that's not even on my radar. I totally respect that my personal vision may not be anyone else's, nor do I really want it to be. I like looking like me.

          4 agree
          • And her idea of perfect just happens to coincide with the mainstream view of it? C'mon.

            1 agrees
  7. I had a very similar experience–I had tried losing weight before I got pregnant and like most people had always struggled with those last 10 lbs. After I had my daughter and nursed her I was absolutely amazed at how quickly the weight came off, and after a year I was thinner than I had been since high school PLUS nice bigger boobies! Coming from someone who had a real hard time coming to terms with her tiny breasts as an adolescent it was a real treat… and not something I had ever expected. We go into pregnancy (or at least I did) with the resignation that our bodies will never be the same, but in a negative, not positive way. I had no idea how much more confident and comfortable I would feel after giving birth, even despite the stretch marks. Friends, family and co-workers would remark about how I good I looked as early as a few months after delivery, exclaiming how I "just had a baby!" It made me feel powerful, womanly and unstoppable.

    There is a slight catch though–I felt guilty knowing this isn't the same way for every woman who gives birth. I've seen friends and family members struggle with losing the weight even despite breastfeeding and exercise, and know how hard they work to try to lose their baby weight. I tried hard not to throw it in their face but felt even my presence with other people commenting on my weight was hurtful to them. It makes me wonder how many other women have had such positive experiences and don't want to shout it from the rooftops for fear of offending other mothers… perhaps this contributes to the commonly held belief that our bodies are forever ruined by pregnancy with no chance of positive change?

    Anyway, since fully weaning at around 14 months I braced myself for the return to reality, and sure enough my full breasts deflated back to their previous size (minus some of their original perkiness), and I've put back on a little bit of weight. But I no longer worry about it so much. The bigger boobs & totally flat tummy may be gone but the self confidence and awe over what I'm capable of remained. Looking forward to doing it all over again someday soon.

    5 agree
    • Oh my God this is EXACTLY what I'm going through right now!!! I only gained 25 lbs. during my pregnancy (despite eating every single piece of food in sight) and shed it all and then some by about 4 months post partum. My baby is 8.5 months old, I'm still breastfeeding, and I'm about 10lbs thinner than I was pre-baby. I have done literally nothing to shed the weight besides breastfeeding. I don't really exercise beyond taking leisurely strolls around the neighborhood once in a while (and of course, carrying a 16lb baby everywhere!), and I eat more than ever. EVERYONE comments on my weight loss, they say I look great and they can't believe I had a baby, and so many other women who have had kids say rude things like, "you B**ch, I hate you!" half jokingly, but I know they're kind of serious. It makes me feel so guilty and I know I shouldn't, this is just how my body is, but I feel like… I just don't know what to say. To my girlfriends who don't have kids yet, they say it's encouraging to see me looking so great post baby. So I guess that's at least one good thing? Ugh. It just makes me feel weird.

      1 agrees
      • Sorry, and wanted to add: I would NEVER EVER EVER say to someone, "Wow, still clinging to those last 15 lbs, eh?" I mean, never in a million years. So why do people think it's OK to talk about how much weight I've lost?!

        1 agrees
  8. My biggest fear: Returning to my normal size, or slightly smaller and having them be even less perky than normal.
    Before being pregnant, I was a 16F (I think thats about a 36F in the states). That big and saggy? the idea has me in tears. But then, I have always hated how big my boobs are, so I'm not quite the target demographic for the article!!! 🙂

    • well, i´d say my boobs have suffered, but if you are taking care of them it won´t be so bad. (there are oils and exersices, i just couldn´t be bothered)

      but it did change the perspective for me: this my old body did some extraordinary work! it made all in all three little peole (awsome ones, too!) and sustained them. the nursing relationship was intense and beautiful. it´s okay for the girls to look a little worse after that…

  9. after my twins were born, i was not aware of my body at all. i just functioned as a huge big happy overtired mama bear. it took three years to get "me" back – i really don´t remember, how my breasts were at all 🙂 i remember only being happy and tired and exhausted… man. i´m glad i have the boys, but i am glad that the first years are over and done with. then again, the rediscouvery of my body and myself outside of being mama bear was one of the most special things that happened to me as a woman

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