Laying bare the effects that parenthood can have on the pointer sisters
By Misty Harris
You know how after performing a lot of hard work, you exhale all remaining volume from your chest, slump over and just surrender to gravity? The same goes for breasts after having a child. My breasts, anyway.
Like weary warriors retreating from battle, they have been deflated. First, there were the rigours of pregnancy, which saw the twins change size more times than Jonah Hill. Then there were nine months of breastfeeding a tiny human, who paid them roughly the same respect a cheetah does a gazelle. And, finally, there was the post-nursing weight fluctuation, which saw my lady lumps take on so many different appearances, they’ve been cast in the next Transformers movie.
But because this is a column about decoding, specifics are needed. With that in mind, let’s abandon all propriety and break down the reasons that “mom boobs” are a thing.*
Biology: Although breastfeeding is often presumed the culprit for hooter havoc, pregnancy is the likelier villain. The sheer amount of stretch that occurs while your bosom prepares for a baby would put the most limber yogi to shame. Later on, however, the yogi wins back the edge by virtue of doing more poses than just the downward dog.
Wilt: Post-lactation, loss of breast volume and skin elasticity can lead to some serious sag. To wit, my boobs went from perky to porn-star to Forest Whitaker’s left eye in the span of just two years. Good bras have helped mitigate the damage but no amount of padding or push-up will restore their former glory. (I’m pretty sure Victoria’s secret is birth control.)
Niplash: Let’s talk about the sadistic shopping-mall designers who place “mother’s rooms” inside noisy bathrooms. Do you know what happens when a latched baby suddenly jerks its head in response to a thunderous blast of cold air? My nipples do. Personal injury lawyers, take note.
Bad bras: Every pregnancy guide preaches the importance of wearing supportive undergarments prior to, and after, childbirth. Listen to them. Sure, it sucks to buy a bigger bra every few months; but it sucks more to look in the mirror and find that your breasts have migrated so far south, they could play for the Dallas Cowboys.
Weight variation: Although every woman’s experience is unique, my weight journey went something like this: I was normal-sized, then I was hugely pregnant, then I was Rachel Zoe-thin (on account of nursing), then I was normal-sized again but with curves in different places. With all that confusion, it’s no wonder my breasts decided to just give up and kick it. They are basically what it would look like if marijuana took human form.
So there you have it. Mom boobs, decoded. But I wouldn’t trade these flaccid fun-bags for all the wine in the world because they’re a constant reminder of my body’s greatest achievement: a joyful little girl who has taught me more about life in 18 months than I learned in 35 years without her.
Optimus Prime, eat your heart out.
* “Mom boobs” don’t happen to every mother. There are definitely many women who emerge from childrearing with the same, if not better, breasts than they had prior to having a kid. To those lucky souls I offer my sincere congratulations and a hearty f*ck you