- Family and Parenting
Breasts of a Mother
From the beginning
Men, you're free to read this as you may gain some understanding, although admittedly it is written for the mothers.
When we're young and our bodies are budding with growth and new hormones, our breasts take on new meaning. What once matched a male's physiology exactly from our childhood perspective, begins to show obvious distinction. Whether her breasts start small and stay that way or grow to be that of a voluptuous woman at this ripening place, the newness cannot be denied.
Sensations arise when touched and the opposite sex delights in the recognition of a full-figured being. Even at this young age, woman hood has begun. Her flowering body is now considered much more, at least in the areas of pleasure and pro-creation.
Breasts and sex
In the United States, our breasts are primarily featured as part of our sexual sensuality and we notice women pictured in the hottest of media have "perfect" breasts. Round, full, perky, nipples outstanding, bursting pleasantly under or from a blouse. We even witness or take part in under going surgery to obtain or maintain this important part of our physique. Our society as a whole plays hugely in this perception of our breasts, with computer perfected images everywhere, special bras to keep them in shape, and some altered from their natural state.
In relationships, breasts are appreciated, critiqued, kissed, and fondled. A woman may or may not be consciously aware of their dual functionality, depending on her upbringing. Even with a family who breastfed, her idea of breast's importance is initially rooted in sexuality. For some good reason, as breasts factor into the human sexual response cycle. A woman who enjoys nipple or breast stimulation will certainly respond with arousal.
And the Circle Widens
In that arousal, her body opens to that of her partner and we all know what comes. Pregnancy! Well, it certainly can follow and does in many instances.
One of the telltale signs is the feeling many of us experience during "that time of the month", more technically known as menstruation. Sore breasts. Now men, if you're still with me, you probably can't really understand this unless you can recall your experiences as a female from a past lifetime, but sore breasts are sore. I'd compare it to being kicked somewhere that left a bruise. That tender, please don't touch me, type of sore.
Her body tells her so. It lets her know the time has come to grow another within. The sacred act of pro-creation has taken its hold and let itself be known. While her breasts almost stand alone in their pregnant presence, they also begin to swell in preparation. A woman once wearing an A or B cup can easily round out a C or D by the time her baby is ready to emerge. Just weeks before baby arrives, she can gently pinch her nipples and witness droplets of life giving colostrum flow.
Whether or not she chooses to breast feed, a woman's body is planning to. A few hours to a couple of days after birth the word I used earlier doesn't even come close to describing what happens to a mother's breasts. As engorgement transpires, the breasts grow yet another size or two in order to accommodate for baby's needs. Even if you chose not to breastfeed from the start, you undoubtedly experienced engorgement and it puts early pregnancy soreness to shame. If you're a mother and you've chosen to read this far, feel free to grieve your experience if breastfeeding did not go as planned. We do the best we can with what we resources we have, in all moments.
As engorgement wanes, the breasts retain their late pregnancy size and continue to fluctuate for the breast feeding mother. Regardless of her choice, each mother may have the experience of the skin on her breast stretching to the point where marks are visible. A good friend of mine refers to these stretch marks as "badges of motherhood".
So her breasts are stretched, to the max, and she's experiencing the epitome of the word: suckling. Now, women you may be into having your man suck on your tits, and that's just fine. But it is my belief that unless you've nursed him, you've not experienced a sucking like suckling. For some, it takes some getting used to. Holding the baby just so can be tricky for first timers, not to mention she just "ran a marathon" during labor and birth!
The previous "boy toys" become something totally new: another's object of sustenance. The idea of tangling sexuality, pleasure, and the feeding of an infant is too much for some. Understandably so with the ingrained nature of the breast as a sexual element of a woman's body so prevalent in our society and the fact that a mother can actually feel turned on initially when breastfeeding. Does that mean she wants her baby sexually? Not at all. The body and the brain just have a little adjusting to do. In my experience assisting many mothers over the years as a La Leche League Leader, the brain does a nice little trick with the help of hormones produced during breast feeding: it turns the sexual element almost completely off. Some would argue that I could have left out almost.
Do all mothers experience these sometimes alarming sensations of sexuality? No. Quite often breast feeding solidifies a beautiful recognition of the most intimate relationship one can have, I believe. In the mother's body making the life sustaining food for her baby and her infant's ability to milk the breast for what it needs, many feel an appreciation for finally feeling that they have come to know a completion of the circle of Love. (Parents making love pleasurably, conception, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding = it's all about Love and it's all supposed to be pleasurable).
In all of this, the breasts once purported as perky, take a different stance. The nipples may be pulled out more and they likely hang a little (or a lot) differently. Some are stretch marked like a zebra and others full like before. They may sag like an 80 year old woman's or remain firm.
Women are still beautiful as mothers, no matter what their breasts look like. Actually, they have come into the full beauty of their being through realizing their body's total capacities.
Peace 4 Parents
Amy Phoenix (aka Rainbow Recognizer) is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform frustration and anger, heal the past, nurture conscious relationships, and experience the peace of the present. Visit her at www.Peace4Parents.com.
Resources for Further Reading
- The Shape of a Mother
It is my dream, then, to create this website where women of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities can share images of their bodies so it will no longer be secret.
- Normal Breasts Gallery, part A - pictures of different size and shape breasts from women who have be
Pictures of normal female breasts from women who have been pregnant, with different breast size and shape: small breasts, sagging ones, big areola, asymmetrical breasts, strech marks, etc.
- Prevent Breasts From Sagging
I am somewhat obsessed with preventing my breasts from sagging. I’ve spent a significant amount of time researching the causes of sagging, as well as the prescribed prevention – and I have to tell you, no...