by Jessica Martin-Weber, illustrations by Jennie Bernstein
There are fashion junkies, pinterest junkies, home decorating junkies, birth junkies, health food junkies, exercise junkies, you name it. Anything can become a passion and then slip over into almost addictive behavior patterns. It’s all you really think about, it’s all you want to do, it’s what you can’t wait to get back to, too long without it and it’s what causes you to break out in a cold sweat. Like most teens with their smart phones. There is a point where it crosses over from a normal interest level to practically accosting strangers with information and wearing t-shirts announcing your fan status. Breastfeeding junkies can be particularly enthusiastic and start seeing breastfeeding and boobs everywhere thanks to breastfeeding on the brain, just itching to get back to breastfeeding information, support, and advocacy.
Wondering if you’re a breastfeeding junkie? They say it takes one to know one so here are 15 signs I’ve spotted in myself that may indicate I’m a bit of a breastfeeding junkie.
1. Every outfit you encounter is assessed for Breastfeeding compatability. In stores, online, random women on the street… All clothing is assessed on how well one could get a boob out. That 50 year old stranger’s smart looking outfit you mentally dissed because “her baby would be freaking out by the time she got her boob out of that dress” even though it’s obvious she wouldn’t currently have a nursling.
2. When out by yourself you find yourself checking out where a breastfeeding mom could find a comfortable spot to sit and feed her baby even though you won’t be using it.
3. If a store or business indicates they welcome breastfeeding moms you thank the person behind the counter for their support even though you don’t have a breastfeeding baby with you.
4. Without being asked, you are ready to launch into a detailed explanation of the composition of breastmilk whenever someone mentions any kind of milk.
5. You see what should be a somewhat disturbing nature video of something eating something else that has nothing to do with breastfeeding and think: “you know, what a good latch, look at those flared lips.”
6. You know HAMLET isn’t just a Shakespeare character.
7. Without meaning to you spot tongue ties in pictures of babies or talk with someone and notice they have some restriction and mentally cringe for that baby’s mom’s nipples wondering if there is restricted movement that led to nipple damage.
8. Coffee cups, lights, signs, hubcaps, patterns, gourds, melons, a pint of ice cream, you name it, you see breasts everywhere of everything. Life through boob colored glasses.
9. Somehow, someway, you always end up talking about breastfeeding. It just works it’s way into every conversation, even conversations with young single men. It happens so often it doesn’t even surprise you any more.
10. Off the top of your head you can cite the recommendations for breastmilk storage including the temperature and duration of storage, the signs for low milk supply, and
11. It’s not uncommon for you to get texts, emails, or calls from people you know asking for breastfeeding help for themselves or someone they know. Some of these come from men asking for their partner and new baby and nobody feels awkward about it.
12. You look forward to a nurse-in just so you can spend the day with a bunch of Breastfeeding moms and their babies.
13. It’s not uncommon for you to cry over and share the breastfeeding photos of others, even strangers, on your social media.
14. There is at least one breastfeeding crush in your life, an IBCLC, doctor, or advocate that you would love to meet and hang onto every word they say… about breastfeeding.
15. For baby gifts you put together a gift basket that includes breast pads, your favorite breastfeeding book, a list of online breastfeeding resources and support groups, phone numbers for local breastfeeding group leaders (you may be one) and IBCLCs, a water bottle for mom, a jar of nipple cream, a breastfeeding pillow, and a note to call any time she needs some breastfeeding help or encouragement.
If you are a breastfeeding junkie, there’s really not much you can do about it. Spend some time with your kiddos, open pinterest to distract yourself (no looking for breastfeeding on pinterest! Look for crafts, recipes, decorating, fashion, anything but breastfeeding), take up running, and find some balance. There is hope, you don’t have to be trapped in this place forever. Unless of course you’re ok with it, in that case just head over to The Leaky Boob Facebook page and help out all those moms needing the support of a junkie like yourself.
Drawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com,co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, and co-creator of OurStableTable.com, supporter of A Girl With A View, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 19 years and is currently writing her first creative non-fiction book and a children’s book.