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"Ruining" our breasts - Page 2

post #21 of 86
I don't think it's necessarily getting engorged that causes stretch marks, at least not all of them. I got stretch marks on my breasts in my teens as a result of a growth spurt, not pregnancy, and then got more 7 years later in the beginning weeks of my first pregnancy.

So my stretch marks are from pregnancy and growing up. There have been other changes as well but I agree that the word "ruin" is sad and not appropriate.
post #22 of 86
Originally Posted by justplainbecky View Post
Well if they get 'ruined', really, what would I be saving them for by not breastfeeding. THat is what they are there for.....
I was trying to think, "Ruined for what?" but couldn't quite grasp that thought.

Personally, I have never heard anyone say their breasts were 'ruined'.
post #23 of 86
This thread reminded me of the statements made by Gwyneth Paltrow - that she wanted plastic surgery for her breasts, and this is should be called "reconstructive surgery" rather than cosmetic surgery.

post #24 of 86
I've heard that term, but don't agree with it.

My breasts would only be "ruined" if they were no longer capable of producing milk.
post #25 of 86
I nursed briefly off both breasts, then weaned my son off of my right breast and continued to nurse for almost 4 years on one side, my left. (Long story.) So I had an interesting little control group within my bra re: breast change.

The verdict, for me, anyway, was that pregnancy didn't really change my right breast. But my left breast was much softer, the nipple looks different and is tons stretchier. More stretch marks in the left breast, too. So nursing definitely changed my breast.

I think every woman's body reacts differently based on genetics, nutrition, exercise, etc. But yes, I wish that breast changes wouldn't be so idealized. Instead of saying, "Yes, they change with nursing" and then rushing to put a positive spin on it, I think we should acknowledge some womens' negative feelings about the matter and talk through it. Otherwise, they won't feel heard and respected about the matter. Just 'cause YOU'RE ok with breast changes doesn't mean the whole world is, that's for sure.

Some women have an awful lot of ego and feelings wrapped up in their breasts, and hardly need some guilt trip about the evils of the patriarchy. They simply need a sympathetic ear that will ultimately help them sort through their needs and the baby's needs. (And perhaps a gift certificate for a very sexy nursing bra!)
post #26 of 86
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
yeah. and I'd rather have long nipples than a masectomy. the opportunity for breast cancer prevention is a blessing
My mother has had both. While the risk factor for breast cancer goes up when not nursing, it's not the only factor and so while I do think this info is important to get out to people, this sentence struck me as a little insensitive.
post #27 of 86
Well I would rather have "ruined" Breasts than get breast cancer and all the other 100 things Breastmilk does for you and your DC
post #28 of 86
Thread Starter 
I agree that change is a much better word. I think it's important to be honest about the downsides and perceived downsides of the things we advocate. Otherwise we lose credibility.

I will say that it is a big issue for me right now, the agenda that comes with advocacy. I feel like when we conceal the downside, it is very detrimental not only to our cause, but to the women we do advocacy work with. I was thinking tonight that if I were to donate blood next week and find out that I was HIV positive, I would want lots of information to make decisions about future children, what to do about my nursing child, what sort of treatment, etc. I felt hopeless (even though I'm not in that position, that I know of) because I knew that the medical industry would push their agenda, and I can't really trust natural medicinal sources to give me accurate info either, because they will have an agenda too, and their investment in me stops when I fail to prove their case. Basically, the investment in my outcome has more to do with how their side looks than how healthy or happy or well informed my family and I are.

I think this carries through quite a bit to lactivism. I have known so many women who were told that 98% of women can breastfeed, it is really simple and easy- way moreso than making bottles- and that it shouldn't hurt if they're doing it "right" etc. But that ignores the reality that the vast majority of women in my state do nurse for some period, and so, so, so many stop because it hurts, is complicated and difficult. To someone who is considering breastfeeding but is really concerned about the typical things, I would rather say, "Yes, it can be hard. Yes, your breasts may well change. Yes, it may be painful, even when you finally get it "right", at least for a little while. But here are the reasons I think it will be worth it to you in the end. Here are the ways I will support you to get through that stuff *if* it happens."

I think glossing things over is disingenuous.

It reminds me of the DARE program. I, like many other youth heard how dangerous marijuana was, and all these dramatic side effects like memory loss. My experience wasn't that dramatic and I stopped believing anything I heard about any other drug. In the same way, when we over villainize things like vaccinating, ff'ing, crib sleeping, etc. we lose our case when it doesn't seem that bad to the people who do it or see others do it. Factual information without a spin should be enough, and if it isn't enough to keep the practice going, then real, live support is needed.
post #29 of 86
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ilovemy2ds View Post
Well I would rather have "ruined" Breasts than get breast cancer and all the other 100 things Breastmilk does for you and your DC
This doesn't answer my question at all. It's really unhelpful and as I said just above you, it doesn't reflect my experience.
post #30 of 86
Well, I haven't BF yet but just being pregnant has definitely changed (or you might say "ruined") my breasts! They are bigger, more saggy, less firm and covered in stretch marks. I certainly won't be making excuses not to BF in order to avoid ruining my breasts
post #31 of 86
Thread Starter 
I love your signature line, Stacy!
post #32 of 86
Interesting thread.

I nursed all of my babies. Dd1 and I nursed in the capital DURING SESSION in a nurse in back in '97. It was really cool. After session let out and we had gone outside, a number of state representatives came out to talk to us. I am glad I breastfed, and would do it again.

But my breasts ARE ruined.... Maybe pregnancy would have done it anyway, and I'm sure aging doesn't help either. But I am NOT happy with how they look when I'm naked, that is for sure.

I have heard MANY women say that nursing ruined their breasts. Yes, "changed" is a nicer word, but either way it had a negative effect on how they look. Now some may rise above that and care not one iota how they look. That's great. I am not vain. I often (high majority of the time) don't even wear makeup. It isn't about how they look for dh or the general public; it is about how **I** feel. It doesn't keep me up at night, but no, I don't like how they look or feel anymore. Oh well.
post #33 of 86
I for one reject the assumption that pre-pregnancy, pre-lactation, pre-maturity breasts are the "whole" version and that anything else is "ruined." Ruined for what, exactly? Maybe if someone cut out my milk ducts they'd be ruined. Otherwise, until the baby showed up, all they did was hold up overpriced underwear. Now they are serving their purpose.
post #34 of 86
I wouldn't say breastfeeding has ruined my breasts has deffinately changed them drasticly but ruin is not a nice word. I'm sure anyone has a baby breasts will change though wether they bf or not cos the milk still comes in at 3 days so the breasts still grow thus stretching the skin and then would shrink once there milk dries up so leaving that loose skin imo anyway although as i have never not bf i don't know if this is true. I wouldn't say i don't like my breasts and that there ruined because i have done what nature has intended and bf my children but i wouldn't say i lkie the way they look now either i like the fact they provide my dd with nutrients and comfort her when shes upset/unwell but it would be nice if they didn't fall under my armpits when i lie down
post #35 of 86
My breasts are mature. So is the rest of my body. I look like a woman now, not some teenager. I love my stretch marks.
maybe I'm just wierd. I also like my wrinkles, i've earned them all. Although I have recently dyed my hair for the first time - too grey even for me lol.

Maureen Minchin (Breastfeeding Matters) described the culture of men finding women's bodies desirable only when they look like children as "emotionally immature men desiring physically immature women".
post #36 of 86
My girlfriend who nursed her four babies, had cute perky B cup breasts before she started... afterwards she had these sort of empty shells of breasts. She got implants and has never looked back.

Interestingly, she continued to lactate (not huge amounts, but still) for several years after stopping breastfeeding and getting implants!

I'm not going to debate that choice with anyone, but I will say that for me, I'm not above plastic surgery to correct any changes that I personally don't like in my breasts, when I'm done breastfeeding. I may not need to, but I'm aware there is a possibility there! But it surely wouldn't stop me from breastfeeding... even if I didn't think I could do that.

The reality is that we each have to like ourselves at the end of the day and not worry about whether someone thinks we're "giving in to society" or "proudly wearing our breastfed boobs". At some point we gotta just say NO to the MommyWars about what should be important to who. Breast appearance is going to be more important to some than others, and that is ok. Breasts will change more in some women than others, and that is ok too.

Pandora, perky 36D's! Girl, wow!!! Mine are still kinda perky but only because they are little, gosh darnit!

BTW any MAN who would give a woman crap about her boobs being ruined should be... well I know we don't believe in corporal punishment here, so I'll stop, but I find it very tempting for a man like that. My comment is about WOMEN making choices for themselves... not MEN choosing for us.
post #37 of 86
Well I just don't see what all the fuss is about. Pregnancy and breastfeeding has been very good to my breasts and they are better than ever! I was a 34B with flat, almost non-existant nipples before I ever had children. Getting started breastfeeding was a PITA with my first because my nips were so flat. But time wore on and changed that dramatically, and when I gave birth to my 2nd he had no troubles latching on. Heck I can lay flat on my back in bed with him next to me and he can still reach my breast. They seem to have permanently changed sizes to a 36C, and they're still pretty perky- but they definitely move around a lot more and they are soft like pillows : My breasts are doing what they're supposed to do, hubby likes them even more than before, and I get the pride and satisfaction that comes with watching my baby bloom into a chubby little angel with milk dribbling out the side of his mouth
post #38 of 86
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I like "change" over "ruin," as a word choice.

Another word I like is "mature." As in, your breasts start to develop around age 10, but they won't finish maturing until after you've had children. Basically looking at perky, pre-baby breasts as "undeveloped" and post-baby breasts as "normal" rather than seeing pre-baby breasts as "normal" and post-baby breasts as "ruined."
post #39 of 86
I want to get a shirt that says "Boobs change. Get over it."
post #40 of 86
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
Pandora, perky 36D's! Girl, wow!!! Mine are still kinda perky but only because they are little, gosh darnit!

BTW any MAN who would give a woman crap about her boobs being ruined should be... well I know we don't believe in corporal punishment here, so I'll stop, but I find it very tempting for a man like that. My comment is about WOMEN making choices for themselves... not MEN choosing for us.

Thems not perky anymore, they USED to be...but I aged, I had a baby (soon to be two babies) Nursed, and whatnot..I used my breasts for what they were meant for...I dont care. Sure I"m gonna get a reduction if the excersise regime doesn't help alleviate the back pain they cause (I'm only 5' tall) but that's AFTER I wean this new babe and ONLY for my health. I chose to live with the discomfort till I was done having and nursing children...knowing full well the reprocussions on nursing if i did get a reduction before then.
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