So here I am, at 35w1d, and I think the time may finally have come to take out my nipple piercings.
I have been pushing this day off the whole pregnancy. I got my nipples pierced about five years ago and I am very attached to them. I had never liked the way my nipples looked, but with the piercings I really loved them. I've had so much fun with them over the years (and I'm not even talking about sex!) -- one of the best memories was being at a topless adults-only pool at Mandalay Bay in Vegas with my then-boyfriend (now-partner) and having two older women, at separate times, stop me to ask about them, and say they thought they were so cool and they wished they'd done something like that just for themselves when they were younger. I got them for me, when I was single and lonely and still figuring stuff out, and they're my favorite thing out of my various piercings and tattoos. I love that they are there, and secret, and no one knows they're there. (Uh, except at the topless pool, which was a one-off thing, not our typical vacation!)
No getting around it, they were painful to get done, and I would not choose to have them re-pierced. So once I take them out, that's going to be it. My partner has been very reassuring about it all, and I know he's secretly a little bit excited because he has never really loved them, just tolerated them. The hardest part is that I had pretty small breasts pre-pregnancy (32/34 A/B) and by midway through when I got re-fitted for bras I was a 32DD(!!). The truth is, I kind of want my old little perky breasts back, that didn't have areolas the size of saucers. Having the piercings makes me feel better about them. But I know I need to take them out so that they can heal up a little bit before I start breastfeeding.
Don't get me wrong, I am really excited about breastfeeding. I'd just love to hear some encouragement about taking this step. Maybe this is how I'm working out those "holy crap I'm going to have a BABY in a month and nothing will ever be the same" feelings. Anybody care to offer sage advice, amazing breastfeeding stories, or general love-your-breasts wisdom?
mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)
If you really, really want to keep them you could keep them in and remove them each time you nurse. It would be a huge pain, but it would be possible if it's worth it to you. After 5 years I'm sure you could just wear them for a bit each day to keep your holes open. Otherwise, as you breastfeed this baby you will develop a new love for your breasts. I don't love (even like, really) the way my breasts look. I have a few issues with them, but the fact that they have nourished and nurtured 2 kids over the last 5 years gives me a love and respect for them I couldn't have imagined before. Your body and breasts are amazing, they are growing and will continue to sustain the life of a whole little person.
I've never had mine pierced (or known someone who b/f after piercings) but you'd think if they didn't heal up that you'd be leaking out the piercing holes quite a bit after your milk came in...
This Mommy and Military Daddy are loving their son.
DS born Dec 2010 Pregnant with #2, hoping for a
WOA, nope. The holes are sealed off with scar tissue. The milk duct openings go around the scarred openings and also milk can come out behind the piercing (more on the areola).
I've never had it done, but I agree that the piercings themselves shouldn't pose a problem if you want to keep them in between nursing sessions. It's definitely possible that the *nursing* might make you NOT want to keep them though, between the general hassle and any bumps in the road (soreness, chapping, blah blah blah).
I don't see any reason to take them out ahead of time other than personal comfort level. They're healed little tunnels already. If my baby sucks on my ear lobe, he's not going to get any blood coming out of the holes, ya know? ;-)
I feel for you on the decision though! I only had my tongue piercing for about a year. When I decided to take it out, it really did feel like I was getting rid of a part of me. It's been... WOW, more than 9 years now, and I still miss it every now and then! Not enough to go through it again, lol, but still.
Raising a full house- Kings (12, 3, new) over Queens (8, 7)
I can't testify about the nipple piercings as I've never had them (and my breasts hurt just thinking about it, lol!)
But if you want encouragement about breastfeeding, I can tell you that the first few days with colostrum drive me batty. The baby wants to feed round the clock and suck the life out of me. And then my milk comes in, and I hear the sound of the gulps and I look down at my tiny offspring who is taking the whole thing very seriously with little closed eyes, jaw moving rhythmically while they take in their first big belly full and enjoy that feeling of satisfaction. I look down as they make these big swallow noises and are so vulnerable and comforted at my bosom and I look at the breasts that are providing this nourishment as if by magic and I think my breasts are the most amazing things in the planet! I was teased all through high school for having huge boobs. I always felt insecure about them. But I love them now, my babies love them! They make the most powerful, natural, superfood for my little babies and I can't help but appreciate them and feel pride in them.
Whatever you choose to do with the piercings, I'm sure your feelings about your breasts will evolve into something much more positive as your breastfeeding relationship develops.
I had one nipple pierced for four years and then took it out when I had my first baby 11 years ago. No breastfeeding problems and my hole is still there after all these years.
I could put a ring in it again if I wanted to, but honestly, breastfeeding and nourishing my babes throughout the years has given me such joy that I could care less about a piercing (no offense) it is just not important any more......... My breasts have become such a part of the love for my babes that I see them in a whole new way, and it is a beautiful way!
mom to dd-99, dd-01, dd-born still@40w 7/04, ds-05, dd-08, dd-10, dd-13
love and light
I got my nipples pierced about 5 years ago. And took out the piercings very shortly after finding out I was pregnant.
It was bittersweet for me, too. Like you, I had a strong dislike for my breasts pre-piercings...I hated that they were different sizes and that the areolas werent the same size, either. Once they got pierced, I had a better acceptance of my breasts, and actually learned to like them, versus dreading catching a glimpse in the mirror. Taking them off was kind of sad, but I knew that they would only be in the way later on with breastfeeding. Though my breasts have grown and my areolas have expanded/darkened with pregnancy, my right is still not quite as developed as my left (typical of pre-pregnancy, too).
My hope is that nourishing this child Im about to bring into the world will give me a new reason to appreciate my breasts. So maybe looking at it as such will help you, too?
Fiona Rose 12.25.10
I am too exhausted to appropriately respond to each of you right now, but I just wanted to say I really appreciate everyone's thoughts. Definitely made me feel better about taking them out and, I guess, saying goodbye to a period of my life. To FSG in particular, your description of breastfeeding really made me smile and feel warm and fuzzy inside, thank you!!
Oh, and Dichotomy, thank you also -- my breasts are unevenly sized too, even after growing so much early in the pregnancy. I know all of you are right, the breastfeeding relationship will change the way I feel about how they look. I can't wait for that!
But maybe in the meantime I will make a little bit of time to mourn the passing of my piercings, too. (Or really, to mourn the passing of my carefree youth? Haha...).
mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)