Friday, February 4, 2011


Breastfeeding and pumping add a whole new danger to life for the absent-minded.

Just a few days ago, I had a 10-minute break between sessions of the medical school course I was helping to teach, so I zipped down the hall to the pumping room, pumped one bottle, and then ran back out to stash the bottle in a freezer before I went back to class.

I was halfway down the hallway before I realized that I had carefully buttoned the top button of my white collared shirt...while leaving the other buttons completely undone, the two sides of the shirt flapping open.  !@%#$*!  I ran back into the room, buttoned up, and then went back out again.

The fact is, when you breastfeed exclusively, you spend a LOT of time, um, hanging out.  For me, the result is that I can now be completely uncovered, and not notice at all.  I can't tell you how many times I've nearly walked into a meeting or class in an inappropriate state of undress.

If this sounds sexy, trust me, it's not.  For one thing, nursing bras--at least the kind you can buy at Target--are not exactly titillating attire.  For another, my breasts have become so functional, in my mind, that the idea that anyone would get turned-on by any amount of accidental exposure seems ridiculous.  No, my episodes of near-flashing of strangers are about as sexy as a forgetful old man leaving his zipper undone.

A few times, I've gotten home and gone to the bathroom, only to discover that a button or two has been open for hours, or that the nursing flap on my bra is undone, leaving an unsightly fabric bulge under my shirt.  And I think...if only someone had told me!  Please.  A discreet wave in the general area of your chest, with some raised eyebrows, will be plenty to clue me in.   Gentlemen and gentle ladies, I thank you in advance!

Hey mom, button your shirt!

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