Nipple confusion confusion

By Published On: June 19th, 2013

I counted. It’s true. In the last five days, more […]

Mad-Little-EI counted. It’s true. In the last five days, more people have touched my boobs than I’ve had boyfriends. I’ve been manhandled by many a lactation aid with man-hands, and the strangest part is—I don’t care. Where once I wouldn’t flash my sister while changing clothes in the same room, I’ve sat bare-breasted for hours listening to people discuss proper “latching” and “nipple confusion.” I have whipped my breasts out for strangers that haven’t even bought me so much as a cup of coffee in exchange for copping a feel. What has changed? The baby boy who is confused by my breasts—more specifically, my nipples.

Until I had Little E, I didn’t know anyone, let alone a baby, could be confused by something so out there as a breast or a nipple. I mean, I never had a boyfriend puzzled by my breasts. If, by chance, these lucky few were flummoxed by the top half of my anatomy they kept their confusion well hidden. I never sensed any “I don’t know what to do with these things” thoughts from them. (Alright, there was one guy.) I just figured all boys liked boobs. That’s their thing, isn’t it? I assumed it was an innate trait amongst males at any age. I was wrong.

So now we are all confused, because according to the experts, Little E doesn’t associate my nipples with food. But really, why would he? My milk has been super-slow to come in, but my baby’s hunger has not been. His appetite is definitely not on hold waiting patiently, and after days of sucking with no reward, these lovely lady lactation experts tell me my son has what they term “nipple confusion.” I don’t think he’s confused. I think he’s mad—and he’s got every right to be. He’s been doing a lot of work with little or no reward. It would be like if I took a three hour Zumba class only to find there is no chocolate cake waiting for me in the lobby. I’d be pretty livid, too.
I really thought breast feeding would be the most natural experience a mother and baby could share. There’s a boob. There’s a baby. There’s lunch. I didn’t know my breasts would see more action over a couple of days then they have in their lifetime. Hopefully, E will soon understand what these nipples of mine are good for. But if my son remains confused, well maybe this is when his dad needs to step in and have a little “man-to-man” chat. If that doesn’t work, I may be visiting my breast pump more often. Which I guess is OK, because so far the pump isn’t confused by my nipples—even though my nipples are.