Illustration by Corina Lo
The first time I tried (and failed) to breastfeed my daughter, a lactation consultant told me that my one slightly inverted nipple was likely the culprit. I was horrified. I had an inverted nipple?! Despite wishing they were a little bigger, I'd never really been self-conscious about my boobs, but now I felt like a monster.
While inverted nipples are not uncommon—it's estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of women have flat or inverted nipples—for me, it was the first time I had looked at this part of my body as being different or in some way flawed.
For many women, their relationship to their breasts is riddled with conflict, often right from the pubescent years. Are they too big?, we wonder. Too small? Lopsided? Are my nipples supposed to look like that? Will anyone think these are sexy? And when you have a baby this process repeats, only this time with new questions: Why don't these work? Is there something wrong with me? Will my body ever feel like mine again?
At Today's Parent, we talk about boobs a lot. I mean, they may just be hunks of tissue, but they're often capable of doing some pretty amazing things. And even when they're not, they're nonetheless still a part of us, of our bodies, of our journey. And yet, we sometimes still forget to unconditionally love them, whatever shape and size they may be.
So moms, let's take a stand. Let's finally fully embrace our knockers, in all their multifaceted glory.
Take a look at the illustration we created. If you perceive some of the breasts in this picture as beautiful or ideal, and others less so (or even ugly), ask yourself where you're getting that idea from, and challenge yourself to see the beauty in all of them.
We hope in doing so you can allow yourself to not just accept your own boobs but love them, no matter what they look like.