by Fiona Giles
If breasts could talk, what would they say?
According extensive feedback from questionnaires forwarded to mothers around the globe they'd say this:
- I wish we were the same size.
- Go away. We're busy.
- Have cosmetic surgery, immediately.
- Can you stop that child from biting us now?
- Give me a break. I'm tired.
- Piss those rotten bras off, will you?
- How could you do this to me?
- Can't you do something to fix this supersensitive right nipple?
- Sorry we look so sad and droopy.
- Don't worry, we know you would have been lost without our support over the last two years. And a child's happiness cannot be measured against the aesthetics of perky boobs.
- Why have I shrunk? Why can't I be like I was?
- Stop complaining. We did our best.
- What will we do if you don't have another baby?
- 0 ye of little faith. See what we can do. You thought we were ugly and shrivelled, but behold, we are full and round and firm and beautiful.
- You've done well. Now enjoy your sensuality and be proud of us!
- Love me! Caress me! Pamper me!
- We are beautiful, we are sexy, and we have served our role extremely well.
- Look after us. We're important.
- Thank you for all that lovely sucking.
- I will miss it when it's gone forever.
- Love me, and remember my abundance. Revel in the sensations that travel through me still, and don't ever feel ashamed of my slow droop.
Is sex any better? More, the same, less...?
One of the sections of my questionnaire, to both men and women, concerned breastfeeding and sexuality. The majority of respondents said that there was little change to their sexuality, although many women found it harder, especially in the early stages of breastfeeding, to enjoy having their breasts fondled or sucked as part of foreplay.
If their nipples weren't feeling tender, they felt their breasts should be reserved for the baby. And many women were simply too tired to be interested in sex.
Others, who breastfed for longer, gradually included their breasts again; and many men reported enjoying the larger size of their partner's lactating breasts. Some women noticed that their orgasms were stronger when their nipples were being stimulated enough for them to produce milk. Others were simply amused to notice, in reverse, that orgasm caused their breasts to fountain.
For men whose partners are not interested in sex after having children, there is some compensation in being allowed to watch breastfeeding. As one father wrote matter-of-factly: 'I had no negative feelings when my wife breastfed our children. I thought it was beautiful and I loved watching. I still enjoy watching women breastfeed... I even find it sexually stimulating. I never felt excluded while my wife breastfed, even though, with our second child, our sexual relationship was not as good.
A small number of men and women reported more than a passing sexual interest in lactating breasts and wrote about how they incorporated this into their sex lives, to the extent that some postponed weaning the baby; or considered inducing lactation just for themselves.
What is the dollar-value of breast milk?
If you could buy breast milk by the litre from the corner store how much would it cost? According to the economist Julie Smith, breast milk is worth approximately $50 a litre Based on 1992 Australian figures, Smith estimates that Australian women produced 33 million kilograms, worth $2.2 billion to the economy, which is about 0.5 percent of the GDR Since 1993 Norway has included human milk output in its annual reports on national food production. It is the only country to do so.
This article is an excerpt from Fiona Giles' book FRESH MILK, The secret life of breasts which is a result of extensive feedback from questionnaires Fiona forwarded to mothers around the globe.