Suck It! The REAL Way To Prep For Breastfeeding
Forget that old advice about "gently rubbing your nipples with a towel." If you really want to feel ready to nurse, here's what to do.
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on "medium pile." Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.
Go someplace public -- a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building -- and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
Suckle a wolverine.
Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe.
Melissa Balmain, a freelance writer living in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a two-baby nursing veteran.