Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breast-feeding Class

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the term "deflated balloon."

Tuesday night was Breast-Feeding Class. Imagine a dozen very pregnant women and approximately 10 extremely uncomfortable masculine support personnel. Looking at the faces of the men in the class, it was clear that root canals, a Barry Manilow concert, or watching the destruction of his perfectly restored project car would all be preferable activities to 2 hours learning about *that* aspect of a well-beloved body part.

The motherly nurse running the class started us off by going around the room, talking about why we were interested in breast-feeding and what we were worried about. (Side note--while I understand pretty much every nurse who teaches expectant parenting classes is going to be the type who love babies, i.e. motherly, I would PAY extra money to have a class run by a Lisbeth Salander-style punk rock chick with tattoos. That would be AWESOME!) In any case, around the room we went, explaining our thinking and worries. Motherly nurse expected the fathers to contribute to the discussion, as well. After the first man said "I'm here to support her," each subsequent one latched onto that correct answer like a life preserver. It's a phenomenon I've seen often in the classroom, although usually the student is trying to please the teacher and not the student next to him. It was like the men found out the secret answer to "Do I look fat in this?" and were using it to answer every question asked of them.

Motherly nurse tried to draw the men out, but no such luck. I could have told her that just getting individuals of the masculine gender into a room littered with industrial sized breast-pumps that ought to be nicknamed Bessie (except that that nickname will be what the woman will be calling herself when hooked up to said pump) is the most that can be expected of them. So, onward milking soldiers.

We learned several breast-feeding positions both by watching a video (that would either be the greatest thing that has ever happened to a 15 year old boy, or it would scar him for life) and by having the motherly nurse demonstrate with a baby doll. Clearly, it would not be appropriate for motherly nurse to whip out a boob in class, so she had a breast puppet. You read that right--a breast puppet. It was an anatomically correct breast made with some sort of terry cloth material, complete with a prominent nipple. My favorite part was the strap on the back, similar to the kind that are on bath loofahs. As I remarked to J on the way home, it would be a damn shame if anyone ever switched the boob and the loofah by accident. Imagine showering at 0Dark:00 one morning and reaching for a loofah...

The only other moment of note in two hours of awkward was when LO started boogying to his own little beat in my belly. My theory is that this kid takes after his mom. He knew we were talking about food, and he got super excited. YAY, MILK! Just as I will dance a little jig if there is ice cream on the horizon.

(That being said, I'm never looking at dairy products quite the same way again). Biology is both really cool and really really REALLY creepy.

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