Sunday, June 3, 2007

Life Imitates Art

The Utah Museum of Fine Art has nice little collection of Flemish works. Several of them feature the Madonna and child in the very humanizing act of nursing. The subject matter is surprising no matter how many times I walked through the exibit. One painting is particularly enigmatic, "The Virgin Nursing the Christ Child" from the Studio of Peter Paul Rubens. It shows Mary squirting milk from her breast at the child. I've looked at it many times and wondered why she would be squirting milk at the baby. Not only that, but I believed that milk needs to be sucked out, maybe a few drips leak out on their own, but the breast isn't generally pressurized.
This painting no longer puzzles me. A few days into my pumping routine, I noticed that after the milk started to flow, it would spray the sides of the pump. It sprayed only when the pump was in the suction phase. And then it happened. I should say that it started happening. A couple of times a day Jackson gets showered by the milk. He starts to feed, then changes his mind and spits out my nipple. But its too late, milk is squirting him in the face and dripping down his little chin. It sprays out like a water balloon with a hole in it. I have to tell him he's struck milk, and he should open his mouth to catch it.

Why don't they warn new mothers about things like this? Mention it casually, or add a few lines to the breast feeding books to note it. Do not be alarmed, but this will probably happen...

1 comment:

  1. The same thing used to happen to me! They would suckle long enough for my milk to "drop", and then unlatch. It would spray everywhere. Either that, or sometimes my milk would drop so fast that they would end up gagging on it.
    Parenthood is definitely an adventure!