That’s what it’s called: expressing milk. Like you’re getting a lactating feeling and dance it out of your boobs.
Talk of expression and discharge dominated yesterday’s prenatal class. I guess the whole process of birthing a child really makes a woman’s body turn into a big leaking mess, shooting tears, blood, and milk out of everywhere. It makes me a bit less jealous of the fact that my wife can grow a child in her while I can only grow tapeworms or colonies of deadly bacteria; at least I won’t have to deal with wild hormonal crashes and tearing.
The whole breastfeeding thing is kind of insane, though. My mother is fond of quoting Murphy Brown, a favourite sitcom from my youth:
“Oh god, my body’s making milk. It’s like one day discovering you can get bacon out of your elbow.”
And it is completely insane when you think about it. Her milk actually changes as Baby changes, adjusting its makeup and formula to match the Baby as she needs those changes. It changes based on the time of day. It increases as Baby needs it to increase, reacting to shorter intervals between feedings to boost production and match her growth rate. It passes on my wife’s antibodies based on what pathogens are in the Baby’s environment, making a custom immunity boost no matter what happens to be going around.
It launches itself into Baby’s mouth like a multi-barreled Supersoaker. (That’s the expression part.)
It gets better: Baby can safely aspirate breast milk; it won’t cause infections and complications where formula, cow’s milk, or virtually anything else will. It can also effectively clear mucus out of Baby’s eyes when she gets an infection, and it helps clear out plugged noses when you spray it in Baby’s face!
I just don’t get it.
I don’t get how one the little pieces of my DNA hooked up with the little pieces of Erin’s DNA to make a whole new person. I don’t get how in that double-helix of coded information, one cell figured out how to make itself into two cells, then four, then eight. How did it know to start changing some cells into liver cells and some other ones into hair cells? How did it know to make arms and legs?
How did Erin’s body know to start changing all of her hormones around and start doubling up on her blood production? How did she stretch out to fit growing Baby? How does her body know how to get the right balance of oxygen and nutrients into baby via an organ that didn’t exist before baby started to grow?
I’m sure that a geneticist or a biologist could try to explain to me how DNA works to make all of this possible.
That, I think, is the formula answer to the more compelling hand of God.