From sexual pleasure to breastfeeding and beyond
Breasts might be the most evolving body part throughout a woman’s life. Shan Boodram, sexologist and mother of two, discusses the complex functions of breasts, from erotic pleasure to breastfeeding babies, and how these can coexist. Hear more from Shan on her podcast, Lovers and Friends with Shan Boodram. Furthermore, we dive deep into the cosmos in our Astrological Forecast for May.
On how the functions of breasts can coexist
“When first developing breasts, most women think about them in the context of size and how they will please others or if they are pleasing to look at – it’s about aesthetics. Then, if they choose to breastfeed, those ideas suddenly fade away and they realize that all along, the purpose was to nourish a life. No matter the size and shape of your breasts growing up, this realization can create a much deeper appreciation of your breasts. Not only does the function of breasts change, but feelings towards your breasts also change throughout different phases of life.”
On an ever-changing relationship
“Relationships with breasts ebb and flow and are multidimensional. My experiences with my two children were very different. I originally had B-cup breasts, which I never had any issues with. Once pregnant, they increased in size and suddenly became something more sexual and erotic. I enjoyed this change and got a lot of pleasure out of it. I produced a lot of milk with my first baby, which deepened my relationship and bond with my breasts. But the experience of producing milk was painful. As my breasts grew and underwent hormonal changes, they became quite tender, so even when I wasn’t breastfeeding or pregnant, they were sore, uncomfortable or sensitive to touch.”
On being curious
“I want to encourage people to remain curious and open about how they can enjoy their breasts. Everyone’s experience is unique. I know mothers who are unable to breastfeed, and their disappointment over that reality disconnects them from their breasts. There are also mothers who can breastfeed but have a hard time seeing their breasts as anything other than their baby’s. Some mothers also experience a heightened appreciation for their breasts, which can deepen feelings of femininity. In my experience as someone with high sensitivity who produces a lot of milk, I have mixed feelings. I enjoy the aesthetic aspect of my breasts, but since they are so sensitive and painful, they are not a part of my sex life. If my partner even gets near them, I start to feel a bit panicked. So, although they are aesthetically pleasing, that is as far as I want to go with them.”
On the visibility of breastfeeding
“I feel proud to feed in public because it’s something beautiful that my body does. A lot of that empowerment comes from seeing mothers who post breastfeeding pictures online. Motherhood is much more integrated into everyday life right now, but there should be more reverence around the process of breastfeeding. You’re the mom, you’re the one who is feeding, you’re the one who is sharing your body with another. Maybe it might feel awkward at first, but mothers should be able to feed in an accessible way. I hope this will become the new mindset.”
On feeding or pumping in public
“Progress starts by taking one small step outside your comfort zone. You don’t have to go from being uncomfortable about feeding in public to openly feeding your baby in the middle of a mall. Try using a discretion cloth or small blanket to feed and see how it feels. Is it awkward or does it feel more natural than you expected? Whatever the next accessible step is for you, try to focus on that. Breastfeeding is already a demanding and important job. The additional burden on mothers to be private or cautious just for the sake of other people’s comfort is a lot to ask.”
On improving the relationship with your breasts
“All relationships require vulnerability, open-mindedness, and gratitude. My favorite activity for insecurities is dividing a piece of paper into three sections. In the top section, write “things that I love.” In the middle section, write “things that really bother me.” In the last section, write “things I can live with.” Begin the first section with gratitude and write down what you love about your breasts. Then, in the middle section, write down what bothers you; for example, if they are painful or don’t produce enough milk. In the last section, write what you can live with; for example, having hair around your nipples or having one breast that is bigger than the other. It’s important to get specific with your observations. The goal is to focus on the middle section and see if you can move anything up or down. This approach makes self-love more tangible. Going from liking to loving something or hating to appreciating something is a big change that requires smaller steps in between.”
On what you should know about your breasts
“I don’t think many people realize how much there is to learn about breasts. For instance, there are people whose jobs are devoted to them, like lactation experts and OB-GYNs. We often think of breasts as an accessory rather than the main event, but there are people who understand that they deserve main character energy. If you have questions, there are people out there with answers. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from the right individuals. There are probably two times in life when we focus on breasts: in breastfeeding and in breast cancer awareness. Besides that, there is little attention given to them. If this doesn’t fit your narrative, find someone who gives breasts the main character energy they deserve.”
Astrological Forecast May 2023
Artwork by @_kallenmikel
By astrologer Christiano Greve Ormeño
This past month offered the opportunity for an accelerated development of our world view. As a collective, this is reflected in the fact that many people have started making different choices based on the new rules of this age – the age of Aquarius. Many of us have adopted a different view on life, which is inspiring innovative choices at work, in relationships and in our efforts towards personal development and growth. The world can often feel intense, and we may experience the feeling of wanting to foster more harmonious living conditions for our world. The idea of “a better world starts with you” is the spiritual tone of this accelerated development, and it is within our reach. In order to achieve this, we must persevere with love. It’s important that we view perseverance as our responsibility and understand that every act, no matter how small, is of great importance to the collective.
Aries’ fiery energy has fueled transformative powers within us that we can now anchor, led by the Earth sign Taurus. Taurus invites us to be focused, determined and persevere until our goals are brought into the world. By not allowing emotions to hinder our progress, we can overcome obstacles that keep us from achieving our goals more easily. Focus on being victorious over every trial that arises. We can be driven by the passions of our souls and see fears as beacons for the places where we still have work to do in order to reach our highest potential. The golden rule of “through it and not around it” offers support when life feels difficult.
We can view every form of restlessness as an opportunity for growth and development, and this perspective can be applied to the restlessness and tension in the world around us. No matter the scale, it invites us to turn inward and be the change we want to see in the world. It doesn’t work to hold on to the past and romanticize everything that once was. We are living in a new age that asks for innovation by acting from dedication, harmony, perseverance and wisdom – all characteristics represented by Taurus energy. The planet controlling and managing Taurus has not yet been discovered by science, which means this zodiac sign has hidden power not yet known by us. However, this power and wisdom are still present and available. We can open ourselves up to receive this hidden knowledge that is deep within us. We mustn’t seek outside of ourselves, but within, and trust the inner voice.
The full moon in Scorpio on May 5th will generate a lot of movement because two of the zodiac’s most powerful signs – Taurus and Scorpio – will combine. Their decisiveness, dedication and perseverance make for a powerful full moon, after which the world will look energetically different. On the same day, the Sun is conjunct Uranus, Mercury and the Northern node in Taurus. We can seize this opportunity for growth by challenging ourselves to not give up when something is difficult.
Let this wisdom sink in, and then consider whether any goals and choices made in the past weeks have been driven by passion or fear. Take a leap of faith and travel from beacon to beacon on your personal development journey, because everything is about that never-ending road. It is the road of co-creation and harmony that will set our planet free from greed generated by a subconscious sense of scarcity.
May 5th, full moon in Scorpio, sun conjunct Uranus, Mercury and Northern node in Taurus.
READ a brief introduction on astrology and Artipoppe’s frequently used terms.
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