The photo that perfectly shows what it looks like before and after you pump a litre of breastmilk.

Take a straw poll from the people around you. (If you’re at work, perhaps don’t do this immediately. Maybe wait a while until you’re at the pub, with friends. Not that this is an inappropriate thing. It’s definitely not.  It’s really like the most normal, everyday thing that you could possibly imagine. But some people might take it the wrong way and I definitely don’t want you to find yourself stuck in an awkward situation… I’m digressing here.)

Take a straw poll. Ask your friends; ‘if I said the phrase “engorged breasts” would you know what I meant and what they looked like?’

Probably not, right?

Just another of the many symptoms of the fact that we seem to have lost the realistic images of mothercraft in recent decades. Our world is plastered with barely covered breasts, erect nipples and full of silicone, but the images of breasts doing what they were designed to do are hidden away.

That’s changing, slowly, but many of us still don’t know what engorged breasts, full of milk really look like.

Me included, despite the fact that I’ve had two babies. (That’s another story, though. And if you’re keen, you can read about it here.)

That’s why this Instagram photo stopped me in my tracks.


Quite literally, this is a before and after shot that shows the difference between engorged breasts and how they look after you pump 1.1 litres of milk.

Chi Chi says, in replies to commenters on the post, that she has a natural ‘over-supply’, that she produces more milk than her babies need.

Most women, depending on the age of their baby and their level of supply, would pump around 100-150 mls in one go.

As Chi Chi says in her post, sometimes breastfeeding looks like this. The more we share realistic photos of breastfeeding, the more we break down the unrealistic expectations that many women have of breastfeeding. It can be a long, tough, road, but it can also be a beautiful road. But, whatever it is, it should be celebrated.