Breastfeeding Part 12: Just a Litte Celebration

A month and a half ago I reached a milestone that I never even acknowledged.  Sure, I’d been a mom for half a year and having 6 month olds was a blast!  They’re even more fun now at 7 months 🙂  But I had reached a milestone even more amazing than that: I had supplied every single ounce of their nutrition for 6 solid and sometimes difficult months (except for 3 days supplementing with some formula at the beginning).  We had struggled through c-section recovery, latching difficulties, plugged ducts and mastitis, overactive letdown, oversupply, reflux, a milk protein sensitivity, and the doubts/misinformation supplied by the well-intentioned folks around me.  We had all cried so many times figuring each other out and working to get through it all. 

But that six month milestone went unnoticed. Uncelebrated.

And that makes me sad.  Breastfeeding is indeed beautiful and a very special bond, but it is also difficult and requires so much out of the dyad (or triad) to learn and maintain.  Why don’t we as women celebrate this accomplishment in a noteworthy manner?  Why don’t we take each other out for coffee or show up at someone’s doorstep with a balloon and a cookie and congratulate them on the biggest accomplishment to date?!

Instead, at six months we start hearing things like: when are you going to stop feeding them so often?  When are you going to just pump and put milk in a sippy? You’ve made it to the 6 month mark, why don’t you give yourself a break and just do formula? Now that they’re on solids, you can relax.

Why can’t we just stop and celebrate? Lets take some time to enjoy the accomplishment and the sweet nursing relationship that has evolved from that steep 6 month learning curve.

Oh and, my friends who nurse, expect a chocolate chip muffin and some other little surprise when you get there. You deserve it 🙂