23 April 2010

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 :)


JoAnna said...

Sounds like we're like-minded mommies. CONGRATS! You ROCK. :)

Valerie said...

Thanks Melissa for this post! It's humbling to me that I provide all the daily nutrition to my two little boys. It's also something as we bless the food at every meal and bless that the food I eat will provide the nourishment for my little boys.

Congrats on your milestone!

Juli said...

That's fantastic!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing your bfing twins experience. I appreciate all the helpful information. I found you through the M&M network and am expecting twins in the fall. I bf'd both my singletons but I hear twins are a whole different ball game! I was grateful to find your blog and read about your experience.



Jessica said...

Congrats! Bf'ing my twins for almost 13 months is my proudest mommy accomplishment thus far. And some of my most special memories/moments with them too!

Jill said...

Congrats!! That's fabulous! I breastfed both my singleton babies exclusively until 6 months and then until they were each 2 (one plus a week, 1 minus a week).
Breastfeeding twins is such an accomplishment!!

Mandy said...

I can not wait to get to the milestone. You have made it sound so fun! My exciting breastfeeding moment happened this morning when Raegan had a complete feeding without the nipple shield!!

Melissa Ann said...

Way to go, Raegan!!! (but mostly you, Mandy. Persistence is paying off!)

Me and Madeline said...

You are my hero! I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate and I love to hear about mom's who don't make excuses (even when they have some good ones!) and just stick with it and give thier babies the best. Good for you!

Krystal said...

Hi Melissa.. I just found your blog from a post on babycenter. I LOVE this post. There is never a celebration, just people asking, "you really haven't started solids yet?" I just felt almost guilty, even though I knew exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the gold standard. My twin boys are almost 9 months old, and we are breastfeeding about 5 times a day. (The first 6 months were the hardest thing I gave ever done!) I am enjoying reading your posts :) I feel like it's hard to find people that understand what we are going through.. singleton moms don't understand, and most of the twin moms I know don't breastfeed or stopped earlier.