We enter into this journey of motherhood and breastfeeding with so many expectations and so many fears. We trek through the unknown of childbirth, inverted nipples, clogged ducts, sleepless nights and countless dirty diapers. We push through the exhaustion, through the hot to the touch breasts and through the tears in those early weeks.
I'm pretty sure I hit the nail on the head so far, are you still with me?
Breastfeeding is hard. Mothering is hard. Heck, life in general can be pretty fricking hard. But sometimes rather than being met with tons of support while breastfeeding or mothering, we are met with naysayers, questions, snide comments and looks of judgement. Sometimes we are just met with downright discouragement whether it's from comments, Insta perfect mamas or our own issues.
As the months go by we usually relish in the joy of accomplishing yet another month down in our breastfeeding journey. But as the first birthday passes and the questions sometimes start to roll in as to "When will we be done," we start to keep our joys of breastfeeding a little more private. We don't always want everyone to know we are still breastfeeding well past the first birthday simply because we don't feel like being judged. We don't want to be ostracized for it or made to feel like we are doing something weird. But it happens, and people unknowingly do this to us. I'm pretty sure we have all felt this way at least once.
But here's the thing...We are NOT alone. There are thousands of mothers all over who give their baby the same gift you are giving yours. There are thousands of mothers all over this world who exclusively breastfeed, who exclusively nurse, who maybe exclusively pump or who practice extended breastfeeding. We are NOT alone. There's no need to feel different. There's no need to not relish in our joys of accomplishing yet another month of giving your child what the World Health Organization deems as the "perfect food."
There is no need not to be proud.
There is no need not to be joyful.
There is no need to hide.
What there needs to be more of is more of us saying, "Go YOU."
There needs to be more grainy "brelfie's" to celebrate and capture the most special days of your life right now.
You have overcome obstacles, exhaustion, cracked nipples, late nights on Google and lots of tears just to pull through those hard, first six weeks of breastfeeding. You have overcome the fear of public nursing and you have balanced nursing a baby while taking care of a toddler day in and day out. You have even overcome the nose picking and slap yo mama stages of breastfeeding a toddler.
GO YOU MAMA.
We ALL feed our babies with love no matter if we nurse, pump, choose formula or use donor milk. No matter what, we ALL deserve to feel like someone has our backs and that someone is saying they are proud of you as a mother; as a caretaker and as woman using her body in the way God intended.
But today, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to say congratulations to each mother out there who made it another day breastfeeding and to those who TRIED. No goal is too short and no time spent giving your baby your milk is not enough. Each day counts, so don't harp on the days lost.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. And you are rocking this thing called motherhood no matter how you're feeding your baby.
Nurse on (or Pump on) Mamas. Our Village supports you and thinks that you are pretty damn awesome.
Leave your comments below to show support or to talk about what breastfeeding has been like for you so far!
DON'T FORGET TO TAKE 15% OFF OF OUR ENTIRE BREASTFEEDING SECTION WITH CODE MILK AT CHECKOUT.