Breastfeeding Milestones & Why They Matter!
This is a featured guest blog post for Motherlove Herb
By Jessy, founder of TItty City Design and originally published on the MotherLove Blog: View Original Article
Written by: Jessy, Titty City Founder.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or pump for a minute, a couple of weeks, or a few years, one thing is for certain: You are amazing.
Not only have you grown and given birth to another life, but now your body is continuing to sustain it, giving it everything it needs and then some. And we believe this is something that deserves acknowledgment, and you deserve to celebrate!
Breastfeeding milestones, whether nursing or pumping, are a way to recognize your awesome achievements. But of course, it’s not all about the baby. You also need to be proud of your milestones as a new mom. This is a tough and sometimes thankless, job and we want to support and recognize your journey, too.
So, here is a list of breastfeeding milestones AND new mom milestones that deserve to be celebrated.
WHAT ARE BREASTFEEDING MILESTONES?
Think about how much time and energy goes into breastfeeding.
It is one of the most rewarding and wonderful things you can do for your precious little one. But it can also be a huge amount of work... not to mention the sleepless nights, cracked nipples, soiled breast pads, and functional (but not so cute) nursing bras.
We get it!
Every breastfeeding journey is different. But, no matter how long you breastfeed or pump for, there are milestones and moments that make all of the hard stuff worth it, and that should be celebrated!
Have a look through some of our favorite breastfeeding and pumping milestones, and see which ones resonate with you and make you fill up with pride.
- That first feed
They don’t call it the golden hour for nothing. That first feed of colostrum with your precious newborn is nothing short of magical. And whether it’s your first and only feed or the first feed of many, it’s something to treasure and remember. You’ve just given your baby the best possible start. You are amazing!
- The first time you express
You’ll get a huge amount of satisfaction from your first time expressing. Whether it’s with a pump or by hand, getting those tiny drops of liquid gold as your body produces its first milk will bring you so much pride.
- Your first big pump
Once your milk comes in, you might choose to pump — either to bottle feed, to get a few hours of much-needed sleep, or to freeze for a later date. This mega milestone will leave you feeling on top of the world as you fill a bag (or even several) with your amazing milk.
- Your first eye contact
This one is so special. When you and your baby start your breastfeeding journey together, one of the best milestones is when your nursing babe locks eyes with you. And you feel the connection and love through their gaze.
- The first bottle feed
If you choose to pump, then you have the opportunity to let others feed your baby. This is a very personal decision, but watching your partner feed your baby with your milk is a beautiful moment as they will be able to experience what you do every day. Plus, it allows you to grab a nap!
- Your first public feed
Will baby latch? Will baby fuss? Will you get stares? Will baby pull your top down and show the world their lunch? These are all normal anxieties to have around feeding in public. And the first time you do it is a huge and courageous breastfeeding milestone. High-five!
- Your first night without feeds
What a milestone! When your baby is happily going through the night without a feed. As wonderful as it is to get a decent night’s sleep again, you might find you wake up in the morning with engorged breasts. Don’t worry though, as soon as baby is back on them, you’ll feel comfortable again and well-rested!
- Your first day back at work while feeding
The time has come for you to head back to work. This is a big step for any new mom, but especially for moms who are still feeding. To prepare, you might be pumping round the clock (both for your baby and for your comfort.) And you might also choose to pump at work. Whatever choice you make, this is a big milestone that deserves recognition. Work it, mama!
BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY ACHIEVEMENTS
And of course, as well as these incredible breastfeeding and pumping milestones, there is also the length of your breastfeeding journey to celebrate. Some set goals to breastfeed for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, maybe a full year, or beyond.
Remember this — It is not important whether you made it to the goal you set. What matters is that you did what felt best for you and your baby. And no matter how long your journey is, it is worth honoring.
So if it was 1 day, 3 weeks, 4 months, 1 year… you deserve to celebrate it. And mama, your breastfeeding journey is also worth commemorating with a keepsake to remind you of just how amazing you are for what you have accomplished.
…It’s not all about the baby
Throughout your pregnancy, it’s all about you—the gorgeous, glowing, pregnant mama-to-be. You feel special and radiant - once those sicky feelings finally subside - and powerful, knowing that you are nurturing and growing life. But then, you give birth.
And your reward is an amazing, beautiful baby. The focus suddenly shifts, almost entirely, to the baby. Which is wonderful, of course, BUT, mama - you did all the hard work. And now everybody wants to hold the baby
But who’s holding the mom?
That’s why we believe YOUR journey and YOUR milestones also need to be celebrated, mama. Because YOU are incredible. What you and your body have just done is amazing, and whether you are feeding, pumping, formula, or a combo of these… you are continuing to give your precious bundle everything it needs. It’s an incredible accomplishment.
This is where mom milestones come in.
MOM MILESTONES YOU NEED TO CELEBRATE
As your baby grows, you’ll experience a wealth of exciting milestones. But, don’t forget, you’ll have your own mom milestones that are just as exciting. After all, not all firsts are for the baby! Here are a few of our favorites. How many have you checked off?
- Your first solo outing with baby
Take a deep breath because this one was a doozy. After a few tentative trips out with baby and your partner, or friends, or your mom...you now have to venture out solo. Just you and baby. Daunting? Absolutely!
You’re still exhausted from being up all night and working out how a baby that small can poop that much. But, you want to head out. Maybe to the store, to the park, or just out for a cup of coffee and a change of scenery. Making sure you have everything you need and feeling secure and strong enough to go out by yourself is huge. So well done.
- Your first time feeding in public
It shouldn’t STILL be taboo, but sadly, a lot of the time, breastfeeding moms still feel nervous and judged for feeding in public. Feeling the need to cover up or go into a quiet corner. If you’ve just experienced your first public feed, then you are amazing! We hope it was a great experience and that you were filled with confidence to do it whenever and wherever you need to.
- Your first time back in the saddle
Whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section birth, you’re most likely going to experience tenderness, pain, bleeding, and feel a little “iffy” about having sex again. And that’s 100% normal and totally fine. BUT. The first time you feel things stirring and are excited about having some fun again, well, that is definitely worth celebrating!
- Your first mama’s night out
It might feel like that time will never come. After all, you’ve spent every waking hour - and sleeping hour - attending to your precious newborn’s every need. Will you ever feel like going out out again? You will. And when you head out with your posse for a night of food, drink, gossip, and uninterrupted adult conversation, you’ll feel amazing about yourself.
- Your first good night’s sleep
Remember what sleep, and we’re talking about really good sleep, feels like? We promise one day you will. And you will wake up feeling fresh, recharged, and ready for anything. You’ll love celebrating this one - and praying that it happens every night!
CELEBRATE YOUR MILESTONES
If you haven’t figured it out yet, you are a superstar, no matter the path or the length of your breastfeeding journey. It might have been just a few minutes or a few years. Whatever your breastfeeding journey looks like, it deserves celebrating and recognition. Because it is hard. And you have dedicated countless sleepless nights (and days), milk-stained tops… and cold cups of coffee to it.
If you are looking for something to show off your amazing achievements, or if you want to treat a nursing mom something to show how incredible they are, then opt for a heartfelt breastfeeding milestone gift. Because you and your journey matter.
And remember, we support all moms. Whether you breastfeed or not, your choice and your health matter most of all. We’re proud of you mama!
Jessy (she/her) is a designer and artist. She believes that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. Jessy is the Tits behind Titty City Design, a female owned, and operated, small business created to spread love and body positivity with designs and products for the home. A portion of Titty City Design’s proceeds go to help support postpartum women and breast cancer patients.