Why You Should Celebrate Your Amazing Breastfeeding Journey
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
Whatever your breastfeeding milestone is, and whether you breastfeed for a few hours or a few years, you should feel so proud of your incredible achievement.
Although breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, it isn’t always easy. For some mamas, it can be a real struggle. From latching issues and cluster feeding to feeding in public and pumping, breastfeeding your little one can be a full-time job.
And you deserve to celebrate it.
Because you are an amazing and strong mama. So, here are just a few reasons why you should celebrate your breastfeeding journey and everything you have achieved with your little milk monster.
As with so many mamas, you might have had a picture in your mind of that very first feed after your baby is born. The midwife hands you your gorgeous baby and you instinctively put them to your breast where they latch on and your breastfeeding journey begins.
But, this doesn’t always happen, right?
When your baby latches correctly, your milk is released more easily, keeping baby happy and reducing your risk of mastitis or blockages. The correct latch also gives your body the signals it needs to produce enough milk and maintain a good milk supply.
But when your baby doesn’t latch correctly, it can lead to issues for both of you. From not gaining enough weight to developing engorgement and a low milk supply.
Whether your little one latched on perfectly, or they struggled, and you needed help from a lactation consultant or midwife, you should be so proud of yourself for persevering. It can take a long time to get the perfect latch and maintain it, so celebrate yourself, mama!
What? How can your baby be hungry again? You’ve only just finished a mammoth nursing session with your hungry babe, and they are already fussing and wanting more.
Welcome to cluster feeding.
This breastfeeding struggle is a totally normal part of breastfeeding, and as exhausting as it is, it’s essential for filling up your growing baby and maintaining a good milk supply.
Cluster feeding tends to strike in the evenings (we know, the worst possible time). Newborns usually feed anywhere from 8 to 12 times a day, but if you notice your little one fussing more than usual in the evenings and wanting to be back on your breast – sometimes for hours at a time – then they’re more than likely cluster feeding.
And you deserve a medal!
Your baby might be going through a growth spurt and when they nurse it sends signals to create more milk. This is a natural way of your body getting the message it needs to produce more milk for your hungry tot. It’s also important to remember that your milk tends to flow slower at night, so your baby needs to feed more frequently to fill up their little tummy.
As with most things, cluster feeding is a phase. So breathe a sigh of relief, because most babies grow out of cluster feeding by about four months (although some can go on a little longer, especially if they’re looking for extra comfort).
Mastitis is a breastfeeding struggle that affects a lot of women, especially in the early days.
It’s a nasty infection caused by a blockage in a milk duct. It can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in your breast, and cause flu-like symptoms. The last thing you need when looking after a newborn!
The good news is mastitis can be easily treated when caught early. If you notice some engorgement or a warm, red spot on your breast, it’s super important that you keep nursing or pumping as normal, to try and draw out the blockage. If the discomfort gets worse, or you start to feel unwell, speak to your doctor as sometimes antibiotics are needed.
If you’ve ever had mastitis and you managed to continue your breastfeeding journey, then mama, celebrate how strong you are!
BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC
We know that breastfeeding in public can be difficult for a lot of moms. Despite it being a natural benefit for babies and young children, sometimes, you might be met with looks of disapproval from people who think breastfeeding should be done in private.
Which is totally loopy!
Sadly, the debate about breastfeeding in public has always been a thing, making some mamas nervous about doing it, or doing it under a blanket or nursing cover, when whipping a Boobie out to feed your hungry baby is the most natural (not to mention essential) thing in the world.
Not only is breastfeeding in public your legal right, but you also have the freedom to do it anywhere you need to.
But we know breastfeeding with confidence, especially in public, doesn’t come easily for everyone. And if you manage to do it, then we’re so proud of you and you deserve to feel proud of yourself.
GIVING YOUR BABY THE BEST START
Another reason you should celebrate your Hot Tits? Your milk is magical.
It’s one of the best things for your baby’s health. Your milk can help strengthen your little one’s immune system and reduce their risk of contracting a bunch of different illnesses and diseases.
Breast milk helps to protect against conditions such as eczema and allergies. It’s easy to digest and won’t cause allergic reactions. Thanks to how digestible it is, your baby will have fewer tummy troubles.
If that wasn’t enough, breast milk can also reduce the risk of:
- Bowel disease
- Childhood leukemia
Breast milk is also the perfect nutrition for your growing babe. It contains everything that baby needs for their first 6 months of life and provides it at the perfect temperature in the perfect proportions. Not only that, the composition of your milk changes to meet your baby’s needs.
Even that very first milk you produce – colostrum – is worth its weight in (liquid) gold. This low sugar, high protein milk coats your baby’s digestive tracts, helping it to develop and it’s packed with nutrients. Ensuring they have the best start.
If that isn’t something worth celebrating, then we don’t know what is!
HEALTH BENEFITS FOR YOU
So, we know that breastfeeding is super beneficial for your baby’s health. But did you know it’s also great for yours?
In fact, the longer you breastfeed, the more health benefits you’ll have.
With every month that passes, breastfeeding can reduce your risk of developing certain cancers, including breast, ovary, and uterus cancer. This is especially true if you feed for more than a year. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
We’ll celebrate that!
CELEBRATE YOUR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY
However long nursed your little one, you deserve all the praise and acknowledgment in the world. Feeding your baby with your magic milk gives them the very best start in life, and whatever breastfeeding milestone you reach, you need to celebrate it.
As we like to say at Titty City Design, ‘You’re the Tits!’ And we’re celebrating right here with you!
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.