Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reaching Your Breastfeeding Milestones

In our modern world, breastfeeding has become this thing for so many that you might try, but you'll keep your can of free formula in the pantry, "just in case." In those instances, you give yourself goals, milestones that you'll reach and feel good about:

"I'll breastfeed exclusively for 6 weeks."

"I'll try to make it to 6 months before giving any formula or solid foods."

"My goal is 1 year. I really want to make it to at least a year!"

"I plan to let the baby self wean, whenever that happens."

No matter what stage you and your baby are in your breastfeeding relationship, pat yourself on the back, because YOU ARE BREASTFEEDING! You have succeeded, no matter what your goal was. Now, keep going, because you've come this far, so why stop now? (Also, if you haven't yet, go throw away that can of formula. You don't need it.)

For us, formula wasn't really an option. Not that I was super gung-ho about breastfeeding from the start, but from what I could see in my family, breastfeeding is just what we did. I didn't set a goal, per se, I just kept on breastfeeding. 6 weeks, 6 months, a year, 2 years, 3 years, tandem nursing, tandem nursing while pregnant... once you let go of your milestones and just let it happen, it happens so beautifully and so quickly!

If you're struggling with breastfeeding, having one problem after another, I urge you to keep going! At some point, you'll have mastered every issue and will be all the better for it! When you reach your milestones, celebrate! Be proud of yourself, tell the world what you've accomplished, because you have given and you are giving your baby the absolute best, and that is something to be VERY proud of!

Happy breastfeeding!!

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