I did it, you guys! I reached my one-year milestone of exclusive breastfeeding! Yay! Although Zephaniah’s first birthday is August 14th, I am celebrating our one-year breastfeeding anniversary early because it’s National Breastfeeding Month.
The month of August brings forth three great breastfeeding awareness campaigns: World Breastfeeding Week, National Breastfeeding Month, and Black Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week kicked off last week on August 1st and it will end on August 7th. National Breastfeeding Month, of course, is a month-long campaign, and Black Breastfeeding Week is scheduled for August 25 – 31.
The weekly themes for National Breastfeeding Month 2018 are:
Special Circumstanaces & Emergency Preparedness
Call to Action
Black Breastfeeding Week
Black Breastfeeding Week’s theme this year is “Love On Top”. According to the organization, the theme #LoveOnTop means love encompasses everything we do as parents from breastfeeding to nurturing others.”
Setting My Breastfeeding Goals
I know one of the big things that helped me reach my BIG goal of breastfeeding is setting attainable breastfeeding goals. Ameda, the breast pump company, recommends nursing moms set specific and positive goals. “The more specific you are the better chance you have of reaching your goal!”
“Rather than saying “I do not want to give my baby formula for the first two months” your positive goal would be “I want to exclusively give my baby breastmilk for the first two months.” Do you see the difference? One is what you do not want to do, the other is what you want to do!” — Ameda
Reaching our big, great milestone of breastfeeding for a year is…well, BIG! I honestly wasn’t sure I’d make it to the one year mark because I had never done it before. It’s crazy to think I have five children and this is my first time exclusively breastfeeding for a year!
Now a year later, we are still going strong with breastfeeding! The only other challenge I have experienced with nursing is when Zephaniah went through his biting phase. Thank goodness that phase was short-lived because it was very uncomfortable for me!
Before I gave birth to Zephaniah, I had set two breastfeeding goals for myself:
- Breastfeed for six months.
- Once reaching the sixth month, breastfeed for another six months.
It was important for me to set goals for myself because I really wanted to do my best with breastfeeding. I decided to set a small goal of first making it to six months because I knew in the past, I had stopped nursing at four months of age. Once I reached my six-month goal, I then set my goal for another six months or the one year mark.
I’ll be honest, I thought once we reached a year of breastfeeding, I’d probably wean Zephaniah from it. I wasn’t sure how’d I feel about it or if he would be ready to stop nursing. l can tell Zephaniah isn’t ready to stop breastfeeding anytime soon and I am okay with that. In fact, I’m really happy he’s not ready to stop because I am not ready for this incredible bonding experience to end!
To ensure you reach your breastfeeding goals, Ameda also suggests setting realistic goals for yourself and celebrate each goal that you meet. If setting a six-month goal is too big for you, then start small. Set a goal to breastfeed for two weeks, then four weeks, and so on. You can also celebrate reaching your goals by doing something special for you and your baby.
Throughout the month of August, we will also share blog posts about breastfeeding to help encourage women on their breastfeeding journey! Share your breastfeeding stories with us, too. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy Breastfeeding Month!