Creative Ways to Normalize Breastfeeding and Enjoy Your Journey
There are so many fun ways to celebrate and honor your breast milk feeding journey, while helping to normalize breastfeeding. Here are just a few ways to do so - while expressing yourself and your own unique personality!
Celebrate and Normalize Breastfeeding - Your Body is Amazing!
We might be a little biased, mama, but we believe that your breastfeeding journey should be both totally normalized – and celebrated too! After all, it’s a unique bonding experience just between you and your baby, for however long you choose. That special time together is already pretty amazing, but when you consider all the great benefits that your milk provides to your little one – and how it’s truly the perfect first food for your baby, tailored by your body to his or her unique and evolving needs – then you should be especially proud of your breast milk feeding journey and giving your little one the best possible start in life!
There are so many fun ways to celebrate your breastfeeding experience and all that it encompassed (or still encompasses!), from the quiet, half-asleep late night nursing sessions to your first time breastfeeding in public or pumping at work, and even any challenges that you overcame during your journey. Be proud of yourself, mama – as we know all too well, breastfeeding is a true labor of love! It’s not always easy, glamorous, or even enjoyable at times; instead, it can take work, perseverance, commitment, and dedication to meet your goals. We think that should be acknowledged, celebrated, and honored every day, but especially during World Breastfeeding Week. Whether you want to honor yourself, your little one, and the amazing bond you share or you simply want to show off your milk making mama pride as loudly (or as subtly) as you want, be sure to check out all the different options to support and normalize breastfeeding in your own unique way:
- Art (Print, Digital, Mixed Media, and More): Love visuals? Whether you already have the perfect spot to display the art you love; you’re hoping to make a space like your office, desk, bedroom, or she shed your own; or you simply want to share the pieces that speak to you on your social media platforms (with credit to the artist, of course!), the amazing thing about art is that it’s totally subjective – and can be whatever you want it to be. Check out Instagram for illustrations from Kiera Langston, a doula, lactation consultant, artist, and birth worker; modern embroidery from Penny Embroidery; or take a peek at Etsy to find the perfect display- or share-worthy art to commemorate your breastfeeding experience.
(courtesy of @abirthtoremember)
(courtesy of @penny_embroidery)
- Clothing: There are tons of small clothing businesses that make stylish, instantly Instagram-able clothes like tops, tanks, tees, sweats, hoodies, and more to tell the world that you’re a proud breastfeeding mama. Check out brands like The Little Milk Bar on Instagram to find your next comfy top or sweatshirt – which also pulls double-duty by helping normalize breastfeeding through empowering statements that you can wear whenever and wherever you choose.
(courtesy of @ashjustine)
Want to get your baby involved in the fun? Of course you do (and we don’t blame you one bit!) Find statement onesies or swaddles and nursing covers with celebratory designs that aren’t exactly your grandma’s wraps. There are even creative ways to pay homage to your breastfeeding journey with unique Halloween costumes for your little one(s) that may just make for the cutest photo shoot ever. Searching sites like Instagram and Pinterest can provide plenty of inspiration to explore these ideas and make them your own – be as creative as you want to be, mama!
(courtesy of @motherducker_)
(courtesy of @_sophiahoward)
(courtesy of @sgarcia7890)
If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, try your hand at a DIY piece of breast milk jewelry or outsource it to a small business that specializes in this type of jewelry making. Your breast milk will typically go through a process that ultimately transforms it into a solidified, stone-like resin – often resembling an opal – for a totally unique-to-you piece that nobody else has. Others will likely not even know that your jewelry features your liquid gold, unless, of course, you happen to proudly mention it while showing off that gorgeous necklace, ring, or bracelet!
- Food: As your little one gets older and begins eating more solids, using your breast milk in recipes for common early solids and baby-led weaning foods – think pancakes, purees, and yogurt – is a great way to ensure your baby is still receiving all the benefits of your breast milk, even as they start exploring the big, exciting world of complementary foods. Best of all, you can also ensure that none of that precious liquid gold you worked so hard for will go to waste! If your baby’s first birthday is coming up, there are even ways to use your breast milk in a homemade smash cake to celebrate his or her very first trip around the sun.
Some parents even celebrate major breastfeeding milestones, just like this amazing mama did with a much-deserved custom cake for her one year pumping anniversary. As if we needed another reason to celebrate our journeys, normalize breastfeeding, and eat cake!
(courtesy of @igoerunner)
- Toys: One of the best things about babies is that it really doesn’t take much to entertain them! In fact, many parents fall into the trap of purchasing pricy toys, only to discover their little one is more interested in the cardboard box or bubble wrap it came in. Most babies, especially as they continue to grow and develop, are especially enthralled with sensory exploration and the way different objects sound, feel, look, and even smell or taste! Get extra creative like @kimwongclan on Instagram and re-purpose breast milk collection containers that are no longer used into fun shakers, filled with different noise-making objects and perfect for grasping, tossing, and shaking in little hands.
(courtesy of @kimwongclan)
- Body Art: While many parents get tattoos to celebrate the arrival of their new baby, some moms also get a tattoo to commemorate their breastfeeding journey. Like art, tattoos are completely subjective – you may have a style or idea in mind already, or you may wish to work with a professional tattoo artist to create a custom piece for a particular area of your body. Find an artist or shop nearby, make an appointment, ask to check out their portfolio (tip: most tattoo artists have samples of their work online or shared on professional Instagram or Facebook pages), and be sure to bring your own ideas and inspiration.
If permanent ink isn’t quite your thing, there are plenty of other (temporary) ways to celebrate your breastfeeding experience! Treat yourself to a manicure and explore nail art options or consider henna for less permanent body art that typically fades after about two weeks. Henna kits can be easily purchased online and allow you to create your own patterns and artwork on your skin.
- Accessories: Celebrate your breast milk feeding journey as much as you’d like – after all, it’s something to be proud of because you did that! Check out the trophy from @pump_momma_pump or add a small, subtle accessory to your wardrobe like one of the pins from @ohe_mimine.
(courtesy of @got_to_pump_it_up)
(courtesy of @cherryonthecouscous)
Whether you prefer to hang your statements on your wall or in your closet; DIY with your own amazing breast milk recipes, keep yourself motivated with milestones and trophies; or you get your little one in the mix with fun toys, clothes, and costumes, there are a ton of ways to celebrate your experience while normalizing breastfeeding within your circle, your community, and your world. With the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to find – and support! – small, like-minded businesses, including those that align with and focus on important aspects of your life, such as breastfeeding, in fun, cute, and creative ways. We encourage you to explore all the different ways that you can help normalize breastfeeding while expressing yourself and your own unique personality – the possibilities are practically endless!
And remember, mama, breastfeeding – and however that looks for you – is normal. In fact, it’s one of the most normal, natural things in the world! It’s how mothers have fed their babies for thousands of years and it’s how parents across the globe continue to feed their little ones, oftentimes well into toddlerhood. Your body was literally made for this! Whether you encounter detractors and choose to respond (or not!), it doesn’t change what’s scientifically proven as best for your baby, what organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend, and that your breast milk feeding journey is a personal, beautiful, crazy, amazing experience that is just for you and your baby. You’ve got this – and Medela has your back all the way.