When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I decided was that I wanted to breastfeed. I read articles, browsed internet forums, and enlisted friends and family to help me should I need it. I read all about how hard it was going to be, and how I might not be able to do it, and then my precious little girl was born and whisked away to the NICU a few hours later and I just KNEW our breastfeeding journey was over before it had even begun. Fed and healthy is best, of course, but I was just so discouraged that I might not be able to do this for my little one, until my family and friends stepped up to encourage me when I needed it most.

So, my wonderful, amazing support system, this letter is for you.

Thank you for graciously waiting and allowing our little family that first hour of skin to skin family bonding. Thank you for bringing me every possible galactagogue as I cried in our hospital room because my milk had not come in yet. Thank you for reminding me that my precious baby’s tummy was tiny, so the few drops I could produce were amazing. Thank you for reminding me that it can take up to 7 days for milk production to begin, and for reminding me that it was okay to supplement with formula so that my baby girl could bust out of “baby jail”, aka the NICU. Thank you for not flinching when I had to pump and not making me feel any more uncomfortable than I already was.

Thank you for cheering for me when I started to produce ounces instead of drops, and for driving me to and from the NICU every three hours so that I could try to feed my baby once her breathing was closer to the normal range again. Thank you for accepting that the grandbaby/niece/cousin you wanted to hold so badly is fed on demand, and never questioning me about it. Thank you for never being awkward about nipple pads, breast pumps, or the occasional flashings while I try to discreetly feed a wriggly baby.

Thank you for accepting my limited knowledge on the subject of breastfeeding and always being open to learning new things with me.

Thank you for being ready to go to war for me every time I feed her in public.

Thank you for standing by me and being so proud of me for every ounce of weight that beautiful baby has gained since we started.

Thank you for supporting my breastfeeding goals and encouraging me every step of the way.

I owe you all an incredible amount of gratitude for how well you have accepted and loved me and our perfect bundle of joy. You are the support group of every parents’ dreams, and for the last four and a half months, you have helped me normalize breastfeeding in a big way, purely by bolstering me through every minute of our journey.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Britney Bradshaw