The Four Year Milestone

So much taking place in the world which gives me a variety of topics to write about. Today I am choosing to practice exactly what I preached in my April 1, 2020 Emotional Self-Care post. I am making the deliberate choice to control my self-care narrative.

Today is January 16, 2021 and I am nine days away from having a four year old. The time has flown by quickly and it feels like we were just discharged from the hospital. Her birthday, January 25, also represents the fourth year of our breastfeeding journey 🎉🏆!!! We had challenges immediately following birth and I would have had unpleasant words for anyone on January 25, 2017 had they told me that I’d still be nursing my daughter four years later. To utter such words would have been the ultimate form of disrespect resulting in the end of a relationship! At that point in time we lived life in three-hour increments and it was asking too much of me to even focus on the next day.

Time flies fast! The three-hour increments turned into a day. The days turned into weeks. The weeks turned into months and the months turned into years. I am amazed that the four year milestone is quickly approaching and we are still at it! I vividly recall setting our breastfeeding goal for six months. We were supposed to be done in June 2017, however, the art of breastfeeding somehow became easier and we never stopped. Fast forward to 2021 and my baby (she will always be my baby) is content with nursing a few times a day. She knows what she wants and will not hesitate to grab her milkies when she needs a quick snack. All challenges have disappeared and I have zero complaints about this leg of the journey.

I am beyond grateful for our journey; yet I recall our humble beginnings! You couldn’t pay me to be grateful in January 2017 and six months could not come quick enough. Grateful is the feeling because the choice to breastfeed my daughter has created new opportunities for me. I had no idea that I would become a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and would assist other babies, parents and families. A blog certainly was not on my radar in January 2017 nor was a Monthly Breastfeeding / Chestfeeding Subscription Box. Who knew!? I simply hoped to shower every few days, catch a quick nap and survive the next three hours. Anything beyond that was not important. I also cannot forget about the friendships and professional relationships that I have built in the last four years. Breastfeeding is still a way of life for me because it has positively impacted every aspect of my life. The unbreakable bond with my baby and the unwavering desire to breastfeed her was the catalyst that sparked it all!

There are still those that respond with negativity when proudly state I breastfeed my daughter. Said people existed at every part of the journey. They really frown when I state that my baby still nurses as she approaches four years old. I am not offended and will respond by dropping facts about breast / chestfeeding. My teachable response often results in silence by the other party. Their silence is not my concern as I have done my part by educating. I admit that I wasn’t always in this space. My outward confidence was not the best early on given our struggles, however, I remained steadfast and never waivered on my goal to nourish my baby.

In closing, it is imperative to remember that the duration of your breast / chestfeeding journey is between you and your little one. It is your personal choice to determine what works best for you and your dynamic. My personal experience highlights the importance of choosing a supportive tribe. I will forever and always preach about the need to surround yourself with a positive and affirming breast / chestfeeding community. Such communities exist. Do yourself a favor and seek them out! You won’t regret it.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

A Sincere Thank You…

thank-you

\ ˈthaŋk-ˌyü  \

Definition of thank-you

a polite expression of one’s gratitude

Maziwa Tribe wants to take a few moments to send a sincere thank you to everyone navigating this new normal. As stated in our previous blog, life has a way of taking unexpected twists and turns. Changes are made as new information becomes available and we have all had to be flexible in our daily dealings. Next steps are out of our control but patience and vigilance is a must.

Thank you to all of the medical professionals who are on the front line and caring for those in need. Your sacrifice is extraordinary! Your diligence in navigating challenging spaces is admirable along with your ability to improvise in the medical setting.

Thank you to social workers helping vulnerable communities and ensuring that said communities are able to function and have resources to navigate during this time. Your sacrifice is remarkable.

Mental health issues can exacerbate during challenges and times of intense stress. Therapists and counselors rock – you are the professionals assisting new and existing clients with processing concerns, managing stressors and identifying ways to navigate life. This is a needed tool and you are trained to do the work!

Thank you to places of employment for taking this matter seriously and setting up the infrastructure needed to allow employees to work from home. Your quick response is praiseworthy.

Thank you to all of our educators and school administrators. Your diligence in supplying your students with online and supplemental learning materials during this time is amazing. We appreciate your ability to think outside of the box to ensure that our children are able to continue learning and not miss a beat.

Thank you to those who are working in the post office, grocery stores, restaurant drive-thru windows, Uber / Lyft, grocery / food delivery companies, FedEx / UPS / Amazon, local drug stores, garbage pickup, pharmacies and banks. You are essential and we thank you for your dedication. Thank you for keeping us all going and supplied with necessities during this time.

Thank you to production workers who are behind the scenes. You are the producers of the supplies that we all need to keep on keepin’ on. The items on the grocery stores do not magically appear on the shelves without production workers to produce the items and delivery drivers to transport it to stores.

Thank you to all of the retail outlets and stores that have increased wages for your workers who are working diligently during these tough times! We highlight your ability to display humanity by appreciating the sacrifice made by your employees.

Thank you to police officers and firefighters. You are essential and we thank you.

Thank you to parents who are working from home. It is a challenge to balance work conference / video calls while entertaining children. Parents, you rock! Who knew that you can work, home-school and do chores simultaneously during the workday!

Thank you to all of the artists, entertainers and DJs for taking your talent to social media platforms for the world to see. Your talents are absolutely amazing and we thank you for keeping us entertained and grooving through the tough moments. You have allowed us to connect with friends and enjoy a shared experience with millions online from our couches.

ps– We hope that we have not forgotten anyone. If so, add a comment and we will make updates! We are in a grateful space and want to ensure that no one is forgotten. Hugs!

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Three Years and Counting…

“Breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime.”

— Unknown

I am a mother, social worker, therapist and lactation counselor. I never envisioned that lactation would become such a major aspect of my life following the birth of my daughter in 2017. The books I read throughout pregnancy made breastfeeding look relatively easy. By no means did it look comfortable; but it certainly looked relatively easy. Latch the baby on after birth and life goes on. Simple… Simple was not my story – I will spare the details for now. Let’s just say that I focused on one hour at a time in addition to living my life in three-hour increments. We were the little engine that struggled for a variety of reasons.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation1 of exclusive breastfeeding for six months was a stretch. The continuation of breastfeeding for one year or longer was indeed asking too much of me at that time. I would have laughed if I knew then that I would still be breastfeeding three years later! Yes, three years and counting! There is no foreseeable end in sight and my little one is living up to the meaning of her name – one who succeeds.

I bring the above experience with me in the lactation work that I do with parents. “Have you ever done this?” is the question that I am almost always asked by those experiencing challenges early on. Being able to say “absolutely” makes me proud. I get it – been there and still doing it!! My testimony is proof that the journey may not mimic the textbook. And guess what? It is ok! 

1 https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.