Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Jada Glover
Reaching your baby’s first birthday while still breastfeeding is a milestone worthy of more than a pat on the back, It certainly should not be ignored.
No national holiday or special recognition for this exists unless you decide to acknowledge this accomplishment and reward yourself. I’m talking about more than a simple mark on the calendar or an entry in your baby’s journal.
You deserve an award!
You went through months of growing a baby inside of you and birthing a child. Next, you nourished and fed your baby for an entire year. The least you can do is give yourself a 1 year breastfeeding milestone keepsake to celebrate and remember your accomplishments. Below I am reviewing the various options available, to celebrate this BIG milestone as a mom.
What Is a Breastfeeding Milestone?
You did it!
You and your body provided custom-made breastfed meals for your baby for 365 days. This breastfeeding journey probably included many long, sleepless nights of bedtime feeding.
Experts agree that breastfeeding is a baby’s first best meal. A Psychology Today article from 2018 says that in the United States only 13% of new moms continue exclusive breastfeeding through the first six months. According to the CDC, only 35.9% of American moms are still breastfeeding, even part-time, for one year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Additionally, they should continue after solid foods are introduced for as long as mom and baby desire. The World Health Organization WHO recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of a child’s life.
While you begin focusing on celebrating your baby’s first-year milestones, remember to give yourself some credit for staying dedicated to breastfeeding. You made it a full calendar year!
It may not have felt so encouraging throughout your entire breastfeeding journey. So, give yourself some credit and take some time to celebrate your breastfeeding goals with a keepsake to remind you of this wonderfully successful first year.
In the early days, you provided your infant’s sole source of nourishment. By this time, your baby has most likely had baby food and is starting to nurse more for comfort than complete nourishment. Now, it’s time to reward yourself!
Other Breastfeeding Milestones
Some new moms set goals to breastfeed for one month, three months, six months, and so on. Regardless of whether you set a goal, you did it! You’ve reached an anniversary worthy of mention.
Did you know that there are colors assigned to each stage of breastfeeding? While some differ slightly, the one-year mark is the golden anniversary. That’s a full year of your baby receiving mommy’s milk – liquid gold.
Other milestones throughout a breastfeeding journey include:
- Amethyst means I tried my absolute hardest
- Copper signifies three months of breastfeeding
- Silver represents breastfeeding through six months of age
- Jade equals nine months
- Gold reflects a full year of breastfeeding
- Platinum represents eighteen months
- Diamond represents two years of age
- Amber represents two and a half years
- Ruby signifies three years of breastfeeding
Emerald is the color designated for mothers who exclusively pumped for a year. Some pump for medical reasons, and others because they need to leave their baby but still want to provide their infants with breast milk.
Why Is the 1-Year Breastfeeding Milestone Important?
If you reached one year of breastfeeding, you stuck it out despite the general lack of encouragement from onlookers. You followed the cues of your infant instead of listening to any naysayer.
Each breastfed baby is unique. If your baby breastfed for a year, he probably now nurses less often.
Many babies want to start the morning off breastfeeding, while others want to nurse before bedtime. Many want to nurse right before naptime.
Regardless of your baby’s preference, your breastmilk has adjusted to a supply-and-demand style. Whenever your baby drinks, your body replaces your milk supply.
Your body will continue to make and adjust your milk supply based on demand if you continue breastfeeding through toddlerhood. You accomplished the 1 year breastfeeding milestone, and along the way you also experienced the first feed that some call the golden hour. This is where you and your newborn bonded over colostrum and skin-to-skin contact.
You also may have learned the best method of pumping in between feedings and established a mother-baby rhythm of feeding your infant’s first nourishment that only you could provide. You learned to recognize signs of hunger and sat through nursing for a longer duration than many ever experienced.
On top of that, you also endured the unpleasant engorgement after your baby slept through the night for the first time. Maybe you overcame cracked nipples, plugged ducts, teething, sleepless nights that seemed endless, soiled breast pads, and uncomfortable nursing bras or cover-ups.
You knew that human milk was better for your baby than cow’s milk, and you stuck it out through possibly awkward and uncomfortable early days. You introduced new food since you knew the first foods your baby received were the most important for your baby’s diet.
Whether your journey throughout this first year felt natural or filled with obstacles, you did it! Now it’s time to reward yourself for providing your baby with enough milk and an essential nutritional benefit throughout their first year of life.
There is plenty of good news to reward yourself for a full year of breastfeeding. You not only gave your baby a healthy start, but you gave yourself some crucial health benefits as well.
1 Year Breastfeeding Benefits
Breastfeeding for the first year brings the following benefits:
- Save a large amount of money on formula, which makes you realize why some call breastmilk liquid gold
- Provide the right amount of nutrients for your baby’s development
- Naturally soothes baby
- Help your child’s oral development, reducing the likelihood of orthodontics or speech therapy
- Provide antibodies through breastmilk to build your baby’s immune system
- Help build a strong immune system to prevent and reduce the severity of common childhood illnesses
- Reduce your baby’s risk of developing leukemia or other childhood cancers and diabetes
- Improve your baby’s cognitive development
- Reduce your risk for postpartum depression
- Help you recover quicker after childbirth and lose that pregnancy weight
- Reduce your risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.
- Reduce your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
- Increase you and your baby’s physical and emotional bonding and establish trust in your infant
Ways To Commemorate the 1 Year Breastfeeding Milestone
You deserve a boobie prize. Some call them boobie awards, gifts, badges, breastfeeding milestones, nursiversary, or boobiversary awards.
Get them for a friend or yourself. There’s no shame in honoring your accomplishments with a token or keepsake. Personalize the keepsake to reflect a level of humor or discretion you’re comfortable displaying.
Find breastfeeding milestone mementos on Etsy, Amazon, or other online shops. Or, get creative and make them yourself. Here are some great ways to commemorate your 1 year breastfeeding milestone.
Breastfeeding for one year earns you the Liquid Gold Golden Anniversary award. A 1 year breastfeeding milestone award is like any other award you would receive.
They come in the form of certificates, pins, a trophy, a commemorative plaque, or a special gift or badge to commemorate your accomplishment. Stickers are a cute way to remind yourself of a breastfeeding milestone.
Gifts offer a great way to reward yourself for a 1 year breastfeeding milestone. Some choose a bracelet, pin, keychain ring, or other jewelry.
You can find charms to add to a bracelet that marks each breastfeeding milestone. Or a necklace that pictures a mother and baby in bronze for 3 months, silver for 6 months, and gold for one year of breastfeeding.
A simple yet memorable gift is a breastfeeding keepsake poem. This sweet reminder can be given to a mom at any stage of breastfeeding, including as an end of breastfeeding gift.
Some choose to personalize a breastfeeding anniversary gift by engraving the baby’s initials on a necklace or charm, or including the baby’s birthstone. If nothing else, something as understated as a water bottle signifying the milestone is a great idea.
Programs like the Scouts honor every accomplishment with a badge to display on a sash, letter jacket, or uniform. While you don’t have a breastfeeding mommy uniform, you probably have a nursing cover-up. You can sew or iron on a badge that rewards your milestones.
At the very least, get a sticker that reflects your accomplishment. Get stickers to put on your water bottle to remind you every time you take a drink to hydrate the reason why it’s important. Or, sew or iron the badge onto your breastfeeding pillow.
Wear a T-shirt or other clothing that announces your one-year breastfeeding accomplishment. If you don’t want to wear it yourself, get a onesie or bib with a clever saying or picture marking your first anniversary for your child to wear. Get as clever, blatant, or as subtle as you want with your message to fit your style.
We commemorate birthdays and anniversaries with cards. Why not get yourself or give a friend a custom-made greeting card to celebrate one year of breastfeeding?
Here is a funny breastfeeding card that I have available inside my Etsy shop. All breastfeeding moms can relate.
Every time you grab your keys to go out and about with your baby, you’ll be reminded of the special one-year bond you formed. Get a breastfeeding milestone keychain commemorating this special day.
Reasons To Celebrate Your 1 Year Breastfeeding Milestone
If your pregnancy went like it does for most women, from the moment you announced your pregnancy, you were met with unsolicited advice. You may have received encouragement along the way.
However, most new moms are met with too much discouragement and naysayers who are quick to share their birthing and breastfeeding horror stories. If you took these discouraging words with a grain of salt and plunged forward determined to mother your baby with the personal style you knew best, you deserve to be celebrated.
If you have reached the 1 year breastfeeding milestone that’s a big deal and you should celebrate it!
You made it to the one-year mark and are still breastfeeding. You stuck to it and provided many benefits and positive effects to your baby and yourself throughout the year.
It’s time to celebrate this milestone with an award, gift, badge, or special clothing to mark the occasion. Who knows, maybe the token of accomplishment will spur you on to keep going on your breastfeeding journey.