Breastfeed for a year? You get a medal.

We all know that breastfeeding can be a struggle. But do women who make it to a year deserve a medal for it? Like, an actual shiny medal on a ribbon?

Well, there’s at least one doctor out there who thinks so.

Earlier this week, a photo of a medal appeared on the US-based website Breastfeeding Mama Talk, along with a story from a woman saying she received it from her paediatrician for one year of breastfeeding,

“It felt so good to get recognised for the hard work, the sore nipples, the lack of sleep, the committing to pumping at work, the many batches of ‘lactation cookies’, and the whole year of breastfeeding,” the woman wrote. “She said that not many mums make it to a year, and that it is such an accomplishment. This is the kind of support mums need!”

Every time the woman visited her paediatrician, she would be told how “amazing” it was that she was still breastfeeding.

“My daughter always was ‘full’ on breastmilk and wasn’t too interested in solids for a while (we introduced them at six months) and my paed always said, ‘Food before one is just for fun. She’s getting everything she needs from you.'”


Not many women breastfeed for 12 months. Photo via iStock.

The woman explained that she was a post-natal nurse, and could see firsthand how support and encouragement made a huge difference.

"Every breastfeeding mum deserves a medal. It's a marathon of love!"

On the website, other woman shared their experiences with doctors, some of them negative.

"My son's doctor sometimes brings up supplementing him with formula even though he's gaining weight very well and thriving," wrote one. "It gets on my nerves."


"I've heard awful experiences of paediatricians mother-shaming for not allowing the father to bottle-feed," another added.

"Every doctor I see keeps telling me there's no reason to still be breastfeeding now that my baby is one," a third one wrote. "Like, I did a great job, now stop. Because it'll be too hard to 'get him off' if I don't do it now and I can't live my life."


Some women's doctors are more supportive than others when it comes to breastfeeding. Photo via iStock.

But there were also stories like this one.

"Our (male) paediatrician gave me a hug when I brought one of my boys in for a yearly checkup and I told him my (then) five-and-a-half-year-old just self-weaned. He hugged me and told me what a good mother I was and that he was proud of our journey. I almost cried right there in the office."

Kristy Kemp, who runs the website, says it gives her "so much hope" when she gets messages like the one about the breastfeeding medal.

"Many people in the healthcare industry are not supportive of breastfeeding, especially past six months to a year, so to see a paediatrician not only promoting breastfeeding, but rewarding it, was really refreshing," Kemp tells Mamamia.

"I definitely think handing out the medal is a great idea and is something the mum can treasure forever and pass down to her child. Breastfeeding is hard, so to see mums getting positive recognition for it in any form is awesome."

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Do you think a medal for breastfeeding is a good idea?