Almost anyone who’s successfully breastfed will tell you that we couldn’t have done it alone. Whether it was a friend, a family member, a breastfeeding support person, or an online community, breastfeeding almost always requires the support of “the village.” (Especially in those early weeks of sore nipples, self-doubt, and confusing, contradictory advice.) And those of us who have been lucky enough to have a supportive significant other will tell you that we literally could not have made it through those sleepless, leaky, spit-up covered nights without them.
Well, one woman’s spouse decided to up the ante for what it means to show up for your breastfeeding partner. Just check out this endearing (and hilarious) photo of Chris and her partner Cee.
Chris, a Los Angeles mom to 3-year-old Dominic and 11-month-old named Camila, posted this adorable shot of herself and Cee last week on Instagram, where it’s quickly gone viral. It was snapped shortly after Chris started to leak some breast milk right through her sweatshirt, and her partner Cee, without missing a beat, wet his own shirt in solidarity.
Don’t you just love it?
The photo was shared on Chris’s Instagram page, @Boobelife, which Chris refers to as “an online mama breastfeeding community.”
“This dude right here is the real deal,” Chris says of her partner in the photo caption, before praising him for all the many ways he’s supported her breastfeeding journey, even when times have been hard.
Then, she cuts right to the chase, and shares the touching backstory behind the adorable pic.
“Today we ran a few errands with the kids before he went to work,” Chris writes. “I didn’t have pads on and leaked out in public. Of course I didn’t have anything to cover it and my hair is not in any condition to be worn down so this dude grabs a napkin & water and dabs his nipple so I wouldn’t be alone.”
Awwww … that’s some stealthy handiwork there, huh?
But Chris tells Babble that it gets even better, because actually, Cee wet his shirt even before she herself knew about the leaking.
“I didn’t know I was leaking and then I saw him dabbing a wet napkin on his nipple,” Chris recalls. “When I laughed at him and asked him what he was doing, he told me to look down. So when I looked down and noticed I was leaking I ended up cracking up instead of being completely humiliated.” She adds that the couple got a lot of stares as well as “nods of approval” from other parents, and that the whole experience was definitely “hilarious.”
Hilarious, indeed — and absolutely heartwarming at the same time.
In all seriousness, though, Chris tells Babble that the gesture on Cee’s part was about so much more than just a fun prank. In fact, Cee learning to support Chris as a breastfeeding mom has been a bit of a bumpy journey for the both of them.
Cee shares with Babble that she gave up breastfeeding at just three months with her first baby, Dominic, and this was partly because she didn’t have adequate support, including from Cee. The couple was going through a rough time, and Cee was battling some serious issues. “The first time around my partner was dealing with substance abuse and his own life challenges and was very absent in terms of supporting me and breastfeeding and as a new mom,” Chris shares.
But by the time her daughter was born, Cee had gotten clean, and was willing to go the extra mile to help Chris breastfeed. Chris says that in addition to that, she had been working on her communications skills, and was doing a better job making her needs as a breastfeeding mom clearer. “I didn’t know how to communicate to him either that I needed him and how much I needed him,” says Chris.
But it wasn’t just about asking her partner for help: it was also asking her family and friends to pitch in when it came to breastfeeding—and Chris happily shares that she was able to do just that this time around. She tells Babble that she is still breastfeeding her almost one-year-old daughter Camila, in large part because of the extended support she has been given this time around.
She is on a mission to talk about how important support is for breastfeeding moms, which is part of why she shared this pic (besides the fact that it’s guaranteed to make anyone who sees it grin ear to ear).
As Chris tells Babble:
“This post was to shout out to my partner for not letting me give up and breastfeeding and helping me succeed the second time around and to spread the message to women that we must learn to communicate our needs when we need help and support and we might be pleasantly surprised at how much love and support we get in return breastfeeding can be much easier and more successful when you prepare by choosing your support system and letting them know exactly what you need.”
YES. This is the absolute truth, and it’s so wonderful that Chris has not only gotten the support she needed to successfully breastfeed her daughter, but that she is also looking to share that support with others. Chris even tells Babble that she’s studying to be a lactation consultant, which is fantastic.
As for how others have responded to her post, Chris tells Babble that the reaction has been both “overwhelming and incredible.”
“My partner has gotten so much support and acknowledgement from mothers and fathers,” she shares, “and I hope that it has normalized public breastfeeding teamwork and father acknowledgement.”
Chris and Cee are definitely #BreastfeedingGoals, and we wish them continued success, happiness, and most definitely more hilarity and laughter.