A New Chapter–Breastfeeding & Weaning.
A New Chapter–Breastfeeding & Weaning.
So, the day finally came.
June 16th, 2011.
What is so special about this day, you ask?
Well, it’s the day that Michaela decided to stop breastfeeding.
It was like any other day really, she had gotten to the point that she was only nursing for comfort and so her intake was very sporadic and quite frankly I didn’t even think I was producing much milk anymore. I could go almost a whole day without nursing and experience little to no engorgement. My breasts were actually starting to feel like their old selves again!
It was a Thursday, which means it’s a very busy day, Hubby is at work and it’s Gabriella’s soccer game day. So, it’s a hectic day of driving to and from school, making supper and getting Gabriella ready for soccer. All while getting the little one ready to go out in the sun too. By the time that we were ready to go for the game, packed and out the door, it was early evening.
I realized– “Mimi hasn’t nursed all day.”
I immediately started recapping all the fluids and solids she’d had all day and it was quite substantial.
Just no breast milk.
We went to the game and came back and had dinner. Then we waited for Daddy to get home from work so our weekend can begin and still–no nursing. I figured that she might need it to fall asleep or she might want it during the night.
Well, she opted for some warm homo milk and Daddy’s arms and at night she slept all the way through.
And that was it.
She hasn’t had any “boo boo” since June 16th and is still going strong. Pictured above is one of the last times she nursed. I snapped it while showing daddy that she had gotten back on the “boo boo” though not knowing that it was going to be one of the last times. Now she is eating table food and drinking lots of milk, water and the occasional watered-down juice.
So, I guess it’s me that had a harder time accepting it, don’t get me wrong I loved nursing for 15 whole months and while it was fulfilling, it was straining on me and my diet as well. I’m just euphoric that I was able to nourish and provide what I think is the healthiest for my baby. I never knew how much flack you get from other people for nursing over a year either. My own doctor told me that nursing over a year isn’t necessary and other people simply said–“Oh, you’re still nursing?”
It was time and we are both okay with that.
I’m very grateful that I was able to nurse for so long and that she stopped when she was good and ready. Not to mention, I unintentionally avoided any engorgement because the decrease was gradual. I’m SOO grateful for that because it’s SOO painful and I experienced it with my oldest daughter.
After having breastfed two children, I can say that the bodily changes have not been noticeable or substantial. I know that is one of the biggest worries new moms have.
Like, “Will my breasts change if I breastfeed?”
My opinion is that my breasts haven’t really changed besides their size, which during breastfeeding increases two cup sizes and now that I am done, they are going back down to my old size. I wasn’t exactly one of the lucky gals that lost weight during breastfeeding, rather I maintained while on a “breastfeeding” diet. Now that I am no longer nursing, I’m working towards my body again.
So, I say that breastfeeding will not change your body no more than good old time and age will. That change is inevitable but, at least in my experience nursing didn’t change my body.
It just provided a bond that I will always remember.
Well, my little tot is growing up and I’m so happy that though she doesn’t need me anymore for direct nourishment, she is needing me still for more and more everyday as she is growing up into a little independent little person. So, though the need changes, another one quickly replaces it.
That is the life of a mother and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am a Nurturing Mama.
How did you deal with weaning? Was it harder on you or baby?
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
I also let it just happen gradually. The first time I had to be back at work after a year, so it was just morning and nights until he decided he was done. Life was already changing so much with the transition of returning to work, that I think we were both okay with weaning. The next 2 times, I didn't have to return to work, but they both self weaned just after the 1st birthday. They would just gradually take less and less throughout the day, and were just too busy to even stay on long. Better things to explore I guess! LOL And it was definitely nice not having to go through any engorgement issues or anthing because I am a Super Duper milk producer!! The hospital nicknamed me Botchar's Diary because my milk was always well established before I even left for home!! Seriously.
Is it weird that my family are dairy farmers? Ha
Haha. That's hilarious!
But, we are alike! I could produce tons of milk and she just started "snacking" at one point. Boredom, comfort. I'm so glad I avoided the engorgement.
The first time I meant to do it for a year but didn't rush the process and my baby was over 15 months by the time we were done. The second time I was done by a year, but that was an entirely different experience.
I just went with the flow, literally. I didn't offer or didn't refuse, we made it past 15 months. It's hard to let go but, it's a natural process! It's so different with each child!
It's so different with each baby. I find that both of them were such different nursers!
Wow. I am so sad reading the beginning of that piece. We are 10.5 months in, and I'm wondering how long we will nurse. I plan on nursing in the evening as long as my daughter needs to. Thinking ahead to weaning is so bittersweet!
I was in your shoes not so long ago, in the end it happened so quickly. It makes me sad but, everyday she gives me something new to look toward. Both my breastfeeding experiences were very different. I am so blessed to have nursed. Something that I, never in my life, will forget.
I love your post! It really hits home because anytime now my little one may decide to slowly stop nursing. I know, it means she is growing up, but I really do enjoy that bonding with her. I like how you said, nursing will be replaced with another need! yes we are nurturing mama's! Happy Friday pretty lady! 🙂
It's very bittersweet. I'm happy to have nursed for as long as I did. From time to time I find myself getting little pangs of sadness but, c'est la vie! It may be my last time too.
Oh that's so sad, and good. Sad that it's done, good that she weaned herself. My first child was weaned in 3 days because i required a medicine she couldn't nurse with and I needed it right away (my mental health depended on it.) My second child, I'd been getting the "are you still nursing" since 6 months so by 1 year, I was getting sick of it and decided I should start nursing. It took 3 months so we stopped at 15 months completely but I forced her too (maybe that's why she's so clingy??) So with this child, I will either let him wean, or wean him when I no longer want to do it. Not because someone else told me to.
That's the thing… WE know what's best for our kids. Every child is soooo different. I am so grateful to have had both experiences with my girls. It may be the last time to… That is definitely bittersweet! Yeah, those people kinda irked me. It's up to me and my child when we decide our breastfeeding relationship is over. It happens when it happens.
I nursed for 23 mos. and loved every minute of it. I felt fortunate I could do it for that long. I stopped because I was pregnant.
Now, I'll go as long as my second daughter wants (up to 3 yrs).
Stopping will be hard on me. I love our quiet moments together.