At the end of my breastfeeding career...How did you cope?

Claire - posted on 05/03/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have successfully breastfed 3 healthy girls, but my youngest has now slowed right down and i know it is now the beginning of the end of this journey. :(

She is now 2yo and over the past couple of months has self weaned down to just a quick nurse before bed. Some nights it's 10/15 min others as little as 30 seconds and about once a week doesn't want any at all!!

I cant have any more children (nor do i want any more), so i know when she has weaned i will never breastfeed again. My other girls stopped nursing at 10 & 14mths and with both of them was my choice to wean. Although i missed it i knew i would have more children so didn't really dwell on it, but now it all seems so final.

So i guess my question is really how did those of you that will not have any more babies cope with this final stage ??

I'm quite emotional just typing this, so dread to think what i'll be like in a couple of months time! Help! lol xx

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Shastin - posted on 05/09/2011

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It is such a bonding experience and it sounds like you are so sensitive to the fact that this is your last baby. It sounds like she is ready but you aren't and it's usually the other way around. All I can say is do your best to find other ways to bond with her that will help you to cope with this transition. Now that breastfeeding will be gone shortly you could cuddle before bed with a little more skin on skin contact or rock her to sleep. Work with her on giving kisses or tight hugs. Have her sit on your lap and read books. It's bonding but in a different way. Good luck Mom!

User - posted on 05/09/2011

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My youngest was 2 1/2 when he weaned a couple of months ago. Our schedule was much like yours...just at night and then not even every day. I began to notice my supply going away and that is when I decided to just let it go. When we snuggled in to bed I offered a cup of water when he would ask for momma's milk...if he insisted on breast milk I would tell him that momma's milk is all gone. That probably went on for a week and he was content with having some water at bed time along with snuggles after that. He still very occasionally asks for my milk but only during the day...maybe as a test...and I offer him cows milk.
I was actually really surprised how easy it was and how easy going he was about it. Good luck and congrats on such a fantastic start for your lil one. Such a beautiful way to nurture your children:)

Ann Marie - posted on 05/09/2011

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My 18-month-old just weaned herself. Well, she went a whole week without nursing, so I decided I was done, and when she finally did ask again I just told her the "nay-nay" was all gone. And she was fine with that answer.

I'm sad too! She'll be our last child, so I know that I'm done being a "breastfeeding working mom", which had become part of my identity! But I remind myself how proud I am to be raising my daughters the way I want to, and they're turning into such beautiful, fun little children. Thinking about that makes it a little easier. Sniff.

I've also noticed that my little one lets me hold her a little more now. Before she used to only let me hold her when she was nursing - independent little soul! So it's nice to be able to just hold her on my lap sometimes.

Linda - posted on 05/09/2011

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i sold my cot today and as i watched it drive off down the road i realised i was never going to have more i couldnt help but shed a tear i too breastfed all 3 of my kids u have given ur kids the best start to life now u can celebrate with a few drinks

Chelsea - posted on 05/07/2011

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It is hard! I breastfed my 1st for 2 years, my last for 4 years. I remember the night I realized we were really done. (We were both at the end, but I ended up weaning because I had just started nursing school.) I sobbed silently to myself and felt like my heart was broken.

It's okay to let yourself grieve. I didn't do anything publicly, but I did do some journaling. It was a process of letting go. There has been so much to fill the void as they continue to grow.

I also found this, which I thought was very cool:
http://hollydaydesigns.blogspot.com/p/m-...

Good luck!

Kate - posted on 05/07/2011

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Sigh... It's difficult. I have been where you are. Be gentle with yourself and know what an incredible gift you have given your kids to be present with them through a breastfeeding relationship. Shifting your focus to notice the beginning of more wonderful independence that is on its way for your daughter (rather than focussing on an ending) may be helpful. And maybe you guys can also have some extra cuddle time and find new great ways to relate... Also, maybe supporting others in bfeeding/being a proponent etc would help it all feel less final...

Marsha - posted on 05/07/2011

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I am there too. I have two girls, and nursed both. My oldest had to stop nursing at 17 months (she was very sick) and my youngest is still nursing, but like you, only at night before bed.
My husband is happy with his two girls, and really does not want any more children... so I am thinking this is it for me too. No more nursing once my youngest is finished with it.
I do feel emotional too. I am even that way thinking I will never be pregnant again... as I loved it. But about not nursing again, well... I am holding on to it as long as she lets me. Those quiet moments in her room, I rock her and nurse her... those are precious, always have been, but it seems like I am taking note of them a bit more now.
I always think that when your children grow up, it is bitter-sweet. You loose that time in their life, but you enter a new time in their life, and so on and so on.
I guess all you, and I can do right now is just enjoy it while is lasts - and maybe get some sweet nursing photos to keep...
Hugs.

[deleted account]

I don't have experience with this yet, but just wanted to say how awesome it is that you've breastfed all of your kids and for those amounts of time. I'm sure it's hard to watch that relationship come to an end, but you've given them such a great start. My LLL leader did talk about how there are so many stages of "weaning." Breastfeeding, school, driving, college, your child getting married, etc. There are big steps where you will see your child grow and need you less, but it's so great to be able to be there with them and watch them grow up. :)

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