How I Stopped Breastfeeding My Sonby Claire Moran
I have very mixed feelings about breastfeeding. I neither loved it, nor hated it. I felt like it was the best thing for both of my children, yet also one of the most annoying things at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong it was a lovely experience, and I was incredibly grateful that we could do it. I really enjoyed the bonding with my child to the point that I felt like I was hogging the baby as my husband could never get a look in. However it did feel like I was constantly attached to my baby, I could never leave him and her for more than an hour and a half, and that I had a baby on my boob ALL. THE. TIME!
The breastfeeding experience with both of my children was totally different. My daughter fed constantly, wouldn’t take a bottle, and had a huge weight loss at birth that my life became all about feeding. With my son we were so much relaxed from the start, he took both breast and bottle, and then only breast, and then massively prefered the bottle over the boob when we started weaning.
Stopping breastfeeding was never really an issue for us. With my firstborn, my daughter, I worried about how we would ever stop. I knew that I wanted to stop before I returned to work and before she started nursery. Very gradually the feeds began to reduce as they were replaced with water and food. I’m sure that some people would be alarmed by this, but I started her on cows milk before the recommended age of 12 months. I trusted my gut and she was absolutely fine on it, she had had cows milk in her cereal and mash potato with no issues, so I knew she would be ok.
I remember my last feed with my daughter like it was yesterday. It was a feed before going to bed, she barely fed and she pushed me away. Writing this now does actually make me feel a little sad, yet I remember feeling a little elated at the time. That was it, the end of our breastfeeding journey. She self-weaned herself and I recall thinking why was so worried about how we would ever stop.
With my son I kind of forced it. He preferred having a bottle of formula over breast milk, and I found this to be even more of the case once we started weaning. He would gulp it down and seemed a lot more content after having a bottle. At 10 months I decided to stop and the transition was easy.
He’s been off the boob for about two months now and to be honest I’ve never really looked back. It feels liberating to have my body back, to be able to wear normal clothes again without having to worry about a feeding top underneath, to be able to wear dresses and to be able to go out without thinking about the next feed.
If anyone is worried about how they are going to stop breastfeeding, I’m not saying that it’s easy as every mum and baby are different. The timing needs to be right for both you and your child, but when you do decide it may be easier than you think, or you may need to go cold turkey for a day or two.
Overall I look back at my breastfeeding experience as happy and positive, but my god it was hard at times! Especially when you have an active toddler on your hands as well! Breastfeeding didn’t define me, nor has it made me a huge advocate for breastfeeding. It’s a great experience and however you do it is totally up to you, and when you stop and how you stop is totally up to you too!