I never thought I’d be typing this, before Lauren’s second birthday but we have finally stopped Breastfeeding!! After 20 months and a few days I completely weaned Lolo off breastmilk. This was hard on us both emotionally, and me physically challenging however we overcame the obstacles and she no longer craves a comfort feed.
At 6 months I was convinced I would stop breastfeeding by the time Lauren was one years old, but I found myself delaying the process. I guess I enjoyed that unique bond that we shared, she cries we cuddle and she has milk for comfort. As much as I enjoyed breastfeeding I wanted my body back, I wanted her to gain some sort of independence from me. Lauren also started tugging at my top in public, and putting her hands under my tops, which was annoying especially when sitting in Nando’s with an audience.
Stopping wasn’t easy at all. Everybody has different methods on how to actually wean baby off, such as bottle feeding and gradually cutting down feeds. I just couldn’t seem to grasp that way. I started giving in to Lauren’s demands during the day, which made it harder to stop.
So I carefully planned our weekend of weaning with my mum and I was in for a painful surprise. On day one Lauren constantly woke up at night, crying and pulling my top but I was so determined not to give in. I think I got at least three hours sleep as she woke up frequently and rocking her to sleep without breastmilk was a struggle. The night was much harder than during the day, at night there were no distractions such as the phone, Pom-Bears or Petits Filous to make her feel better.
The second night was by far the worst experience ever. During the day my breasts had tripled in size with milk, I got some sort of mild fever, headache and my breasts felt super sore. I could literally cry because of the pain. I stopped wearing a bra at this point, and my mum gave me some wrapper ( a piece of cloth) to tie around my breasts. My nipples felt painful and my breasts were extremely lumpy with milk. I took Paracetamol for the pain and headaches every four hours. During the second night I couldn’t sleep on my side because of the pain, so I slept on my back. Lauren of course woke up a lot and wanted to lie on my chest, and tried so hard to lift my top up and start feeding. I wore a thick tight jumper to prevent any mistakes!!! When she woke up at night we gave her water and milk which helped her calm down a lot.
By the third night I had mixed feelings, I felt as if I was being heartless by not breastfeeding her, and it broke my heart to see her cry constantly. My mum always reassured me that she’ll be fine, which was a bonus. The third night was much better. Lauren slept longer, and woke up less often. When she did wake up I gently rocked her to sleep (I’m sure she hates my singing voice) and gave her some milk in her cup.
Since we’ve stopped breastfeeding I have noticed that Lauren’s appetite has changed so much, but in a good way. At breakfast time, she eats a lot more cereal, and enjoys some whole milk which she struggled to drink before. Dinner and Lunchtimes are great she eats everything going, which is amazing compared to before when Lauren was heavily dependent on the breast and didn’t have a massive appetite.
My Essentials that helped me during such a challenging time were:
- A piece of cloth wrapped around my boobs.
- Cotton Breast Pads (Reusable) which I purchased from EBay when I first had Lauren. They are super durable, not as flimsy as the ones you stick on. They are washable and great for soaking up large quantities of milk.
- HPA Lanolin by Lansinoh is for sore nipples and cracked skin. It was a great relief using this a few times during the day for pain relief and the cracked skin.
- Paracetamol was great for the pain, headaches and fever type symptoms that I had by day 2/3
By the third night although I felt I had been bashed with a brick on my breasts, Lauren had forgotten about the ‘boobie’(that’s the name she calls them) she has adjusted to our new life without them and it feels strange for me. I no longer must wear a maternity bra, or wake up during the night for our usual night feed.
I really enjoyed breastfeeding Lolo because of that unbreakable bond that we had created, initially I was sceptical about breastfeeding but once I started I struggled to stop. I’m so proud of her because despite her attachment to breastfeeding and me of course, two weeks later and she has forgotten about her beloved ‘boobie!’