I found this stage of motherhood hard each time. For me, I stopped when the children each reached a stage that they were ready to not feed from me anymore, rather than making a decision for my mental health, or because of allergies or any other complex reason.
Being able to feed my babies was an amazing experience and one I feel so lucky to have been able to physically do, but also mentally enjoy. Yes, it was hard the very first time, but I had the support and time to give myself to do it, but I appreciate that isn’t the same for everyone. As long as a baby is fed it really doesn’t matter if it is breast or bottle. And the bond you make is just as strong.
Saying that, stopping feeding is such a hard transition, no matter when or how you do it. Wriggler was weaned at 8-9 months, Fidget was 12 months and Squish was 13 months.
Each time I did it slowly over the course of a month or so, dropping the mid-morning and mid-afternoon feeds, then lunch, then breakfast and the last one to go was bedtime. That was my favourite time of the day – the last cuddles before they slept. I took photos of us feeding, cuddling and snuggling and sang songs and read stories.
But I did cry when I did that last feed, and boy did my boobs hurt for a few days when we stopped.
So I wanted to share my tips for getting through this stage:
- Take your time with reducing the feeds rather than suddenly stop if you can – it helps the supply naturally decrease
- Hot showers and massage your boobs gently to stop any hard lumps forming
- Allow yourself to feel the feelings – sadness at saying goodbye to babyhood or joy at getting your body back to being yours
- Still have snuggle time with bubba in the peace and quiet – those were your moments together and can still happen as you transition to a new routine
- Say goodbye to all those nursing bras and tops!
And now congrats – YOU DID IT MUMMA!!