Breastfeeding changed my life, which is why I strongly advocate for it. I never knew how much I would love it and how easy it would be for me. But that all changed when I became pregnant.
I was truly blessed to have an oversupply so my son never took a drop of formula. I hated pumping; it would stress me out. Being a stay-at-home mom I didn’t need a milk bank and his first year I left him with my mother-in-law 3x for less than 5 hours. But he didn’t even drink it since he refused a bottle. I never felt pain; even when he was teething. He bit me 2x and I firmly said “no more, no bitting,” and took the breast away. He cried and never bit me again. I’m not bragging but I want to let you know how my journey was prior to pregnancy and what led me to wean my son.
I’ve heard that some breastfeeding moms have a hard time conceiving but thankfully that was not my case.
My first trimester was brutal; my nausea was horrible and I could barely eat. My blood pressure was low. I was so dizzy that I would be on the verge of fainting at least twice a week. I had no energy and daily migraines. I was in no mood to breastfeed. My son wouldn’t bite me but my breasts and nipples were in pain. I would get annoyed and irritated and wished he would just stop. In my second trimester I asked his 3 pediatricians, my OBGYN and a lactation consultant how and what I could do to wean him. They all said no, to let him wean on his own. I read mommy blogs on how to wean but all they said was to do it with love, patience and when baby was ready. Well my son wasn’t ready and I was running out of patience.
One day I was crying and felt like the worst mom.
I was blessed to be able to breastfeed and it was a special bond that I now wanted to end. I felt like I was letting my son down. His life will change once his sister is born and I am making things worse. But one night I realized he wasn’t really interested in breastfeeding and would latch on for about 1 minute at night before he fell asleep. My milk had dried up. I went on my online mommy chat groups and finally got tips on how to wean.
For a week, I would read him a bedtime story, give him water and sing lullabies.
He would touch my breast but I would say: “There’s no more but I love you and mommy is always going to be here.” I would hug him tight, caress his face and he would kiss me. He would close his eyes and fall asleep. I realized he just needed the comfort. He wasn’t nursing for the milk he just need his mom. I used to just nurse him to sleep. After a week of this routine he stopped asking. He was officially weaned; just 1 week before his 2 year birthday.
I am proud of myself and grateful for an incredible and beautiful breastfeeding journey. I don’t know what will happen once my daughter is born but I know I will face new challenges. My son may have a hard time adjusting and might want to nurse; so I might end up tandem-feeding (breastfeeding toddler and newborn at the same time).
What I want you to get from my story is that if you want to wean your baby, do it. If your baby is ready, do it. Yes, opinions from doctors and others are appreciated but ultimately do what you believe is best. You will have mom guilt regardless, but shake it off. Motherhood is hard and we all struggle.