Saturday, 10 September 2011

Is it time to stop? (or: I'll have a D please Bob)

I'm going through a real love/hate thing with breastfeeding right now. For 13 months, 2 weeks and 2 days I've been on call 24 hours a day for boob duty. And it's starting to get me down.

I now hate nursing bras with a passion. Saggy, sad, grey things, there's NOTHING else in my wardrobe as utterly un-sexy as my old nursing bras. It's time they were banished. But I don't want to buy new ones.

I want pretty little bras now please. Now more bolder holders. No more serious scaffolding. It's time for the udders to retire and just become boobs again. Can I just be a D cup once more please?

But Littler doesn't know how to fall asleep any other way except on the boob. He loves the boobs. They are his constant comfort. If he's hurt himself - a quick shot of breastmilk takes away the pain. When he's teething - a good long draft of breastmilk sorts that ache out good and proper. When he's tired - it's breastmilk all the way to the land of nod. When he had his immunisations - I breastfed him at the same time to significantly reduce the pain.

And all that is pretty damn cool. I mean, my breasts are AMAZING to be all those things to my gorgeous 13 month old. He was exclusively breastfed from about 15 minutes after he rushed headlong at lightning speed down the birth canal. I'd devoured Ina May and The Politics of Breastfeeding while pregnant, so I was pretty passionate about exclusive breastfeeding. Like his brother before him, the dreaded thrush tried to derail us a number of times. But we were far too stubborn a force for some common candida.

But now...I'm a bit less in love with the whole breastfeeding situation. I want to move on to the next stage. To shut down the all night boobie bar and let someone else take a turn at soothing the aches and pains.

But I'm actually terrified of stopping. Littler has the temper of a redhead, despite his angelic blond locks and I can't bear to hear him cry. I just don't know how he'd take it. Eventually he'd get over it, of course he would. But I'm just not sure I have the energy to cope with the fallout right now.

So if anyone has any words of wisdom as to how I can gently put the udders into retirement, they'd be gratefully received.


  1. It's a really hard decision to have to make but breastfeeding is a relationship and if one of you is unhappy then you need to make changes. I weaned my daughter just over a month ago as she turned 2 and I think that it was a fairly easy process because she was ready. If he is still really reliant, it might be worth trying to introduce extra cuddle time into the day so he starts getting used to the idea of cuddles without milk and, even if you still feed to sleep, making sure you read a bedtime story together helps start a new routine. I found that once my daughter started to cut her feeds slightly, I found the whole thing more manageable (except the nursing bras of course, which are grim...).

  2. As in all these things you'll have to find your own way, but when I weaned my last I prepared for a battle but was completely surprised/heartbroken/relieved/unnerved and a little put out at how easy it was!
    I thought I was her number 1 gal, turns out losing the boobs was no biggie for her :( In some ways sad, but in retrospect I can't believe how I'd hyped it up.
    Good luck!

  3. Thanks for your replies. As I lay feeding him last night, gazing down at his gorgeous long eyelashes and smelling his freshly washed hair...I thought, this isn't so bad is it? I get free snuggles, he adores me, he adores the boobs...maybe we'll keep going for a wee bit longer (but I reserve the right to change my mind in a heartbeat!)


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