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ending the breastfeeding relationship

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
the other day in a thread i was reading, someone had written that they would soon be done with breastmilk and put a 'yay!' after that. I started to write a post back, but then realized that may be mean or wrong, so i am starting a new thread. To me, losing my milk and no longer nursing a child is akin to having the last child, menopause, ending my usefulness as a woman, etc. though i know there is more to being a woman... I will just be so sad to end my breasts usefullness. does anyone know if you can lactate after menopause? i always hoped i could nurse my dgc whenever they come. the post i was referring to was from someone that had been pumping exclusively i think. she and her child had never had a breastfeeding relationship. this surely has to be why the person was happy it would be over soon. i mean, when you look at that infant nursing and hear them smacking and swallowing while their little hands are cupping your breast or twiddling or exploring... i mean, it is the best feeling in the world to me. and i will not end it before i have to when the child begins to end it... somewhere around age 5 i am hoping this time, i had to end it with dd1 when she was only 3.5 becasue she went out of town to visit her dying grandfather for 10 days. and i had lost weight down to 98 lbs and was having severe adrenal issues. remarkably she never had a problem. i encouraged her to resume when she returned and let her try every time she wanted to since, but she never nursed again like before, just a quick sip a few times. I just feel sad for the women that are missing this and i wish they could all have the positive, life- affirming, relaxing, beautiful relationship that i have had with my dc. I feel sorry for them to be so brainwashed by our male dominated society that is driven by profits into believing that they are not enough or do not have enough or cannot change to be enough....my first glimpse of this was after hurricane fran, when there was no power and all normalcy was shot, take away all the stuff and what you have left is what is real. there is only you, your body, and your children. the toys and baby gear are not real... think like a caveperson to take us to the next level I say....
post #2 of 53
For me, it had been a huge mix of emotions. I was sad to stop this wonderful part of our relationship, and I certainly missed the snuggles and ease of nursing, but there was a good bit of yea as well. My DS was never a peaceful nurser, at almost 2 there was a lot of kicking and flailing along with it that was downright painful (we never managed to work through that or change it, despite being able to change just about every other behavior issue/challenge). Also, I have no sex drive at all while nursing, actually I have a negative drive and can't stand to be touched. This makes getting pregnant again just a wee bit of a challenge, not to mention the relationship stress.

Some ups, some downs.
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchChild View Post
For me, it had been a huge mix of emotions. I was sad to stop this wonderful part of our relationship, and I certainly missed the snuggles and ease of nursing, but there was a good bit of yea as well. My DS was never a peaceful nurser, at almost 2 there was a lot of kicking and flailing along with it that was downright painful (we never managed to work through that or change it, despite being able to change just about every other behavior issue/challenge). Also, I have no sex drive at all while nursing, actually I have a negative drive and can't stand to be touched. This makes getting pregnant again just a wee bit of a challenge, not to mention the relationship stress.

Some ups, some downs.
I am not sure what would have caused the kicking and flailing, unless it was to get you r breasts to let down... as for the negative sex drive, it is by design of nature that you not get pregnant again until your dc is past the toddler years. the feeling 'touched out' is related to that as well, to not let you get pregnant. also, we are breaking a cycle. i feel touched out too sometimes and it is because of the way we were raised. just as someone that has lived in a cycle of abuse has to consciously decide to break the cycle, we have to break the cycle of abandoning our children and giving them substitutes for mom. because we were not touched as children, not extended breastfed, no cosleeping, no baby wearing and in some cases parents that thought the baby should be held as little as possible, so this leads to touch and sensory issues as adults. We are breaking the cycle and it is hard, but it will be easier for our AP children and theirs, and theirs.....

i also want to give you kudos for making it to 2 with a flailing, hurting toddler. that must have been very hard.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by karika View Post
I just feel sad for the women that are missing this and i wish they could all have the positive, life- affirming, relaxing, beautiful relationship that i have had with my dc. I feel sorry for them to be so brainwashed by our male dominated society that is driven by profits into believing that they are not enough or do not have enough or cannot change to be enough....

Are you saying you feel sad for women who are "so brainwashed" that they are looking forward to weaning?

If so, I take a bit of offense to that. I don't intend to wean DS any time soon, but I do look forward to it somewhat. I'll outline why. You will note that none of my reasons are related to "our male dominated society" of that I feel I'm "not enough."
  • I want AF back because I want my libido back
  • I want AF back because I want to have another baby
  • I'm looking forward to no longer having to wear pads in my bras (they're a hassle & I don't like how they look.)
  • I'm looking forward to having smaller breasts again (I teach aerobics & want my A-cups back. And no, I don't teach aerobics because I'm brainwashed into thinking I must be skinny! I love it & exercise is extremely beneficial for one's health.)
  • I WOH and don't want to have to worry about pumping at the office (a big hassle)
  • My breasts still are a little tender & sensitive sometimes, so it will be nice to not have to deal with that either.

ETA - thought of a few others:
I'd like to sleep 7-8 hours in a row without my breasts waking me up!
I'd like to sleep naked again without worrying about leaking in my bed (I hate wearing anything to bed.)
post #5 of 53
I nursed my DS for a little over 3.5 years and I was happy when he was finished nursing. Luckily for me, he weaned himself gradually and I don't even remember the last time he nursed. It just all happened so naturally. It was wonderful. I love that he is growing and that we had that wonderful closeness for so long. We are still close and I don't feel in any way that my usefulness as a woman is over. I only plan to have one child, so I don't plan to nurse again. I had a wonderful time while it lasted, now I'm on to other things! I would hope that you won't spend so much of your energy pining away for the nursing days that you forget to enjoy the stages your children are in as they grow.

As for nursing your grandchildren someday, I'm pretty sure that isn't possible (at least not without taking drugs). Women make milk for their own babies, not their grandbabies. I'm a huge supporter of BF, but I would have been appalled if my mom had wanted to BF my child. That closeness was for me and MY baby!
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

Are you saying you feel sad for women who are "so brainwashed" that they are looking forward to weaning?

If so, I take a bit of offense to that. I don't intend to wean DS any time soon, but I do look forward to it somewhat. I'll outline why. You will note that none of my reasons are related to "our male dominated society" of that I feel I'm "not enough."
  • I want AF back because I want my libido back
  • I want AF back because I want to have another baby
  • I'm looking forward to no longer having to wear pads in my bras (they're a hassle & I don't like how they look.)
  • I'm looking forward to having smaller breasts again (I teach aerobics & want my A-cups back. And no, I don't teach aerobics because I'm brainwashed into thinking I must be skinny! I love it & exercise is extremely beneficial for one's health.)
  • I WOH and don't want to have to worry about pumping at the office (a big hassle)
  • My breasts still are a little tender & sensitive sometimes, so it will be nice to not have to deal with that either.

ETA - thought of a few others:
I'd like to sleep 7-8 hours in a row without my breasts waking me up!
I'd like to sleep naked again without worrying about leaking in my bed (I hate wearing anything to bed.)
everything on your list can be accomplished while still nursing though. you don't have to wean to have any of them happen.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post


  • I want AF back because I want my libido back
  • I want AF back because I want to have another baby
  • I'm looking forward to no longer having to wear pads in my bras (they're a hassle & I don't like how they look.)
  • I'm looking forward to having smaller breasts again (I teach aerobics & want my A-cups back. And no, I don't teach aerobics because I'm brainwashed into thinking I must be skinny! I love it & exercise is extremely beneficial for one's health.)
  • I WOH and don't want to have to worry about pumping at the office (a big hassle)
  • My breasts still are a little tender & sensitive sometimes, so it will be nice to not have to deal with that either.

ETA - thought of a few others:
I'd like to sleep 7-8 hours in a row without my breasts waking me up!
I'd like to sleep naked again without worrying about leaking in my bed (I hate wearing anything to bed.)
Just wanted to say it is possible to nurse and not have any of these issues (sorry that they're bothering you):

AF--yes
libido--yes
fertility--yes
haven't worn pads in almost 2 years
small breasts that don't feel like they're full--yes
pumping at the office--pumped till DS2 was 16 mo, but no more
tender breasts--nope
breasts don't bother me unless I go 20+ hours
haven't leaked in ages (never had much of a let down)

I do sympathize with what the OP is feeling. Nursing has always been a part of my relationship with DS2, and I think there will be some sense of sadness when it finally ends. I think it would be even harder to stop breastfeeding if I knew he was most likely my last baby. Another interesting phase of life, right?
post #8 of 53
Isn't it possible, and yes, probably natural, to feel a little of both? I treasure my nursing relationship with DS, and will be sad when it's run its course, but I can't deny that there'll be a part of me that'll be thinking "My body is MINE again!" Like any child's milestone, weaning is probably going to be bittersweet. More bitter for some, more sweet for others, but most likely a combination of the two. I think I'll be neither sobbing in the corner nor clicking my heels. Or maybe I'll do both at the same time, I don't know. But I don't think that being excited at the prospect of not nursing anymore is any more or less natural than being sad about it.
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchChild View Post
For me, it had been a huge mix of emotions. I was sad to stop this wonderful part of our relationship, and I certainly missed the snuggles and ease of nursing, but there was a good bit of yea as well. My DS was never a peaceful nurser, at almost 2 there was a lot of kicking and flailing along with it that was downright painful (we never managed to work through that or change it, despite being able to change just about every other behavior issue/challenge). Also, I have no sex drive at all while nursing, actually I have a negative drive and can't stand to be touched. This makes getting pregnant again just a wee bit of a challenge, not to mention the relationship stress.

Some ups, some downs.
I can totally relate!!!
post #10 of 53
BF never gave me huge warm fuzzy feelings. I was mainly glad when #1 was done. The only negative was that it meant I had to be more careful about the rest of her diet. And I'll bf the new one as long as necessary (at least 2 years), but I won't cry when that's over either. I don't think it makes me less of a woman or brainwashed or whatever if bf isn't my favorite part of mothering. It's just a way to feed a baby to me, and sometimes makes me feel a bit touched out. I'm glad I do it because it is a convenient and nutritious way to feed, but it isn't this huge warm fuzzy nurture fest. Snuggling and co-sleeping are probably that for me.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post
Isn't it possible, and yes, probably natural, to feel a little of both? I treasure my nursing relationship with DS, and will be sad when it's run its course, but I can't deny that there'll be a part of me that'll be thinking "My body is MINE again!" Like any child's milestone, weaning is probably going to be bittersweet. More bitter for some, more sweet for others, but most likely a combination of the two. I think I'll be neither sobbing in the corner nor clicking my heels. Or maybe I'll do both at the same time, I don't know. But I don't think that being excited at the prospect of not nursing anymore is any more or less natural than being sad about it.
Well said. I was eating 6 foods when I weaned Evan, trust me, it was nice to eat again! It was sad that I felt I had to wean him though and I felt very sad b/c I never thought this would happen, but he did do better on the rx formula than he did on bm which helped me.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwanMom View Post
Just wanted to say it is possible to nurse and not have any of these issues (sorry that they're bothering you):
OK, then. HOW?
post #13 of 53
wow, I can't imagine wanting to nurse my grand children.

My dd1 self weaned at 3 1/2 and I was relieved when she did because I had been tandem nursing and it was quite hard on me to be nursing two at the same time. DD2 was a nursing addict. We nursed all the time, non stop. If I was not nursing her, she was screaming for me to be holding her and nursing her. I could not ever put her down, if she wasn't nursing I had to have her in a baby carrier, and most of the time I would be nursing her while she was in the baby carrier. I felt like our relationship was turning into a very negative one, where she was absolutely addicted to nursing and didn't want me for anything else. She couldn't come near me without nursing. I wasn't enjoying it at all and it was creating a real negative energy between us. I made the conscious decision to not offer my breast and try to redirect her attention when she wanted to nurse, and I night weaned her. It was the best thing I ever did. Our relationship practically changed overnight. Now I could hold her and talk with her and read her a book and even cook dinner. So, I was totally YAY about ending my breastfeeding relationship. I don't feel like I have lost any part of my womanhood. My breast's usefulness was fully exercised and I did enjoy breastfeeding both of my children well past infanthood.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
BF never gave me huge warm fuzzy feelings. I was mainly glad when #1 was done. The only negative was that it meant I had to be more careful about the rest of her diet. And I'll bf the new one as long as necessary (at least 2 years), but I won't cry when that's over either. I don't think it makes me less of a woman or brainwashed or whatever if bf isn't my favorite part of mothering. It's just a way to feed a baby to me, and sometimes makes me feel a bit touched out. I'm glad I do it because it is a convenient and nutritious way to feed, but it isn't this huge warm fuzzy nurture fest. Snuggling and co-sleeping are probably that for me.
This is pretty much how I feel.

I had all the best intentions to CLW but after over 2 years I am realizing a can't do it anymore and I do feel somewhat bad about it. I'm not enjoying it anymore. I'm frequently irritated by it so, yeah... I've initiated the weaning process.

Does it make me a lesser mother? Maybe. I'll just have to live with that. I just know that continuing to nurse with these negative feelings that I am having can't be a good thing for our relationship so I'll take the lesser of the two evils. But, I am looking forward to the end and remember fondly the good times.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post
Isn't it possible, and yes, probably natural, to feel a little of both? I treasure my nursing relationship with DS, and will be sad when it's run its course, but I can't deny that there'll be a part of me that'll be thinking "My body is MINE again!" Like any child's milestone, weaning is probably going to be bittersweet. More bitter for some, more sweet for others, but most likely a combination of the two. I think I'll be neither sobbing in the corner nor clicking my heels. Or maybe I'll do both at the same time, I don't know. But I don't think that being excited at the prospect of not nursing anymore is any more or less natural than being sad about it.
:

I for one will miss our nursing relationship, but will not miss:
  1. the pump
  2. waking up 3-4x/night
  3. having my nipples grabbed
  4. having to do a lot of planning and coordinating just to go out for the night
Just to name a few.
post #16 of 53
Different people have different feelings.

I love nursing my babies and usually do it until they're around 2 1/2, 3. Generally they stop when I'm pregnant again. And you know, I am totally OK with that. I have zero desire to nurse my grandchildren, although I would do it in a heartbeat if I could.

Generally, I think it's a bad idea to judge other people's reactions by your own feelings. It's just not a fair comparison.
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
ibelieve i was particularly emotional and nostalgic the day i wrote this. thanks for listening. dd2 is most likely my last child. i also think i was dealing with some guilt issues about dd1 and the way she weaned. however, i would like to say to those that wrote about pumping, i think that was one of my points, that pumping is a hassle and does change the dynamic of the relationship. although why i wanted to point that out, i am not sure. i did pump for 6 mo with dd1 when she was one and i worked 4 10 hr shifts while she stayed with dh. i also think i am dealing with some issues of how it is going to be different with this baby. dd2 will have me more fully in some ways than dd1, perhaps ill start a new thread about that. as for the ones that think nursing someone elses child is strange, if a child was visiting your home, or you were keeping it and the dc was hungry or thirsty, wouldnt you offer food and or drink? when it is a baby, the food & drink is breastmilk, so why would it be weird? breasts are for making milk... i would feed any child that needed it with my breasts, like salma hayek didnt even hesitate, that was the coolest... and the reason i talked of feeding dgc was because i had stated i believe in the multigenerational childrearing, as in humans are meant to breed at a youngish age, and elders meant to raise them. in today's society, people no longer gather food in the wild mostly so my dd would work and i was wondering if i could feed the child during those hours... but that wouldnt work anyway i guess because then dd supply would be affected.... ramblings of a woman having hormones coming back to normal levels, i think it takes longer when you are older.... also after eading a few 'touched out' and 'im done' posts in the breastfeeding beyond infancy, i do remember that part too... just full of excitement with my almost 4 month old and sentimental....
post #18 of 53
I loved breastfeeding, and now I love being done breastfeeding. I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding for almost 9 years - that's a long time to have birth and pregnancy hormones running through your body! If I have another baby, I'm sure I'll love breastfeeding him/her, but I'm not sad that non of my kids are doing it anymore. My oldest nursed for over 4 years, my middle for 2, and my youngest for almost 3 and a half. That's a loooong time.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaBaBa View Post
Does it make me a lesser mother?
Nope, not at all.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
OK, then. HOW?
Women get pregnant while nursing all the time.

Of course, other women don't get pregnant while nursing all the time.

I'm with you, MegBoz. I have zero sex drive. I have anti-sex-drive in fact. We've been mostly co-sleeping with one of my twins (she has a crib in our room as well) and whenever the baby isn't in bed and DH tries to cuddle me, I want to kick him. GIVE ME MY SPACE!!! We just moved the baby out of our room last night and it went SURPISINGLY well. We put our good sleeper in the crib in our room and she only woke once, around 5am. The one we put in her own room, I can't believe it, she only woke ... well, 3 times, but that's "only" for her. I LOVE having her in bed with me but I wish I could enjoy her fuzzy little head and little bum in the air and cuddly warm body without nursing 15 times a night. I wish she could just sleep there. But she won't.

I got periods back when my son was 9 months - still nursing, but sleeping through the night. I'm hoping giving the baby the boot from our bed will do the job... we'll see.

There are some women though who don't get periods back until they wean - so ... who knows.

My babies tend to claw at my face while nursing which isn't fun. It is nice to see them gulping and happy but I have to admit holding a baby gulping and happy with a bottle is nice, too.

There are pros... and cons... to being done nursing. Nothing wrong with looking forward to those pros.

FWIW I had to wean my son at 14 months and was sad, always wanted to nurse the next one two years... well the next one turned out to bring company along and the whole thing has been harder than I imagined. We'll be coming up on a year in 2 weeks - I'm happy we made it this far!!!
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