Viral Post Sheds Light on Emotions Accompanied by Baby-Led Weaning

Emily Holdaway is shedding light on the emotional journey that goes along with baby-led weaning.

One brave mom is sharing a personal experience that many moms have faced, but few have discussed publicly. Emily Holdaway is shedding light on the emotional journey that goes along with baby-led weaning.

Holdaway is a New Zealand mom who runs the popular blog, Raising Ziggy&Jagger. In a Facebook post, she shared an honest and intimate photo of herself and her 19-month-old son, Ziggy, who was not feeling very well.  After unsuccessfully trying to soothe him with her breast, Emily took him into the shower as a last resort attempt to alleviate his pain.

She writes, “This is what misery looks like.  When breastfeeding no longer offers the comfort it used to, and you don’t know how to take away the pain.”

Related: Mom Uses Beautiful Photography to Normalize Extended Breastfeeding

While mothers receive plenty of education and support surrounding the topic of how to start and continue breastfeeding, there is relatively little information on what to do when it’s time to end.  Little help is available to women who are experiencing the myriad of emotions that go along with the discontinuation of breastfeeding.

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Emily’s breastfeeding journey was not an easy one.  Born with a tongue-tie that went undiagnosed until eight weeks, breastfeeding Ziggy was initially a challenge. In her blog, she honestly and openly shared these challenges, hoping that mamas would feel supported and encouraged in their tough days too. An unexpected surgery for Emily created another bump in the road and she shared that as well.  However, mom and baby persevered. Soon Ziggy happily nursed on demand and, by 11 months old, had even learned the sign for milk.

As is often the case, Emily’s milk supply began to decrease when she became pregnant with her second child.  “As Ziggy grew, weaning was never something that I gave thought to – I was happy to follow his lead and wait until he was ready. I just didn’t expect him to be ready this young, and neither was I expecting the amount of emotions that came with it.”

Related: Why I Gave Up on My Breastfeeding Dream

Emily has been able to eloquently articulate the feelings that so many women experience during the weaning process- rejection, helplessness, and futility.  A story in the Huffington Post confirms that many mothers face this challenging time with little support.

breastfeeding

Ziggy self-weaned like a champ–initially through the day and then onto the evening.  Emily continued to practice baby-led weaning.  “We’ve done baby-led everything so far,” she shared, and that included with her second son, Jagger James.

Emily’s post went viral, largely due to an article in POPSUGAR. Sadly, Emily received some backlash for sharing her story so publicly.

“While the negativity can be difficult,” Emily said, “I write for the moms who are going through a similar journey. I share my story for those moms who reach out and say thank you for making me feel less alone.”


And isn’t the brave part? Doesn’t it take just as much courage and bravery to say, “You know…this nursing thing is for the birds! It.is.hard!”

In a world where we *know* about the benefits of breastfeeding and attachment parenting and gentle discipline and a million other parenting behaviors that will help us raise mindful and purposed children…some days are JUST HARD and there is comfort in knowing we’re not the only ones feeling it. Think of the last time you regretted raising your voice. If honest, you’d probably started off as Mary Poppins, asking someone to please find their shoes. By the seventh time you asked, and the sixth minute past the time you were already supposed to leave so you would only be about ten minutes late, you found yourself in exorcist mode, demanding the flipping shoes be FOUND.

We get it. We know. Us too.

So, we applaud Emily for sharing the good, the bad and the truthful in motherhood. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone in the world and in your parenting is all you need to remember you CAN do it, Mama, and we’re all behind you, no matter what!


4 thoughts on “Viral Post Sheds Light on Emotions Accompanied by Baby-Led Weaning”

  1. I tried child lead weaning, but my daughter would still be nursing today if I had continued. For her it became a way to sooth her self without having to learn to sooth herself. She, like water and electricity, tends towards the path of least resistance. And I struggle to teach her autonomy and inner strength.

  2. Parenthood at any age is hard but worth the effort! My suggestion is Breast feed for as long as possible n if u have to quit to go to work then u wean n the earlier the better if u won’t have the allotted time u would need to pump n have no wear to go for privacy its very emotional for both Mother n Child, laws are different in other States for Ca the law is a mother to go back at 6 wks if you are not at your job a substantial amount of time if you were then it’s 4 months plus 10 extra wks without pay! And don’t beat yourself up for having to work n not wanting to lose your Career you planned it out as well as anyone can expect n you n your baby will be fine n survive it all as a Grandmother of 7 n a Single Mother of 3 got divorced when they were very young, due to Severe abuse! So I went through it all with help from my family I tell you It’s full circle I now help with my Grandbabies with theirs how I was raised n our duty to God! God bless you all n much prayers for first time Moms and all Moms especially single Moms you are capable n stronger than you think! it’s not easy but it will be the most important job n be more
    worthwhile than anything you will ever do in your life!❤️

  3. My name is not my name, the internet site is made up.
    From the male view, years ago in Ketchikan Alaska, when I first went up there, I was surprised at the young women breast feeding openly. After several weeks seeing this, I thought no more of it than a dog or cat walking down the street. I mean it is feeding time for the little one, so after while it is just normal, with no sexual thought.

  4. Gee, “Larry”, what an insightful and helpful post! So glad you took time to write and post it, I don’t know what I would have done about my troubles around my 18 month old daughter self-weaning from my breasts if you hadn’t shared your experience(s).

    Now for the serious, because we can’t take “Larry” seriously as “his” post is nonsensical. My 18 month old daughter has started to wean herself from my breasts. I first noticed last month, and was devastated! I felt like she no longer needed me and was casting me aside in some way. The intense bond we’ve developed through breast feeding is indescribable. Now I feel like she’s broken that bond, even though she’s just a toddler, and I know that isn’t her INTENT. She now prefers to eat solids whenever possible, and take bottles. I think it’s because the bottles allow her more freedom of movement because she can hold a bottle herself and walk around with it if she desires. Obviously she doesn’t have that same freedom when she’s latched and nursing. I do carry her around the house, or wherever we may be at feeding time, but it’s obvious it isn’t the same for her.

    I realize this isn’t an “issue” for her, it’s just her natural progression, but I had assumed that her need for my breasts would last until at least 24 months, possibly a bit longer. I think part of it for me is that it highlights the fact that she’s growing up more quickly than I’d imagined. I know we’ll be okay, but right now, it’s really weighing heavily on me.

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