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To ask if you felt a change in bond when you stopped breastfeeding

(13 Posts)
BeeWi Thu 18-Apr-13 23:55:53

My first AIBU question, so please be gentle.

I'm thinking of stopping breastfeeding soon but am a bit worried that it might change the bond I feel with my daughter. By that I don't mean I would love her any less, but the times when we sit in the dark on a night or in the morning and she has a feed are just so intimate, that I worry I would miss that attachment. She is a real nosy parker, so I can't feed in the same room as anyone else, and she won't let me read whilst feeding, so the feeds feel very focused and intense, which makes me worry I'd perhaps miss those moments of such intimacy.

Obviously if I stop and later regret it, I can't really change my mind, so would appreciate feedback from other people who have stopped breastfeeding after a year or so (dd is just coming up to 14 months and feeds twice a day at the moment, just before bed and on getting up. More when she was poorly with chickenpox).

Disclaimer: no judgements on whether bottle or breastfeeding is best etc, I have no desire to start a bun fight and obviously know that how you feed your baby is no reflection on how much you love them. Purely wanting to know if stopping breastfeeding after a year or so of doing it affects how you perceive the attachment/relationship with your baby.

CarpeVinum Fri 19-Apr-13 00:05:57

I felt a massive pang that very last time he took a suck, looked hacked off, and then pottered away to bang so ething against the wall, and I did feel a bit redundant for abput five minutes.

But they need us so much when they are small, hugs, comfort, helping them calm many opportunities for closeness, that really I needn't have worried.

There is no lack of intense closeness even when they get much bigger either. DS (coming up to 13) and I have spent a lot of today sat next to each other while he leans on me as a kind of ambulatory pillow, during a tussle with some hisotry homework where the instructions were more vague than helpful.

Takes a lot to break a bond. Needs something far far bigger and further reaching than just weaning off the breast. Promise.

Goldenbear Fri 19-Apr-13 00:23:59

I stopped breast feeding DD at 22 months, she has just turned 2 so not that long ago. At first it was a bit sad because it felt like I was rejecting her need for comfort but on the advice of a friend I offered 'hugs' instead and she is always asking for them now. I couldn't go on as I was as she was co sleeping from about 3 in the morning and just wanted to feed until the morning. Everytime I went to cuddle her she'd pull my top down for a feed and tbh I didn't have the stamina for the feeding non stop from 3am anymore.

BegoniaBampot Fri 19-Apr-13 00:27:46

felt a bit sad and end of an era and all that. first child Bf till just over 2 yrs and was weird when no 2 self weaned about 6 mths - not what I was expecting.

Kiwiinkits Fri 19-Apr-13 00:42:37

Didn't affect me at all TBH. We still have moments of utter, blissful intimacy. I love cuddles at storytime when they're going to bed, for example. Also that first morning cuddle when they wake up.

you could also consider whether continuing to bf might make you somehow resentful or put-upon? That might decrease intimacy between you, IYSWIM?

jaggythistle Fri 19-Apr-13 01:02:52

I more missed it for times when DS1 was ill really. We still had lots if cuddles reading stories etc.

It was my fault that he stopped though as I'd been ttc almost a year and was getting impatient. sad I cut out his early morning feed and he just lost interest by the time he was 2.

A much bigger impact has been having DS2, I find it much harder to get DS1 cuddle time when he is feeding lots. smile

MrsPoglesWood Fri 19-Apr-13 01:28:50

No not at all. I had to stop BF when DS was 6 weeks old as my milk dried up. I was disappointed but I just had to get on with it. I didn't have the luxury of worrying about intimacy being lacking, he needed to be fed and to thrive. Not that I don't appreciate your concerns, I really do. You've built and established something incredibly important to you and your DD and you're worried about the impacts of changing it. Your bond won't change, I promise.

But... You are going to be a DM for the rest of your life and breast feeding is an incredibly short phase in your role of DM even if you do EBF. You just find other ways naturally to continue to build your relationship and intimacy with your DC.

BeeWi Fri 19-Apr-13 01:30:04

Thank you for your lovely responses, ladies. It's good to know that if you feel sad about it ending, you don't feel the loss of intimacy.

Carpe - what you said about your 13yo was just lovely.

Jaggy - there's another thing I'm wrestling with too- the idea of a second making it harder to focus on no. 1. We have no family on this side of the world, so just to have one and not give her a sibling seems pretty stink , but I worry about not being able to divide myself enough if I had 2. That's for another day of worry, though!

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Fri 19-Apr-13 01:34:20

I BF DD to 13 months. I just felt utter relief and freedom but then it had been a,chore more than a pleasure.

Sat here nursing DS, I think this time will be different as its a joy different experience entirely.

TokenGirl1 Fri 19-Apr-13 01:36:13

I bf ds until 20 months and, when he was feeding he always used to keep a tight hold of my hair. He's now 3 and doesn't remember bf but every day will hold on to my hair for comfort, especially when cuddling at bedtime. It's lovely and always reminds me of the special time we had.

The guilt I felt not being able bf my other child but we're still very close but ds is more cuddly. That said, I think that's a boy-mummy thing.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 19-Apr-13 01:51:25

As carpe said.

Rejoice! There are so many news ways to bond, you have no idea the joys it will bring.


jaggythistle Fri 19-Apr-13 09:50:52

Oops, sorry for extra worry!

DS2 is now 1 and they are lovely together (most of the time smile ) Its just different from having one wee person to focus on.

I don't regret having another even though I'm a lot more sleepy!

newfavouritething Fri 19-Apr-13 11:57:30

The only thing that I noticed was how big they were after I'd stopped (15months and 13 months). While you're feeding, they're still your 'baby' - a week later at playgroup - huge! Oh, and the horrible realisation that all they're ever going to do is need you less and less :-(.

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