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to wean DD off the boob now?

(19 Posts)
mummatoaboobiemonster Fri 16-Sep-16 17:49:26

I'm sure this should be straighforward but am struggling - some sensible MN advice much appreciated...

So, after a bad start (shocking antenatal care, entirely preventable awful birth, protracted hospital stay and many complications) through sheer bloodymindedness we somehow managed to establish BFing. Was a real struggle, sadly received very little practical support from the healthcare professionals and some even tried to discourage me sad but made it past the first two months and by 4 months it was easy. Really started to enjoy it from then so kept going past 6 months (when i'd originally thought i'd stop).

So now I'm a few months away from going back to work and just don't know what to do. SHE is a total boob-a-holic - she gets so much comfort from it and still wakes at night to feed. I have loved feeding her more thn i expected. On the other hand, my job will have unpredicatble hours and I work with toxic chemicals that make me nervous about continuing to feed/potentially expose her (I'm sure risk assessments could be done but I am reliant on other peopl's good practise, which isn't always reliable).

Ugh, help! In an ideal world I'd let her self wean, but I feel that I can't and don't even know how to start weaning her off.

SEsofty Fri 16-Sep-16 17:55:53

How long until you go back to work? Is it a couple of months or weeks? Huge difference in terms of weaning off boob.

But honestly don't worry it will be fine.

I've weaned both mine from multiple feeds to nothing in about a month, but depending on exactly how long you've got can advise better.

chitofftheshovel Fri 16-Sep-16 17:58:58

Is she eating solids? That slowed down the milk munchies a bit for my two.

If she's over 6 months now she'll be 8-9 months when you return to work. I personally would leave it until about two weeks beforehand.

Not sure about the toxic chemical exposure through your exposure, I'd otherwise have said feed her mornings and evenings as and when you can. Could you find risk assessments online for the chemicals you work with?

SpecialStains Fri 16-Sep-16 18:00:37

I'm no expert, but if you return to work and are still breastfeeding I think your employers are required to do a risk assessment to account for this. Might be worth asking your employer about this, and you may get amended duties to avoid handling particularly nasty chemicals if they're proven to be a risk to breastfeeding mothers and babies.

So nice to hear how much you're enjoying breastfeeding. My baby is only 1 month, and it was hard to start with but I think we're getting there with it now.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Fri 16-Sep-16 18:01:25

How old is she now? I'm in a similar position with dc2 who is 7 months and a boob monster. With dc1 I stopped daytime breastfeeds from 8 or 9 months, in preparation for going back to work.

She was a bottle refuser (as is dc2) but we eventually got her to take formula from a Mam transition cup, which is basically a bottle with handles and a soft cup like spout.

As solid food intake increases you'll probably find that daytime feeding reduces naturally anyway.

I too had an extremely traumatic birth with dc1 and a very difficult start to breastfeeding. We made it to nearly 18 months in the end thanks to stubbornness and nipple shields for the first few months. No such difficulties with dc2 thankfully. Well done for getting this far - it's a great achievement.

Superstar90 Fri 16-Sep-16 18:06:23

Weaning is so complex once you are past 6 months of bf - it's a relationship and both of you get to chose to do it. Stop if you want to stop and don't feel guilty - You've done a fab job. Continue if you and she want to and you are just worried about the obstacles - they can be overcome. Yes work have a legal obligation to do a risk assessment for you and to provide a private space in which you can pump if you want to.
I continued to bf my dd1 when I went bsck to work - just the 7am and 7pm feeds. Thr 7pm was difficult because it did mean I could never work that late and several times had to rush home to feed only to log on again from home.
If you can get your dd taking bottles before you go back then you can be flexible and just see how it goes.

Sunflower1985 Fri 16-Sep-16 18:06:41

I did a risk assessment when I went back to work and was still bf. It was very similar to the one I did when I was pg- just a few less restrictions (lifting etc). Did you have one before that could inform how restrictive it would be?

Superstar90 Fri 16-Sep-16 18:07:57

Ps I also had a difficult start and was reluctant to give up once it got easier - ended up doing 19 months in the end and it was def worth it.

superj Fri 16-Sep-16 19:03:19

This could be written about me too. Hoping to be just doing the morning and evening breast feeds ( and overnight, I'm not optimistic they'll end anytime soon) before going back to work, also working with toxic chemicals.
I think, but not sure that it's a different h phrase for chemicals which cause harm via breast milk - I'm sure I've seen specific mention of breastfeeding mothers on some coshh assessments. The risk assessment done when I was pregnant also includes new mother's so will be redoing that when I go back.

superj Fri 16-Sep-16 19:12:45

Yup h362 nor 360/1 which is the harm to unborn child on, so think less restrictive on which chemicals you can handle vs when pregnant.

Although it is reliant on everyone working safely, I hope they are!

CeCeBloomer Fri 16-Sep-16 19:15:47

I found by the time I went back to work I had got it down to a morning feed and then night as she ate and drank well during the day but she was 12 months

FFTransform Fri 16-Sep-16 19:16:24

For mine I weaned at about 7 months more or less gradually, first the less emotional feed at lunch time, let my boobs settle into producing less milk and then drop the next, leaving the bed time and night time ones until last. It was quite smooth for both dc spread over 1-2 months. It was also when I realised dc2 are most of her food at 2 in the morning!

I decided to go breast to formula then reduce than over a slower amount of time replacing with cows milk at 1.

scottishgirlinfrance Fri 16-Sep-16 19:27:13

I'm still breastfeeding my DD at 6 months and I'm going back to work shortly. I took s friends advice and I now give her a formula bottle at bedtime 7pm she now sleeps 12 hours, this has allowed me to pump bottles and freeze them if need be. At 7am I breastfeed a massive feed but as she is on solids at lunch time she only has 2 more feeds in the day. Since the night time sleep started she is less boobaholic and has found some sort of independence from her formula feed ( and possibly the solids at lunchtime) my DD gets excited when she sees the bottle which was a little soul destroying at first ( jealous of a bottle!) but at least I know if she had to have formula to replace her boob meals she is able and willing to do so. Good luck with whatever you do.

mummatoaboobiemonster Fri 16-Sep-16 23:23:05

Thanks all.

She's 9 months now, so will be nearly 11 when I go back. Shes on solids, has never been that interested in food but seems to be slowly getting there. We're still BFing 3 times a day (morning before breakfast, after lunch/before afternoon nap, after dinner/before bedtime) plus once at midnight and 5am. Not sure if this is too much/too little but I've been trying to demand feed and this is the pattern we've settled into. I was thinking about pumping into bottles and seeing how that goes confused , transitioning to formula or cows milk before starting back. DD is quite a strong willed little creature though, so I'm a bit aprehensive.

So the work situation is a bit awkward - I work in industry, was promoted, and then found out I was pregnant. My risk assessment for the new job identified some modifications but there were issues with other people's working practice that would impact on me - lots of discussion was had about it but actual change was minimal. I ended up unable to do certain tasks whilst this was all going on, which basically meant I was stuck doing my old job until I had to take early maternity/sick leave. I was hoping to go back straight into the new job - and am a bit scared of the impact on my career if I don't. I guess I could repeat the risk assessments, but I doubt anything will change and I'll just be seen as difficult sad

SEsofty Sat 17-Sep-16 06:52:17

First step is to night wean, get rid of midnight. Then you won't be as tired when you go back. Then replace afternoon with a bottle, or even a sippy cup.
Will your working hours allow you to do morning and evening feed?
Also at 11 months only one month until can do cows milk instead of formula.

Also food intake normally increases massively between 9 and 11 months as they get the hang of eating.

Don't worry it will be fine

mummatoaboobiemonster Sun 18-Sep-16 18:13:53


Tried to wean the midnight feed : offered expressed milk from a bottle/cup hybrid thing. It was awful. She cried and cried - got more and more upset and wouldn't settle with me or OH. Eventually fell asleep in tears but didn't touch the milk at all and didn't sleep properly at all - fitful, waking frequently and crying herself back to sleep. I don't know of I can do it again tonight. Feel so guilty.

Superstar90 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:25:21

Oh dear - try introducing something other than the boob in the day first. You'll both be less tired and may be a bit easier.
Imo you don't need to drop the midnight feed to go back to work - you can keep this up if you wanted - you only need to have her drink from a bottle or cup during the day the rest can be weaned more slowly when you want to

Superstar90 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:31:14

Meant to say weaning midnight feed would obviously be preferable - just don't worry if you can't as you can go back to work still with it. Other thing you can do is wake her at 11.30/11 and try and shift it forward a bit so you can get a bit more sleep that way and with s view to dropping it

Fluffsnuts Sun 18-Sep-16 19:34:26

Wean a day feed first. My DS is a boob a holic but took a mid afternoon (so none, nap related) bottle well since last week, having previously been a stoic bottle and milk in a cup refuser.

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