Why am I feeling so conflicted??(19 Posts)
Before I had a baby I never really understood why parents got so emotional about various aspects of their child growing up e.g. Moving into their own room, ceasing to breast feed etc. Now I feel awful because I completely get it!!!
Basically my gorgeous little boy is 6 1/2 months old and I would like to stop BF. Well, I say that but I'm so conflicted! I had real trouble establishing BF when he was born but I persevered and told myself 'just one more month'. It was really hideous in the early days, engorgment, pain and bleeding nipples. However, my boobs seemed to calm down by 6 weeks in (coinciding with when I add one bottle of formula in- another thing I felt awful for but it saved my sanity and helped me continue to BF). Yesterday was the first day I've not BF in the day, only at night. Can I just BF for night feeds (1-2 times) or will milk dry up? Will I regret mainly ceasing BF? So feel so mixed about it. Thanks.
Is there a practical reason why you want to stop feeds in the day ie returning to work?
I only ask as you've done the hard part the first few months now breastfeeding is well established anditsway more flexible at this age you could easily carry on and get the benefit out of the hard work you put in to start with. As your lo also takes a bottle you can offer a bottle for the odd feed out you need or times you may not be there. Breastfeeding an older baby is more flexible, night feeds are the most important ones for keeping your supply but only doing 1 or 2 a day at this age may or may not work its very individual.
I remember this stage so well. All the hormones involved made it so hard for me to make a seemingly rational and easy decision.
I choose to stop feeding after 6 months as I wanted some bodily autonomy back. I knew what I wanted, but it was very hard and emotional to do but definitely the right choice for me.
Thanks Mig and Sweep. I want to start phasing it out for two main reasons. Firstly I'm back at work in a few months and don't want him having the double whammy of starting nursery when he's only ever been away from me for a few hours with the ceasation of BF coinciding. From a purely 'selfish' reason I want my body back iyswim. After pregnancy, labour and a bit of an uncomfortable recovery I'm starting to feel like myself again. Additionally, (and I suppose this slightly contradicts my previous reason!) DH and I want to try for baby no. 2 next year so fertility returning would be a bonus. Took ages to conceive DS due to homonal imbalances so want to give my body a chance to regulate itself. It's all just very confusing!
Have your periods returned at all. Not all women have to stop feeding to get pregnant. The criteria that breastfeeding is used for contraception it's very strict certainlyonly a few feeds a day if you're ovulating shouldn't be a problem.
Although if you feel you need a recovery period that's totally valid reason. But you do sound conflicted so it's worth considering these things to make sure you feel your doing the right thing for you.
No menstruation hasn't resumed yet. If my milk supply will be enough for night feeds that would be the perfect situation. Just hope it won't completely dry up! Thanks again Mig.
If I were you I would definitely keep breast feeding your little boy. You have done all the hard work in the past 6 months and now it is time to reap the rewards. BF will become much easier now, as you start to wean your baby the demanding BF will become less and less so you will feel you have your body back to yourself abit more. If your baby is starting nursery then he will start to pick up lots of colds etc. and will need your breast milk more than ever to build up his immunity. Plus when LOs are ill there is nothing more comforting to them to be breast feed, especially with stomach bugs when they can't even keep water down. Teething will start soon and instead of lots of time rocking him in the middle of the night when you are exhausted as you are back at work you can just give him a quick feed, and it will lull him back to sleep. Everyone I know who breast feed their first child always breast fed their second child for longer as they realised it has lots of pros to carry on. At the moment it feels like you have been feeding forever, it has been an extremely intense 6 months but in the grand scheme of things another few months will be a blink of your eye on the time you have left of being a mummy. Mother nature has given you this great tool to help make being a mum easier so use it, you've done the hard work already, reap the rewards.
I have to say coding you've given me food for thought! I've decided for now to BF in the night, first thing in the morning and once if he needs it in the afternoon. Incidentally he's been teething for about two months and has two teeth, which was one of the reason why I wanted to stop- didn't fancy the risk of biting. He'll continue with bottles at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Feel like this is the best of both worlds. Thanks for all your input.
Hi blondie. I'm the same, I go back to work end of Jan and have been doing combi feeding for a week now. Can't believe how quickly the last six months have gone, and feel sad that I am weaning her off the boob. Had no idea I would feel this way.
My health visitor said that my milk supply would just adapt, and would still be there for the feeds I want to do, which will hopefully be night and first thing in the morning. She has already started nursery one day a week so that we can both get used to it before she goes three days a week. I also understand what you mean about wanting your body back, silly things like being able to wear a normal bra appeal to me, but I am going to miss it, such a big part of our journey so far.
I do feel that part of the conflict is the level of pressure placed on mums to continue breast feeding for all but the most minuscule reasons, I'm sadly sadly disappointed to read some replies on here
If you feel your reasons are valid that is the most important thing , you're feeling conflicted so it's not as if you haven't considered this fully, and it sounds like there is an element of you feeling ok about that
There is a huge amount of expectation and back door pushing around stopping breast feeding that is tough to resist ..... This I suspect accounts for some of it, also it being the change of stage with your baby.... That will always bring with it some conflict..... My big hugs op it's a tough time
I concur with euripidesralph - had been trying to word it myself yesterday but didn't manage.
I personally am doing very well with bf and have planned to do it for 6 months with a gradual tapering off after that. I am absolutely confident that I will have given my baby the best start in life with that and it is absolutely fine to then move on to other pastures.
There is a very fine (and often muddled up) line between pointing out benefits of breastfeeding in general and presenting benefits in a way that will try to ever so gently coax/guilt/pressure women to continue beyond a perfectly okay length of time they had planned to Breastfeed for.
Given the properties of breastmilk there will always been life circumstances for the child where those properties might be useful. There can therefore always be a case made for continuing for one more step. And then one more. Mothers who have done it for as long as they wished to do so, can always be told - but look - now Stage X is coming up in your kids life, they will do so well on your milk. And then, Stage Y - surely you could continue now! It is there I think that the fine line begins to get muddled.
But properties of breastmilk are but a tiny part of the whole that make for a healthy child, mother and family. Countless healthy and successful people around us bear testimony to that fact. You have done very well. Your conflict is very valid but I'd be careful about where you seek advice from, because advice as we know, is almost never neutral.
I stopped BF in the day at 10 weeks but continued at night for 6 months. It was fine. My body just adapted.
Blondie87 I have to apologise if my previous post made you feel pressured, coaxed or guilty about having to continue to breast feed, that was absolutely not my intention.
When I read your post I really wanted to write back because I remember so well being where you are now with my first child, I felt absolutely exhausted from EBF and felt like all I was at times was a milking machine!! I remember walking past a lovely lingerie shop and looking at the pretty feminine bras that were so much nicer than my feeding bras. I remember really wanting to give up feeding so I could get a break sometimes, to go out for the evening and see friends and not have to get back to feed the baby. I remember thinking I had "done my 6 months" and I wanted my body back.
Then a lovely lady gave me me some support, she told me what an amazing job I'd done so far, but pointed out that really I had done the hard work and things would get easier now as when my baby started weaning the need for feeds would get less and less. She said that really the first 6 months BF was really for the baby but after that it was more for me, to make my life as a mum easier and less stressful (because baby gets less colds/ill, easier to comfort when baby ill or upset, to soothe to sleep when feeding etc.)
The benefits I gave to you for carrying on may seem "minuscule" but little things do really make a big difference. I was really grateful when my first child had a tummy bug on holiday that I could breastfeed her when she wouldn't eat or keep water down. I remember sitting on the sofa and feeding her nearly all day, it was the only thing that gave her comfort and I remember saying to my DH at the time that if I hadn't been able to BF her I would have been very stressed about her getting dehydrated.
Saying that I remember finding BF after 6 months still tiring etc. with my first child, and yes it isn't nice to have a bite from those teeth! I remember looking forward to it stopping for good and when it did I had very conflicted feelings of happiness but also sadness. But with my other children I never went through that whole rollercoaster of emotions as I felt like I could step back from it all abit and see that it is just such a short amount of time that you BF for in the big scheme of things and I'm just very glad that all those years ago I talked to that lovely lady by chance and she encouraged me with my first child to carry on.
Sorry for the rambling post but I just wanted to explain that I really didn't mean to bully you or put you under pressure I just wanted to pass on to you the help I had. You've done an amazing job feeding you little boy for so long and I'm sure what ever decision you make will be right for your family - best of luck with trying for baby number 2!!!
Thank you sincerely to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my post. I've not felt pressurised or bullied by anyone! I know breastfeeding is a highly emotive topic and there are such a range of views. I'm grateful to have heard all of your views as it has really helped give me perspective on something I was struggling to have perspective with! I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
I'm glad you posted this, OP, because this thread is exactly what I needed to read today.
My DD is 6 months and I had intended to bf until she self weaned (or get to a year at least). But this week I've just come to the conclusion that my heart isn't in it like it used to be. I think it's partly because DH is now taking leave to be off with her, I'm going back to work next week, and I just feel like I'm going to be completely drained working and doing the night feeds and bedtime and expressing and...agh. Plus DD is at a point where she's sometimes a bit fighty, tugs on my nipples a bit too hard, etc.
I just sat and cried with DH over it because I don't know what to do for the best. It's so tough. Like a pp said I want my body back, I want that bodily autonomy. I love my daughter and I love what I've been able to do for her in breastfeeding for 6 months but I don't know whether to go on...
Plus I fucking hate formula companies and the bullshit they peddle (I mean, what even is follow on milk?! 🙄) I kind of don't want to give them my money!
Yes, don't allowed the militant
misinformed breastfeeding advocates to push you into carrying on when it doesn't suit you. Baby won't be harmed by you moving on now, they've have all the antibodies and nutrition they need from you at the start. They have teeth, breast milk is actually bad for teeth and yes, you don't want to be bitten. It's your body, you need it back.
Good luck! Xx
Breast milk isn't bad for teeth at all, that's an old myth.
I feed at bedtime, overnight and that's that.
Started at about 7 or 8 months.
Milk has settled. I find it convenient and "beSt of both worlds".
...oh and having milk when chicken pox (it's better than calamine) struck was a bonus!
She's 14 months now.
If I fancy a night off she's on warm cow milk or toddler milk so I can even have the odd night out! Then back to boob next night.
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