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Is it normal to feel grief when you stop breastfeeding?

(12 Posts)
whingeomatic Thu 11-Jun-09 14:14:30

Because I do at the mo...

Background - exclusively breastfed dd2 until 6 mths and then mixed fed when I returned to work using ebm & formula (no matter how hard I tried I could not express off enough to last her all day).

Now she is 8mo, going great guns at solids and until last week I was still bfeeding and expressing. However over the past month she has started refusing the breast (I persevere and eventually she has a short feed) and biting me at every feed. I have followed the Kellymom advice to try and stop her doing this but with no success. Biting with 4 teeth is no fun and she has broken the skin on several occasions. Scabby nipples - nice...

So with a heavy heart I decided to wean her off the breast and switch to formula (I had hoped to feed her until at least 12mths).

It hit me hardest when I gave her her first bedtime bottle - all of a sudden I had tears running down my face blush so I feel pretty emotional about it - the grief description is pretty heavy (and probably the wrong word)and but I feel as though I have suffered a loss and it has shocked me at how strong the feeling is.

Has anyone else felt like this? Is it caused by hormones?

(Now I've read it back I sound like a right drama queen blush)

edam Thu 11-Jun-09 14:16:25

I did feel rather sad when ds gave up b/f (I'd gone back to work and was only feeding at bed time). Pangs of regret rather than grief, though.

notnowbernard Thu 11-Jun-09 14:16:43

I wouldn't say I experienced grief

But BF ending with dd2, I felt emotional and a bit teary (bit lke PMT) I presumed it was combination of hormones and the reality of stopping something that is quite an emotional thing

whingeomatic Thu 11-Jun-09 14:21:08

I knew grief was the wrong word!

I keep welling up at inappropriate times - most embarrasing at the supermarket checkout...

Gorionine Thu 11-Jun-09 14:22:02

I so understand what you mean, I have 4 dcs, all BF until the age of 2. I have BF for 8 out of the last 10 and have just stoopped with DD4. It took me some time to actually get used to it and the fact that she now needs me a bit less. I was quite teary at time as well although I felt it was time for me to get my body back IYSWIM. I do think hormones are involved in the way we feel.

What did find strange is that now that I finally have better night sleep I am actually more tired!

stripeypineapple Thu 11-Jun-09 14:22:33

I can't remember grieving for loss of BFing when DD finished because she only used it, by the time she finished, for going to sleep(she was 2 yrs) but now, 5 yrs later, I miss the feeling of it. Nothing nicer than a babe on the boob.

She will have to stop at some point (unless you are one of those women who like to BF their children for years and years) and if now is right for you then you have made the right decision.

tassisssss Thu 11-Jun-09 14:26:13

I think I'll be positively wailing this time round (RL friends be warned!) as it's probably my last time ever...even the thought makes me fill up sad

With dc1 I felt ready to stop at around 14 months, with dc2 I wanted to stop a little earlier as I was pregnant. Dc3 is 12 months and I have no plans to stop!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 11-Jun-09 15:24:37

I never thought I'd feel like this but with each feed I've had to drop for various reasons I have been in tears over it for now just feeding 7month DS his first morning feed and never want it to end

joyjac Thu 11-Jun-09 20:41:28

OP, it's normal to feel emotional, a sense of loss. More especially because you gave up at a time and in a way that you didn't plan to. Try to cuddle and hug her as much as she will let you when she is having her bottle. I really missed those snuggly times together.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Thu 11-Jun-09 20:45:17

I felt grief, absolutely the right word to explain how I felt.

I loved BF'ing and had no idea at the time about breastfeeding strikes, so without warning overnight DS1 just stopped feeding, he was so hungry but wouldn't latch, in the end DH offered him a bottle and I cried as I watched him down 8oz he was 11 months

the same thing happened with DS2 at about 11 month and because I thought we probably wouldn't have any more children the sadness was immense. It is still the one thing that upsets me the most about not having more children is that I will never BF again.

whingeomatic Fri 12-Jun-09 13:54:49

I'm glad it's not just me then smile

Am feeling a bit better today - I must admit it's nice to snuggle dd in a proper baby cuddle position - to bf her I used the rugby ball/under arm position as she wouldn't latch on any other way!

zeke Fri 12-Jun-09 22:29:28

I felt the most tremendous relief when my son took at bottle of cow's milk at 12 months. I was on a high! Up until then he had only ever had my milk. I stopped pumping (for work) and had completely stopped bfing by 14 mths.
Whilst I rejoyced in the freedom I did feel a bit sad. I felt odd not breastfeeding him on many occasions - this went on until he was about three!
I haven't had another child but I am finding increasingly the 'need' to BF another baby, even though I generally found it a chore with DS!

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