Huzzah! Some might think, but oh boy, stopping breastfeeding has brought along some rather tricky issues along for the ride.
I am a firm believer that if women know what to expect about breastfeeding, then they are more likely to persevere with it, rather giving up. Of course, it's an incredibly special experience, but not one without its issues.
In a similar spirit, I thought I would share our experience of ending breastfeeding, as many women tend to go through this part without the support of midwives, health visitors and others.
Breastfeeding has been good to us:
- It got our little lad up to a mighty 22lbs before solids.
- Calmed him down if he was agitated/tired/cross.
- It was an incredibly special experience for both of us.
- It has saved us a fortune on formula.
- It's (frankly) one of the loveliest things to do.
When our 19month old decided that he shall be a big boy and take cow's milk from a cup four days ago, my hormones went into meltdown (they still are) and we are both feeling more than a bit delicate, emotionally speaking.
This translates to:
- Little lad crying very hard if we're apart (ie not in the same room).
- Me crying if I'm away from him (in the evenings).
- A profound worry that he'll find it difficult to adjust without his nursing chill-out time.
I'm looking forward to being over this hurdle, and getting back to a bit of even-tempered normality. How and when that will happen, I'm not quite sure yet.
However, through the fog of dread that I've done something terribly wrong, I do wonder if other women go through similar feelings when they wean. Am I simply at the mercy of rampant hormones, or is what I'm experiencing simply a reaction to moving away from our lad's babyhood?
I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below - whatever your experience. I really do think that an honest discussion about breastfeeding will help other nursing mothers, rather than pretending that it's all just rosy.