As of four nights ago, Evelyn and I have stopped nursing. It was coming slowly over the last month as I watched my supply tank and her interest fade. I let her do 90% of the leading and followed the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” mantra that many weaning mamas had suggested. I stopped pumping at work when she turned one, which I was so glad to be done doing! Any mama who must pump for any reason knows how hard pumping is!
breastfeeding has been an incredible journey for us and I am so thankful we were able to do it successfully. I can understand why so many women have a hard time getting past the first 3-6 weeks because it is SO exhausting and painful. Maybe not for everyone, but for most. I wanted to share some pieces of wisdom that I learned throughout our 13 month journey.
- Let baby lead, you follow. Meaning, feed on demand. This can seem tricky, especially as they get older and more assertive. I always let Evie do the leading as to when she wanted and needed to nurse. Just a month ago when she spiked a random fever she nursed all day long! I’m sure it was more for comfort than for anything else, but it’s what she needed and I knew that is what was best.
- Nursing strikes happen. We only had one true strike when she was around 4 months old and I spent almost two weeks pumping and bottle feeding, only after I’d attempt to get her to latch first without success. Then one day she decided to just come back to nursing.
- Find a great lactation counselor. We have an awesome program through our hospital and I swear my LC is the Mother Theresa of breastfeeding! I called her often and she was always available to help talk me through any concerns I had. I also went to the weekly check in group where I was able to weigh and feed Evie to see how here weight was doing. We didn’t go every week, but it was nice to be around other moms and get any questions I had answered.
- Buy good nursing bras and tanks. I lived in these things and found that, at night, a tank was perfect for nursing!
- You can get through teething without being bit–often! I tell ya, when Evie popped her first tooth at 5 months I thought our nursing days were numbered. I was so worried about her biting me. I’d heard horror stories! She managed to get 8 teeth by the time she was 10 months old and she only bit me a few times, usually due to a bad latch. But we got through it!
- Surround yourself with support. Make sure your partner is supportive and if he is not, give him a swift kick…no really…he needs to embrace this amazing gift you’re able to give your baby! You’ll also want support from your girlfriends.
- Nurse in public, cover or no cover, whatever is most comfortable for YOU and your baby. I never had a problem with nursing in public and I used a cover sometimes but Evie hated it. Then, as she got older she became so easily distracted I’d have to go hide somewhere quiet to get her to nurse. Just do what is most comfortable for YOU. 🙂
That’s all for now! I am sad this is over, but glad to move on from this and to build our relationship in a different way as she grows.