I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 20 months now.
I figured I would just let her decide when she was ready and then we would wean. I say we, because this is a partnership that we’ve both learned and grown together in. It makes me so emotional to even think about weaning.
However, I recently discovered I am pregnant with baby number 2. While I know that nursing through pregnancy is entirely possible, (thanks to all of the breastfeeding forums I am a part of) I decided it would be best for me to wean my daughter as soon as possible. To give myself a break. So I’m not breastfeeding for 3 years straight. Because it HURTS now.
I read a million blogs and articles and talked to all of my friends who have already been in my shoes for one reason or another. I tried to come up with a plan to gradually wean. Cut back on feedings, etc. My daughter is at the point where she nurses when she wakes up, maybe once or twice in the day, and then to sleep. I read that night weaning first would be easier. I read to put lemon juice on your nipples to yuck up the taste…
Gradual didn’t work for us. I was about to try the lemon juice thing when the worst happened.
My daughter fell asleep on the boobie and for some reason got lock jaw and bit through the skin. Yep…
Not all the way through. It wasn’t a massacre to my nipple, but it drew blood and remained painful to nurse.
So painful I had to deny her the boobie.
So here it starts. We are cold turkey weaning.
The first day she was a little confused but I told her mommas boobies hurt so I can’t give you any.
At night we got a sippy cup with a soft mouth piece and some milk for her. She did ok! She woke up a few times and rooted around but when she didn’t find any boobie (I usually sleep topless so she can find easily) she rolled over an went back to sleep.
Score! I’m thinking we’re in the clear… Until the next day, my baby got hurt. All she wanted was a boobie and nothing else could make it better, comfort her. She cried and cried, and I did too because she just couldn’t understand why she can’t have boobie when she’s hurt. I ended up having to hand her to daddy and he was able to get her to sleep. My poor baby.
This does tell me that she really only nurses for comfort anymore. Which I was ok with.. I love to comfort my daughter.
I am now dealing with incredibly painful engorged breasts, which none of the blogs or articles I read had addressed. So it is painful for the both of us. I am sitting here in fear of mastitis and blocking anything from touching these gigantic things all day. I now know what I would look like with breast implants…
I am hoping that it doesn’t last too long, but will log the days. After all, I am on day 2 of cold turkey weaning.
Day 3: My boobs are not as engorged or sore. My daughter had a rough day. Every little thing is making her upset and cry, which makes me feel like the worst person in the world. She asked to nurse a couple of times but I offered her a cup of something else and she was ok with it.
Night time is almost perfect. She lays down with her milk, we read stories and I tell her to lay down an go to sleep. She barley wakes at night anymore. When we were nursing she would wake 2-3 times a night to nurse which resulted in not much sleep for me. So we are all getting better sleep!
Day4: she still asked to nurse when she woke up, but is learning that if I tell her “no boobie”, she will get a cup to drink from and she loves having big girl cups.
No crying or meltdowns today so far!
I have noticed she is eating a lot more food. I didn’t think she was really getting nourishment besides something to drink when nursing but this is proving to be incorrect.
Day 5: still asking to nurse when she wakes. We are getting pretty good with getting right up in the mornings to get her a drink. I miss my morning snuggle times. She asked to nurse several times today when she was tired and she refused to nap all day… It was rough for us both. She cried and whined all day, but that is what happens when they’re tired, right? Luckily she went to bed quickly and was out for the night.
My boobs are still not empty but they are 100% better than they started on day 2.
It’s looking like this will be easier than I anticipated. Really, the outcome of day 5 is what I expected every day.
Note: to prevent any clogged ducts or other problems (I was terrified of mastitis) I took hot hot shower twice a day and massaged my breasts to work the hard areas out.