I wasn’t expecting nor hoping to be writing this so soon after publishing my last breastfeeding post, but alas….here we are.
(For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts I was advised to introduce formula to Wren due to slow weight gain)
Combination feeding had been working for us for a while, however over the festive period Wren suddenly started refusing the breast altogether. I tried everything I possibly could to continue feeding but Wren had made up his mind.
My breastfeeding journey had come to an end.
I asked myself whether I could’ve done more.
I even longed to be back on the hospital bed with my tiny little baby, just 20 minutes old and feeding from me for the first time.
This may sound a little over dramatic, Wren is thriving on formula, but I desperately wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible, well actually until Wren was one year old. The fact that I had to stop a whole 6 months before I wanted to makes me feel a little bit sad. I adored the bond from breastfeeding and I’ll miss it dreadfully.
It’s not just that I’ll miss it, no longer breastfeeding makes Wren seem very grown up and I don’t think I was quite ready for it.
Every time I breastfed Wren it took me back to those early days where I would sit cuddled up in bed feeding for hours at a time. It’s such a strange feeling to think I’ll never nurse him again.
Of course this is all part of him growing up and I’m so grateful to have a healthy, happy little boy, who is looking more and more like a toddler everyday.
Looking back over the last 6 months I am so pleased that I was able to breastfeed Wren for as long as I did and whilst it was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done it was also the most rewarding and I’ll always treasure the memories I have.
Now that I’ve shared my story I wanted to talk about the logistics of stopping breastfeeding as a few people over on instagram have asked me about it.
The thing I’ve been asked the most is how I knew it was time to stop; as I mentioned above it was more that Wren made the decision for me. He was slowly getting more use to the bottle and gradually the amount of bottles he had outweighed the amount of breastfeeds he had. For me personally, trying to continue breastfeeding Wren when he clearly didn’t want it was a slightly selfish move on my part as I desperately didn’t want to stop.
Every mother has her own reason for stopping, whether you’re making the decision yourself or your little one makes it for you, you will feel guilt (I still do) but you have to do what is right for you and your child. Mama knows best at the end of the day.
I’ve also been asking physically how to stop. The key is to do it slowly! Once you’ve made the decision you would like to move on from breastfeeding you need to start introducing a bottle a day and gradually build this up whilst phasing out the amount of breastfeeds you do. This will give your milk a supply a chance to slowly decrease and help prevent you getting sore breasts and mastitis. If you would like more information then I’d recommend heading here to read the NHS advice on stopping breastfeeding.
So there we have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed following my breastfeeding journey and that it has helped some of you.
As ever, thanks for stopping by.