Friday, September 3, 2010

Next phase...


Willow is no longer breastfeeding. It's been about 3 weeks since her last feed. If she asks to start up again I'm going to refuse.

I can't believe I breastfed one of my children until her third birthday. I feel incredibly proud of myself. In the early days with Tannah when it seemed like an uphill battle, actually it WAS an uphill battle, and I thought it would NEVER get easy I would have laughed at the thought of feeding for that long. I had no intention of being one of "those" Mothers who breastfed their kids forever. But once Tans and I got the hang of it and was better informed it was so incredibly easy and beautiful I fed her until just after her second birthday-a month before Willow was born. When I found out I was pregnant with Harper Willow was not quite a year old so I knew I would be breastfeeding through a pregnancy again and was hopeful that tandem feeding would happen at least until she turned two.
I won't lie to you and say tandem feeding was easy or always enjoyable but it was amazing! I'll never forget Willow's face when my milk came in after Harper was born and her eyes widened and she said "Mama-boo milk in there!".
It was getting unpleasant with a lot of mucking around, nipple licking and not drinking the milk of late so I suggested to her that it might be time to give it up and she seemed unfazed. So I gave her a nudge and the next time she asked I said no. She said "OK, cuddle then!" and has only asked one other time. There have been no tears and no drama.
This might surprise many that I initiated the weaning but I truly believe that breastfeeding is a relationship between mother and child (not baby). Willow was no longer drinking my milk but playing at the breast, this made me uncomfortable so I discussed it with her, assessed her readiness and made my move.

It's bittersweet. It makes her seem older and that tool in parenting toolbox is gone. But then there is always a next phase to grow on together.


Anonymous said...

I disagree that you initiated weaning, you can't wean a child that isn't feeding ;) LOL

Congrats on 3 years!!

Sazz said...

Bea-utiful. Thank-you for sharing :) You are one of those sage mothers I look up to and follow like an adoring puppy, learning so much from and your years of breastfeeding wisdom are always such a comfort to me. You were the first person who told me breastfeeding through pregnancy could be a positive experience and I don't think it's a cooincidence I concieved at that time and then learned you were right!

I feel very fortunate to know you ad know that I'm a better mum to mine for knowing you :)

Congrats on feeding for 3 years (out of curiosity how many years all up have you been feeding, now?), 3 was always when I hoped to feed to, though now I've actually met my child I'm trying to get my head around the very real possibility I'll be feeding her well beyond 3!

Kat said...

beautiful summary of the weaning of a toddler, and you are very right , the relationship with a child and breastfeeding is about a mutual decision to continue.
Felix breastfed till he was 3, and I was the instigator to stop, I encouraged the chnage when he moved to his own bed.
I was well and truly ready by then to stop, to be honest he would have continued long until 4 if I'd consented, but at the same time the transition was not difficult at this age. The difference in reasoning ability to 2, and the ability to substitute was made ours an easy transition. I dont feel mean that it was my decision, just proud we made it past the social "norm" to find a time that was mutual agreed.

Rachael said...

Awwww *sigh*. It is bittersweet thought isn't it?

I fed Finn until almost 3, but I learned children can wean when Maribel stopped when I was pregnant with Neko. I was a bit sad about that actually as I wanted her to tandem feed like her brother did, but I was also blessed in that it was of her choosing.

I can't believe I've been breastfeeding for almost 7 years! I thought I *might* feed my first until one lol.

Stacey said...

I'm over it with Imogen, she's got a horrible latch now, but if I suggest stopping she gets very upset. She's not ready to let go yet so I'm persevering but I definitely fob her off as much as I can get away with, because it feels ick. A bit jealous TBH!

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