The Weaning DilemmaLauren Hartmann
My journey with breastfeeding began with an outlook that was reluctant at best and downright loathing at worst. Basically, we had a really rough time with nursing and I was skeptical that I would even make it to three months. But, I had decided that this was what I wanted to do and I set small and manageable goals for myself (often only one month at a time – “I can make it just one more month!”) to make it through and somewhat miraculously (at least in my mind), Fern and I have made it to the one year mark with nursing and it’s still going well.
The only problem?
I’m kind of feeling ready to wean…for a lot of reasons. For one, I’m still hanging on to this baby weight. With a low supply, I think my body just never went into crazy fat-burning-mode and my weight loss has been at a stand-still. I even joined Weight Watchers for awhile, but the weight loss was so slow (healthy, but slow) that it was discouraging and hard to stay motivated so I just gave up and decided to go full-force once I weaned. Nursing was far more important to me than losing weight, but now that it’s been a year, I’m getting a little anxious to lose it before having another baby one of these days.
Also, I would love to have a full night away. Maybe it’s selfish, but I’m being honest. Fern has spent the night at her grandparent’s house a couple of times, but only long enough for me to get a break from the sleep depravation – not for anything super fun. When she did stay the night, I dropped her off right before bed time so I could nurse and picked her up first thing in the morning. No time to do much else besides sleep. I feel lucky that I even have that option, but going away for a little longer would be nice. I suppose I could always pump, but I’ve never been able to pump more than a few ounces during the course of a day (even with regular pumping), so I’m not sure my supply would be able to withstand it.
On the other hand…I’m not feeling ready to give up the “quick fix” that nursing gives me. It’s an easy fix for fussiness, an “owie” or a quick snack when you forgot food at home. It also makes our sleep routine go much more smoothly and I’m not sure she would sleep in nearly as often, if at all, if I weren’t giving her that early morning nursing session. I also appreciate the immunity boosting benefits that nursing provides and the bonding of it. Fern is NOT a snuggler and the only time I can get her to sit in my lap for more than a few seconds is when she’s nursing.
I’m so torn!
I also have no idea how to wean. I’ve cut our mid-day nap time nursing session out for the past week, which has gone fine, but I can’t imagine not nursing in the morning! I also can’t seem to go until bed time…too painful. So currently, I’m nursing in the morning when she wakes up, in the early evening around 5:00, at bedtime and any middle of the night wake ups. How do you do it?
I’m curious to know when you weaned. How did you decide it was right for you and how did you ease the transition? Any advice is appreciated for this first timer. Thanks!