Friday, June 3, 2011

Saying goodbye to breastfeeding

My daughter turns one year old on June 17, and I cannot believe how fast time has flown! What’s even more crazy to me is that I will soon be finished breastfeeding – for the rest of my life. (We are not planning to have any more children.)

Breastfeeding is truly a rewarding, beneficial-for-baby-and-mom experience. In fact, the pros of breastfeeding are numerous (as you can read here). I admit, it can be challenging at times – especially in the beginning (when latching on can be an obstacle) or if you’re a working mom and you “live or die” by your pump. (I definitely won’t miss touting my inconspicuous, big, black bag around daily!) But I will significantly miss our bonding time.

My son had my breast milk for the first year of his life, too – but once we introduced a bottle at seven weeks, he didn’t want me anymore. That didn’t stop us from bonding, though – at three-and-a-half years old, he’s definitely my special little guy!

My daughter was the opposite – we introduced a bottle at six weeks and family members tried (unsuccessfully) to give her one every few days until I returned to work at 12 weeks. While at school, she “griped” about taking her breast milk from a bottle until she was 14 weeks old. Even now, although she figured out that breast milk bottles are okay, she still prefers me.

Which brings me to my concern: how do I start the weaning process? During the day, she’s drinking from bottles and sippy cups just fine – it’s the before-bed feeding and early-morning feeding that I’m most concerned about. Got any advice?

Mandy Forbus is a Sr. Marketing Specialist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst Euless Bedford and mother of two who has been very dedicated to breastfeeding.

1 comment:

  1. You don't have to say goodbye if you don't want to. Breastfeeding is not all or nothing. When my oldest daughter turned one I started adding cows milk mixed with breast milk to her sippy till it was eventually all cows milk. But we still nursed a few times a day usually once in the morning, afternoon, and at bedtime. By the time she was 15 months I was only nursing when she "asked" (she would pat our chair) which was once a day. At 17 months she was only asking every other day. Then we went on a rip and she was so distracted she didn't ask and when we got home the milk was gone. She asked once or twice but didn't seem too upset.
    WHO and the AAP encourage breastfeeding past the first year. Here is an article:

    And if you decide it is time to wean now generally cutting out one nursing/pumping every 3-4 days saving the ones that will be most difficult to wean such as bedtime, for last has worked for many moms. It is easier on you because it gives your supply time to go down and easier on her since it is gradual and gentile.