The Mom Files: Done Done Done Done Done

Last week the idea of breast feeding made my skin crawl. I didn’t want to have to think about it anymore, I didn’t want to pump at work anymore, I didn’t want to be limited in time or space by my body anymore.

I started breastfeeding it see how it all worked. I mean, I could sustain my kid all by myself? Me and my magical mammaries? Nature is cool. So I went through the pain of it, the awkwardness of going back to work and even realizing it wasn’t going to go how I planned (adding in formula because I just couldn’t make enough around 4 months). And I was so so so adamant that I really wanted to make it till 6 months of as much breastfeeding as possible and then one day – poof! – the idea of continued pumping, of continued use of nursing bras and easy access shirts, of timing my day around feedings and stressing about drinking enough tea and making sure I was feeding Gabe on enough of a schedule on the weekend to keep up my flow made me want to scream.

But then, on the flip side, admitting that I don’t want to nurse anymore felt super selfish. And… a little nerve-wracking. When I for reals stop, and maybe even a little before that, my hormones will again shift. I’ll get my period back, I won’t be using up those extra calories and who knows how that will affect things. Some things I read say that those extra 5-10 lbs are easier to lose when you aren’t breastfeeding. Other things say that you gain weight once you stop. I just bought jeans and yes, I do have a little anxiety of them not fitting after I stop breast feeding.

Mostly, it is just 1 more outcome that is up in the air in regards to hormones, and facing it is just sort of exhausting mentally. And yeah… I feel bad saying, “I want my body back to myself, you have had it long enough.” Which sounds stupid when I type it out loud, but there it is. Curse of being a mom. The guilt of saying, “this one’s for me, kiddo!” is there and I have to overcome the irrational voices telling me “your a mean awful parent! you’re doing it wrong!” in order to not lose myself.

So on last Friday I decided to start the process. I have cut down my pumping at work to 2x a day instead of 3. At home I do 1 feeding before bed during the week days and 1 feeding before work. On the weekends we have started adding in more bottle feedings and not relying 100% on me anymore. I pretty much only feed him when I feel like my breasts are full. He drains them effectively so I haven’t had any discomfort.

I know that we are lucky to have a kid who will virtually eat anything. He sees a bottle and he wants it, he sees a boob, he wants it. He gobbles each down with equal gusto and has no extra gas or discomfort (knock on all the wood). I am really glad that we at the least made it through the newborn stage with 100% breast milk. But I am also really, really excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want my boobs back! I want my time back! My productivity at work back! It is on the horizon.

For those who have breastfed and then weaned – Any tips or tricks? What were your experiences? Any info would be great. I’ve already seen the webinar from Isis about it (lots of good info there).

17 thoughts on “The Mom Files: Done Done Done Done Done”

  1. You’ve heard all the weaning advice I have, but I just wanted to offer a little more support for doing what’s right for you. You have way more to offer Gabe as a parent than just food and I found that once I was DONE and I weaned, it was so much easier to focus on being a loving, caring, fun parent.

  2. Speaking as a non-parent (so, you know, grain of salt or whatever) — I don’t think you’re being selfish one bit. There’s a lot to be said for making sacrifices for your child — BUT not at the cost of your own sanity. Gabe needs a mom who is healthy and happy, because that’s important for HIS health, too! (You do seem to strike a great balance with this, though. It’s impressive!)

  3. Agreed, the weaning is relatively simple and it seems as if you are doing it as gradually as recommended. I stopped at four months, even though I had aspirations for longer. Once I had my body back, I began to feel more like myself, which made me a better mom, wife and colleague and our life was able to stabilize into the awesome “new normal” that it is. And the last pounds finally disappeared.

    1. Oh! Yay! I want to know about this. So some people talk about how they GAINED weight after breastfeeding stopped. But for you, things went back to normal? Tell me more!

      1. Yes! It was the best thing. I stopped breastfeeding and everything went back to normal. All my old clothes fit, everything. It was kind of wonderful. I had heard that some bodies hang on to about 7 pounds of extra weight while you are breastfeeding as “insurance” or something, and that once you wean the body feels like it’s okay to let them go. That is what happened to me.

  4. PS! If anyone can give me insight into what the periods are like and about when they start? That would be awesome. I’m still in the process of weaning but paranoid I’m going to start ANY DAY…. any moment! I literally just ran to the bathroom to check.

    1. My period came back about half way through weaning. It was a little heavier than it had been prepregnancy, but not crazily so.

  5. In the end, what’s best for mom is what’s best for baby! A happy mom is good for Gabe, rather than a stressed out mom. I work from home and *still* have trouble extracting enough milk for our kiddo via the stupid pump (he does go to daycare so he can socialize and I can get work done). I can only imagine how hard it must be to do so out of the house. I think we should all get a full year of paid maternity leave (for those who want it), so that no one has to pump at work!

    We haven’t weaned yet, but I’ve had one or two semi-periods when he started nursing a bit less. I could tell they were coming because my hormones obviously began shifting. So, if you generally have some sort of PMS before getting your period, I think you can probably expect to experience something similar pre-postpartum-period.

  6. Oh, P.S. re: weight gain potential. What I’ve been told is that there’s potential for weight gain after weaning if you forget to take into account that your post-bfing caloric needs won’t equal breastfeeding caloric needs. A friend of mine said to me, as she weaned her daughter, that she just had to remember that she could no longer “take advantage” of the spectacular metabolism breastfeeding had provided her. So, I think if you’re just cognizant of how many calories your body needs after you’re done breastfeeding (and adjust your intake accordingly), I think you’ll be totally fine!

  7. Hey Mama, I went through this with V, the wanting my body/clothes/sanity back. You know we have very different scenarios, and i stay home. I breastfed for 17 months (just typing that out, it sounds like an eternity!). So many times I hated it, but as she grew and nursed less & less it became so much more manageable and I looked forward to bedtime cuddles. My period came back around 11 months, it was actually regular every month until I got preggo again (which is when/why V weaned herself, as I wasn’t really producing much milk.). Mine were light and only lasted 2 days, probs cuz V still nursed 1 or 2 times a day.

    I send you love, patience and good thoughts for your journey through this! 😉

  8. We are preparing for this in our household at the moment.
    Wee Spike has just hit four months, and I’m still having pain issues that breastfeeding is not helping.
    But, he has been refusing a bottle for a while, so we are trying to get him taking that again (via pumping and immediate feeding), to then start offering formula during the day. Ideally, I want him to be happy taking a bottle before we start introducing solids.
    Good luck! I cant wait to have my breasts return to a more normal size, and being able to wear real bras will be a treat too, not to mention that whole drawer full of gorgeous clothes I already fit again, but cant wear because they just.aren’t.practical.

  9. Just so you know, I’ve been reading all of your posts and haven’t been commenting as much. I think I don’t know what to say since I am behind you in all this and am still getting used to the idea that I’m pregnant and so have no idea what to contribute about mommyhood. Ha. I will start commenting more, I promise.

    Anyhow, I have been loving the breastfeeding posts and filing them away in my brain to help me in the future. I too am planning on breastfeeding “as long as a I can,” and I too am planning on going back to work, so it’s so, so nice to read someone who is honest about the difficulties behind all of this. Especially the “I want my body back” part. I totally get that. There is so much pressure to do it a certain way and guilt that if you don’t, your baby will suffer in some way. But you know what, you’ve made it this far! You’ve helped him through the important first months of his life. What’s most important is that you are happy and healthy so you can be the best mom he can have. Rather than worn out and resentful about your boobies.

  10. Have you considered quitting pumping, but continuing to nurse in the morning and evening? I hated pumping, and gave it up recently, but still enjoy nursing, especially without the stress of being the only liquid food source (my son’s almost 11 months, do he eats some solids too). Just a thought on another option if it’s mainly just the pumping that drives you nuts.

  11. Great suggestion! I did this and I’m so glad I did. Around 10 months I switched to sending one bottle of formula to day care and nursing morning and night. Now, six months later, I’m so glad I did. It took the pressure off while still maintaining the nursing bond.

  12. I’m still breastfeeding so no weaning advice but I got my period at 7 months – around when he started sleeping through 12 hours at night (and he was on 3 solid meals so I suppose not taking much during the day?). It’s heavier than I remember. It sucks but I’m grateful that my body has sprung back and appears to be functioning. Good luck with the weaning :).

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