The Wean is Mean

Breastfeeding is always something that I have been very open about. I loved it so much and I am such a proud supporter to other women who do so. What I never really put much thought into was weaning.

I’ve had such a dream breastfeeding run so I actually haven’t really had to put much thought into it at all, it all just happened naturally. I’m not saying this to gloat, not one bit, merely pointing out the fact that I know it can be such a struggle for mothers and all the hurdles they come across, and I feel like the rare minority that gets a smooth sailing ride. I always demand fed Bella. Whenever, wherever. I’m talking in the middle of a supermarket, when I’m at lunch, when I’m looking at someone in the eye and having a conversation she would just come in hot mid sentence and rip open my top to get to the milk bar. Awkward at times, yes! But I wouldn’t change a thing. The comfort she found in it and the nutrients she received was worth every second of their weirdness.

Two years of breastfeeding went by and I felt like to was time to stop. I was more than ready to have some space back to myself, Bella not so much. I was scared of how it would go down and thought it would be much harder than it was. It was almost as if she knew it was going to stop so she wanted to nurse more than she ever had.

I used the old bandaid on the nipple trick. She’s obsessed with bandaids and fixing her “owwies” so it seemed to be the perfect route to take. I’ve also heard about putting vegemite on your nipples but she loves vegemite so much so that would never work for me. My method worked perfectly and after 4 days she didn’t even mention it and was more than happy to drink my home made almond milk from a bottle.

What I didn’t really expect from eating was the massive rush of depression I would receive after it happened. I didn’t get post natal depression with Bella, but my heart goes out to anyone that suffers from this. I’m assuming that this was a similar feeling, only last for a couple of days not the extensive length that women endure through PND. I felt like I hated Bella; completely despised her. I didn’t want her to be anywhere near me, and a simple touch or whiny way of asking me to do anything for her would make my blood boil. I felt like I was worthless and had really dark thoughts about how I was incapable of being a good mother to her. I didn’t want to be around her on my own and would secretly cry when no one was watching. I tried to handle it myself as I didn’t want anyone to know that I was feeling that way. It felt like admitting it made it real. I then felt immense guilt for feeling this way about Bella when I knew deep down she was an amazing kid, and if I couldn’t handle this kid that was well behaved then what sort of mum was I?

It all became too much and I had a mini meltdown. I broke down in tears to my partner and said I felt like I couldn’t handle her on my own. It was the only thing that made me feel better. A good hug and a chat with my better half to make me realise that I was being irrational and that it was happening because of the weaning process. A two minute conversation reverse days of feeling horrific. It really does count to open up to people.

Anyway, the point of my story is you are not alone. It is a chemical imbalance of hormones that we receive, its not your fault. And please take this into consideration if you are deciding to wean. Its better to be aware of it before it happens so you can prepare yourself and know what it about to happen!

One thought on “The Wean is Mean

  1. Thank you for posting this, something I needed to read today.

    I too have had an ‘easy’ breastfeeding relationship with my 11 month old boy, who fed on demand since day 0, and all of a sudden after suffering a bad cold for a week he has gone on a nursing strike for the past three days. The influx of raw emotions which I have never struggled with are at all all time high and I resent that he is blatantly refusing to feed from me but will take expressed milk from a bottle. I know it is not his fault but it doesn’t stop you from becoming anxious, teary and upset, feeling like it is my fault. I want to keep breastfeeding and hoping it is just a phase. But the best thing has been to talk to my partner about it and share the load.


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