Giving up breastfeeding

Date: September 5, 2013 Author: admin Categories: Freebies, Real Life, Whats hot 0


The Daily Toddler friend and guest Blogger Marie-Smith speaks openly about breastfeeding and her feelings about giving it up.

My son turns 10 months tomorrow, and I realise the last time I fed him was Monday night.  Before anyone starts to call the NSPCC, I mean breastfed him. I returned to work a month ago and lucky for me, he had naturally cut down his feeds to two, and I could easily fit these in before dropping him off at nursery and just before putting him down at night. I was happy to continue feeding him until a year, but the feeding started to become difficult and uncomfortable, he began to bite and was becoming ever more distracted and my boobs felt like there was a game of tennis going on, and only he was enjoying the match! So I made the decision to wean him onto a bottle or cup.

The bottle was of no interest and so we tried with various cups. Interestingly, he chose one with a ‘valve’ over the free-flow types* and my husband made the very good point that our little boy ‘likes to work for his food’. After a slow start (about 1-2 fl oz per sitting), we have eventually got there in under four weeks. So from feeling frustration at having an uncomfortable feed to look forward to (very tired baby, by the time I was ‘topping him up’) until suddenly now, I realise it is five days since I fed him last. And I find myself feeling sad – why?

Perhaps I should give some context that my first child did not feed from me at all. I like to say that I pursued for 6 weeks but the reality was a rather dismal time of attempting to breastfeed a struggling, protesting baby, followed by cup feeding from the tiniest hospital cup, then expressing for the next round. Eventually, exhaustion and reality hit (that breastfeeding was a no-go) and from the moment we introduced the bottle, neither myself or our baby looked back – she loved it. So for me, the experience second-time round, was one of wonder, and joy. Wonder, that within 20 minutes of being born, our son began breastfeeding as if it was the most natural thing in the world (before you all start shouting ‘that’s because it is’, please refer to my experience the first time round, where it was anything but) and joy at the ease of the feeding, and the knowledge that he was growing day-by-day purely and solely from me. Amazing! We really are miracle beings.

However, we have now reached another turning point and perhaps a more difficult one for me than him. I feel a mixture of satisfaction that he has taken one of his first steps on the road to independence and a longing for those early days where feeding was a pleasure and so comforting for both of us. I guess now I need to take one of my first big steps with my son, and accept that he no longer needs me in this respect…with a small sad sigh.


*A fantastic buy from Sainsbury’s at only £2 (currently on offer), I have found the tommee tippee tip it cup (with handles) to be perfect for our son. There is no separate valve (so no messing about with removing and washing, instead the spout has a built in one-way only flow which responds to his sucking and does not spill at all when tipped upside-down, even when shaking. Not that this can prevent the mess that is drinking time – my son will suck in a huge amount and then reject some by spitting it everywhere (himself, myself and the chair or bed that I’m sitting on). Even when armed with apron, muslin and additional bib, he’s managed to go through three pairs of my trousers and one skirt this week!

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