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Thread: Pressure NOT to Wean

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    281

    Default Pressure NOT to Wean

    I am the mother of an 11 month old boy and I work full time outside the home. Bf’ing came easy to us from the beginning and we have had no real problems other than a bout of mastitis/thrush when he was about 12 weeks old and a little nursing strike when he was 9 months old. In the last 11 months I have had the most incredible support from friends and family and have never dealt with the typical criticisms that I read about on this forum.

    As I approach ds’s first birthday, I have thought a lot about weaning and extended nursing. I know that there are many benefits to nursing a toddler, but I am just plain tired of bf’ing. I know that makes me sound like a terrible mother, but I’m just being honest. I am soooooo sick of pumping and I want my body back. I want to be able to have the occasional girl’s night out or go to a yoga class without having to wait until ds has nursed and gone to bed. My plan is to try and pump wean around one year and get him to a point fairly quickly where he is nursing only in the morning and at night. Then I want to start the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” method of weaning and I would love to have him completely weaned by 18 months.

    The problem I am encountering now is pressure from friends and family NOT to start weaning ds when he turns one year. This pressure is coming from people that I never imagined would be pressuring me. Most of the pressure is coming from friends and family that do not work full time and, surprisingly, from a couple of people that ff their children. I feel like it has been a huge accomplishment to have bf for a year while working full time, but I am starting to feel like that is just not enough for some people. Any ideas or tips on how to respond?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Pressure NOT to Wean

    Hi,

    It was such a relief to see your post! I have been starting to wonder what weaning will be like and when we'll do it. We heard so much about exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months that is what we focused on. Then I learned more about the benefits for the 1st year so we'll do that. Looking ahead all I see is info about extended breastfeeding, and the duration of breastfeeding is starting to seem like an ever-increasing moving target.

    I haven't gotten to the point where you are yet, since DS is younger, but I will. I am sorry I don't have any tips for you, just empathy. I can't wait to stop pumping!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Pressure NOT to Wean

    Wow. To be honest, this is a concern that I have not heard before (well, not for extended bfing, anyway). It's refreshing to hear that you are surrounded by people who are supportive of your breastfeeding relationship.

    That being said, it's clear that their concern about when you begin weaning is troubling to you. FWIW, your nursing/weaning goals sound reasonable. In fact, the majority of mothers who pump while working do wean from the pump at around 1 yr. And it sounds like you have considered your baby's feelings and plan to wean slowly and gently.

    Feeling touched out (or in your case, touched and pumped out ) is fairly common around this age. Would it help to know that this does pass? You may feel a whole lot better once you're not pumping and you have a period of time a day when your body is once again "yours". (((hugs))))

    If you can avoid the topic (especially of pump weaning), my best suggestion would be to do just that. Do they really HAVE to know when you hang up the ol' breast shields? If the topic about weaning comes up, you might consider using one of the responses found on these web pages:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/criticism.html
    http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...s/whatsay.html (Not LLL resource, but written by a Leader)
    http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv...d/?msg=69364.2 (Pass the bean dip! Cute article. NOT LLL resource)

    HTH!

    Do let us know how it's going!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: Pressure NOT to Wean

    First, Congratulations on getting through the first year!!, especially when you work full time. I know how tedious it can get when you have to pump all time, I was there before, so I don't blame you in wanting to quit. I don't have any ideas on how to respond since I have the opposite problem than yours (people pressuring me to quit), just tell them that you're really grateful for their concern in your child well being but that you've come to the decision to quit and that is not going to work for you anymore, just don't get too defensive, those people have good intentions. If you decide to wean, don't do it abruptly, it would be very harsh on your child. A few more words, when I weaned my first child I regretted it for the longest and still do every now and then, but I remind myself that I gave her the very best start and that will benefit her always and everything has to come to an end. With my second I will continue to nurse until he wean himself, but I'm a SAHM now. Just think about your decision over and over, and do what's best for both of you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Pressure NOT to Wean

    I am happy that I have been able to bf this long. I wanted to at least nurse until 6 months, now we are at a year. I only nurse 3x a day. But I am nurvous about cutting those out. Now is starting to pinch and bite. I am getting him to sleep on his own better. But I can not believe this door may be closing soon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Pressure NOT to Wean

    I have been working full time since my son was bitty tiny. I was fortunate enough to be able to wag him around with me in the sling for the first 6-9 months (about 7 months in his dad quit his job and began taking over more childcare, culminating in full-fledged stay-at-home-dad status by 9-10 months). However, my son was an enthusiastic nurser and I did have to pump when we couldn't meet up for a quick nip (ah, relief)!!

    That said, I always found the pump to be extremely cumbersome and inconvenient and annoying. I didn't really pump very much. Just when I absolutely had to (typically if I had to go more than 5 hours without my son - I figured out that was the threashold for my body before I would literally explode). And so I did pump for a while.

    However, and I don't remember exactly when it was (I think between 11 and 14 months), I am sure I stopped using the pump altogether while my son was still little and when he was still an avid nurser. That was also the time period when my son was truly at home all day with Dad without meeting for "lunch." I think this all happened automatically - I stopped pumping because I hated it, my body adjusted the milk quantity, my son still nursed a lot when we were together (we cosleep, and that made it supereasy for us), and that was that. I believe the fact that we were nursing a lot (unlimited, which usually meant 3-5 times from 6 pm to 6 am) is what kept my milk supply up.

    I remember that during this time I had one bout with a clogged duct. Logical, I think. Fortunately my sister is a breastfeeding genius and I had the sense to call her and complain about a sort of medium-amount of pain I was having and she correctly diagnosed the first signs....

    And so I wonder if you could taper off your pumping and just drop it. If your milk supply doesn't go away altogether, wouldn't that be the best? You wouldn't have the pump during the day, but you could still nurse nights and wekends!

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