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The End Of A Breastfeeding Era

by Jessica Amey

I made a really hard decision yesterday.

To stop breastfeeding Tiger.

It wasn’t entirely out of the blue, I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a while but I’ve never felt strongly enough to really see it through until now.

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I just don’t feel like it’s the right thing, for any of us, to keep going any longer and that makes me feel really sad as I at least wanted to carry on for the same amount of time as I did with Cherry (18 months). I think I will always feel guilty for not making it to the same point but things are just so different this time.

With Cherry it made my life easier to keep breastfeeding past the age of one, in the afternoons if I wanted her to have a sleep so I could rest then I knew I could feed her to sleep but I’ve never been able to do that with Tiger because I have Cherry to look after and it’s guaranteed that if he falls asleep on my boob in the afternoon she will need to go and do a poo at that very moment.

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Then there is the main factor which is that we cannot seem to reach a balance of feeding without him wanting to do it all the time. If he is with me then he cries and moans while throwing his head to the side for me to feed him. My boob distracts him from everything else in life, including eating actual food, because all he wants to be doing is feeding. It would be like waving a cake in face of someone who is trying to diet, when it’s not there they can forget about it but when they can smell it it’s all they can think about.

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I know there is nothing wrong with that, and I know it’s pretty normal for breastfed kids. It’s not that I think there is something wrong with him, it’s all me, I can’t handle eight hours a day of him screaming at me any more.

I’m sure it’s not all to do with the milk but my instincts do tell me that in a week when he has forgotten all about breastfeeding, he will be happier.

I feel awful about it though because I am taking away something he loves before he is ready to give it up.

With Cherry it was a mutual thing but this time it’s not, I feel like I’m being really selfish.

But I’m trying to stop focusing on the negatives, thank you to all my lovely Twitter friends last night who helped me feel much better about things.

His last feed was over 24 hours ago and luckily he doesn’t actually seem too bothered so far, Mr C got up with him this morning (at 5am!) to give him breakfast and he doesn’t rely on it to go to sleep any more so that hasn’t been a problem. He does also drink cow’s milk out of a cup so hopefully the transition won’t actually be too upsetting for him.

The only good thing in all of it is that neither of us knew it was the last feed, I couldn’t handle it otherwise, I’d be a hysterical wreck.

I really find stopping such an emotional time, the first year of both Cherry’s and Tiger’s life was basically all about breastfeeding. It’s been such a huge part of my life over the last three years and knowing that we probably won’t be having any more children makes it feel even sadder this time.

It’s the end of an era.

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Breastfeeding has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Watching those little eyes looking up at you and sharing that moment together is something that I will always remember but it’s time to move on to the next stage now.

Yesterday I told Cherry how I found it it was quite sad and asked her what she thought to which she replied ‘well it could be sadder mummy’ -at least someone is pleased about it!

You might like to read some of my other breastfeeding posts…

I wrote a post about my top breastfeeding tips.

About breastfeeding when your baby is no longer a baby.

Why breastfeeding past six months isn’t pointless.

And why breastfeeding isn’t like going to the toilet.

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