I've just washed my last nursing bra and stored it away for the next little babe that comes along. It's really strange to put a regular bra back on, but also completely wonderful. I feel lifted, so to speak, and more like a woman again. I have yet to give up my nursing tank top though. For some reason, I feel the need to wear it at night. I feel assured by it, but my husband, I'm sure, could do without it. Anyway, let's get to the subject at hand: weaning.
Overall, I really felt that weaning wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be, but this may also be because Ella was ready to move on to other types of food. As her first birthday approached, she was eating less and less from me and more and more table food, so I knew it was time to start the weaning process.
About five weeks (5 feedings a day, 5 weeks to drop 'em) before her birthday, I dropped Ella's 1:00pm feeding. I decided to use this feeding because Ella rarely wanted to eat much at this time. The first day I didn't feed her, she had no problems and neither did I. We were off to a good start. For a week I dropped only this feeding and then on week two, I dropped the next feeding at 4:00 pm. Both of these afternoon times worked well to drop because Ella could have a snack if need be.
After dropping the second feeding, I called my Dr. to see if adding cows milk into Ella's diet would be okay. His nurse said it would be fine, so I started giving Ella cows milk during her normal feeding times. Next, I moved onto the mid-morning feeding (no complaints!), then I dropped her before bed feeding, and finally I dropped her morning feeding. It was a breeze, and I didn't have much pain either. I would get a little engorged, but nothing major. I think the key was taking it slow.
Ella is now fully relying on cow's milk and table food. It feels so weird not to be feeding her anymore. Sometimes I'm on an outing and think, ahhhh, I've got to get home to feed Ella, but then I chill and realize, there is milk at home with her and Dad. What a relief. It's freedom I haven't felt for nearly a year, but with that freedom comes some sadness.
No longer do I get to feel that little girl wrapped up close to me or see her smiling face "come up for air" only to snuggle back in for more. Yes, she can do the same with a bottle, but she's no little baby anymore. She'd rather finish eating and get on the move. So, even though freedom is lovely, just remember to treasure the moments you have with a little babe because before you know it, they're one and you're wondering what happened to the last few months. Time flies mamas. So enjoy and breastfeed for as long as you can. Your baby is not the only one who will benefit from it.
|Ella enjoying milk with some 1st birthday cake.|
|Taking a big gulp from her sippy cup.|