Friday, 14 November 2014

Deciding When to Stop Breastfeeding

I stopped breastfeeding C at 13 months old.

It was always my intention to breastfeed until 12 months if possible and then her impending hernia surgery prompted me to continue a little longer.
Being is hospital with a baby is so much more flexible if you are breastfeeding.  The "null by mouth" time is reduced, as breast milk is softer on the stomach, meaning you are dealing will a hungry baby for less time.  Also the hospital are obliged to feed breastfeeding mothers, which meant no having to dash to the canteen for food.
Finally C turned 13 months in the spring.  The bug season was coming to an end and I felt brave enough to let her immune system take over on its own.

In the end, the exact day we stopped wasn't planned, it just happened.  I had been giving her a beaker of cows milk before her bedtime feed for a little while, and that night she didn't seem hungry for anything else.  Once that night had happened I knew there should be no going back however much I would miss it.

With B it is more difficult.  He turns 12 months in 3 weeks time which is nowhere near the end of bug season.  I can't bear the thought of him getting ill this winter if I could have prevented it by feeding him for longer.
He is also probably my last baby.  My last opportunity to breastfeed.  It is such a wonderful bonding moment and I really will miss it.  With him and the feeling in general.
Turning it around, I know the older he is when he stops, the more resistant he will be in doing so.  I have been very conscious in all aspects of my parenting not to make a rod for my own back in things that I do.

For now, I guess I will play to by ear.  I reality, I suspect the moment we stop will also be accidental.  He dropped his morning feed this week.  He had a rare lie in until 7:30 and there wasn't time for a leisurely 20 minute feed before we needed to rush out the door to take C to nursery.  Luckily he didn't seem to mind too much that he was presented with a bowl of porridge instead!

B's 1st Birthday is hitting my quite hard.  It has come round so quickly and really will be the end of an era.  This is just one chapter of the baby book that is nearing its conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. You've done so well breastfeeding both yours for so long. I wish I'd kept going longer with Potato. I can't believe B is almost 1!! That's gone do quickly!