Friday, April 15, 2011

Weaning Happens

Nursing ToddlerImage by stockerre via Flickr

When I became pregnant Liv started to weaned herself. It was a slow process that started with my milk drying up, went to some comfort nursing and then the end. The whole process took about 2-3 months.
At first she slowly dropped feeds, her first one to go was her before bed nursing, which from what I hear is usually the last to go.
Our last to go was the morning nursing session. When Liv wakes up I usually bring her in bed and we cuddle for a while. It helps us both wake up. She would lay next to me ask for milkies and just relax. I am not a morning person so when I stopped producing milk I was upset that our morning cuddle time was shortened a lot by having Liv say "hongry" and sign for eat.
After she dropped all of her milk feeds there was occasional comfort nursing. She would ask for milkies and nurse for only a minute or 2 when she was tired, wanted hugs or needed comfort.
In some ways I was sad that our nursing time had ended. But being pregnant and not having the easiest pregnancy I also was glad for it to end. I really did not want to tandem nurse either.
What makes me proud though is that we weaned when it was right for both of us. My body physically could not handle making milk and taking care of my new baby (that is what severe morning sickness will do to you)and Liv slowly learned that her nursing time was over and replaced with other ways to get comfort. She was not forced to wean, and I let her nurse when ever she ask, long after my milk was gone.
Now instead of nursing during our day Liv will just ask for me to sit with her, she will come over and ask for big hugs, want to cuddle on the couch or sit on my lap and read with me. The fact that she still craves all of this closeness makes the weaning easier on me, since I too love all the cuddles and kisses from my toddler. I think part of this comes with weaning naturally and it not being forced on.
We nursed till about 19 months, which is longer then my original goal of 1 year. I am glad I learned all the benefits of extended nursing, physically and emotionally and allowed this process to occur naturally.
I just hope that with my next child I will be as successful and feel successful in our breastfeeding.
Weaning happens, when the time is right for mother and child. And when it is allowed to happen in a positive manner that bond that was made during all of those closely held nursing sessions continues on to grow.

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