I want to be done

As I alluded to in my previous post, I’ve been feeling the itch.  The itch to stop breastfeeding.  An itch that is more than an itch really – more of a clawing feeling from deep inside that makes me want to jump over the balcony whenever I’m breastfeeding.  This doesn’t happen while pumping, most likely because the pump does not do acrobatics on my lap.  The pump doesn’t stop after five minutes to fidget and smile and pinch and point at the cat and then freak out if I try to put the boob away and continue this behavior for a good fifteen minutes or until I can’t stand it anymore and decide enough is ENOUGH and go eat some cheerios.

Also, I’ve been pumping less and less milk.  I had to add a third session into my routine during the day to get back up to 10 ounces output.  Jack eats some snacks and sometimes eats lunch and/or dinner, but about 60-75% of what he consumes is still breastmilk.  I haven’t been paying attention and when I finally looked up “when can I stop pumping?” I found out that most moms stop around a year.  Well, gee, that’s great.  How the hell do I do that?  Answer: I can’t quite yet.  Not while Jack is not eating much in the way of solids.

I am happy to continue breastfeeding a couple times a day for the next year, but I feel the need to have my body back, as well.  I have touch issues and they have not gone away since giving birth to Jack.  I have fought them for nearly 15 months now, and luckily Jack nurses for 10-15 minutes tops each session.  But even that is wearing on me these days.  See “clawing” above – it’s like I’m back in month one!  I’d like Jack to cut back.

So I’m trying to make sure we are good about offering solids and I’m setting a goal to stop pumping (or at least cut down to one session) by 18 months.  That’s three months away which seems pretty close when I think about it.  Ugh.  I feel so clueless.  The information on weaning is totally lacking, in my opinion.  I’ve read LLL, I’ve got books, and I’ve googled.  Either the information is crap or I’m a novice googler.

So if you’re out there and reading this and have been in this place, please give me your feedback.  Explicit instructions are always good, and I love to read research.  My sanity will thank you.

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Comments

  1. Well my experience with weaning was different from your situation, so I’m not sure how helpful I will be. I DO remember that clawing/climbing stage when I felt more like a jungle gym than a food source — I didn’t love it!

    With Little Red, I started offering solids before our nursing sessions instead of after, and tried to be busy — out of the house or something like that — during nursing sessions I wanted to drop. As soon as we went a couple of days without a certain feeding I wouldn’t reintroduce it or let him reintroduce it.

    It actually went really smoothly and for the most part I maintain that he weaned himself at 19 months. His good friend, however, nursed well into his 2s.

    GOOD LUCK!

  2. I am right there with you most days, though I am lucky that I was able to give up pumping ages ago. Actually, I bet people who are not you would have far better success getting Jack on solids. It would probably work out just fine to stop sending milk to his daycare and let them feed him regular food (maybe subbing in a bottle of goat milk or cow milk or soy milk for nap time). Without you there he would probably be more likely to eat whatever is available. Of course, that doesn’t make you any less of a jungle gym, but at least it would take care of the pumping.

  3. I found that setting firm boundaries on what behavior is acceptable and what is not helped a LOT during that nursing gymnastics period. “You want to play! Ok, all done!” And the boobies go away and we play with toys. He got it pretty quick – sit still or no more milk. He’s still nursing 3 times daily – morning, nap, and bedtime – but sometimes I’m gone for the nap session or the bedtime session and sometimes he doesn’t ask in the morning. And it’s all ok.

  4. I found that setting firm boundaries on what behavior is acceptable and what is not helped a LOT during that nursing gymnastics period. “You want to play! Ok, all done!” And the boobies go away and we play with toys. He got it pretty quick – sit still or no more milk. He’s still nursing 3 times daily – morning, nap, and bedtime – but sometimes I’m gone for the nap session or the bedtime session and sometimes he doesn’t ask in the morning. And it’s all ok.

  5. i am no help on this topic…. but i did read something about this recently (babble perhaps?) i will see if i can track it down for you.

  6. i am no help on this topic…. but i did read something about this recently (babble perhaps?) i will see if i can track it down for you.

  7. ZM – I have seen a lot of info on cutting out nursing sessions but that method won’t work for us since we nurse on demand (i.e. he nurses anywhere from 5-8 times at random intervals on a normal day, so there isn’t like a 2pm session that I can drop). I have made a point to offer solids before milk but he often refuses the solids…and I notice some very strong moodiness when he hasn’t nursed like he wants to throughout the day.

    Annika – I plan to try some goat milk or cow milk soon (gotta get some from the store – I don’t drink milk and Joe is strictly a non-fat drinker).

    Jen – I have been trying that approach and it works okay during the day. When I am nursing him down for bed I often have to stop and take a break and let him run around or play. He won’t go to bed yet without nursing so we have bad nights when he won’t stop fidgeting and it takes 4 attempts over a couple of hours to get him to bed.

    sbr – that would be great. I try to keep up with babble but am not usually successful.

  8. ZM – I have seen a lot of info on cutting out nursing sessions but that method won’t work for us since we nurse on demand (i.e. he nurses anywhere from 5-8 times at random intervals on a normal day, so there isn’t like a 2pm session that I can drop). I have made a point to offer solids before milk but he often refuses the solids…and I notice some very strong moodiness when he hasn’t nursed like he wants to throughout the day.

    Annika – I plan to try some goat milk or cow milk soon (gotta get some from the store – I don’t drink milk and Joe is strictly a non-fat drinker).

    Jen – I have been trying that approach and it works okay during the day. When I am nursing him down for bed I often have to stop and take a break and let him run around or play. He won’t go to bed yet without nursing so we have bad nights when he won’t stop fidgeting and it takes 4 attempts over a couple of hours to get him to bed.

    sbr – that would be great. I try to keep up with babble but am not usually successful.

  9. We nursed on demand, too, but when it came time I just reduced the opportunities for him to ask. Like I said, it worked so well I’m sure it wasn’t normal.

    With several friends, they were unable to phase it out as we were, and had to go cold turkey. I hope you don’t have to resort to that! Good luck!

  10. There’s this about actual itchy boobs…

    http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2007/10/qa-itchy-boobs-.html

  11. Obviously I’m late to the game on this question and you aren’t going to want to try anything with your baby feeling so sick right now. But when you have time to attack the weaning question again, I find kellymom.com to be somewhat helpful sometimes (not a ringing endorsement, I know).
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/index.html

    I pretty much do the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” with Katie. Most days that means I nurse her in the early morning before she’s ready to get up (and then she sleeps a couple hours more). And I nurse her before bed at night. Somehow the rest of the day I manage to not have to nurse anymore but she’s really into solids. And likes her some cow’s milk. It was a gradual progression to this state but it worked with us. You’ll find what works right for you two.

  12. Obviously I’m late to the game on this question and you aren’t going to want to try anything with your baby feeling so sick right now. But when you have time to attack the weaning question again, I find kellymom.com to be somewhat helpful sometimes (not a ringing endorsement, I know).
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/index.html

    I pretty much do the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” with Katie. Most days that means I nurse her in the early morning before she’s ready to get up (and then she sleeps a couple hours more). And I nurse her before bed at night. Somehow the rest of the day I manage to not have to nurse anymore but she’s really into solids. And likes her some cow’s milk. It was a gradual progression to this state but it worked with us. You’ll find what works right for you two.

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