I will wean when WE want to

Today BiP turned 11 months old. It’s an incredible milestone for us especially as our breastfeeding journey has been far from easy.  Before she was born I knew I  wanted to breastfeed her, I never thought for how long. Now, she is fast approaching her first birthday it’s amazing how many people have announced that it is time for me to call it day and start weaning her.

In all honesty the thought of weaning makes me want to cry. Finally, I love feeding her – it no longer hurts, it’s easy and, I feel, it is the reason she is such a confident, happy, healthy baby. It is something so special that we share, no one else can give her what I can and I know one day it will have to stop but why does it have to be based on a date in the calendar? I doubt BiP’s ideal birthday present would be to weaned. She loves her “boobie” so why would I take that away from her when she is still so young? The answer is, I won’t. Not yet.

I won’t list all the “advice” that I’ve been given but here are a few (one of which came from my doctor):

You’ve done your bit – time to call it a day

There is no benefit to breastfeeding beyond 6 months

The only reason you breastfeed is for selfish reasons

It’s time to think if yourself now

It’s abnormal to be still breastfeeding a baby of her age

It truly is no one’s business yet everyone seems to have a take on it. Weaning will happen when it happens; when WE decide not because the calendar says so.  So, here is to 11 months of breastfeeding and an unknown number of months in the future!

27 Responses to I will wean when WE want to

  1. What is it about people feeling they have the right to comment and pass judgement on breastfeeding?! Drove me mad! One of the “facts” I was told was that you had to stop once they got teeth – err, what???? Zaki got his first tooth at 4 months.

    I had it in my head that I wanted to breastfeed for 2 years and dreaded weaning. I stopped daytime feeds when I went back to work when he was 15 months and tried to cut out night feeds too. We went for a few months with just one feed morning and night, then moved onto just one bedtime feed (he became far too excited in the morning to stop and feed!) and then suddenly 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday he didn’t ask for milk before bed. I didn’t offer it (just to see what happened) and he went to bed. I went into the lounge and cried!! But it happened naturally and after my initial sadness it actually was the perfect time for both of us!

    You’re doing wonderfully so stick to your guns and like you say, wean when you are both ready! Here’s to many more happy months of breastfeeding xx

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story – I hope it will be the same for us – I want her to decide really – I let her decide on how she feeds herself so why not this?

      Thanks again for your support! It’s mummy’s like you who’s support keeps me going 🙂

  2. It *is* abnormal to breastfeed a baby her age. And that’s a damn shame, not a reason to quit.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      I totally agree! I feel so lucky that we have so many awesome mama’s around all over the world so we can support each other!

  3. DS is coming up on his one year birthday and I’ve also been feeling the pressure to wean, from coworkers, family, even my husband! My initial goal was to make it to 6 months. Now I want to continue because we both really enjoy it, it’s a special bonding time between us, and I believe it has really helped him stay healthy… he’s only had the sniffles 2 days during this whole first year, no other illnesses! So I plan to continue, but the hardest part will be convincing my husband it’s not too weird or detrimental. Any tips?

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Great job mama! We are both at about the same stage. I’m standing my ground on the fact that my breasts are exactly that, MINE and it’s my choice what I do with them. Weaning is not something I have researched but I have warned my husband that it will involve a lot more involvement during anti-social hours and BiP won’t be as easily soothed as when I go to her and offer the breast – amazingly he decided it’s best I continue for as long as I want, rather as long as WE (me and BiP want) … maybe tell your husband that he’ll have to find ways to calm your baby at 2am when he wakes up or at bed time when he throws a tantrum because he wants feeding … it may make him change his tune! As for the other people’s “advice” – YOUR breast, YOUR baby – end of.

  4. For selfish reasons? Who on earth said that? I definitely love the bonding but if you’re like me, BF makes you leak all of yourself, makes losing weight next to impossible and means you have to take the time to pump before you consider leaving the house without Baby. I love seeing the benefits my son is getting, especially when he goes from crying to giggling when he gets that boob in his mouth. I enjoy it, but it certainly isn’t about me.

    I honestly wish that my husband could nurse sometimes, that he could take over and offer the same comfort. Breastfeeding is beautiful but it’s definitely a sacrifice at times.

    At 6 weeks, my goal of a year seemed very daunting. Now that we hit 6 months, I keep making subtle comments to my husband to gauge his comfort with “extended” breastfeeding. Because weaning at a year seems SO very unlikely.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Ah ha Janine! You picked out the comment from my doctor!!!! She actually said that after 3 months the only reason to breastfeed is for comfort, MY comfort and happiness…so BiP is in the 90% on thin air then!!!

      Yes, breastfeeding is a sacrifice. It’s exhausting at times, painful and, like you, it makes weight loss next to impossible. Ok, yes, I enjoy breastfeeding but sometimes is gets old but it certainly isn’t about me! Just today I could have killed for a coffee but it was 5pm and I was worried it would keep BiP up so I had a herbal tea instead.

      If ONLY men had breasts – I don’t think they could cope with it but it would be awesome wouldn’t it? As far as asking my husband’s opinion on feeding is concerned, I’ve not really gone there yet. They are my breasts and it’s my choice. I’ve warned him that weaning would mean he’d have to do the bedtimes and night waking comforting which he’s obviously not super keen on! He see’s how easy it is to give BiP “boobie” when she is tired, upset or wakes up in the middle of the night – she cries and literally seconds later she is quiet and then appeased. To me, it truly is a superpower.

  5. Congrats! I hope to feed my daughter as long as I can as well! It’s so special… and I actually got weepy the other night because she slept through the night, and I missed that 2am snuggle!

    Here’s to taking care of our children… regardless of what others may think!

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Thanks Taleah! Congrats to both of us! I know how it feels when they start dropping feeds – it’s bittersweet – they are growing up!

      Luckily we have the knowledge and the drive to do what WE feel is best for our babies and ignore the “opinions” of others!

  6. I know it’s horrible of me but I’ll tell somebody that I feel sorry for their children and the lack of nutrition they receive/d from not fully breastfeeding.

    Quinn is a year old and I hope to breastfeed for another year at minimum, but I’d love to go another two years.

    I might sound a bit b*tchy but if I receive a negative comment I’ll straight up say that the person spewing the negative comments is uneducated and I’ll point them in the direction to educate themselves.

    And I DO feel sorry for the children who aren’t given opportunity to wean themselves.

    Perhaps I don’t get many “it’s time for you to wean” comments because I seem to look down my nose at those who wean too early. 😛

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Hahaha Whitney, I love you! That’s awesome that you have breastfed for a year and want to continue, Quinn is a lucky girlie. I personally don’t care how other’s feed their babies as long as they feed them. I was formula fed and I turned out ok (I guess that’s open to debate!!!!) What does annoy the hell out of me is when I am forced to justify my position in choosing to breastfeed for an “extended period” of time, even though 11m is hardly extended in my opinion. I would love to let BiP wean herself. I let her decide when she sat up, when she crawled and walked, I also let her choose what she eats, how and when – so, it feels unnatural to decide for her when to stop breastfeeding. I hope she will make the decision for us and I am sure I’ll be the one crying at night – not her.
      Good for you for standing your ground and how I wish I could be a fly on the wall when someone crosses your path! You rock!

  7. The American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommends breast feeding for at least one year! My baby is just 5 months old, and while breast-feeding has been a challenge and it’s a lot to keep up with now that I’m working again (part-time), I will keep doing it as long as I can. I confess that I also kinda feel sorry for formula-fed babies. They don’t have a choice or a voice in the matter; they are just trusting us to feed them and make good decisions on their behalf when we do.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      I know, its the World Health Organisation’s recommendation that babies are breastfed for 2 years. Whilst I take each month as it comes (I have to admit at the beginning I wasn’t sure I’d make it to 1 month let alone 11+!) I am not bothered about how other people feed their babies in all honesty. I am only concerned with how BiP is fed. Everyone makes their choices accordingly. Sounds like you are doing a great job mama …

      • Ah, you are a better soul than I…I should remember to “live and let live.” I can get too critical & judgmental sometimes. (ironically, exactly the qualities I can’t stand to be on the receiving end of!) Oh well, I have really enjoyed your blog since becoming a mom myself, imagining your quirky adventurous life there in Provence. Thanks for the inspiration… keep on writing! 🙂

        • mummyinprovence says:

          Thanks so much! Love having your input!

  8. Congrats on the milestone MiP! I feel people wouldn’t be so keen to give such misguided advice if they were aware about the benefits of BFing. But getting it from a pediatrician is beyond ridiculous! If wanting to provide the best nutrition you can for your baby is considered selfish, then moms are one selfish breed of people!!! I was BFed for 5 years and I hope I can BF my baby for at least half as long.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Thank you Mamatha! I totally agree with you! Here is to being “selfish!” Keep up the great work mama!

  9. Congrats on your milestone!

    I wrote a post on this topic (that hasn’t been posted yet) for the April Carnival of Breastfeeding. I was getting comments and strange looks even at 6 months, even worse at 1 year. Don’t listen. You can try to explain but most people have an idea in their head of what they think is right and no amount of explaining will change that.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Thanks Callista! You are so right – people give their “advice”/opinion with no intention of hearing our reality, wishes or desires. Luckily we are strong and determined enough to do what WE feel is right. I feel sorry for those who follow the opinions of those around them blindly. Whatever works I say and for now weaning is something for BiP to decide.

      Please keep me posted on your April Carnival of Breastfeeding!

  10. The idea of weaning makes me weepy too. It isn’t always fun but it’s very special and I’m very thankful for it. I have a few friends who have made comments like “After a year it’s only for the mother” or “you should wean by the time he can ask for it”, etc. But there is no reason to believe that the benefits end at 1, and it’s just too wonderful- emotionally/psychologically AND nutritionally, for me to force him out of it 🙂 Go you and BiP!

  11. Thank you for sharing your story! I wish more folks had the courage like you do to say, “SCREW IT” to everyone’s advice. My lil man just turned four months and everyone except my mother and MIL and husband are asking me when I am going to wean. Uh…the kid hasn’t even had anything BUT my milk yet, so NEVER! LOL. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Thanks Becky, I am thrilled that you are standing your ground. It is so weird that the day you start breastfeeding people start asking when you are going to wean. It’s a personal choice and it really shouldn’t be influenced by others. Keep up the good work mama!

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