Stopping breastfeeding because of the pain should have been an easy choice, but it was still hard and very emotive for me as a Mum to a one year old baby.  A few months before, Brook and I ran into problems with breastfeeding. Everything had been going fine until this point, but then I started to experience significant pain in one breast while I was breastfeeding.

I ended up with mastitis, thrush and a rather nasty crack in my nipple which required 2 lots of antibiotics, cream and my old faithful, lanolin, to help treat the problems caused by breastfeeding.  We ended up just breastfeeding on one side, which left me with one monster boob. Great!  I’m not overly vain, but this was pushing it even for me.

Then monster boob also ended up with thrush, and started to show signs of cracking. It was becoming equally as uncomfortable to feed her from this side and as much as I tried to deny it I had to ask myself whether it was a good idea to continue breastfeeding in this amount of pain.

stopping breastfeeding

Our feeds had stopped being that close precious time we had once enjoyed, and breastfeeding had become fraught with pain, distress and a lot of tears.  It wasn’t pleasant for either of us.  I would always reach a point in the feed I couldn’t continue and she would get upset that she couldn’t finish her feed.  It was heartbreaking for us both.

Someone said to me that these aren’t feelings that you should experience in your parenting relationship, and of course they are right, but I am still sad.  It wasn’t how I wanted our breastfeeding experience to end, neither of us were ready for it and we were not in control.  The end felt forced upon us because of the breastfeeding pain.

That being said, she is practically 1 years old, and getting this far with breastfeeding in itself is a huge achievement.  She has struggled with weaning and eating and we needed to get more food into her, and the stopping breastfeeding has some what forced the issue.  She is definitely eating a lot better than she was before we stopped.

But that is it, our last feed was at 2 am Thursday morning.  It was fairly pain free, which is something I guess, but breastfeeding has definitely stopped for me. Forever!  It seemed like a monumental moment at the time, but now we are onto the next milestone and we are all consumed with when she’s going to start walking.  The sadness of stopping breastfeeding seems to have petered into insignificance already.

It was helpful that Daddy was able to step in and help us manage the change and took over her bedtime routine so she didn’t have the association of me and breastfeeding at night.  I give her water if she wakes up in the night, but to be honest she has slept so much better since we stopped the feeds.  She is teething now though, so is a little more restless than she would be normally.

Stopping breastfeeding did feel like such a big deal at the time.  Feeding a baby, however you do it, is such an emotive issue for a Mum.  We just want to get it right don’t we?  I think in our case, nature was telling us it was time, and it’s worked out for the best.  There’s no time to dwell on it, as parenting a child is far too busy and never stands still.

Did you struggle with stopping breastfeeding?

9 COMMENTS

  1. Like you, I felt as if our journey came to an end in a way I wouldn’t have chosen if not got external factors but I genuinely believe getting to nearly 1 year is a huge huge achievement and you should be very proud. x

    #sharewithme

  2. This made me so emotional. It is hard when it doesn’t end the best way. I was heartbroken when both of mine stopped feeding for different reasons, one at 10 months, one at 14 months but it hurts for some reason. It’s the end of an era, but like you said on to the next parenting issue xxx hugs #sharewithme

  3. Oh hunny I remember ending both times it’s the end of an era isn’t it? Feels free but also sad at the same time. they grow so fast don’t they? So hard when it doesn’t end how you want it to. I have wrote about how badly MM’s journey of breastfeeding ended and how devastated I was. Its tough. But know they will be fine in the end no matter how long you did it or if you ever did it at all. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Advice to my childrenMy Profile

  4. Awww, such a emotional post. It’s such a shame that you felt the end was forced upon you, but you have had share so many magical breastfeeding moments with her. Mastitis is awful and we have also dealt with thrush a couple of months ago, luckily it only took two courses of the drops to get rid of it for us. I must admit I have had an up and down relationship with breastfeeding. Overall I love it but some days/some feeds find myself thinking of all the caffeine I am going to drink when Boo stop feeding, but then others days I feel like I would be so sad and miss it when Boo has her last feed.

  5. O my word, lots of ‘ouch’. It must have been so annoying for this to happen a year in; I didn’t know until recently that some of the challenges associated with the early days of breastfeeding might still rear their ugly heads over a year down the road. And you know, I hadn’t considered much that they could force the ending of one’s breastfeeding journey! I’d only considered a situation where my son might want to self wean before I reach my breastfeeding goal or I just didn’t feel like carrying on. It must have been hard ending a preicous aspect of your parenting – child relationship that you didn’t feel ready for. However, as you said, time doesn’t stop and life keeps happening. And as such there isn’t much time to dwell on it. It’s lovely that it’s worked out well in the end though it might not be how you would have chosen it.

    Thanks for linking up to #BreastfeedingandI.
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…Lovely Things in MayMy Profile

  6. You did really well managing nearly a year. You sound like you have been in agony. It’s interesting that she is sleeping better now, people have said to me that when I stop feeding Lucas, he will sleep better as it’s habit waking for a bit of boob x

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.