8 Things That Happened After I Stopped Breastfeeding ٨ أشياء حصلت بعد مرحلة فطام إبني
Posted January 29, 2016 (3 years and 5 months later) To all the mothers who think 2 years is long, my son to this date does not remember a single day of breastfeeding :D He thinks I gave him milk through my stomach. Below is a blog post I wrote then.
My son stopped breastfeeding a few days after his 2nd birthday. He had already skipped a few days without breastfeeding all by himself. So when he asked to breastfeed afterwards randomly, I offered him a different source of milk instead. Then 1 day passed, 2 days, 10 days, and now almost 2 months passed. My son has officially weaned. Here are the things that have happened since my son weaned.
1. We got communication issues
Breastfeeding is not just a feeding method. It is also a soft parenting tool. It is a great way to soothe your son or daughter if they have hit their head or hurt themselves or just had a random tantrum. In those first 2 weeks after he weaned I did not know how to deal with any of the above issues. I had to regroup my mind and find ways to soothe him other than breastfeeding. As you can imagine, there was a lot of nagging.
2. I did not get engorged
I wasn’t totally surprised that I did not get engorged given our breastfeeding frequency had gone down to once or twice a day and sometimes none. I did expect a little bit, but it didn’t happen.
3. The milk never stopped
This is so weird. I am a breastfeeding specialist and I am still surprised that 2 months later, if I try to hand express I get milk immediately. I kind of feel like the milk will never stop. My badge of honor for 2 years breastfeeding. Who knows let’s see when it will stop.
4. He got sick
A lot. It was a strong winter in Lebanon and he got sick more than usual. I thought about trying to breastfeed a few times so he can get better faster. I knew it would confuse him but I figured health comes first. I felt lots of regret about weaning him when I saw him sick and felt I could have helped him and didn’t.
5. I offered to breastfeed 3 weeks after weaning
So I succumbed 3 weeks later and I decided that’s it. I am just going to offer to feed him again. I did. He looked at me and said “Ohh, I feed” excitedly he then opened his mouth. Then didn’t do anything. He didn’t breastfeed. So I hand expressed a small amount of milk so he can see the milk or smell it. Then he said “No! Scared!” His dad and I died laughing. He got scared of seeing the milk out of the breast. Regret out the window.
6. I regret that I do not have photographs of him breastfeeding
All throughout breastfeeding I never thought to take a picture. Especially when he was a baby because I used to think I will be breastfeeding for so long there’s no need. Then 1 year and 2 years passed and it became so natural that I forgot it should be photographed. Once we stopped I remembered that I do not have a photograph. However, I know that I will never, as long as I live forget the look in his eyes as he looks up into my eyes and breastfeeds. I will never forget how he would turn my face so I’d look in his eyes while breastfeeding. I’ll never forget the breastfeeding gymnastics.
7. I miss it
Sometimes I miss it, especially when I see breastfeeding moms. I know that it was the right time for me and him though. Missing breastfeeding makes me think that the next baby, I might breastfeed even longer.
8. I get so much more hugs
Weaning made me appreciate the magic of breastfeeding even more. Ever since my son stopped breastfeeding, he hugs me all the time. He asks to be carried all the time. He asks for kisses all the time. I am not complaining, I absolutely love it. I just can’t help but think those brief breastfeeding minutes used to give him all the hugs and cuddles that he needs.