Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

Being back in town meant that it was time to start weaning my daughter from breastfeeding. This was something that I had been dreading since my diagnosis.

I'm a former La Leche League leader, so I had a decent idea of how to start the whole process. The first feeding I was planning to cut out was the overnight feeding. Not only is this the easiest to start with, but cutting that one first would hopefully start to decrease my milk supply overall. Overnight feedings will impact your daytime supply. If your baby nurses a lot overnight, it should help to increase your daytime supply. If you cut out your overnight feedings, your daytime supply should go down.

I figured that I would work on that for 4-5 days. The next feedings to go would be the daytime feedings not associated with sleeping. The snacks and the feedings that helped with fussiness or boredom. There weren't too many of these left. My daughter was a pretty good eater and she wasn't nursing too much during the day anymore. After working on that for 4-5 days I decided that we would get rid of the nursing before her nap, and then finally, the nursing before bed. I already knew that those would be the most difficult.

I had bought the girl a special Hello Kitty water bottle for her to use overnight. So when she woke up she could have that instead of nursing. She wasn't too impressed, but after the first few nights things settled down. The daytime 'snacks' went about the same. A little rough at first, but she adjusted within a few days.

For naps and nighttime I had originally decided that I would gradually decrease the amount of time spent nursing until we were down to like, a minute the last day. But when it came time to start decreasing the sessions I couldn't do it. The idea that our last nursing together would only be a minute long- and probably a stressful minute since she would protest the shortened time- it was just too much. I told a friend that I was just going to nurse at those times like usual, and then just be done. I wanted the memory of our last nursing time together to be a pleasant one. My friend didn't think that was such a great idea. But my mind was made up.

Turns out, what I thought would be our last nursing wasn't. The girl woke up the next day with a cold and a slight fever. She was miserable all day. I told my husband that it didn't seem fair. She was sick and the one thing she probably wanted more than anything was to nurse. 'Do you think it would be ok if I just nurse her before bed tonight? One last time?' The husband thought it would be ok, so that's exactly what I did. It was the best thing I could have done. The last nursing was one that made her feel better physically, and made me feel better emotionally. It's good to go out on a high note.

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