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Thread: When to Wean?

  1. #1

    Default When to Wean?

    What is the 'normal' age for children to wean? What would you consider appropriate reasons for mother-led reasons.

    I am so torn. I love feeding my boys (25mo and 7mo), esp at the moment when it is so easy, and I have so much connection with them both through this. While I love breastfeeding them, I have always hated being a breastfeeding mother iykwim and it's clouding my ability to judge the right time for us to wean. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (or both) for four years now - and my biggest *hate* is how enlarged my breasts have been for this time. At what point do I say enough is enough and wean to 'get my body back'? It is not merely appearance, and I am certainly not 'touched out' yet, but the size of my breasts is really difficult for me every day of my life. I am a small/average sized person with G/H cups and I cannot find a good fitting bra - I have a lot of back/neck pain and headaches. But but but...I am not ready to give up this part of our relationship.


  2. #2

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    That's a tough one - I'm not sure anyone else can really advise you. We generally wean very early in our culture, for all sorts of reasons, but as I understand it the natural age for children to wean themselves is something like 4-7.
    I guess as with everything you have to weigh your personal circumstances and somehow figure out what's best for all of you.
    All the best

  3. #3

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    That is a toughy!

    I hope with some soul searching you can find the right decision for you...xxxx

  4. #4

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    Hi, there,
    It can be really difficult. Childbearing tends to alter our shape - forever. I am personally a bit dubious about the concept of "getting one's body back". It's really never going to be the same. It is normal to breastfeed for 2 years or more. I wonder what you can do to help your body without weaning? Can you get time to excercise more, stregthen your body? Can you (if you don't already) make sure you get really well fitted bras? Can you see a physiotherapist or chiropractor for advice on posture etc? Is your older child ready to wean at all, with some gentle encouragement? Thant could make a difference - or you could at least see what would happen if you were "halfway" there.

  5. #5

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    Gabi, you sound like you've had a very tiring time. I remember the time with 2 under 2 as the hardest time of my life. It definitely does get easier as they get older though. Your 2yo is probably starting to show some independence already, and your 7 month old is not too far away from being past the real "baby" stage. Things really change as they get older.

    I never tandem fed as my DS1 self-weaned while I was pg. I think in some ways only feeding one at once made things easier, but definitely not less tiring! In other ways though, not being to bf to calm an upset toddler was a disadvantage. There were sure days when I wish I had that to try! I am also grateful that both my DS's at least bf past the 12 month mark, as having to worry about making up formula feeds and washing bottles etc would have really done me in.

    I don't think you are facing an easy decision, but I wish you the best with it. I think for me, the fog lifting from that exhausting time happened once DS2 passed the 1 year mark. I hope you find some light in your tunnel not too far away

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for your lovely responses.

    It helped just getting it out there. If I do wean I want to do both boys at the same time (if I have to be a BF mother then DS1 may as well get the nutritional/emotional benefit). I think I now realise that I'm not willing to do it before DS2 turns one. In most ways I think I have it pretty good, I'm not too tired, I'm not sick of feeding, my sons like to feed together and apart so we have a great thing going. So I guess my current decision is to postpone the decision lol.

    It's just my bust that I'm down about. Thanks for the advice Barb, but I am seeing a physio, I work out regularly, and I have tried on every bra in every specialty shop known to woman - large cup sizes begin in a size 12 which rides up my back. Is it likely that my breasts will be this large forever now? (please say no )I want to get back to my E cup - my breasts have increased one cup size with each baby I've nursed and I intend to nurse another four or more!

  7. #7

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    And no, DS1 is not even close to being ready to wean. While DS2 is quite independant and active and I could see him weaning early, DS1 is a very attached child and doesn't like to take the lead developmentally. DS1 still has an early morning feed, a nap time feed and a bed time feed AND once or twice during the day to reconnect. It is still definately a need on his part.

  8. #8

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    Gabi, it is likely that you will go down a bra size (or more) once you are no longer bfing. Unfortunately with a a few years and a couple of pgs under your belt they well might not be quite what they were before. It can feel really good to get some nice new bras once your babies have weaned, but don't get them straight away because it can take 2 -3 months for your breasts to settle down to their post-bfing size.

  9. #9

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    Hi Gabi

    I have only bf one child so far, until she was just about four. I found that somewhere between about 12 and 18 mths my bbs settled back into their pre-pg size. I ditched all of the maternity bras and went back to wearing what made me feel pretty. (I now have a drawer full of maternity bras in about four different sizes ).

    Since you were obviously pg with DS2 when DS1 was at this age, you wouldn't know if you would naturally go back to your 'normal' (or new normal!) size at this stage or not. But all of the Mums I know who've bf toddlers find their bbs do drop back a size or two after a while. (Some bemoan the fact their bbs drop back to a smaller size than pre-pg!)

    So if your bb size is a consideration on weaning, I'd say you might be able to wait and see. It might resolve itself without you doing anything.

  10. #10

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    I found the same thing as Jen, by the time DS was about 14 months my boobs were back to normal (unfortunately).

  11. #11

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    Thank you! There is hope

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