The 5 Stages of Weaning

by | Jul 30, 2017 | Infant Feeding, Parenting |

There’s often times an internal struggle when it comes to breastfeeding and weaning, whether its parent-led or baby-led. I found myself thinking “I want my body back” “I want my body back” “I want my body back” but at the same time, neither of us were ready for this to end.  Until, one of us was. To my surprise, the internal struggle didn’t end there.

Denial– It’s been a day since she’s nursed. It’s been two days. Three days. Four. This can’t be it. She depended on me a week ago. I was her source of comfort, calm, and cuddles. She will ask again. And I’ll oblige… I think.  Do I want this to really be over? That seems drastic, way too fast. It can’t be over.

Anger– I encouraged this. I was selfish. I wanted my body back. I wanted to feel that my breasts were my own again. I stopped offering. I denied her sometimes. I just needed sleep. What if I hadn’t been so selfish? What if I just put up with it? She probably feels like I abandoned her. It’s my fault. Ugh.

Bargaining– Was our last nursing session everything I expected? Was this the big culminating event to an emotional roller coaster? Our breastfeeding experience wasn’t perfect. I was always perusing Facebook. I was ready for her to just fall asleep so I could have my own time.  I didn’t know it was the last time. How could I have known? Can I just do this over again? Just one last time? I would have cherished every last second, if I had only known.

Depression – Ugly crying. More ugly crying. Back to denial.

Acceptance– I did it. I achieved my goals. This is bittersweet. Bitter because I needed to grieve these special times that will be no more, as they always have to end at some point. Sweet because I have the best memories that resulted in a strong bond between my daughter and I. I could look forward to finding new ways to bond and our relationship will become even stronger that way.  It surrounded me with a circle of friends that I am thankful to have in my life. That should be celebrated. Together we did it and weaning was certainly the new beginning to an end. 

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