5 things that happened when I stopped breastfeeding

It’s been about 6 months now, maybe a bit less, since I stopped breastfeeding Edith. Before that, there was a toddler latched onto my nips morning, noon and night like some kind of boob crazed addict in need of the next hit. The girl could be relentless. We managed to knock her feeds down to night time and bed time only around 7/8 months ago and then we finally finished breastfeeding completely when Adam and I went about for two nights to Manchester.

I thought it was about time I shared with you all the things that I’ve noticed since I stopped breastfeeding, and before you read on I want to clarify a couple of things for you – this is not to persuade you one way or another. I am very much a firm believer in feeding your baby however you choose is what is best for everyone – me, you, your baby, your NCT Aunt Sheila who has that opinion on what you’re doing all the fucking time, the cashier at the supermarket who scowls when you buys formula or the other customers in the cafe who frown as you get out the nip (even when you can’t see a fecking thing because a whopping great head is in the way)… yeah, it’s better for ALL of you feed your baby YOUR way, as long as you feed em, who really gives a shit right?

Right.

I also want to clarify that some of you may read this and say “well that’s bollocks, I didn’t feel that way” and that, my loves, is fine. In the same way I don’t give a hoot what you do with your baby and your boobies, I am fully aware that my experience may not be yours. We’re different humans, therefore we notice different things and experience different things. I’m not trying to convince you here, just share my own experiences, kapeesh?

So now that’s clarified here are some of the things I have discovered after stopping breastfeeding.

1.) I have gained WEIGHT.

I am laying the blame for this sudden weight gain at the feet of my decision to stop breastfeeding. Admittedly, it could also be lain at the doorstep of the local Cantonese or the biscuit cupboard, but I have noticed a rather dramatic and sudden increase in weight and I’ll be frank, my diet is no better or worse, it’s not been great since I had Edith. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I can’t LOSE the weight as fast. It packs itself on and then clings there like someone has painted me in no more nails and then shoved some fat on my arms. It’s horrible and I really do think that breastfeeding a toddler helped me keep weight off – it 100% didn’t make me lose it, not with Edith or Toby, so that is a myth for me.

2.) Edith sleeps better now she’s not feeding.

Yup. She’s not waking up to latch herself onto a nork at 2.24am like some deranged raccoon in search of fodder, she wakes up occasionally and either comes into bed with me (where she will try to initiate conversations – about interesting things like her belly button or her Num noms) or she will simply go back to sleep. I find that since we stopped breastfeeding she sleeps the night through until 6ish most days of the week. I have a theory as to why this is and it’s numero three…

3.) Edith eats better now she’s not feeding.

Yup. She’s not as fussy, sometimes when she’s downright hungry, she’ll even consider a vegetable. I know. We’re pushing the boat OUT. All joking apart, now Edith can’t just pass up grub and grab a tit, she’s eating so. Much. Better. She’s still picky, she’s still hard work – I think that is just Edith, but I’m not throwing myself onto a chez lounge and having a panic attack because she’s only eaten half a strand of spaghetti in 2 days. Side note: we don’t currently have a chez lounge. Goals.

4.) I’m sleeping better and less run down.

I am, I really found that breastfeeding was a drain on me, and as someone who isn’t the best at looking after themselves all the time, I found that I would allow myself to get run down and then she would take the best of me in terms of immunity and energy. I realise she isn’t *actually*  taking MY immunity in that sense but it is a tiring thing to do and I find that I am less run down now than I was then.

5.) I miss it.

I do. As much as I moaned about it (no, it’s fine, I know I moaned) I do miss it. I miss watching her look up at me with such trust and adoration. I miss hold her as she falls asleep against my chest. I miss kissing the tendrils of her hair as she feeds and I miss having that instant “make it all better tool” when she’s upset. I really do miss it.

And there, dear friends, you have it. Some wonderful and not so wonderful things came from breastfeeding and the same have come from stopping. Breastfeeding was a highlight of my motherhood with Edith, a true highlight.

H 🙂

25 Comments

  1. Lauren Blades
    June 13, 2019 / 4:32 pm

    Thank you for this ! I am just starting to wean my 16 month old and its very hard but last night she slept for the first time the entire night! I t was glorious! I love reading the good when trying to be strong and the honest moments of motherhood.

  2. March 1, 2018 / 1:21 pm

    It’s been such a long time since I breastfed, but I do miss it too, in a lot of ways. It’s such a special time with you & your baby, but it’#s great to hear that Edith is eating & sleeping much better since you’ve stopped. xx

  3. February 28, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    This is so interesting to read, as someone who doesn’t have kids it’s a great insight into a potential future. I’m sorry to hear you miss it but I’m glad you are getting more sleep and that Edith is both sleeping and eating better

  4. February 28, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Ooo the take away can be so hard to turn down and is very tempting. I have had a few myself this week alone!! x

  5. February 28, 2018 / 8:43 pm

    I found it was a mixture of things for me, but very much similar. Perhaps the biggest down side was putting weight on. I liked that my body felt more mine again, but it has been a struggle to regain anything worth calling a figure.

  6. February 28, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    None of my three ever slept through the night until I stopped breastfeeding…I found it quite hard to stop but I have to say the sleep was very much appreciated.

  7. Joanna
    February 28, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    I don’t have children but I do have a friend who just gave birth and she is breastfeeding her baby. I know that for her is hard at the moment as she does have to wake up during the night and both her and her baby’s sleep are not great.

  8. February 28, 2018 / 10:25 am

    We are just getting ready to welcome our new baby and I’m looking forward to breastfeeding. Let’s see how we get on this time around!

  9. February 28, 2018 / 9:45 am

    I can appreciate the challenges you face when you breast feed (I didn’t myself) but I can see why you’d miss the bond you have with your child in that moment. I am glad you are sleeping better now though and meal times are easier and less fussy for Edith.

  10. February 27, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    After 4 years my mummy still misses it 🙁 She’s got great memories to hold on to though….and some not so great, like the time she was house bound for 2 weeks solidly feeding me during a ‘wonder week’. Wonder week my ass, it was a wonder she ever survived! x

  11. February 27, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    I’d heard many people say about the putting on weight thing when they stopped breastfeeding – I think it is quite common. I don’t blame you for missing it, it is such a rewarding experience.

  12. February 27, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    Its so true, i remember the same for me too when I stopped feeding my kids, I put on more weight and kids and I ended up sleeping for longer period.

  13. February 27, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I’m not a mother so I have no idea how to relate to any of this. That being said many of my friends and the women in my family do have children so it’s always good to hear these sorts of insightful stories.

  14. February 27, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Yay well done for keeping going. It must be so weird to have your boobs back and what an amazing experience for both of you 🙂

  15. February 27, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Giving up breastfeeding has its downsides as well as it’s upsides – getting a better nights sleep is a definite plus

  16. February 27, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    It’s good that Edith is eating and sleeping better without breastfeeding, it almost makes stopping feel worth it x

  17. February 27, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    it’s so crazy how everyone is different. Everyone told me that the reason my daughter was a terrible sleeper was because I was still breastfeeding at a year. She self weaned around 14 months and she is a worse sleeper now haha. I really miss it too, but she was ready to stop, even if I wasn’t.

  18. February 27, 2018 / 10:08 am

    oh i remember those nights and long days , i loved having that bond but i have to admit i dont miss it and made me feel so much better in myself afterwards

  19. February 27, 2018 / 6:57 am

    Okay…..well,is it spring yet? Can’t wait to get out and plant some new flowers and lay down some mulch….and hello to Edith….

  20. February 27, 2018 / 12:51 am

    I know that when my friend stopped breastfeeding that she also put on weight but at the same time she said that missed being able to feed her son and watching him gaze into her eyes. I love that you described it as being a highlight of your motherhood.

  21. February 26, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    I’m currently deciding whether to stop feeding my toddler twins. My boy isn’t bothered but my girl would go mad. My mum suggested going away but I just didn’t know if it would work and if she would be too distressed.
    What you said about Edith’s eating sounds so similar to my girl.
    This has really given me some food for thought.

  22. February 26, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    Well done you for nursing her for so long. I do often wonder if Lena would eat better if we stopped as she’s terrible for eating and often asks to nurse when she’s hungry instead of eating food. She’s nowhere near stopping yet though so hey ho!

  23. February 26, 2018 / 11:23 am

    I’m still feeding my 2 year old and she is awful with food atm! No chance of getting her to stop though as I am feeding her 7 week old brother too. I’m hoping she’ll slow down soon ??

  24. February 26, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Interesting! A lot of this is true with my son with simply reducing feeds- I’ve put on weight, he eats more and sleeps better. I’m not sure which came first though, whether the eating and sleeping are cause or consequence.

    • Harriet February 26, 2018 / 8:19 am

      It’s hard to know isn’t it? I don’t know if that would have happened had we stopped much earlier or if it would have just been a barrel of stress!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.