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Are You Ready to Stop Breastfeeding? (Or Are You Being Pressured to Do So?)

Did you know that up to 90% of UK mums and 60% of US mothers stop breastfeeding before they truly want to? It's a staggering statistic that speaks volumes about the pressures mothers face when it comes to feeding their babies. I, too, faced these pressures, but ultimately my breastfeeding journey was incredibly empowering despite the lack of support from friends, family and even colleagues.


I believe wholeheartedly that every mother should be encourage and supported to breastfeed for as long as she chooses - and then to stop on her own terms, too. If you are unsure of whether you are truly ready to wean your child(ren) off the breast, or you are simply feeling the pressure to do so, keep reading. These are the questions I asked myself before I knew that I could start out weaning journey without regret.


Are You Considering Weaning for Reasons Other Than You or Your Child?


If you're contemplating weaning primarily for someone else's sake, I would argue that it is that relationship which is in need of attention. Breastfeeding is often used as a scapegoat for other issues, which is completely unfair but pretty common. If that person is a partner or relative, I recommend having a really frank conversation with them about what breastfeeding means to you and why their support matters. Ultimately you breastfeed for your little one and no-one else.


If you are considering stopping breastfeeding in order to spend time with older children, ask yourself if weaning will truly free up your time? Or will it change the way that you spend your time with your children? There really is no right or wrong answer to these questions - only what feels right for you, your family & your unique circumstances.


Are You Weaning for Better Sleep?


Are you considering weaning solely to improve your little one's sleep? While stopping breastfeeding might help, it's not a guaranteed solution. Night waking is normal among babies, toddlers and young children and there is no clear, known link between breastfeeding and overnight sleep. It could be that your little one still wakes up overnight but you would need to find another way to comfort them back to sleep. Be sure to seek advice from a medical professional if you suspect that underlying issues could be behind your child's frequent night waking.


Is Work the Sole Reason for Considering Weaning?


If work is the driving force behind your thoughts of weaning, know that it's entirely possible to continue breastfeeding while working. Yes, even if you work long hours and/or you travel for work frequently. As with this whole decision-making process, it is you, mama who is best positioned to make this call for your body and your family. Click here for further guidance on returning to work as a breastfeeding mother.


Are You Ready to Stop, or Do You Need More Support?


Are you truly ready to stop breastfeeding, or is support what you really need? Perhaps you're yearning for more me-time or you desperately need the chance to practice self-care on a regular basis? Take some time to reflect upon your needs and speak to your partner, friends, family and paid childcare provider about this.


Your Final Feed


If your last feed had been your final feed, how would you feel about it? Grief or relief? Go with your gut and trust that there is no-one in the world better equipped to make this decision than you, mama.


I encourage all mothers to spend some time journalling their thoughts and reflecting on their breastfeeding journey before making this decision. If you feel like you couldn't be more ready to stop breastfeeding then I am your girl!

My hour-long Weaning with Love webinar answers every question I have ever been asked about weaning. Get my accompanying 33 page guide for feee with discount code: BOGOF


Here's to supporting your breastfeeding journey every step of the way.


With love,

Danielle

❤️



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