Friday, August 4, 2017

Exclusive Breastfeeding Journey Part 3 – Weaning Off

In June 2017, our little firstborn turned 2 years old. Alhamdulillah, we managed to still provide him with his mother’s milk until then. However, with every journey, there must be an end for it. Having gone through very painful episodes of blocked duct for more than a couple of times throughout the 2 years duration, I was naturally anxious about stopping.

Nevertheless, for various reasons, I wanted to stop my son from breastfeeding. And I prefer a method that does not involve cheating or tricking my son. That’s my preference, and I respect other moms’ methods should they feel the need to do it any other way.

A few months before stopping, I consulted with many people, mostly my own seniors or friends that have gone through the process. They shared a few tips and from there, I formed a strategy. I also read up on the topic to prepare myself mentally and physically. Coincidentally, my husband was away for the fasting month and the majority of the ‘Raya’ month. From my previous experience of fasting while breastfeeding my son, I really do not think I could go on another month of it. (Bad thinking, I know!) I felt really weak and tired last year, so I decided to ask my son to refrain from breastfeeding during the day throughout the month of Ramadan this year. Instead, I gave him the liquid, full cream milk when he wanted milk. I started to give him ‘the talk’ about a couple of weeks beforehand, to make sure that he understands and cooperates with me.

The first few days, he asked for it. We called it ‘susu ummi’ and the full cream milk as ‘susu kotak’. The first dew days of putting him to his daytime nap was quite a challenge because he is used to breastfeeding till he falls asleep. Thankfully after a couple of weeks, he got used to the arrangements. This went on until the first couple of weeks of ‘raya’, when my husband returned home.

A couple of days after my husband returned, our son seemed to be in such a good mood that we started to completely stop him from breastfeeding. We told him that he’s a big boy now, already two years old, and he could stop ‘susu ummi’ and continue eating normal food. If he misses his milk, he can drink ‘susu kotak’. We struggled for the first week, whereby he would wake up in the middle of the night, throwing tantrums and all, because he was hungry. So we tried feeding him a night snack right before putting him to sleep, to prevent hunger pang in the middle of the night. So far, it’s been nearly a month and he seemed to have been weaned off completely and successfully.

I feared that I might suffer from blocked duct or anything once I stop. Fortunately, I survived without any need to express my milk and the supply dwindled to the point that even my breasts returned to their size before I got pregnant.

I’m blessed that my husband is around to help and that my son is cooperative. Alhamdulillah, we managed to complete that part of our duty to our son. May our next chid will be blessed in the same way. Aameen.

All the best to other moms out there! I hope this sharing helps.

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