Monday, 11 March 2013

Weaning: Day 7

Yes, my duty as a Muslim mother is to breastfeed my offspring for two years. There are exceptions, also provided for in the al Quran but our topic today is on weaning *smile*
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six month from birth.
Now at 35 months and counting, we have slowly introduced weaning The Little Girl from the breasts.
The starting point was at 30 months.

The Little Girl started tolerating cow milk without vomiting and eczema. We introduced it via some cow milk with her morning cereal, and gradually increased her consumption to 4 oz/ 120 ml of cow milk before sleeping.
However, she would still insist on "mama's milk" to soothe her to sleep at night.
Somehow, our tummy to tummy posture got uncomfortable when The Little Bean hit 22 weeks.
My breasts also got overly sensitive when nursing (pregnancy hormones?).
The mild contractions from breastfeeding grew increasingly uncomfortable as well. Coupled with Braxton-Hicks, I felt unsure if it was Braxton-Hicks or just oxytoxin being released. Or a combo of both!
Either way, I was prepared emotionally to wean The Little Girl. I know we have done our best, and it is a wonderful sense of achievement.
How did we do it? 
Slow and steady. Many recommend going cold turkey but we just could not.
We kept to the "new" bed time routine for a few weeks.
Choose story books.
Brush teeth.
New: Milk time. Old: Breastfeeding time.
(I know, it is supposed to be brush teeth then sleep but brushing her teeth wakes her up! Is it the minty toothpaste?)
During day time, we practiced positive reinforcement.
Slideshow of her photographs as a newborn and early days of drinking from the bottle containing expressed breast milk. We also included her photographs during her toddler days directly nursing in public on holidays etc. We continued to explain how she has grown and can now eat with the adults, drink from a cup etc.

Slowly but surely, she stopped asking for the breasts except for the one time she fell ill. Once she recovered, so did her appetite for "milk in a bottle".

How is it like now?

350ml on nights when she is thirsty. Takes less than 15 minutes for her to chug that much milk then doze off.
120ml on nights when she just wants a wee drink then sleep.
Confession: I never knew how much she was drinking from the breasts, and it did not matter because her growth chart was spot on average. She also produced the 6-8 wet diapers and was regular with poo.
She still cuddles, holds my hands, shares my pillow on some nights and we are both enjoying this new found "intimacy". On other nights, she is more than happy to roll off to her toddler bed and zzzZZZzzz from 10 pm until 7.30 am *syukur alhamdulillah!*
How have my breasts reacted?
Left breast has a bit of blocked duct (needs massage) and dry nipple (Lansinoh really helps), but right breast is doing just fine! I am still going to talk to my ob-gyn about left breast during our next appointment.
Now, squeeze as I might, there is no milk oozing out like before. Just some thick colostrum (I am carrying The Little Bean at week 26 as I write this).
So, jazakAllah for the wonderful supply and journey with The Little Girl. He has been most kind in making this journey possible. Breastfeeding has taught me to be patient, resourceful and eat properly. It is a valuable lesson for me, for life.
Now may Allah bless The Little Bean with His rezeki, as we hope to breastfeed The Little Bean for 2 years as well.


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