The time has come to wean your baby from breastfeeding. Perhaps it’s your choice or maybe you’re letting your child choose when it’s time to wean. Regardless, it can be a challenge both mentally and physically for both of you. Today we’re talking with moms about the practical side of what it takes to wean their babies.
The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Challenges: Weaning Your Baby
Episode 176, September 28th , 2016
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
SUNNY GAULT: Thanks to our friends at Rumina nursing-wear for sponsoring today’s episode. Their hands-free products make nursing and pumping simple, comfortable and convenient. Use promo code BoobGroup20 and save 20% off your order in www.pumpandnurse.com.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: The time has come to wean your baby from breastfeeding. Perhaps it is your choice or maybe you are letting your child choose when it is time to wean. Regardless, it can be a challenge both mentally and physically for you both.
Today, we continue our series “Breastfeeding Challenges” by talking with moms about the practical side of what it takes to wean their babies. We are The Boob Group.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome to The Boob Group! We're here to support all moms wanting to provide breast milk to their babies. I am your host – Priya Nembhard and I am also the co-founder of the “Moms Pump Here” Nursing Locator App which helps moms all over the world to find great places to pump and breastfeed their babies. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to download the New Mommy Media Network App which gives you easy access to all our episodes. You can also subscribe to our podcast through iTunes so all your latest episodes download to your mobile device automatically. And if you are on iTunes, please leave us a review so other moms can learn about us.
Let’s meet the mommas joining our conversation today. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Hi, my name is Graeme Seabrook. I am a pregnancy and post-partum coach and I am also a blogger at www.postpartummama.org and I have got two kiddos. My son is 3 and my daughter Rory is 10 months old and we just finished weaning about two weeks ago.
SUNNY GAULY: Hey guys, I am Sunny and I am producing today’s episode and I am also just going to participate as a momma because it is sad to say that I am starting to wean too … I know … it happened all of the sudden, I can explain later in the show. But I have 4 kids, if you have listened to The Boob Group, you’ve heard me tell this story before. But 4 of them … my oldest … I have two boys – those are my oldest ages 6 and 4 – and then I have identical twin girls who are two and a half and those are my babies that are starting to wean. It is a sad time. I will be okay though.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yes, you will absolutely be okay. So I am also your host and I am a mom of three and my children are older so I have been through the weaning process for all of them but my oldest is now 14, my daughter is 12 and my youngest – Liam – is 8 and I actually breastfed him for 3 years and the weaning was probably most difficult for him because he was my last one. So I can’t wait to share my experience with all of you and to have this great discussion about weaning. Thank you so much for being on.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: News headlines. So I don’t know if you guys saw, there was an image going around of a mom pumping in an Embassy Suites hotel because she couldn’t find any place to breast pump. Did you guys see that?
SUNNY GAULT: I did.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Did we see that? Yes!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So, it is crazy. So, she went up to I guess the management or whatever and she was there for a conference by the way. So she went up to management, she was looking for a place to pump and they told her to go use the bathroom and that she was not a paying customer. So she was like – wait, I just paid for this conference, why can’t I use your spaces. So they gave her such a hard time that she ended up just whipping out her pumping bra in the middle of the hotel lobby and pumping right there in front of everybody which is pretty badass.
GRAEME SEABROOK: I know, I love her.
SUNNY GAULT: You can say that.
GRAEME SEABROOK: I was about to say it and I was like – oh, Sunny is going to get mad at me.
SUNNY GAULT: I will give you guys a pass on this one.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Thank you … because she is … there is no other word for it.
SUNNY GAULT: I love it and did you guys see the photo, I’ve been looking at you know this … I am sure the story has been covered multiple times but US Weekly actually did something on this and I don’t know if she took that just to remember the situation or someone else …
GRAEME SEABROOK: She took it and posted … she also had a friend take and she posted it on Facebook on any breastfeeding group … she is in breastfeeding group on Facebook. So that was how it burst and got online because she is also a social worker and knew that this was against the law and she was just like “yeah, you are messing with the wrong mom right now, you guys”.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I wonder what the hotel did in response to this. Have you guys seen anything about it?
SUNNY GAULT: I think they backtracked. And this happens so many times, right? They backtrack after they get some negative publicity over it and admitted that this was wrong and she shouldn’t have been treated this way and I don’t know if they offered any solutions moving forward which I feel like they probably should have like saying “hey, we have learned from this and this is what we are going to do moving forward”.
I don’t know that that actually happened but I just love this photo because she is not upset in the photo, like I know she kind of went off on the person behind the desk but she is happy, you know, and I think that is kind of a testament to her that she can take a situation and not be completely upset and bitter about it, she was very confident. Like you said Graeme, she is in social work, she knows what her rights are and she just looks like a happy mom and I think that is a great image.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: You know, that’s funny because I took that as a sarcastic smile.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh, you did?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, I am doing this …
GRAEME SEABROOK: And I took it as “I am … yeah” that is exactly what I got from it was “okay, now I am happy, now that I am taking the power back and I am about to post this online” and knowing what is about to happen, yeah, very happy – why wouldn’t you be happy.
SUNNY GAULT: Well, sometimes when people, you know, if you get yelled at for breastfeeding in public or something, that can totally take down your demeanor and I am just so glad that she had the strength within whether it was sarcastic or not, to still be able to do what she set out to do and didn’t let that overcome her, I guess this was the point I was trying to make, I think that is pretty awesome.
GREAME SEABROOK: Yes - that she didn’t end up like taking the bathroom route and sitting there crying on a toilet like a lot of moms have done because they felt that that was their only option and then they felt horrible doing that. And yeah, she is just there sitting in the lobby and I love it.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, but you know, this is a huge problem though because there is a lot of … even convention centers, you know, all these big evens happen and there are no accommodations for women so by publicizing what happened to her and sharing it, she is putting it out on the spotlight and these conferences and events, they need to make accommodations especially if the bulk of the people attending are women, come on, you are bound to have a good percentage.
GRAEME SEABROOK: I am actually going to a conference in October where all of the people there would be women and most of them mothers. It is for post-partum progress and at the conference last year, they had a breastfeeding and pumping room and at the conference this year we will have a breastfeeding and pumping room.
So some of this is on whoever the conference coordinators are, you know, some of this is on them to say “hey, we need to book an extra room specifically for this”. But the rest of it really should be, there should be no reason in a hotel that is big enough to host a conference that there isn’t some type of room, any type of room, all you need is a room with a light and a chair and a plug- it is very simple, we are not asking for anything like luxurious and fancy, so there is no reason that they can’t just have … make something available even an empty conference room would have worked.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, absolutely no reason. Yeah, I completely agree.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Today, we are continuing our series on breastfeeding challenges. We are talking about weaning your baby from a mom’s point of view. Okay, so if you are a breastfeeding mom, thinking of breastfeeding or were a breastfeeding mom, chances are pretty high that weaning has been on your mind at some point. Today’s discussion is coming straight from women who experienced weaning and have dealt with these challenges. Mommas, let’s hear about your breastfeeding journeys. At what age was your baby when they weaned and do you think age makes a difference?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Well, I only have weaned one because my son and I were never able to have a breastfeeding relationship which just tore me up. So then when my daughter and I were able to have a breastfeeding relationship, it was just so amazing and healing and wonderful and my original goal was to go at least 6 months but at 6 months we were just cruising through and I though “oh, we could do this for a year, this is going to work, it is going to be great”.
And then she started getting sick and we started doing all the tests that you do and at first, we thought it was just a milk soy intolerance, now we know that it is an allergy and that she has ton of other food intolerances. So what happened was that my diet got more and more restrictive to the point where … there were almost two weeks of me going back and forth and crying about it and talking to Adam about it, I actually have a therapist so I was talking to my therapist about it, talking to my pediatrician about it and eventually I was like “I can’t do this”.
Even taking vitamins and supplements and doing all of the things, my health was really suffering, my energy level was really suffering, financially finding supplements and vitamins that don’t have soy in them is a huge thing that should probably be in its own episode. So we had to wean and instead of having the months of weaning, you know, eventually shield aside and wield aside and having that whole natural process that I thought we were going to have, that is not what we got and it is not how it worked out.
So there is still kind of a grieving process that is going on that I am still like in the middle level right now and every once in a while when she is really upset, she will nuzzle my breasts and I am like “oh, don’t do that”, you know. So yeah, I think age might have made a difference; I think just the fact of it being our choice whether it was her choice or my choice, more of a place of freedom instead of a feeling of having it forced on us. It might have made a difference but then again, Sunny, your kids are two and a half and you are still really sad about it so maybe age doesn’t help.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I actually think that the older they get, the harder it is because they have … so my twins are two and a half now and I actually think that … I don’t know, they know more about it, they have come to expect it, it is more of a cognizant thing that they rely on and so I think there is more of a mental process there where as babies, they know something is wrong, they want something but they can’t really fight with you about it because they don’t really know what it is, right. They just know when they get it, they like it.
So I think it can actually have and Priya you probably have some perspective on this having nursed your last one for three years, that they just … it is one of those things that I think age can make a difference because they are expecting it.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Right and I didn’t have to talk to her about it; yeah, I didn’t have to explain to her … I mean I tried because I am silly … this is what is going to happen, she couldn’t say like “nooo”.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah so my son … so yeah, age does make a difference because they comprehend what is going on. My weaning process was sort of mean. So I was creeping up on 3 years and one day my sister is like … I was visiting … I lived in Miami so I was visiting New York and she lives in New York and she was like “we are doing it today, you are here, let’s just do it, you have to do it”.
So I didn’t know what the heck to do and a friend told me “why don’t you put band aids on your nipples” … I guess she tried this … put band aids on your nipples and he will think that it is an “aui” and he will stop because he won’t want to hurt you. So I did that and that is exactly what happened and I was like torn between “oh my god, this is so mean” because he thinks that he hurts me and “oh my god, it is working”. So he is 8 years now and he still tries to cop a feel and he nuzzles up to my boobs, you know, he has his moments so I think the older you get, the more it is part of the child and they can’t get away from your boobs for whatever reason they just want to be near them, they want to be nuzzled against them … I don’t know if you experienced that Sunny but they just want to touch them constantly … and not in …
SUNNY GAULT: Not in a gross way, not in an inappropriate way! You know, it is funny you said that though because my 6 year old so my first child that I had and in my mind I know that there is no … we shouldn’t say “oh, we failed in breastfeeding because we only did it for so many months”; in my mind, I really had planned to breastfeed for a lot longer than I did so with my first son, it really only ended up being about 4 months and that was even with supplementation of formula. And then after 4 months, he just went straight to formula.
So in my mind, again I know we are not supposed to say this, I failed; in my mind I was like “I didn’t to this properly. But what my oldest son has seen is me breastfeed his little brother a little bit longer, I didn’t quite make it to a year but a little bit longer and he has seen me breastfeed his sisters for again 2 and a half years. And so it is funny you said that, Priya, about copping a feel because it was just like a week ago; we were … I think we were actually in a swimming pool so I don’t know, maybe my boobs were a little bit more exposed than normal and he kept touching my breast and of course it was when we had company over and I am like “what are you doing, you never do this” and I wonder …
PRIYA NEMBHARD: He wants to be close to you the way they have been close to you.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah but he is 6 and he has never done that before but there is something there. He realizes maybe he is just getting older and realizes that is just part of you know, how I care for his sisters. But yeah, they do that too.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: And it also could be a boy thing too, because my daughter… My oldest is very cuddly. He loves to cuddle, and hug, and stuff like that. Cause I am his mommy. But my daughter, she’s like: get away from me! She doesn’t… It hasn’t like affected her in that way. But it could be a difference between them being a boy and a girl. I don’t know. So what kind of support did you have weaning? Did you try, you know… Did you have like… What did your husband do? Did you have friends and family like give you lots of advice? How did you go about all that stuff?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Well, for me, I talked to our doctor. I talked to my OB who has lactation consultants on staff. I got super lucky with my doctor. And I actually talked to her pediatrician, because they have lactation consultants too. And I was like: ok, so what do I do? How do I make this… What I was worried about was her emotional state and what I realized afterwards, what I’m kind of working through right now is she’s fine, totally should have been worried about me! I had postpartum depression and anxiety with my son. And I thought that I had kind of like escaped it this time with Rory; because things have been way better, but one of the things that we don’t talk about is that it can be a major trigger.
Especially if you are weaning in a way that you didn’t plan or didn’t want. It can be a major trigger for all kinds of postpartum issues to pop up. So, it’s just been a really, really tough time! I am lucky, because I was already in therapy, like I am already very focused on taking care of myself and taking care of my mental health.
So I already have a huge support system. And I already have a support system of mamas all around me. So I had this whole thing to kind of lean back on and all of this other women that I could call, and text, and Facebook message, and you know-24h support basically.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: That’s interesting that’s you’re bringing that up, that your postpartum depression or sadness started when you stopped weaning.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, yeah! It has…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: It’s like it triggered it right away.
GRAEME SEABROOK: It hit hard! Oh, my Goodness! And thankfully I had been through it before! So I knew what it was. When all of these thoughts and feelings came up and I had two panic attacks in one day I went: oh, ok, I know what this, I know what this is, I am calling my doctor! This is not…I am not going crazy! It’s not my fault!
But for a mom who might not have had postpartum depression at all… I know of women who didn’t have any issues at all part their first year and they’re breastfeeding, and they’re good, and they started weaning at 18months or even later, and they think that they are past what postpartum depression should be able to even get to them. And as soon as they start weaning… And some of it, it is just a hormonal shift.
And that can trigger all kinds of stuff. So sometimes you just need a little extra support. Sometimes you might need actual therapy, and a support group, and/or medication or a medication change, or you know. But definitely it is a time to make sure you do have a lot of support and lot of people around you who understand that it can be really stressful, and really hard, and it can bring all kinds of emotions like we’ve already talked about.
You know, all three of us had totally different experiences and all had a lot of kind of sadness and wistfulness, and all that with it. So we just want to make sure that moms have as much support as possible.
SUNNY GAULT: Ok, so if by support you mean my mother saying: are you done breastfeeding yet?
GRAEME SEABROOK: No!
SUNNY GAULT: Than I had tons of support!
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, honey!
SUNNY GAULT: It’s ok! She’s actually a big breastfeeding advocate believe it or not. It is just she is not used to the extended breastfeeding.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Right.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: And maybe she doesn’t want to look at my boobs anymore, I don’t know. Maybe that’s part of it.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, who doesn’t want to look at your boobs! That’s just silly!
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, they are pretty fantastic! Yeah, so… Yeah, you know, really. My husband just kind of went with whatever I did. I think he really liked the fact. I mean, financially let’s face it: you know breastfeeding is much more cost-effective.
So he’s always been very motivated by that. Which is fine, that’s fine! And I never really had to worry too much about support in public, because most of the time I am at my house. So I just kind of, you know… I was very fortunate to be able to pretty much breastfeed on demand with my girls.
And really, my husband was really supportive through all of that. But as far as the weaning process is concerned… No, I mean, I really kind of feel like this is just something that me and my girls have had to figure out. And what’s really interesting about my experience is that when you are breastfeeding twins, they may not do the exact same thing.
I mean, they are identical, but that doesn’t mean that, you know, they are going to want breastmilk for the exact same amount of time, right? And so I did find that one of my twins really started to wean a lot earlier than the other. And that was ok. So I kind of switched from a tandem breastfeeding thing to more of a one-on-one, which was nice, because I was really able to… That was special time that I had with one of my babies where usually I was having to split focus between both of them. So I actually enjoyed that.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So how did the other baby react to you only breastfeeding the other one? Was there any type of emotional reaction from your girl?
SUNNY GAULT: No, there really wasn’t. And usually, and that’s what I found was so interesting, is usually one would trigger the other. So if one came to me to breastfeed, the other one would be there in like a matter of seconds, right? And I would ask. So one baby would get one, and I’d be like: do you want to nurse too? And she’s be like: no. And I’m like: ok, we are going to do just one-on-one, I can handle this, you know.
And really, I mean even yesterday, the one that still hasn’t, you know, completely weaned was on, but she only hops a couple times a day and even then, it’s just, it’s for less than a minute. I mean, and believe it or not, there is another fascinating thing I found. And I don’t know Priya, if you found this too, because you breastfed for so long, but I can literally go days… I mean, so far I pushed it up to four days without breastfeeding any child and I still have milk.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: You know what’s funny: I don’t remember. It is so bad!
GRAEME SEABROOK: That is really cool!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I don’t remember if that ever happened to me. And I am not saying it’s mommy brain. They’re older, so I am aloud to forget!
SUNNY GAULT:Yeah, of course! Well, now my girls…it’s so funny, because the one that, you know, is still breastfeeding but again, only a couple times a day, and for very short amounts of time, she gets so excited when she finds milk. Because I look down at her cause she is latched and I’m like: are you…do you getting any milk? I actually ask her this: are you getting any milk? And she smiles and nods her head. And then when she pulls off there’s milk, and I’m like: I cannot believe, it’s been four days, I’m not engorged, I am nothing, my body is just still… It’s freaking amazing honestly!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Wow!
GRAEME SEABROOK: It really is!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah it’s still producing it!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Maybe it’s like your physical reaction to her wanting to breastfeed.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So your body is, you know: ok, start to do it now! Time to get some milk! It’s on!
SUNNY GAULT:Yeah, it’s just testament to our bodies reacting to whatever our babies need, you know.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, definitely!
SUNNY GAULT: And I’m just amazed by that!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, exactly, exactly! So what happens when you have to wean your child from breastfeeding? What are some ways moms can make it easier? We’ll be right back!
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PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome back! Today we are talking about breastfeeding challenges and weaning your baby. For some moms weaning can be an incredible challenge! Let’s talk about what worked best for us and recommendations we can make to other mamas currently experiencing challenges breastfeeding. So mamas, what strategies did you use to wean your child? Did you get a lot of advice from other moms? How did you go about all this stuff?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I got advice from all the moms! Like I put up a… No, it wasn’t even public! I went on Facebook and sent like a mass message! One of those private messages to I think it was eight or nine of my mom friends. And just told them what was going on like: look, we have to do this thing and we are switching her over to this formula, and it’s actually a prescription formula, and you guys, you all, I don’t know what I’m doing, like somebody tell me how to do this! Because every time I try to Google things, I go down a rabbit hole of way to much information, and overwhelm, and I’d much rather just ask moms. Like other moms know what the heck they are doing. So that’s what I did.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: And that’s why we are having this episode, right?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yes! Exactly! And so yeah, I just asked moms. And they had asked me, you know, how much milk do you have stored up? Have you been pumping at all, or not pumping, or what? You know. And helped me kind of come up with a plan. We had enough milk stored up that I didn’t have to feel like I was just this horrible mom for, you know, overnight stopping, you know. And I was able to mix up bottles, and once the bottles of formula were mixed, I could mix breastmilk in with it, and kind of get her used to like the change and the taste. Because the prescription formulas are interesting flavored.
SUNNY GAULT: You mean the taste is interesting?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah, the taste is horrible!
SUNNY GAULT: Ooh!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Ooh!
GRAEME SEABROOK: It is horrible! Because basically what it is, is really, really broken down… The proteins have to be broken down so far that it is like basic amino assets. It is kind of…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: That’s horrible that they put that down on the shelves that they give that to the moms. These are human beings! There not like…
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, it is really, really, really… But yeah! But it’s the only thing that she can tolerate. So we have to actually get it from our pharmacy, and we have to have prescription written for it, and all of that stuff. But it does not taste good. And so she needed to get used to that taste. And I needed to be able to eat actual food. So my mom’s friend’s really just kind of… What they helped with most was not feeling guilty about it, it was reminding me that everything was going to be ok, and reminding me to take a look at you know the huge chubby roles all over my baby and to remember that she was alright. And that helped. That’s what helped the most.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I didn’t ask for a lot of advice and I think it is because… Gosh, how many episodes of The Boob Group have we done so far? I mean, I’ve hear so much about weaning! I feel like The Boob Group has been one big, you know, advice column for me. So I’ve taken in a lot over the years. I can say I was very scared of it, because this was something that I really truly hadn’t experienced with my first two boys. Like I said, we didn’t go to a major weaning process.
I just felt like my milk supply wasn’t there, and I had this screaming baby, and it was a necessity, boom, you are on formula and now you are happy again. So I didn’t feel like there was much of a weaning process. But I was scared about weaning the girls, because I actually had a friend who posted a bunch of stuff about weaning, I think a 3year old, and maybe it was even 3 and half-4year old. And it was a nightmare for her! Like he just…he just relied on it so much.
She was having to, you know, jump through hocks and hurtles and send your kid away for a couple of days, so he can’t have the breast, and like… I mean, I was scared to death because of what this mama was posting. So note everyone, when you are posting stuff online!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, social media is not that great!
SUNNY GAULT: You are maybe scaring the Jesus out of another mom when you do that.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah!
SUNNY GAULT: No, but anyways, it was good for me to kind of have a little bit of a heads up. And so going into this I thought it was going to be a nightmare! And it really wasn’t like… You know, I say this a lot, and I don’t know if people believe me, but breastfeeding my twins has been so much easier than me breastfeeding a single baby! And I think, like I said, I think… I originally thought I had a lot of supply issues, but my main issue was really, you know, maybe just not keeping up with what… Like you know, making sure baby is on the left breast, and then making sure it is equal on the right. Like I just wasn't doing good job of keeping up my own supply, it wasn’t that I couldn’t produce.
So I was able to breastfeed for a lot longer. And I think just because my mindset was: we are going to do this and we are going to do this until we are ready to stop. And then just, you know, once I reached my goal, which was really only a year, they just kept kind of… I just let them kind of call the shots. But I was still scared about: oh, is this going to be tough during the weaning process? And I'll tell you what, you know, I think it’s still kind of remaining to be seen because we are still in the weaning process.
But like I said: one of my twins is pretty much done, you know, she’s really not interested anymore. And what really helped us is really changing up the schedule where the times that they would normally breastfeed, we were busy doing stuff. This whole last summer, we just got back actually, but we spent it with family in the Midwest. And their whole schedule was like different, right?
They had so many different things to do, they weren’t in their normal environment, and they rarely asked for the breast. And I really think… That was unintentional, but I think because they mind was just not focused on what was normal to them, they…you know, it really helped tremendously in the weaning process, even though it was unintentional. So if I had any advice for moms, it would be to get them out of their routine so they don’t realize what they are missing. At least that worked for us.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah!
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah, you know what, that’s true! That’s exactly… I ended up going on a trip for five days last week. And so all of the sudden I just wasn’t here. And there was no other option. I mean, not that there was an option before, but I think that did help a lot. And I never even thought about that, Sunny.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I know that you think about it, when moms have to go back to work, that’s a break from routine. And unfortunately, you have to wean off your child when you go back to work. Or you breast-pump and you give them the bottle when you get home, or during the day they have it.
But you think about moms, and you know, that break from routines that has to happen for the babies when they have to go back to work, and what the babies have to go through, and what the mom is going through, thinking: oh, my God, I feel horrible cause now I have to be away from my baby and I can’t breastfeed them constantly, so now I am forced to wean.
So how did you guys help your babies cope with the weaning? We think about ourselves and trying to cope with the weaning, and we think…we are all in our emotions, all in our heads like: oh, my God, I am horrible! But what steps did you do to help them cope with it?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Well, I think this where Adam came in to play like kind of a superhero. She had really been, you know, of course she’s our daughter, but had been totally been my daughter from the time that she was born, because we were breastfeeding, we were co-sleeping, she was just on me all the time. And so you know, when she got upset, or she wanted to be comforted, she wanted me.
Daddy didn’t even have boobs and daddy couldn’t really help. And that was coming from her, you know, obviously not from me. But now all of a sudden daddy had a bottle and daddy a little bit more…like daddy could help at night, and daddy could like…he… All of the sudden he felt like he could parent her more. And he kind of stepped up big time, because there were couple of times when she was just really upset and I knew that if I was the one to go to her during that nighttime wake-up, or whatever, that she was going to want to breastfeed.
Because we were still in our routine, and so he would go, because that was different enough that she was getting: oh, daddy is here, oh, ok, so that’s special and fun, you know. And then she was getting the bottle, so she was getting fed and it was ok. I don’t know if you can hear her, but everything is obviously not ok! I am not letting her play with the microphone and she is kind of upset about that. He was really able to kind of be the man right then. And it really helped their relationship, so… That was a good thing.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, that’s pretty awesome. And that obviously, yeah, that definitely was great for the two of them and their bonding experience.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh, yeah, definitely!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So what would you recommend to other moms out there listening? So we’ve talked about advice, we’ve talked about helping our babies cope, ourselves coping, and we’ve always mentioned, you know, posting online and you know, sharing our experiencing with other people, and reading those experiencing from other women. But from a mom to mom, if I would ask you: hey, I need some advice, what would I do, what would you tell me as your friend?
SUNNY GAULT: The first thing that came in my mind is I truly don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to wean your baby. I mean, I know experts will give, you know, certain advice, about, you know, skipping a feeding, and there is a method to it, and we’ll be sure to post actually some of those link to articles where lactation consultants have specific recommendations, I know they do.
But in my mind every family is different, every situation is different, and what you’ve been able to do with your baby up to a certain point, it’s all different. You know, if you’re a breastfeeding twin, that’s going to be different than, you know, breastfeeding a single baby. And so I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do things the “right way”. And I just don’t think there is a right way.
And to Graeme’s point if we get in our heads that there is a right way, and we’re not doing it the right way, we can trigger other things such as delayed postpartum depression or whatever, because we are feeling that we are not meeting the standard. I would say do your research, share The Boob Group, listen to previous episodes of The Boob Group, because we talk about this a lot, but give yourself a break! Give yourself a break, because you need it! You need a break!
And it’s just you know… And if your child is older, like we were talking about before, I think it’s ok to talk it out with your child. I have been talking to my twins about this, you know: are you sure you want to nurse? You want to play instead or, you know, whatever? And I think they understand, you know, when you get to the toddler age and stuff, I think they understand a little bit more than what we sometimes give them credit for.
But just keep in mind: this is a one-on-one thing between you and your baby or babies, and just do what is right for you. Take in the advice, but in the end it is your choice and your family.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Absolutely! That’s some great advice, Sunny!
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, thanks!
GRAEME SEABROOK: The first thing that I would say is: what do you want it to look like? How do you want this to go? Do you want this to be quick? Do you want this to take months? Are you doing it, you starting it, or is the baby starting it? Because there is no kind of one fits all kind of advice. There is no kind of advice that I could give to everyone.
The advice would kind of be really specific based on what kind of person my friend was and what they wanted out of it, and why they were doing it. And so in that respect not everything that you read online or you know, not everything that you see, is necessarily right for you, or necessarily applies to you and your family. So once you do start asking questions and reading, and stuff, if you are getting advice, just seems like: um, I really don’t want to do that! Don’t do it! It’s ok!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So you have to listen to your body and you know, listen to your own intuition and your gut feeling.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah, you know your family best! You know what is going to work for you, your child that you are breastfeeding and the other children that you might have, your partner, your whoever else is in your house. You know them more that somebody writing an article online knows them. Somebody writing an article online might know what works for the general public, or statistically. That may or may not work for you.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, they don’t know you. Wow! This has been such a great conversation! And I am sorry we have to wrap it up now! So thank you so much to everyone for being part of today’s show and for sharing their experiences! If you’re a member of The Boob Group club, than be sure the check out the bonus content for this episode where we’ll be discussing the different ways we bond with our babies after weaning.
SUNNY GAULT: Ok, so as we wrap up today’s show, we have The “Boob Oops” segment for you guys. This is where you share your funny breastfeeding and pumping stories. And I love reading these! I love getting e-mails about this! This one comes from Christina. And Christina says:
When my daughter was born, my husband was still working on his thesis. He needed to go to the school library and we decided to tagalong. When we got there I put my daughter in a sling as we walked around. The library was packed with people. Mainly young males studding for exams…
You guys know where this is going.
…My daughter starting roughing around and fusing! I already knew she hated being covered up while nursing, so I decided to find a quite nuke where I could feed her and still be discrete. I did drape a thin blanket over us and hocked my bra in attempt to get into position. I lifted my shirt way up so I could get her latched her on right. She latched for about a second and then she realized there was a blanket over her. She grabbed the blanket, flung it off while pushing away from me and screaming the loudest she possibly could. Suddenly of these young men turned around and saw me fighting with my daughter with my breast completely exposed. All I remember were shocked eyes and bright red faces!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh my God!
SUNNY GAULT: Can you guys visualize this? I am like playing this out in my head.
GRAEME SEABROOK:I would be the most mortified I'd ever been!
SUNNY GAULT: They just got a lesson in anatomy!
GRAEME SEABROOK: Oh my God! I would have looked up and be like: you all need to go home and apologies to your mothers right now! Do it! Because I promise you, you did something like this!
SUNNY GAULT: I know, right?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: But this is so classic, you know! Cause babies do not want to be covered when they are being breastfed!
SUNNY GAULT: No, they don’t!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Can you imagine just eating and putting a sheet over your head? You feel like you are suffocating!
SUNNY GAULT: Exactly! Yeah, this is a good one! So Christina, thanks so much for sending this! And if you guys, have a Boob Oops you want to share with us, you can e-mail us through our website, or reach out to us on Facebook. A lot of people had been doing this recently. And again, we love reading these stories, and reading them. I think it just normalizes everything that we, as breastfeeding and pumping moms, are going through. So Thanks so much!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So that wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group!
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Newbies for newly postpartum moms
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples.
This is The Boob Group where moms know breasts!
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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