Ask me About my Weaner

portrait of a lactating woman on a toilet, beside a glass of breast milk, milked by hand because I am an idiot and forgot my pump at home thus had to manually squeeze my boobs every few hours over drinking glasses to keep from engorging to death in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, June 2009.

It had been two days since I'd nursed her. The longest I'd gone without producing milk in the eleven months since Fable was born. I woke up next to my friend after a weekend of hot girl-on-girl action reunion-ing (ed: High School Reunions are probably the worst idea of all time. And no I will not elaborate) with a crazy case of Rocks-in-Socks aka engorgement.

"Fuck, I'm engorged."

"That's what he said!"

I squeezed a little milk out into my not-so-nursing bra before dressing and hightailing it home to Fable for relief and cuddles.

That was Sunday morning. Since then I have nursed Fable two times but only as a way to comfort her from crying. My left breast has completely dried up and my right is days away from the same fate.

After nursing for more than eleven months, I'm now weeks (if not days!) away from the end* of my nursing career which makes me teary and giddy at the same time.

...so does this picture

When I decided to wean Fable at nine-months, I had no idea how difficult the task. My nursing experience with Archer was non-existent and what milk I did produce through pumping only maintained for the first month before drying up completely after six weeks of struggle and bloody nipples.

With Fable I have been heroic in my fortitude, an ambitious nurser who has done everything in my power to make broken boobs get out of their wheelchairs and walk again toward the light. (If you're new to this blog you can read more about my journey breastfeeding after two breast reductions here, here, here and here.)

you the mom, girlfriend!

I figured weaning would come naturally. I'd nurse a little less every day until one day: nada mas. But some days I lost track of my nursing schedule and some days I wanted to nurse more than I did the day before and some nights Fable slept three hours instead of two so my nursing was all over the place. Which is why it took me ten weeks (and two bouts of mastitis. Yuck) to get to where I am today: a weaner with a dry-as-a-bone left boob and an occasionally rocky right teet.

As for Fable, she's adjusted fine to weaning-life and my milk duds. She's way more interested in peaches and tomatoes, anyway.

Woo! Peaches and Tomatoes WOO!

I'm going to miss nursing. Looking down at my sweet baby as she pulls and smiles and reaches for my face with her chubby hands. I'll miss watching her eyes roll back in her head, her coos and moans. I'll miss the way she sometimes falls asleep mid-suck, mouth open, her lips still moving, sucking on air.

But I won't miss waking up engorged after a girl weekend or shoving toilet paper down my dress in an opera house or milking my teets over an open toilet in the ladies room.

I most definitely won't miss that.

***



When did you know it was time to wean your baby? How old was your baby when you weaned? Any advice for weaning mothers to aid in discomfort and/or hormonal changes?

Any particularly good weaner stories?

GGC

*unless we have another baby someday which is possible but, like, five years from now AT LEAST.

66 comments:

mfk | 10:55 PM

at least you look HOT in the picture ;)

NewSingleMama | 11:06 PM

Lcuky you. My boobs were huge when I had my son, but I was lucky to pump 2 oz ALL DAY. I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to breastfeeding and being my son's milk bitch, but alas my tits didn't share my enthusiasm.

lovingdanger | 11:23 PM

When Danger was about 4 months old my milk started to dry up. I went on meds to keep the rivers flowing and then when I got pregnant with Epic (Danger was 9) months it all came to an abrupt end. She was PISSED! It took a lot of work to get her on a bottle and she refused formula all together so we used goats milk. As the time I felt ripped off but looking back it seems like it might have been a lot easier than a rocky right teet.

Sarah | 11:34 PM

That photo is awesome!

Little Miss Moi | 11:42 PM

Dear GGC. I always said I would only breastfeed until 12 months. Period. And now, as the mother of a 12 months and one week baby, I am still on two, sometimes three feeds a day. This hasn't inhibited my love of drinking a glass or three on the weekends, which I re-embraced when she started sleeping through at around nine months.

I'm caught between 'I've become one of THOSE MOTHERS' (picture b-feeding and 8 year old) and 'Weaning is sad'.

But, it seems fate has dealt me a hand, as I'll be going back to full time work in three weeks. So I doubt I will have the energy or patience to continue lactating, and the sprog ain't that interested anymore, to be honest!

Little Miss Moi | 11:50 PM

Oh, you don't have to publish this comment, but Dooce's comment about her baby not breastfeeding when she's in college reminds me of the Little Britain sketch 'Bitty'. Kinda puts it all in perspective :)

Rachael | 1:15 AM

My daughter just turned 10 months and I want to stop breastfeeding at 12 months but she's not drinking regular milk yet. I haven't had the ok from her pediatrician even though she eats a ton of cheese everyday without an issue. She also eats everything that we eat at meals without an issue. Is Fable drinking whole milk? How are you substituting the lack of breastmilk?

Anonymous | 2:05 AM

I think this may be an appropriate picture lol

http://www.dailycognition.com/content/image/18/a322_s15.jpg

Nicola Proctor | 2:45 AM

ROWR, that picture! Tee, hee,I've gone all giggly and don't know what to say! ;-)

Seriously though... my 2nd baby Jude is just 9 weeks old and after just one breast reduction 13 years ago I am in the middle of the wondrous throes of nursing, after not really being able to do it very successfully with Ben. I was almost glad to move to bottles after 6-7 weeks as I was still all messed up from a nasty episiotomy (pah-tooey, dirty word!)

But this time it's completely different and I totally love it; I feel really proud that my boobs actually work and enjoy being (insert trumpets here) heroic giver and sustainer of life (and cuddles), etc.

But reading your post I'm already sad thinking of it coming to an end, especially as Jude will only ever be a little brother.

I think the most important thing is that you made the decision to wean the Divine Miss F when you felt it was the right time for you. And also that you've allowed yourself to... I guess... GRIEVE for it, so that your heart (as well as your gazongas) is/are at peace with it.

Lx | 3:17 AM

Sigh... such a precious thing to be able to breastfeed!! I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, once a day (mornings)for 5 months! I was really sad when my milk did finally dry up but grateful I could do some! I really miss our early morning bonding session!

LucyCooper | 4:02 AM

Looking at that photo, I am kicking myself for not taking some shots of the busty me. My little man weaned himself last month at 8 months, and I have to admit, I took it kind of personally. Once he felt the gush of a Level 3 Born Free Nipple, he was never satisfied with my flow again. Sigh. My breasts have had quite the journey in life. they've gone from a perky B to a DD to an A. I feel as though I've been left with two sad little empty coin purses where my boobs once were. A very fitting analogy, I think...
Fable is the cutest little girl!

Maddy'sMama | 4:56 AM

I loved nursing as well and committed to it for 12 months. Then I transistioned her to whole milk, but she still got the boob once or twice a day - neither of us was ready to give it up. Then, one day, I woke up when she was 14 months and decided I was done - I didn't want to do it anymore - I guess the same thing that happened to you at 9 months. It still took me another month, a case of mastitis, and a seious clogged milke duct, but we are finished. My girl is now 16 months. I'm a little sad about it, but at least it gave me the excuse to go out and buy some fancy new bras :)

Cyn | 5:38 AM

I never manually pumped - that is so impressive.

If someone had told me pre-kids how much work and emotion I would put into my own breasts, I would NEVER had believed them. Enjoy reclaiming them and then ignoring them.

Karen | 5:49 AM

I'm in the process of weaning my 9+ month little one as we speak. It's going, OK. Not great but not terrible. I did wake up the other day with a milk blister and rocks in my right boob. Damn that hurt. And that's after only cutting out one feeding/day (we do 3/day). I'm starting on the night feeding now. My biggest concern is that she's not going to get enough milk.

I have a girls trip in Vegas in October, so I have a drop dead date. She's not coming with me and I ain't staying home.

Mama Cas | 6:13 AM

That video clip? Hysterical! Thanks for the laugh!

When I was nursing #3, my milk promptly dried up when I became pregnant with #4. Baby #3 was about 9 months old. With baby #4, the feedings were decreasing a little every day until my milk left town completely around 8 months. I'm sorry I don't have any sage advice besides this: If you're organized enough to do so, keep track and steadily decrease every day. 1st day - Feed every 3 hours (or whatever). 2nd day - Every 4 hours. Etc.

Sarah | 6:24 AM

While I was a nanny, one of the mothers I worked for was weaning, so I spent the night with her daughter to help. They co-slept, so her daughter was used to just waking up in the night, finding a boob, and nursing herself back to sleep.

That night with her in bed with me, I have never been felt up so much in my life!

jiveturkey | 6:30 AM

I'm breastfeeding my first (she's 5 months), and I'm totally dreading weaning. I'll miss the bonding, sure, but I'm more concerned about the engorgement. OW. How long does it last? I don't know why I'm so freaked out about it. After all, I pushed another person out my vagina 5 months ago. Who knows.

Allison the Meep | 6:58 AM

You have a beautiful weaner.

Allison the Meep | 7:02 AM

Oh! I got so caught up in giggling at the fact that I just told you you have a beautiful weaner, that I forgot to tell my tale of wean.

I nursed my son Julian until he was 18 months old. It was just crazy at that point, and he was doing it only for comfort and amusement. Seriously, I spent most of my days with my shirt pulled up and with him going from one side to the other in 3 second intervals like a man who just got out of prison and hadn't seen boobs in 20 years. I gradually got him down to 3 times a day, and then at last only a quick nurse before bed. And then one day I just told him it was all gone. He was pissed for a minute but seemed to get over it pretty quickly.

Now that he's 5 though and I'm pregnant with our 2nd, he's obsessed with boobs again and draws them in chalk on our sidewalk, and is always trying to sneak a look at mine. Definitely a boob man.

maeby | 7:05 AM

= / really wanna hear about the reunion.

casadekaloi | 7:10 AM

AH! This is timed so well! I'm trying to figure out the weaning thing. I plan to breastfeed for a year or so, but I'm hoping to start the weaning process between 6 and 8 months, and gradually do it..I really have no idea what I'm going to do, but I am very thankful for this topic being the video.

Also, Jasper is totally in love with Heather. Every time she said something he went "aah!" and smiled.

Tracy | 7:39 AM

Rebecca - Totally get the broken teet thing...my son is now 16 months old...my right boobette has long since produced anything, while my left makes enough for a bed time snack...I've been "trying to wean" Cooper now for, oh let me think, 5 months??? We are down to once per day, before bed, left boob only...I guess I keep going because it puts him to sleep so quickly. But, alas, I have to stop soon...otherwise I'm afraid my current 'one big, one small' situation may become permanent...Ugh. Don't think they make bras for that...

Em | 7:42 AM

After a very (very!) rough start to our breastfeeding relationship, little bits and I are still growing strong at 15 months. (yay!) No sign of stopping any time in the near future. In fact, I am currently nak as I type this one handed. So ... no weaning stories for ya just yet!

Armonia | 7:52 AM

Hi Rebecca: I totally understand how you feel, I loved nursing and miss it, I returned to work full time when she was 6 months started pumping like a mad woman at work, but my daughter has no patience at all and prefered the faster delivery that the bottle offered so i started mixing breast milk + formula and by her 7 months on Sunday is gonna be only formula, I CANT STAND THE BREAST PUMP ANYLONGER.. but alas..my breasts!!! i cry when i see them!! from full ang wonderful boobs to these empty shriveled things! seriously??!! this is what i'm left with???!! I never thought i would consider implants...
sorry needed to vent this!
I love your writing and to also know that someone else is going thru the same thing... your mexican reader in Tijuana :)
Armonia

Meg | 7:58 AM

Ohhh, nursing, my favorite mama topic. And weaning, my current situation. I am actually almost finished weaning my 2 year old. About 7 weeks ago I just was tired the all night nurse-a-thon that was taking place in my house and decided we were gonna be done. By 22 months, my guy really only nursed after a fall, to nap if I was home, and at night. I had considered weaning a little earlier, but my son was very anti and I was too tired to fight him and deal with the battle. Plus, as a working mom, this was my way to reconnect. This time, I went to my husband and said I needed him to take over at night (we're also co-sleepers so I moved out of our bedroom) and we began the slow progression of weaning. As we walk the room, singing quietly and rocky the hulking 30lb "baby", I get flashbacks to weaning my first son at 19 months which was also tough. I have to say, we have done it very slowly and for every 2 steps forward we take 1 step back. My only advice to other moms, and Rebecca you are a clear example of this too, take your time and do whatever you think will work and help your child. Weaning is a very slow process and can be tough but shouldn't really be sad. Just be patient and with all things, do what's best for you and yours.

Wild to Child | 8:36 AM

Weaning is an incredibly difficult experience. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Love the photo...you couldn't capture more reality if you tried!

Amber
www.wildtochild.com

Annika | 8:45 AM

I didn't wean Sam until I got pregnant again around his third birthday. I started saying no because it hurt, my boobs started drying up, and he started forgetting to ask, all around the same time. It was gradual, but not as gradual as it would have been if I wasn't pregnant. He still asks occasionally, and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up sometimes-tandem nursing.

Shnerfle | 9:12 AM

Both my kids were good weaners. I was the one with the problem. I remember nursing my youngest, and thinking, each time, "Ohmigod, this could be the LAST TIME I NURSE A BABY. EVER!" And even now, 5 years later, I still miss the sound of their snuffly little breathing and the way they used to reach up toward my face with their eyes closed. *sniff*

Kristen | 9:50 AM

My older son couldn't (or wouldn't) nurse. I pumped for 5 weeks until my milk dried up.

My younger son was a champion breastfeeder who decided a week before he turned 1 to quit cold turkey. That was loads of fun. Then two days later I go to the doctor, get diagnosed with psoriasis, and am told that they do not want me breastfeeding with the steroids they are putting me on. I swear, my kid is psychic.

Anonymous | 10:31 AM

Aww, great photo!! I nursed my first until her 22 month birthday. Yes, it was a long time! I think that after she turned 1 I only did 4 or 5 feedings a day (naptime, bedtime, wake up time). At the end it was only morning and nighttime, and then only morning. For the last couple of months I was also pregnant so it was a bit more painful on latch but not too bad. Then we went on vacation and she stopped! I was really lucky not to get any engorgement, although my boobs were really sensitive for a week or 2 - but that might just have been the pregnancy, who knows. I am planning to feed my second for as long as he will go too - I am just glad I get a couple of months off in between!

SoMo | 10:48 AM

I weaned both my babies at 9 months, mainly because I was over it. I don't remember much of how I did it, but I think I just nursed when I was uncomfortable. I think my boobs are quick studies, because I don't remember being in pain for very long. I could always squeeze a drop of milk out for almost a year after weaning. That was weird.

I have no idea how long I will go with the new baby. It will be a wait and see kind of thing.

Anonymous | 10:56 AM

I nursed my daughter until she was 19 weeks old. We were down to once before bed time. I noticed the last week or so she seemed uninterested so I just did the nap routine and she never looked back and I never had any discomfort other than emotionally. But even that was gone in a couple of days. Easiest thing ever for us.

Heather | 1:45 PM

*unless we have another baby someday which is possible but, like, five years from now AT LEAST.

I had a similar thought re: #3. Whoops!

Don't get lazy with the birth control...

Brooke Trout | 2:05 PM

I weaned my first completely at 13 months and did it like you - gradually. I was one month pregnant with my second when I did this. That was part of the reason for weaning - because I was so damn tired all the time. Probably from producing milk as well as beginning production of a new little human. The other reason is I had set the goal of nursing for one year and had reached it. And wanted my body back - even though it was only somewhat mine again.
Now, I am on to baby #2 and I have the same goal in place - one year. We'll see how I do this time around.
I understand your comments about people being judgemental and critical about it, but they are about everything. Everyone has an opinion and I guess we just get to hear it, but in the end we do what we want anyway.

Baby in Broad | 2:50 PM

I wrote about this recently: Getting Someone Off My Chest.

Westley is 21 months old, and I still nurse him for a few minutes once a day, as part of our bedtime routine. I wanted to weana lot sooner--I was SO over nursing--but I didn't feel okay about laying down the law and saying, "That's it. No more nursing for you."

holly_44109 | 3:58 PM

I weaned my son at 14months. We went out of town for a few days and I nursed him for the last. time. ever, before we left for home. I figured it was a good time since his schedule was all out of whack anyways. We went cold turkey and it wasn't as bad as I had expected. I enjoyed nursing a lot and was happy that it was pretty easy for us. We were just done with it at that point.

Karen ~ | 4:56 PM

My first son weaned himself at 11 months, but my second went until 2 years, 7 months (to the exact day!) We had lessened the number of times per day, and then I went out of town for a week - so that was it. However, about a month later he was sitting in my lap, facing me, and he reached out and grabbed the neckline of my shirt and pulled it towards himself so he could look down my shirt. After staring a few seconds, he calmly looked at me and said in his little toddler voice, "Mom, you don't need THOSE any more!"

Sarcastica | 5:22 PM

I wasn't planning on weaning Nolan this early, I wanted to breastfeed until he was at least six months, but I needed that hip/thigh/ankle surgery and was in the hospital for a week. He had to go on formula because I couldn't produce enough last minute to supply them with, and my milk dried up while I was in the hospital for that week. So when I came home, he was already fine with the bottle and I know I could have tried breastfeeding again but he seemed content enough to just take the bottle so yah.

Brooke | 6:58 PM

I weaned my daughter around 15 months. Decided to do so because she only need nursing for comfort, and was drinking from a sippy cup already through the day.

The best kept secret for boob discomfort is cabbage leaves. No lie! Google it. It worked like a charm for me. Sure, I felt super strange at work with cabbage leaves stuck in my bra, but it really helped relieve the pain!

LONI | 6:59 PM

A few months ago I had a bachelorette weekend to attend out of town. I had not been away from my son for more then a few hours so I was nervous about going for 2 days. I manually expressed at home sometimes when my husband wanted to feed Parker so I didn’t bother taking my pump. I figured I could express myself a few times a day no biggie. By the end of the weekend I found out I was WRONG! Well when I arrived at the hotel before we went out that night I had to express myself. So I was doing so in the bedroom when some of the other girls arrived. I could hear my friend say “My other friend is in there milking herself.” Thank you for making me I feel like a cow!!
My son will be 11 months on the 24th and I kinda plan on weaning him at 12 months. We already do 2 to 3 feedings a day depending on him and sometimes if he wakes up at night wanting some Nin. Yall have me scared to stop now. My husband is deployed right now and I don’t want him to come home and my boobs looking like a ball in a sock. I guess only time will tell!

amyinbc | 9:50 PM

Stopped with son at 6 mos. Just so tired of being the only available feed station when hubby was perfectly able to help during those long nights..

With twin daughters I lasted about the same. Would boob feed one while bottle feeding the other. Rotated with each feeding. Could NOT get the hang of tandem feeding, just too much for me. Bottle feeding felt good for me at 6 mos. all round.

Anonymous | 11:11 PM

i don't know if it is a firefox browser problem, but fyi - straight from the bottle's main page has been showing up empty for days for me, from 2 different computers. that being said, i am completely inspired by your journey. keep up the good writing.

Nursing Bras | 7:04 AM

Thats a cutey!
I stopped after 6 months and it was tricky but slowly reducing the time and frequency worked for me.

Kendra | 7:07 AM

What great stories from everyone. I've been through the weaning process 2 1/2 times, and it's been different each time. My oldest, I nursed until he was 13 months old, and at that time, day care started him on whole milk and informed me I shouldn't bring pumped milk anymore. So he stopped interest in it, and that was that. It was very melancholy, and I felt a little rejected. But I took our usual nursing times (for example, right when we got home from work) and made sure to establish a new cuddling routine at that time so I didn't feel like I was missing out on the bonding time.

My middle one went until 15 months, and it was a gradual transition starting at about a year. Finally, when he was 15 months old, I realized he was only nursing at night, and it was the reason he wasn't sleeping through the night (still). So we moved him out of our room and into his own, and after a few rough nights, it was fine.

My youngest is 18 months old and still nurses herself to sleep before nap and at bedtime. Part of me feels like it's just time to tell her that's it, it's done, and she needs to learn to self-soothe at those times. But the other half of me relishes that time, being so completely "there" for her, and doesn't feel any particular need to rush her toward independence that quickly. Physically, it's a bit of a pain, since she's only nursed on one side for months, and I (hopefully no one else) can see the difference between the lactating boob and the dry one. But the hard part for me is emotionally. So quickly, it seems, I've gone from this young person just getting used to pregnancy and parenting, to someone who knows that major parts of her life are behind her. I'm just not sure if I'm ready to say goodbye to this one forever.

Anonymous | 7:38 AM

I'm curious... What percentage of your time is spent either taking pictures of yourself or dressing your kids up in cute little outfits so you can take pictures of them?

Elaine A. | 9:28 AM

Everything has it's pros and cons, no?

And yes, mastitis sucks the big one! (sorry for the bad pun...)

Your little girl is such a doll! : )

Anonymous | 9:29 AM

It seems like you are not that into these blogs anymore...you don't post frequently and what you do post is so limited and is not very soulful or insightful. I know you have other things going on but I just wanted to let you know that it shows.

Alyxmyself | 9:31 AM

I'm old so reading this makes me hark back to those days...as an "a" cup it was mostly show hardly any go, so I co-fed with breeast and bottle. it was good because I got to enjoy six weeks of breastfeeding, but weaning wasn't devastating.

But what I really wanted to say was if you haven't already seen the movie "Away We Go" there is this great scene with Maggie Gyllnhall where she is breastefeeding...I don't want to give it away but it is priceless. Her character brings the cring-ey lolz.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:32 AM

I'm sure it does, Anon. I'm sure it does.

Alyxmyself | 9:37 AM

That is so not true. How rude.

Gillian | 10:21 AM

Here's one for you. With my second child I nursed her for 14 months and had planned to start weening around 16 months. But on my thirtieth birthday I decided to get a spur of the moment tattoo (my first) Halfway through a woman came in asking if you could nurse after getting a tattoo and the guy looked up from my back and said "absolutly not" So that's how I weened her, bam, one day nursing, one day not. She, interestingly enough, couldn't have cared less, a good thing too!

Mo | 1:34 PM

Dude. That really is an awesome pic.

You're Hawt, Mama!

*raises a glass to lefty*

kittenpie | 2:09 PM

I just weaned the Bun about 3 weeks ago, too, and don't miss that pumping business ONE BIT. Boobs are pretty much back to normal, though I think I need to give them another month or two to be fully sorted before I buy any new bras.

But may I also say what a lovely picture. Really.

gabby | 3:25 PM

my son (12 months) wouldn't latch and so i ended up pumping exclusively for 11 months. my cup size went from a D before pregnancy to an H (fricken HUGE). i was pumping 40+ ounces daily in three sessions and have been trying to wean myself from the pump for over 4 weeks with little success. i'm still generating 30+ ounces in the 20 minutes i pump daily. i've been taking sudafed, putting cabbage and ice in my bra constantly and am still ALWAYS engorged. i know it's been worth it, but i am SO OVER milking myself and dealing with these udders i could just ...

Megan | 5:51 PM

I know I'm a little late commenting on this, but it was so timely for me, I couldn't resist.

I just recently wrote about my breastfeeding woes, but ended on a positive note, thinking i could keep going. But, it just keeps getting harder. I'm a first time mom, and my daughter is almost 6 months. I totally feel you on the wanting my body back, but my biggest problem is that she screams and pulls away from me constantly, even when I KNOW she's hungry.

I wish someone could just tell you when it's time to stop because every time I think, "This is it. I can't do it anymore" and stat to think about weaning, I get cold feet, get really sad, or feel guilty.

Thanks for sharing your story. It helps to know others are going through what I will have to go through someday, whenever that day is.

Nicola Proctor | 4:26 AM

Booo-urns, Anon.

Rayne of Terror | 8:49 AM

My first son weaned himself at 17 months. I thought I would go until 12 months and re-evaluate. At 12 months I thought I would go until 18 months and re-evaluate. As he moved from big baby to toddler I was grateful to still be nursing because it was an easy way to deal with tantrums caused by frustration. Then at 17 months Henry decided he preferred daddy at bedtime and quit on his own. The last time we nursed was July 4th, 2006 for comfort from the incessant fireworks.

I'm currently nursing my second son who is 4 weeks old. He is a much more ravenous nurser than my first. He eats ALL THE TIME. And while my first son had maybe only 2 bottles of formula his first year, I've already let this baby have one to get a break from the round the clock nursing.

sweetb | 6:37 PM

glad you're off the wagon.. or whatever the saying might be.. more to the point, what is that cute dress on FLI? I LOVE IT. xoxox ps. sorry to have been such a flaky friend the last few times you've been in town, I would love to see you all.

AndreaB | 8:21 PM

With both of my children, I had major engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, and a condition called overactive letdown. I could have fed those octuplets I had so much milk. And everytime I got a letdown, it literally felt like my chest was being electrocuted.

Needlesstosay, my body didnt want to stop lactating, and it took forever. Talk about rocks in my socks.

For anyone struggling with the same thing, here are a few things that helped dry up my milk:

1. I drank sage tea (cold, not hot - that is important). Or squeeze 16-30 drops of sage extract in a small glass of water. (it's avail online or in some herbal shops) Sage has some of the same properties as estrogen, which helps tell your body to produce less milk. Sage is very powerful in milk suppression, so do it slowly, to see how your body reacts - Be especially careful if you are drinking sage for engorgement, rather than weaning, and you intend to continue nursing. Because sage can completely dry up your supply before you know it.

2, Vitamin B6 - It reduces inflammation

3. I only pumped (or nursed) when my boobs were 100% rock-hard and painful. And I only pumped or nursed until I felt a bit of relief (usually my boobs were still quite dense, but had a few squishy spots). In the beginning, my body was making so much milk that I had to do these "mini pump sessions" 12 times a day - but within 2 weeks, it was down to 6 times. And within a month, I only had to pump once a day. And finally I was dried up.

4. When I had time, I would get into the hot shower and press the milk out for relief (instead of pumping). Apparently, suction on the nipples tells your body to make milk. So everytime I pumped or nursed for relief, I was sending the signal to my body to make more. It's like 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, you know? Of course pumping and nursing are unavoidable during the weaning process - and doing it in small amounts is fine. But every once in a while, I would get in the shower and press milk out instead, as a way of helping myself dry up faster.

Hope this is helpful!

Eric and Katie Colvin | 9:25 PM

I get weekly newsletters and this was at the bottom of this weeks. Thought it was appropriate!

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SEMYKIFWgTfQrPVapPqkUw?authkey=Gv1sRgCICVzuSPja2qkAE&feat=directlink

Anonymous | 5:03 AM

I started weaning my son at 12 months, mostly because we wanted to start 'trying' again and I can't gotten my period back. We started the process gently, but it was still emotional for me, because I wasn't ready to wean him yet felt like I had to. He was actually okay with it, and we didn't have any trouble getting down to one nursing a day. He's still at one nurse (16 mo) and that feels good. He's not a cuddler, so nursing is the only time I get to hold him in my arms and be close to him. It's good for him too because it helps him relax and calm down. He absolutely would not take formula (I tried supplemented at 12 mo) and we just switched completely to whole milk then - he was also refusing all bottles, so we went straight to a cup. Lots of transitions quickly, but he was ready for it. He wanted to be a big boy, I guess.

I felt SO RELIEVED when I put my pump away. I had oversupply and pumped while I was home with the baby. (I donated the extra milk.) I had been pumping 2-4 times a day for practically his whole life. I have to say to nursing moms tired of being the feed station - I got my nursing son on a bottle of breast milk when he was 5 weeks old so his daddy (or whoever else) could feed him sometimes, to take the pressure off me. I highly recommend this. (They say 4-6 weeks is a good age to introduce a bottle - and if you don't want to buy an expensive electric pump, hand pumps are relatively inexpensive. BUt some insurance companies will pay for 80% of an electric pump!)

Belle | 6:58 AM

I have no helpful advice or anything useful to say really... BUT due to the many blogs I read written by mommies, I'm FAR MORE scared of breast feeding than labor. Weird?

That's What She Said | 4:16 PM

This has nothing to do with weaning as much as it does with just breastfeeding in general but I remember the first several times I nursed Hayley in the hospital were TORTURE for me. My heart rate went crazy and it stung really bad because she had a death grip on my teats and my uterus was spazzing out all crazy style. I absolutely hated it. I had this super bitchy lactation consultant come in and talk down to me (I look much younger than 30 so this happens to me quite frequently) and she tried telling me that I needed to smash my boob into a taco-style shape and basically shove it down her throat to "achieve the best latch." Well, the constant awkward bending of my wrists led to carpal tunnel and DeQuervain's tendonitis which I still have not recovered from. I almost weaned her immediately due to the pain in my hands but I am committed to go at least a year. Even though it was kindof a rough start, I know I will miss it when we are finally done. At first I thought I was going to really hate it but there's really nothing more awesome than knowing you're providing such a precious gift for your child.

And TOTALLY not fair not telling us about the reunion. Not cool, dude!

Anonymous | 11:30 AM

I'm sorry, Rebecca. I love you and your stuff, I know I don't know you at all and I apologize for being so forthright. I couldn't put into nicer words...nobody like's criticism. I am your audience...think about it.

breedermama | 10:50 PM

I'm in the process of weaning right now. We are down to twice a day and he's teething - getting a molar, so I haven't cut those sessions off yet. Make sure to keep up the viatmins and try to see if you can do it gradually, or else the engorgemnet is a freakin' killer. Good luck! (oh and my little guy just turned 15 months) Congrats on nursing for almost a whole year. You are surely an inspiration to everyone to everyone who wants to breastfeed after surgical reduction. Viva la boob!

Young&Retiring! | 8:30 PM

Love your post! Okay, my daughter will be 2 next month, nursed until 14 months. My story was medical. I started losing eye sight, after tests it was birth control. Okay, so I had to get off BC, which threw ALL my hormones out of whack. I cried a lot because my boobs hurt so bad & I was just falling apart not being on BC having PCOS and other hormonal issues. So my awesome doc wants to help me drop 20 lbs. which fixed my hormonal issues last time to get pregnant. To lose the weight I would have to be on weight loss meds, so no BC & now I'm going to start taking speed while hormonal. It was a rough 3 weeks, I started strapping my chest & using all kinds of tricks to make my boobs unattractive to my baby. I used garlic in oil rubbed on my nipples, she could barely breathe but nursed through it. I drank teas to draw back my milk, cabbage, etc. Anything I could do, I just knew I was crazy & had to fix it. I dropped the weight, stayed off BC, hormones fixed, fertility returned, knocked up 3 months later. Barely had a chance to enjoy my new body before I started throwing up. Oh well, baby 2 coming in September.