When Is The Right Time To Stop Breastfeeding? – My View

When is the right time to stop breastfeeding?

I am almost 7 months into my breastfeeding journey with Holly. But the question is, when is the right time to stop?

I say ‘journey’ because:

  • I wanted to give up on day 2
  • I suffered horrendous cracked & sore nipples
  • I didn’t sleep for a whole week
  • I was constantly doubting my capability

I didn’t think I would make it this far and I’m forever being told “Wow, you’re so lucky to be able to breastfeed!”

Lucky? Please, this took determination and complete mental strength. Perhaps lucky in the sense I’ve not experienced any issues, but either way, lucky isn’t the word.

I set a goal for 2 days, 2 days to ‘try it’ and if it didn’t work out – formula it is!

But 2 days past, it was getting easier, Holly and I were both learning and by week 4 – it was a piece of piss!

Then, I’d set my goal for 6 months – according to most mothers I had spoke to, 6 months was a great achievement.

This wasn’t to please anyone – but to prove to myself that I did have determination if I put my mind to it.

6 months came by fast, and before I knew it – I wasn’t ready to stop, and neither was she.

Holly is coming up to 7 months old and still breastfeeds on demand.

Personally, I couldn’t justify taking away her main food source as well as her comfort.

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Before I knew it, the “When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” question came rolling in, left right and centre.

Was it normal to just ‘stop’ and be done with it?

From 6 months old, I have now set another goal – 1 year old. This raised a few eyebrows from people I had informed of this choice, but why?

I know why, because breastfeeding a baby is OK, despite the odd bellend who lives to kick up a fuss. But feeding a baby, AFTER 6 months? Why has it all of a sudden become so uncommon?

Each to their own of course – I do have my own time limit of when I’d hope to stop breastfeeding Holly and I do have my own opinion of what age, I think, breastfeeding should stop. But I couldn’t comment on another parents choices.

This is where bottle feeding does come into thought – why would you stop giving a young baby their regular bottles of milk?

You wouldn’t. So why are breasts any different?

I believe babies should be the ones to stop when they’re ready. I’d much prefer knowing Holly self-weaned from breastfeeding rather than me taking it away altogether.

Those who haven’t breastfed, or understand the emotional bond of breastfeeding – it’s not easy. It’s not easy just ‘giving it up’ or ‘sticking baby on a bottle’ and quite frankly, it’s annoying hearing it.

No, I’m not making a rod for my own back – she feels secure, she is comforted and she is fed – all by me.

I think there comes a point when you know its time to stop – when both yourself and your baby feel ready. But I don’t feel us breastfeeding women should take into account of what other peoples personal view’s are.

I feel as soon as you have a baby – whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, everyone feels they have the entitlement of an opinion.

…Which if you didn’t know, none of us bloody want!

I’m happy to feed Holly as long as she wants to – there is a point where I would want to stop, but until that time comes, leave us be!

Laura

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7 Comments

  1. November 3, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Well done for marking it that far! I’m still breastfeeding at 9 months now. I’m back to work so she has her ‘booby’ mornings and evenings. It’s her comfort so there is no way I’m stopping yet. We both aren’t ready! My aim to begin with was 6 months now it’s 1 year. Xx

    • November 3, 2016 / 5:36 pm

      Thanks Rachel! Well done for getting to 9 months! Yes I’m back to work on Tuesday, thankfully they’re only short shifts but I may have to express during once or twice. But she will have boob when I’m home. Keep going! xx

  2. Jada
    November 3, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    I breastfed both of my girls until they were 2. The last little bit of that was because it was comforting for them and they got to snuggle with me. Yes some people thought it was too long but we were all happy and I loved spending the time looking at them and just being with them. I hope you keep going for as long as works for you!

    • November 4, 2016 / 10:24 am

      I think 2 years old is a fantastic age! I can’t imagine the thought of stopping – it makes me quite sad knowing it will come to an end one day! WELL DONE for breastfeeding for as long as you did! Thank you x

  3. November 4, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    You’ve got to do whatever works for you! If you’re happy and your little one is happy then that’s all that matters!

    • November 5, 2016 / 7:59 am

      Thanks James, you’re so right! x

  4. November 21, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Well done! My daughter is almost 8 months and we are still breastfeeding too. Like you, I want to continue until she is ready to stop. Your comment about the bottle is so true – no one would expect you to just take a bottle away at 6 months!

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