When I originally thought of this blog post title, I didn’t think I would get my little one onto bottles, but thanks to the NUK closer to nature bottle, that’s not an issue (see my bottle review post here).
Mastitis – the devil!
Getting mastitis was what started me on the road to ending my breastfeeding journey. It is rare that someone will make it through their own breastfeeding journey without getting mastitis at least once. For others they can be riddled with it! I was lucky enough to avoid it up until my little one was 7 moths old. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It started with just feeling very uncomfortable one Sunday evening when I was lying down to go to sleep. One breast just felt really achy and sore to the touch. I thought nothing of it until I woke up the next day feeling extremely ill., I had a high temperature, aches and pains all over, a splitting headache, no energy and a very very sore breast. That’s the moment you realise there is no rest for us mommas! I couldn’t call in sick from my day job, and my little one needed as much attention as normal. I was lucky enough to have had a GP appointment that morning by chance. Had it not been booked, I probably would have gotten much worse before getting checked out. I was prescribed antibiotics which took a few days to clear up the infection. But the worse part was just how exhausted I was. It really surprised me how much of a toll a little infection can take on the body.
On the road to getting my boobs back!
Every piece of information I have read about breastfeeding is based on how to get breastfeeding established, how to get through the first few weeks. Nowhere at all does it tell you how to stop!
Once I got my little one to accept formula, I chose one feed every half a week or so to switch to a bottle feed. I started with day feeds, as I was going back to work, it was most important to get the little one onto a bottle when I wasn’t there. I tried to be rigid about the feed I chose and not offer him the boob for these feeds, despite him looking for it at times. There were days when he just needed boob comfort, for example when he got a terrible cold. But I just tried not to make it a habit.
All together it took about 8 weeks to get my little one off breastfeeding exclusively and onto formula during the day. Doing this slowly prevented the over-production of milk most of the time. I will admit, I am still feeding him in the middle of the night, but I will be dropping that soon. I never thought I would make it past 6 weeks feeding, then I said I would stop at 6 months. Now we are nine months in and I can’t believe it.
I am looking forward to getting my body back but I will really miss the closeness and connection you get from breastfeeding. But for now, I am just going to enjoy every last feed I have left.