Sunday, August 7, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week

Every year from August 1-7, WBW is celebrated around the world. Locally, the Breastfeeding Resource Center in Abington has events today. Sadly, with a jam packed weekend schedule, we cannot attend this year. This year, in celebration of WBW, I am doing something a little different...weaning. Breastfeeding has been and still is, a most amazing bonding experience for Cecelia and I. I am happy that she has nursed for 2+ years, and honestly we could go longer. Through this journey, some of my ideas have changed.

While I was still pregnant, in about April, a friend told me that going to a La Leche League meeting was really helpful for her, and doing so before she had the baby. I figured I'd check it out. The group of women I found was incredibly helpful, supportive, and just plain nice. I learned, after I had been to several meetings that LLL has historically been viewed as a "militant" bunch, but I can speak from experience that that is not the case with our Montgomery County East group and I attended a PA conference and found likewise. It was nice to talk to others having or who had the same experiences and then later to be able to offer my own help.

Through different reading on the topic of Breastfeeding, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed Cecelia for at least two years. The AAP guideline states exclusive BF for 6 months and until a year or until mutually desired (indicating that if mom is "done" we are done and that mom should not "force" child...- interesting concept, I can say that was never necessary). The World Health Organization indicates that two years is ideal. So that was my goal. Fast forward to the end of this school year. Due, mostly, to my schedule, Cece was down to one, if that, nursing per day. I figured tapering off until two and we'd be in the clear. Then came summer. Mommy was home and Cecelia saw this as an all you can eat buffet opportunity. Which was partially my fault. Because it was easier. But this resulted in the exact opposite and I wasn't sure quite how to terminate our Breastfeeding relationship. But I am determined. A friend told me about her experience with her older daughter and how they substituted a cup in at bedtime. I already knew Cece was not a fan of milk in a cup, but I knew I should figure something out. My concern was that she would just fuh-reak out, as she is sometimes prone to do, and I would just give in, which would reinforce bad behavior. The next day, I decided to try. So, she asked, and I said no. And she gave me a look, but didn't put up a stink. At nap time, she asked and I said no. We sang songs, she put her head down, and she went to sleep. This was going to be easier than I thought!

The next day, she started with a runny nose and a horrible cough and I...blamed myself. Through breastfeeding, I surmised, she had maintained excellent health. And through weaning, I had singlehandedly in one day, gotten her sick. Bad mommy. So, I made a perfectly logical drown her in milk. And I did, and she got better. Which she would have done anyway. And then I got back on track. I made a plan. Because cutting off in one day hurts. So, instead, I made a gradual step down any addict. And I got some cabbage for myself. Because it helps the hurt. And I can say that by 8/31, Cece will be all done. Before school starts. And about a year before any siblings will enter Cece's world and steal mommy and her milk away. So hopefully, she won't remember...or she'll remember that she is a big girl now. How did that happen?

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