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Hi, Leakies! This week we're focusing on Weaning and Beyond!  We have some articles we hope are helpful, exclusive content, giveaway links, a nursing and maternity wear shopping discount code, and some exciting new features in this latest edition that we hope will inspire you, make you laugh, and support you as your journey in breastfeeding transitions! 

*Tip: Most of the images in our newsletter are interactive links! Try them!

Peace and Milk,
TLB Team

Dear Leakies,

Weaning.

For some the word strikes a tender cord of sadness, an ending of a precious time. For other it is a bittersweet word that represents freedom and reclaiming their bodies. For many it’s a conflicting combination of feelings. Weaning, no matter why, when, or even how it happens is a significant milestone.

For many of us, we spend a lot of time getting ready to have our babies, learning about pregnancy and getting updates delivered to our inboxes on the size and development of our growing babies and preparing for birth. After baby, some mothers find themselves feeling isolated and alone with feeding a consuming responsibility. It can come as a shock.

I promise though, they do eventually wean. These are my girls and all but one of them are no longer breastfeeding. Even the teens. ;)

But for all that we put into figuring out that whole feeding thing, often there is very little going into feeding transitions, particularly for weaning from the breast. It can almost seem taboo to talk about weaning, as if supporting breastfeeding requires breastfeeding forever. And so once again some mothers find themselves feeling isolated and alone, overwhelmed during a time of conflicting emotion. The topic is expansive, we couldn’t begin to cover all the aspects of weaning in one newsletter so this time we’ll just give a bit of an overview.

My personal weaning stories vary, as you might expect with 6 children. Not a single one of them is identical to the other. My children are all different people with different personalities and our breastfeeding journeys reflect that reality. Letting us have our own relationship, free to be who we are and appreciate our unique dynamic together has given us the space to relax into what makes up our unique dynamic and releases me from making comparisons.

With my eldest I misunderstood a nursing strike (a sudden break in feeding, refusal of the breast usually triggered by something traumatic such as pain or fear, sometimes brought on by new developmental milestones and interest in the world around them) at 10 months old as weaning when she suddenly refused the breast after I took some advice to flick her on the cheek when she bit me. A move that resulted in a premature end to our breastfeeding relationship. I pumped for another 2 months and then (this still makes me cringe) I threw away all the milk I had in the freezer the day after her birthday. I had known then what I know now. Her weaning was traumatic and heartbreaking for both of us. For help dealing with biting, see here and here.

My second was weaned from the breast at 4.5 months old when after months of struggle, severe reflux (we used bath towels for burp cloths), and a few ER visits for stabbing pain in my right breasts that the doctors never understood, I surrendered and we switched to formula. What I had assumed this time everything would be easier but it was just different. Different baby, different support, different resources available... different. I was even more heartbroken and very confused even though I knew it was the right decision for us given our circumstances and resources.

Our third daughter was my easiest and smoothest breastfeeding relationship at first and we reached our 12 months goal, continuing until 18 months when we learned about the sexual abuse of our two eldest by a family friend. I weaned cold turkey within days of learning about the abuse. Between the stress of the situation, the demands of CPS investigations and cooperating with authorities in the criminal charges brought against the perpetrator, and my own sexual abuse history being triggered, breastfeeding my then toddler brought on anxiety. With the help of my husband, I slept in a different room (with our older girls) and we weaned.

By the time our 4th came along we were in a different place emotionally and I would have continued until she weaned on her own but my pregnancy with her little sister was not progressing well and I agreed to wean when she was 22 months old. Gentle mother-led weaning, particularly one on a time line (we did it in 3 weeks), still was difficult but with my husband's help we managed by reducing the time of our session gradually each day and spacing them out.  We intentionally increased the other ways we connected such as her helping me with chores, sharing art time together, making a special snack to enjoy together, and going for (slow) walks.

With Smunchie, baby number 5, night weaning felt very necessary and I believe making that decision was important in us continuing to breastfeed when I hit a wall of fatigue. We wrote all about our night weaning journey using Dr. Jay Gordon's method of night weaning and the family bed here. We did a temporary weaning when she was 26 months as my nursing aversion in Sugarbaby's pregnancy reached a peak. She came back to the breast after her baby sister was born though she was never quite as into it again. You can read about that decision here.

Sugarbaby is 3 and yes, she's still breastfeeding. We have boundaries in place at this stage (she is night weaned though it just happened on it's own) and she's really only breastfeeding morning and evening. And any time she's sad. Or if she's scared. Or hurt. Or frustrated. Obviously it's a very gradual process. Right now I'm following her lead but I may end up leading the weaning myself as I'm noticing more sensitivity for me as her breastfeeding sessions space out some with time. We'll see. It's a relationship, not a dogma for us.

We could easily dedicate 2 months worth of newsletters to the topic of weaning and over time we probably will. For now though, browse through our newsletter this week for more on weaning and let us know what questions you have related to the topic.

Whether you decide to wean on your time table for whatever reason or if you're comfortable weaning whenever your child is ready, the truth is it IS going to happen at some point. This stage seems to be forever when you're in it but eventually it will end. Scroll down for more on weaning, including tips for how to wean and even what to do if you find you somehow never weaned and you're breastfeeding a teenager some day. ;)

My biggest suggestion for weaning is to decide when and how for yourself, not for the expectations of others. Close behind that I recommend approaching the process with gentleness, flexibility, patience, and humor for your child and for yourself.
  

You may have sadness when the time comes (hey, those hormones are certainly involved in the process no matter how you do it) or you may feel a lot of relief. At times you may look forward to weaning, at others you may wish it would never end. All normal. It's all a part of this crazy journey called parenting.

I hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter. For those not weaning but may be looking for a tasty way to boost your supply (after skin to skin and breastfeeding on demand of course) we have a lactation cookie recipe from Carrie at Our Stable Table and a kale salad recipe for a healthier option and my husband Jeremy opens up about intimacy and how we keep the spark alive in our relationship at Beyond Moi. Infant and toddler feeding doesn't last forever and we're all more complex than just that stage. Join us for talking about the other aspects of life and nourishing our whole selves. 

Happy Breastfeeindg, bottle-feeding, or weaning!

Jessica Martin-Weber


P.S. Be sure to scroll all the way through the newsletter, you're not going to want to miss the very last feature!
 

 

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Ask The Expert!

Got a question? Weaning? Sleep? Feeding? The experts are here to help! TheLeakyBoob.com is adding a weekly article featuring different experts including a pediatrician, infant feeding consultant, IBCLC, sleep consultant, infant and child development specialist, fitness coach, and CPST. To send in your questions for an upcoming article, see the button below.

Sleep consultant Rebecca Michi answers Leaky questions on sleep.
 

Brittany: I would say a 4. my 13 mo wakes up every 1-2 hours and wants to nurse like a newborn. We co-sleep and started to transition to his crib. but I’m still not getting sleep he sits up and cries cause he can’t find the boob. He has never slept more then 3 hours. We have been on a bedtime routine for months now started bedtime at 7:30p and nothing seems to work. Read books about sleep did everything and still a short sleeper.

Rebecca: How long do you think he could go between feeds during the night right now? 3 hours? He could probably do without a feed at all during the night, but as he is used to feeding lots his tummy will be hungry if you drop to no feeds or have a long time between those feeds during the night.

Read more.

Ask Your Question For an Expert Here!

12 Weaning Ceremonies

Breastfeeding can be such a sacred time in our lives. While we cherish the breastfeeding journey, it is rare in our culture to commemorate the end of breastfeeding with little more than a note in the baby book. If breastfeeding was important to you, consider celebrating your experiences and remembering this special transition with a weaning ceremony. Read More
Weaning the Breastfed Baby Read More
How To Wean Your Teenager Read More

Boobs and Bottles Around the Web

Breastfeeding Discrimination: Mountain Home Air Force Base and Interview
Read More
Free shipping and 15% off nursing wear, maternity items, nursing bras and more with the code MOM2015. Click here to use it.
Photos of Mother Breastfeeding With Cancer After Single Mastectomy Go Viral   Read More

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Leaky to Leaky tips
Patty: "My tip is understanding that weaning is also a process of transition in your role as a mother. It can be very emotional and turbulent for you as a mom as well as your baby, so have patience and take some time to reflect on yourself too."

On boundaries with breastfeeding 
toddlers
Emiley: I tell my 2 year old that " it's filling back up, I'll let you know when it's full again"

Heather: 
One of the great things about toddler nursing is that you can set some boundaries without fear of jacking up your supply or not giving toddler what they need.

Rebecca: Since I generally avoid using "no" to my kids...I always say yes but in a new way....so "Yep hun, you can have boo boos as soon as I am done with the laundry"....see how that works? LOL Funny how just saying yes often avoids any upset.
 

Leaky Boob Looks: Put It On and GO Edition!

by kileah mcilvain
You know all of that time I have to get ready every day with 4 kids under 7? No? Well neither do I! Which is why putting on clothes that are breastfeeding-friendly and carrier-friendly should be a no-brainer. Sometimes before this mama brain has had coffee, trying to wrap my head around picking out a functional outfit that doesn’t look like “I gave up on today” can be somewhat of an olympic feat (at least to me!). Read More
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Leaky Chronicles: Stories featuring Leakies!

 
Touching After Weaning:
After weaning, Eddie still showed a need to touch the “babas” that far outweighed my patience for being touched. I had given him four solid years of nursing, and had been breastfeeding for a total of about nine and a half years over four kids. I was more than ready to have my body to myself. Read More

The Only Truth That Matters

So, last week got a little wild, and not in a fun way. In the midst of it, I was asked to share encouraging words with one of those amazing, hurting souls I’m lucky enough to love. These are a few of the words. Finish Reading

Featured Recipe of the Week

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

by Carrie Saum- Our Stable Table
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour ( 1.5 cups for V3)
  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats, not instant (3 cups for V3)
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (You can use dark or semi-sweet chocolate but it’s less awesome.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk (4 Tbsp for V2)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (ONLY for V2)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
*Click Here for extra milk-boosting versions of this recipe! 

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer or a lot of elbow grease, cream butter and sugars until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine flour, (flax meal if you are making V2), baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to the sugar mixture until it’s incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  4. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, put dough in 1 inch rounds, making sure to leave plenty of room to expand.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  I’ll let you decide what kind of doneness you like but I pull them promptly at 13 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, and cool completely on cooling rack.  Or until you can reasonably eat them without burning the crap out of your mouth.
  7. Skip baking them altogether and just eat the dough straight.

Crispy Quinoa: Chef Zarate Shares His Secrets Watch Video

Fresh Organic Eating on a Budget: My Weekly Harvest! See Here

Kale Waldorf Salad: Honoring My Grandmother's Legacy Read More 

Last day to enter the Party Like a Leaky- International! No matter where you are, you could win this collection of some of our favorite products from some of our favorite brands. Hurry and enter here.

Beyond Moi 

Life. Family. Love. 

The latest from Beyond Moi 

Our Key to Staying in Love: Intimacy

By Jeremy Martin-Weber
 
"...I’m not saying that those experiences are fake. They’re not, and they are very important bonding moments too. But they shouldn’t be a replacement for true intimacy, where the point isn’t the movie/show/event/experience/orgasm,
but the vulnerable and deep connection that you share together.
Read Article
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Beyond Moi around the Web

The Importance of Shared Experiences

As a little girl, abuse made her ashamed of her body. Then she decided to dance.
Read Article


TLB Comics: Isn't It The Leaky Truth

 

"Useful Shape"

by Jennie Bernstein
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