Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weaning woes

So here's a little tidbit of info for you - weaning downright sucks. While breastfeeding has been hard, weaning is downright brutal and I can't wait for it to be over.

I made the very difficult decision that this would be my last week of breastfeeding. It's getting harder and harder to feed as Sticky gets bigger and she's starting to refuse the breast more. I'm guessing because it's just too much effort for her for such little reward.

It is with a heavy heart that I made this decision because I always wanted to breastfeed for 12 months if possible. But, it's another one of those lessons not to have expectations because you don't know what your body, or your baby will be capable of.

So I'm continuing a morning and afternoon feed and reducing it by a few minutes every 2 days. However, my breasts are not playing ball. The last 2 nights I've woken up at 2am with very painful breasts from blocked ducts. The first night, I was able to get rid of it by expressing but last night was a different story.

I woke up after rolling onto my side and feeling an immediate shock of pain. It was excruciating. My breast was inflamed, throbbing and I screamed in pain if I just brushed it. I tried panadol and expressing but it didn't work. I was becoming quite upset as the pain was unbearable. In desperation I called the Australian Breastfeeding Association hotline at 2am and God bless the poor woman I woke up who helped me.

She asked me a range of questions to determine what the problem was and agreed it was most likely a duct. She suggested putting a hot face washer on it or a cabbage leaf but alas, I didn't have any cabbage leaves lying around. I asked her if I should feed because that's how I had got rid of it before. My concern was because I was weaning, I shouldn't reintroduce a feed I had already stopped. She said to feed.

I felt so selfish waking Sticky up to feed but I had no choice. The pain was intensifying and there was no way I was going to be able to get back to sleep. There is a fine line between releasing enough milk to clear it and giving a full feed as the more milk the breast releases the more it produces. So, I made up a bottle to give her as well.

I felt some relief as soon as she started sucking. I stopped her after a few minutes and felt my breast. It wasn't as tender but still felt sore so I put her back on. As soon as she started sucking I could feel the block passing and had to take in some deep breaths to get through the pain. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief once I felt it pass. Thank god for babies!

Waking up to feed Sticky is one thing, but waking up because I'm in pain is another. I'm so exhausted and drained by it all. It means we all have a disrupted night sleep and we're all zombies today. I hope and pray this will soon pass. 

As I said, it was with a heavy heart I made the decision to stop breastfeeding. But I know it is the best decision for Sticky and I. I know I did the best I could and I'm happy that she had breast milk for the first 12 weeks of her life. In saying that though, I can wait for this hell to be over!

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