Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.
One of my most popular posts of all time was Breastfeeding Through Infertility Treatments IVF and FET which was really my own research and decision making process regarding the topic.
It is really a very difficult decision and most of the “experts” in the field are simply ill equiped to help you make this decision.
Lactivists and other breastfeeding advocates will simply tell you how important breastfeeding is. The answers I go when I asked on natural parenting forums was wait, wait, wait. Nothing is worth early weaning.
Reproductive endocrinologists and other infertility patients tend to have the opposite opinion. They say having another baby is way more important and you should wean, wean, wean. Nothing is worth jeopardizing your cycle.
Neither of these viewpoints work for a mother who is undergoing infertility treatments AND is an avid child-led breastfeeding advocate. Honestly, in my opinion you can simply NOT get a good opinion from any of the above. Only a fellow infertile would understand the needs of a cycle and only a devout breastfeeder would place the same level of importance on your breastfeeding relationship.
Please read the research on my original post so you understand the possible risks to you, your breastfeeding child, and your cycle. With that knowledge (and a good dose of thinking, talking with your partner, and prayer if you choose) take the following quiz to help you identify your feelings on key issues.
Should I Wean for Fertility Treatments?
Choose the best answer for each;
- My menstrual cycle
- has returned and been regular for at least three months with signs of ovulation (using Natural Family Planning methods)
- has not returned since giving birth
- has returned but has been sporadic or I don’t have signs of ovulation
- My nursling
- is over 12 months old
- is under 12 months old
- My nursling
- nurses less than 3 times a day
- nurses 6 times a day or more
- nurses 4-5 times per day
- My infertility diagnosis is
- completely male factor or female factor due to Fallopian tube blockage
- unknown or female factor with ovulation, luteal phase defect, or other hormonal issues
- I am preparing for a
- frozen cycle where I will only be using estrogen and progesterone
- fresh IVF cycle where I will use drugs to superovulate
- I can lie to my RE if asked if I am breastfeeding
- If I did not wean and my cycle were to fail
- I would feel grateful that I still had my breastfeeding relationship with my child
- I would feel that I should have weaned my baby to give my cycle the best chance
- If I weaned my child and my cycle failed
- I would feel I had taken something away from my child
- I would feel I had done everything I could to make the cycle successful
If you answered mostly A:
You might be a good candidate to continue nursing through fertility treatments. The success of your cycle is less likely to be determined by any increased prolactin.
If you answered mostly B:
The success of your fertility treatment could be jeopordized by the increased prolactin due to nursing. And/Or your child is still highly dependent upon nursing (due to being under 12 months or nursing frequently) and weaning could be difficult or traumatic for your child. You may want to delay your treatment until your fertility returns or your child is more ready for weaning. If you do decide to nurse through treatment at this juncture be sure than you are comfortable that you have done everything you needed to give your cycle its best chance.
(the “c’s” are in the gray zone so count up your a’s and b’s and see where you stand.)
If you do decide to wean here are some tips on doing so gently use these tips to help make it a gentle transition for you and your nursling.
This is not meant as medical advice and should not be used as such. This tool is simply a way to look at some of the issues involved. Please do your research.
Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):
(This list will be live amind updated by afternoon May 21 with all the carnival links.)
- On Breastfeeding, Weaning, and One Mother’s Identity — Jessica at Natural Parents Network has been nursing one or more of her children since 1993 – breastfeeding is wrapped up in her concept of mothering and herself. She shares her thoughts on weaning.
- two tales of weaning — Aspen at Aspen Mama writes about their countdown to wean.
- Wean Me Gently — Tam at Please Send Parenting Books shares a beautiful weaning ceremony.
- You say potato, I say bleeeuuuuch… — Anelie at Mindcradle had read the books and knew just how to introduce her baby son to solids—unfortunately, he had other ideas.
- A Post Called Weaning — (Not) Maud at Awfully Chipper writes about how weaning her son took longer than she expected.
- On Weaning, Pregnancy and Emotion — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about her mixed emotions as she allows her son, Little Man, to guide her through his weaning process.
- half of her life — Staci at Springpatch Jam looks back on her nursing relationship with her first born.
- Is it just this After Forty Mom or is it harder to wean when its your last? — Amanda of After Forty Mom shares her emotional journey towards the impending self-weaning of her toddler daughter.
- Nursing Limits — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she has weaned her toddler down to minimal nursing and her guilt about the decision to do so.
- Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process — Why is weaning such a taboo topic? Dionna at Code Name: Mama got mamas from across the blogosphere to start talking about weaning – on video. Come check out the first video in a series of five that she’ll be posting this week.
- On the weaning of the boy in the middle — Kelly at Witness To Hope shares the lessons of a little one self-weaning at 18 months in the middle of an unexpected pregnancy, after nursing his older sister for three years.
- Weaning due to anxiety — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how she had to wean to preserve her mental health.
- When Will I Wean? A Guest Post — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama hosts a guest post from a mama who contemplates when her breastfeeding relationship will end.
- On His Own Terms — Momeeezen shares her heartbreak from when her son weaned much earlier than she anticipated.
- Our Weaning Story – Sudden, Surprised, and Embracing a New Season — Weaning doesn’t always go how we imagine. That Mama Gretchen shares the story of her daughter’s sudden weaning and how she has embraced this new season of motherhood.
- A Tale of Two Weanings — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares the similarities and differences of how her nursing relationships with her now six-year-old and four-year-old daughters came to a close.
- She Doesn’t Remember — Alicia at Lactation Narration finds that her 6 year old no longer remembers nursing, only one year after weaning.
- It’s The End of the World As We Know It — A story about the end of a tandem nursing relationship on Never Mind The Rain: A toddler moves on to a new phase in her life before mom is fully ready.
- A Natural End To Our Breastfeeding Relationship — With two self-weaning children, Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots does not know when the end will come, but that it will be natural and without regrets.
- Child-Led weaning: It’s Not Extreme; It’s Biological — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children explains why child-led weaning is based on biology rather than social constraints.
- 6 Years of Natural Weaning in 5 Steps — Jess at miniMum shares how and why she let her first child stop when he was good and ready.
- Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update — Sheila at A Living Family bares all her tandem nursing hopes and fears during what feels like the beginning of the end for her toddler nursing relationship.
- Memories of Weaning: Unique and Gentle — Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares her weaning experiences with her two sons, each one unique in how it happened and yet equally gentle in its approach.
- Weaning Aversion’ — Gentle Mama Moon shares her experience of nursing and unplanned weaning due to pregnancy-induced ‘feeding aversion’.
- Three Months Post-Mup: An Evolution of Thoughts On Weaning — cd at FidgetFace describes a brief look at her planned (but accelerated) weaning, as well as one mamma’s evolution on weaning (and extended nursing)
- Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler — After tandem nursing for a year, Melissa at Permission to Live felt like weaning her older child would be impossible, but now she shares how gentle weaning worked for her 2 1/2 year old.
- Every Journey Begins with One Step — As Hannabert begins the weaning process, Hannah at Hannah and Horn‘s super power is diminishing.
- Reflections on Weaning – Love Changes Form — Amy from Presence Parenting (guest posting at Dulce de Leche) shares her experience and approach of embracing weaning as a continual process in parenting, not just breastfeeding.
- Weaning Gently: Three Special Ideas for Success — MudpieMama shares three ideas that help make weaning a gentle and special journey.
- Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning — Emily shares her first weaning experience and her hopes for her second nursling in a guest post on Farmer’s Daughter.
- 12 Tips for Gentle Weaning — Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting describes the process of gentle weaning and gives specific tips to make weaning an organic, joyful ripening.
- Quiz: Should You Wean for Fertility Treatments? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries talks about the key issues in the difficult decision to wean for infertility treatments.
- I thought about weaning… — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her story of how she thought about weaning several times, yet it still happened on its own timeline.
- Celebrating Weaning — Amy at Anktangle reflects on her thoughts and feelings about weaning, and she shares a quick tutorial for one of the ways she celebrated this transition with her son: through a story book with photographs!
- Naturally Weaning Twins — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses the gradual path to weaning she has taken with her preschool-aged twins.
- Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes about knowing when your child is not ready to wean and taking their feelings into account in the process.
- Weaning, UnWeaning, and ReWeaning — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy discovers non-mutal weaning doesn’t have to be the end. You can have a do-over.
- Prelude to weaning — Lauren at Hobo Mama talks about a tough tandem nursing period and what path she would like to encourage her older nursling to take.
- Demands of a Nursing Kind — Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her conflicted feelings about nursing limits and explores different ways to achieve comfort, peace, and bodily integrity as a nursing mother.
- Breastfeeding: If there’s one thing I know for sure… — Wendy at ABCs and Garden Peas explores the question: How do you know when it’s time to wean?
- Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Two, Three? — Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses going from 3 nurslings down to 1 and what might happen when her twins arrive.