My body changes after stopping breastfeeding, the crazy breastfeeding weaning symptoms I experienced during the 8 weeks after weaning my one-year-old.
Hello, friends! I hope your holiday season is treating you well.
I mentioned on my Friday Favorites. Weaning was hard for me, more physically than emotionally. I wanted to take today to explain and share my story, in case it helps another Mama out there thinking to herself WTF is going on?
I know that I was blindsided by the effects weaning had on my body, and when I googled it, there was very little about weaning side effects when you’ve been breastfeeding a long time. There was a TON of information for new Mama’s who need to wean for medical or personal reasons, but nothing for Mama’s who’d been breastfeeding a year, as we did. Just a few message boards.
Like most, our breastfeeding journey was no walk in the park. Baby K had a tongue tie, MSPI, low milk supply, and I had a slow letdown. For a long time, every nursing session was a struggle, so it was no surprise when right before a year, Baby K began to refuse nursing sessions.
Fine with me, I had planned to wean at one year anyway because I was going on a trip. By 11 months, we were down to 3 nursing sessions a day.
So I cut down one every week or so until we were at one nursing session in the morning only. We did this for about a week and a half, with some skipped days. So, when I left for FNCE, I figured losing that last feeding would be no problem.
What I Thought Was Going To Happen
- Milk supply would dry up in a week. My supply was low anyway.
- I’d have more energy, feel better, and get my body back.
- I’d be a little sad, but Baby K would be okay.
- My cycles would return as usual since they were normal before the pregnancy.
What Actually Happened
Before I jump in and tell you my crappy story, please know that not every woman will experience weaning symptoms. So just because I’m writing about it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. This is just what happened to me!
Baby K was okay, and I was not really sad, we were both ready to be done with nursing. The fact that I’m so okay with being done nursing makes me feel guilty. Why wasn’t I more attached to it? Why didn’t I want to breastfeed for two years?
And then, I snap myself out of it because we made a year, and that’s something to be proud of. Mom guilt, be damned.
I felt dizzy, light-headed, and extremely fatigued for about six weeks. My milk supply didn’t try up for EIGHT WEEKS. That’s right, it just now dried up. I did the cabbage leaves, drank the no more milk tea, and prayed, but in the end, it only took time.
Oh, and the most fun part of it all? Periods every 14 days. Now, if you’ve been following a while, you know that I’ve had a wonky hormone history. I went on birth control at 18, because I was having this same issue (periods every other week.) Was on BC for six years, got off, didn’t have a period for five years, then they returned, but with a shorter than ideal luteal phase, so I was on progesterone almost my entire pregnancy with Baby K.
I kept thinking that I could handle these periods every 14 days with seed cycling and my body would even out, but after six periods in 8 weeks, I gave in to my doctor’s recommendation of 10 days of progesterone. I’m on day 5 of taking the progesterone, so we will see what happens there.
We want more kids, and the fact that I’m probably not ovulating makes me scared as hell. Then I remember I didn’t have a cycle for five years and eventually was able to get pregnant, so I know I just need to be patient. (I’m not quite ready anyway, just want to know we can have them ya know?)
How I’m Feeling Now
It’s officially eight weeks since we weaned.
Its weird breastfeeding is a distant memory, a giant blur filled with ups and downs.
The dizziness, lighted headedness, and fatigue are gone. I’m feeling more like myself, except now I’m on the progesterone, which has turned me into a sob factory. So that’s fun, God Bless Mr. Hungry.
Overall, I’m feeling better, though, sob factory or not. And now I have even more of an appreciation for what my body was able to do in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What about you? Did you experience any side effects when weaning, or was it a smooth transition?