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When he turned six months old, I decided to quit breastfeeding my son. No, I didn’t have low supply. No, I didn’t have a medical condition or need medications that made my milk unsafe. And no, he had no problem with nursing. I was simply sick of it. I was ready to have my life and body back. I was ready to let my husband take some of the responsibility of feeding Will every three hours. I was ready for a little more freedom in my life.

My goal is not to make a statement for or against breastfeeding for any length of time.  Other moms who are sick of nursing just to know they’re not alone.

I mentioned that I had quit to some mom acquaintances recently. They reacted like most people do – with concerned looks and questions. When I explained that I was just ready to quit, I was met with  poorly hidden disapproval. One of them mumbled, “Well, you have to do what is best for your family…”

But isn’t that true?

I have to do what is best for MY family. Quitting breastfeeding is what is best for us.

I was never that enthusiastic about breastfeeding. We had some difficulty latching, and by the end, Will was a nursing gymnast.  When we first had him, I remember getting asked the same question: “Don’t you just love nursing?” I would smile and try to change the subject. No, I didn’t love nursing. And I was scared to admit it.

Nursing was a hard, painful nuisance. I felt lonely when I went away to nurse Will and judged when I chose to nurse him in public. When I used a cover, I got comments from diehard breastfeeders about how I didn’t need to cover. When I didn’t cover, I made many other people feel uncomfortable. I even got dirty looks. It was so hard to fight the mom-shaming. I was only a brand new mom trying to do what was best for her son.

My son has grown, and so have I. I have decided to quit breastfeeding, and I have decided not to be shamed. I want anyone who doesn’t love breastfeeding to know she isn’t alone. She isn’t an awful person.  If you choose to quit nursing, it’s going to be ok. Your baby is not going to be behind on milestones because you switch to formula. You are choosing what is right for you, and that is what is right for your baby.

A happy, confident mom is far better for her baby than a shamed, sad, and struggling mom. If giving up breastfeeding will help you be happier and more confident, then by all means, give it up! If you adore breastfeeding and it helps you be happy and confident, then that’s awesome!  Do what is best for YOUR family.  Don’t judge others on what is best for theirs.

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9 Replies to “Why I Quit Breastfeeding

  1. Good for you! I didn’t get to breastfeed either of mine and they did just fine! I tried on the second and wasn’t successful, so both were bottle babies, and both were chubby, happy, healthy babies. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it. It’s your life and your child and your decision, and I’m so proud of you! And a blog! Very exciting. You’ll be great!

  2. I’m struggling with this right now- my daughter is 8 months old and I want to quit but feel like I shouldn’t. Thanks for your honesty- I can relate to this and appreciate I’m not alone.

  3. Thank you for sharing this so honestly. I am thankful to have had a really positive breastfeeding experience (I actually posted about it on my blog), but I was also really thankful to have support no matter what I chose. Breastfeeding can be hard and totally different for every single person. What matters most is that mama and baby are healthy and thriving, and it sounds like you both are. Good for you for sticking with it for 6 months and being self aware when it was time to make a change!

  4. Hey there is nothing wrong with needing to do what works for you! I also hated breastfeeding I found it so time consuming and basically had me sitting around for hours a day. I wanted to quit for so long and chose to stick it out but I totally get why you quit! It is hard hard work! Good for you for sticking with what makes you happy.
    -jackie BabyBearsMamaBear.com

  5. I firmly believe in doing what is best for YOU and your family! So proud of you for going with what you knew would be best. I get kind of tangled up inside when I think about how much better we should all be at supporting each other. MomLife is not easy, and we need to have each other’s backs. XO

  6. I can SO relate! I quit breastfeeding my son at 4 months. While I was having some issues, I was also just plain sick of it. I was an exclusive pumper, so being tied to a pump all day got old FAST. Not to mention the feedings every 2 hours and never ending bottle washing. It is so trying on a new mama’s heart. In the end, our decision to stop breastfeeding was a good one for our family. Thank you so much for sharing your honesty!

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