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 need 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.

18 Comments

  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!

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  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.

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  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!

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  4. I couldn’t breast feed and I didn’t force it, I couldn’t agree with you more

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  5. 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

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  6. The important thing is that mom is happy, if mom is happy then baby is happy.

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  7. 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

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  8. 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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  9. I think it’s wonderful if a woman chooses to breastfeed full term but it should also be completely understandable when she stops. Everyone has a different family situation and sometimes finances dictate how much time we get to spend with baby also. You know, the most awesome thing is? You can say that you did it. I don’t think they’ll length of time matters.

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  10. People are always going to judge, I’m afraid. However, your decision to not breastfeed is yours and not anyone else’s to make. There is no neglect in that. You sound like a wonderful momma to me!

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  11. I’ll breastfeed my baby, but I agree with you that whenever it’s time to stop, it’s time to stop. I’ll be going back to work after 2 months so I know breastfeeding is not going to be easy. I’m still going to try to do it but I realize it might not work forever.

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  12. I have a very similar post on my own blog. I quit for the exact same reason – I didn’t enjoy it, in fact I hated it with a passion. My son and I are much happier now that he takes formula. Thanks for posting, I love hearing other women’s stories about switching to formula. 🙂

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    • I also love hearing other women’s stories about doing what is right for their families! Keep at it Mama!

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  13. I quit at 6 months too! Pumping at work was a pain, trying to fill bottles up with my milk was stressful, we were already using formula and breastmilk because i couldnt pump enough at work. I also wanted to get back into the gym and be able to take supplements without having to worry about it effecting my breastmilk. My son chugs down a formula bottle just like he would a breastmilk bottle. knowing he is fed & full is enough to make me happy!

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  14. I was so happy to find this post. I just quit breastfeeding last week and I am so excited about it! My daughter had latching problems at the beginning, she cracked my nipples towards the middle and I ended up having to strictly pump the last two and a half months of breastfeeding (pump-feeding ha!). Six months was my goal from the beginning, but decided to go one more month to hit seven. I struggled with “doing the right thing” as well. But when I realized I was actually missing time with my baby because I was attached to a pump five times a day, I just couldn’t do it any longer! I also agree that breastfeeding was lonely and isolating; I felt depressed at times. Every time someone asked me about my breastfeeding experience and talked about how they missed it, my reaction was always the same “WHY would you miss that?!!” I know some mom’s have a strong connection to it and that’s fine, but it definitely doesn’t mean we love our babies any less if we don’t feel the same way. I find more joy in other aspects of life with my daughter. Thank you times a million for writing this honest post.

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    • Brittany, I am so so glad this post resonated with you! I love finding other ladies who feel similarly about breastfeeding. And you are so right, we don’t love our babies any less! Thanks for your sweet comment, mama!

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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.

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