Quitting Breastfeeding And Mom Guilt

By Antea Corluka

November 13, 2019

Antea is a Registered Nurse with 10+ years experience in the birthing unit. She is a mama of two lovely boys aged 2.5 and 13 months with a passion to help mamas navigate through motherhood. She believes that being a mama is a hard gig, but the hardest job of all is the relationship we have with ourselves. A healthy mama fuels a healthy family, and she can help make you realize how strong and resilient you really are!

Oh, mama! How I feel for you, how I understand you. Your breastfeeding journey has come to an end, and there are so many emotions involved. You have been through all the ups and downs of the journey, and it hasn’t been easy on you, mama. You haven’t slept, and you can barely take time for yourself to eat a simple meal. Your time has been filled with cleaning, sterilizing, latching, re-latching, and lots of cuddles with your unsettled baby. This article is not meant to find solutions to make breastfeeding work; you have made that choice and we are here behind you. We support you because we know how difficult this mama gig is. Feeding is just one piece of the ever-changing puzzle. I want you to know right now at this very moment that you have made the right decision for your family.

The source of guilt

So, you’ve stopped breastfeeding. Where is all this guilt coming from? A variety of sources, that’s for sure. It could be from well-meaning family and friends who are pushing their views onto you, making you feel negative about the decision you have made. It could be all the breastfeeding talk you see online or a fired-up conversation in a mom’s group. There certainly tends to be a lot of judgement in many places around us – either in real life or online – and it is our mission to crush this with empathy, as I truly know how hard this journey can be.
These sources can be overwhelming, and I encourage you to find safe spaces where you truly feel supported (Check out the Mama Coach Community for support with zero judgement. ). Easier said than done, but it’s important to just focus on yourself and your family. Only YOU know how you feel, and you deserve to be heard and respected.

Mindset around Breastfeeding

It could be coming from your internal thoughts, which is understandable. Perhaps you had a dreamy vision of what breastfeeding would look like and it didn’t turn out that way. Maybe you knew how much work it would take to make breastfeeding successful and it just wasn’t for you. OR you tried it all – the power-pumping, the fenugreek, the blessed thistle, all the oats, the teas, the fluids. MY GOSH, the fluids. You did everything to amp up your milk supply and it was just too much.
Maybe you just never were interested in breastfeeding from the get-go, and you knew this about yourself. It could have been a week or two of breastfeeding and you just felt done with it, or a few months into it and you just never really got to the point of enjoying it like you thought you would. It takes a toll, it takes a lot of energy. Maybe it was too isolating; this is a very common experience.
Whatever your case may be, it’s important to shift your focus. IT IS OKAY. Breastfeeding is not everything. It’s not for everyone. Of course, we know the benefits, but a happy and HEALTHY mama is of utmost importance here. If you have found that the struggle of breastfeeding is overpowering your motherhood experience, then it is just simply not for you. You don’t need to explain this to anyone and having the confidence moving forward with your new feeding plan will be a game-changer for you as a mama and as a woman. If you can enjoy your baby more by giving a bottle, then that is incredible right in itself. The time, eye contact, love and nurturing you give to your baby is what it’s all about!

Moving forward

I’m proud of you. Proud of the decision that you have made because it wasn’t an easy task. I’m sure you have been back and forth about it, and maybe you’re still unsure if you’ve made the right choice. Dig deep, because you know what’s right. You are powerful and strong, and you need to trust your mama instincts. They are there for a reason!! FEEDING your baby is important, of course.
We are blessed to live in a country where we have access to options. If you need help figuring out a new plan for your sweet baby, we are here for you. A weaning package may be really helpful for you as well, as we can walk you through how to wean safely so you don’t experience discomfort. The hormonal fluctuations can be erratic at this point and cause a lot of sadness during weaning, and this is normal and expected. You need the right support and the proper guidance because let’s be real – you deserve it!

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