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When You’re Tired of Breastfeeding

When You're Tired of Breastfeeding Tips for those moments when you're ready to give upI was totaling up the other night how many years I’ve spent nursing my children. After four children, it’s just under seven and a half years and counting. Our youngest is 18 months old and still loves to nurse, showing no interest in weaning.

I’m fully committed to breastfeeding past one year. The physical, emotional, and mental health benefits are incredible, and I believe it’s good for moms, too! However, I wouldn’t for one moment lie that breastfeeding is always full of fuzzy, lovely, rose-hued moments, especially at this point in the game (for me). Sometimes I start to feel a little tired of nursing. Perhaps it might be called Breastfeeding Burnout?

If you’ve breastfed for any extended period of time, you might recognize the symptoms: the overwhelming desire for personal space, general fatigue, mild irritability (at times directed towards the nursling), dreams of burning nursing bras and pads, and the like. Can you relate?

I think it is completely normal and natural to at times feel a little burnt-out from breastfeeding, especially when your little one is going through something that renders them extra needy or clingy. My youngest, for example, is having a hard time with her last two teeth. She caught some bug that gave her a fever, cough, and runny nose, and she seems to have a hefty dose of toddler separation anxiety recently. Her favorite remedy, of course, is nursing, but after so many tugs at my shirt, I sometimes get that Breastfeeding Burnout feeling.

So, what to do? Rashly wean? Run and hide? Snugly wrap yourself around the chest in duct tape?

While those might be tempting options in a moment of despair, I think there are better ways.

tired of breastfeeding

7 Tips for Moments when You’re Tired of Breastfeeding

1. Remind yourself why you are breastfeeding. Maybe the nutrition is a high priority for you. Maybe you want your baby’s oral development to be at its best. Maybe you know that your toddler’s emotional needs are strongly met through nursing. Maybe you have a whole host of reasons! Give yourself a pep talk and run through your list of reasons. Reread some supportive literature on breastfeeding. Visit an encouraging blog (like the series featured here!).

tired of breastfeeding2. Look at your healthy baby, and pat yourself on the back! Sometimes we just need a good reminder that all of our hard work is paying off. When nursing that little person starts to feel like a chore, rather than a joy, take a step back. Look at the chub, the rolls, and the dimples. Admire the sweet active mind that is learning so much. Take in the special bond that you have with your baby or toddler. Breastfeeding led to much of that, and we should feel rewarded for giving our baby a great start in life.

3. Give a supportive friend a call. Don’t we all need to vent sometimes? Talking to a friend who supports your breastfeeding choice can be such a refresher! I know there have been times when I’ve just needed to talk to someone who knows what it feels like to suffer from a bout of Breastfeeding Burnout. I may not want advice. Just a bit of empathy does wonders!

tired of breastfeeding4. Reach out to a breastfeeding support group. Groups like La Leche League have made it their mission to encourage breastfeeding moms! Perhaps there is a local group near you, or even another similar organization that can lend more support than just a kind friend. Maybe you do want a little advice. Maybe there’s a specific cause for your Breastfeeding Burnout that could be greatly helped by talking with someone who has a lot of experience. The ladies that lead these groups have a desire to help breastfeeding moms; take advantage of that!

5. Talk to a wiser, Titus-2 woman. When we’re in the thick of raising little ones, it is can be so hard to keep the perspective that this stage of life truly doesn’t last forever. Finding a godly woman who has experienced this stage of life (and lived to tell about it) might be just what you need.

6. Ask for some time away. A quiet hour or two at a coffee shop or at a friend’s house can do wonders! Perhaps your husband, a relative, or a trusted friend could stay with your little one(s) so you can regroup for a short spell. Getting away gives us the distance and quiet we might crave when having Breastfeeding Burnout.

7. Pray! It is a huge comfort to me to know that Jesus knew what it was to be tired and weary, and yet have so many needs pulling on him! Can you imagine the crowds of people who so often surrounded him, wanting to touch him, talk to him, or get something from him? When I think of these things, I know that I can go to the Lord in confidence during my small trial of feeling burnt out. Just whispering a short prayer for help, remembering that the Lord understands, often gives me the boost I need to get through a difficult moment.

Have you ever dealt with Breastfeeding Burnout? What helped you get through it?

tired of breastfeeding


Kristen is a Christian, wife to her high school sweetheart, and mother to a growing brood of sweet little people. She spends her days keeping the home, homeschooling, making real food, gardening, blogging, and working from home as a Lilla Rose consultant, often with a little person on her lap wanting to nurse. You can find her at Smithspirations and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Oh boy, I am feeling this right now! My daughter has started slapping my chest, scratching me when he wants to nurse, pinching my inner arm while nursing and pinching the non occupied nipple with her toes. It’s overwhelming sometimes when she picks some random day to nurse non stop all day. BUT she is my fourth and last baby and I chose when to wean all the other three (too soon) due to medical issues and having to take medication that didn’t allow nursing, so I am determined to give my last baby the gift of self weaning. It’s hard some days but most of the time I’m so thankful I can do this past a year, finally!

    • Kristen Smith says:

      I must admit… her toe antics made me laugh! Oh those toddlers…

      I’m really glad to know that this post was encouraging to you. I totally relate with what you’re saying. I’m also certain that years from now when you daughter does wean you’ll have a tremendous sense of accomplishment!

      Thanks for reading and chiming in!

  2. so glad to have found your site! i linked it to my blog so that i could share with other moms!

  3. Summer Dukes says:

    Yhank God for you. Lord knows I needed these words of wisdom from a Godly woman because I was feeling so defeated. Breastfeeding is so frusrating at times. These are very good tips.

    • Kristen Smith says:

      I’m glad you were encouraged, Summer. It is hard sometimes, but I hope you can find a light at the end of the tunnel!

Trackbacks

  1. […] a woman may want or need to wean her baby, including going back to work, illness, pregnancy, and just feeling tired of breastfeeding. If you’re asking, “How do I wean my baby?,” settle in for a good read – and be […]

  2. […] hoping to nurse until 1 years old or longer. When I get discouraged or feeling the Boob Burnout,  Breastfeeding Place  is a great blog to read and get re-energized and […]

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