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Weaning to Get Pregnant – and the Guilt We Feel

The breastfeeding relationship between a mother and a child is perhaps one of the most beautiful and sacred of bonds. It’s an experience like no other, but like most good things, there is eventually an end to it. Weaning is the sad end to that beautiful journey. It isn’t easy – and weaning to get pregnant isn’t any easier.

Weaning to Get Pregnant - and the Guilt We Feel #nursing

Trying to wean a baby who shows no signs of truly wanting to wean is one way to really make a mama feel guilty. I know because I have been there. Most mamas set a goal for the breastfeeding relationship, say one year for example, and other mamas have no goal. I was the mother with the goal; I thought a year sounded great. A year came and went and my desire to continue breastfeeding was still strong, as was my daughter’s. We quickly surpassed that one year mark.

Weaning is perhaps the most emotional process I’ve ever been through. In fact, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done (harder than 26 hours of labor). Weaning to get pregnant made me, as I’m sure it would any mama, feel extreme guilt. There’s so much to consider about weaning to get pregnant. There’s so many emotions to process, there’s guilt to overcome and there are tears to shed.

For one, I think it is important to understand why you want to wean to get pregnant. For myself, I began trying to wean simply because my first pregnancy was one that included lots of hugging the toilet, so it just seemed fitting to wean. I began trying to slowly wean her at 12.5 months and saw success with it. Yet I battled the emotions back and forth about whether or not I truly wanted to wean. Truth be told, I didn’t want to wean just then. We reached a point where nursing consisted of twice during the day for naps and then nighttime. Eventually I became content with this and after speaking to my doctor who told me to nurse on (and eventually tandem feed), I was actually content staying that way.

Then our weaning journey hit a halt and it actually felt like we were back tracking. For all mamas, the time that Aunt Flo makes her return during the breastfeeding relationship is different for everyone. Some mamas get it back weeks after having a baby and some don’t get their cycles back until their baby is fully weaned. Even when you’re a lactating mother and you have a regular cycle (like myself), there is still a chance that breastfeeding is slowing down the chances of conceiving. And for that reason, that is why some mamas are more determined to wean to get pregnant.

The guilt that surrounds us is tremendous. What if I don’t get pregnant anytime soon? What if I wean my baby and it still takes a year to get pregnant? What if she resents me when the new baby arrives and breastfeeds? What if I regret it and linger to nurse her after I’ve weaned her? There’s so much to consider. I feel like I’m ripping away the one thing my child has known her whole life so far, just to prepare for a child that doesn’t even exist yet. It almost seems unfair to her.

At the end of the day, we can only do so much. We can offer all the love in the world and just cuddle our little one close and make the best decision for them, for our future and for our family. And I can assure you that through time, the guilt does subside. Weaning to get pregnant isn’t easy, just as weaning in general is never easy. It’s the end of a beautiful journey, but if you’re blessed enough to conceive again, then it’s the start of a new one.

Does the thought of weaning to get pregnant cause you to feel guilty? What are your fears?

Sasha is the voice behind the green living, mommy blog, The Mushy Mommy, where she writes about her journey towards living a healthier, non toxic lifestyle. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the proud mama to a spunky little girl. Sasha loves supporting others through breastfeeding so much that she is currently in training to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and a certified childbirth educator. You can visit Sasha over at her personal blogFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+.

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