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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


When You’re Tired of Breastfeeding

I 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. After that long, I feel like it’s okay that I’m tired of breastfeeding!

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 breastfeeding. Perhaps you could call it Breastfeeding Burnout.

 

when you're tired of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Burnout: Too Much of a Good Thing?

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? All of these things can happen when you’re tired of breastfeeding.

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.

 

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. Or you want your baby’s oral development to be at its best. Perhaps you know that you can meet some of your toddler’s emotional needs 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!).

2. 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 feel tired of breastfeeding. I may not want advice. Just a bit of empathy does wonders!

4. 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 feeling tired of breastfeeding 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!

when you're tired of breastfeeding fb

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 we’re feeling tired of breastfeeding

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 felt tired of breastfeeding? What helped you get through it?


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!

  4. Martha Ngaruye says:

    Thank you for this article. Wish I had seen it earlier when I was struggling with mum guilt. Weaning my baby at 20months was very hard. Sometimes I wish I had waited a little longer. But again I couldn’t keep up with the constant bites. I wont lie, I felt tired of breasteeding at times, just wish I had come across these tips earlier. Will definetly use them in future with my second baby.

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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