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Zoe Raymond|Fitness & Yoga|Beauty & Fashion

Bittersweet end of breastfeeding after 1 year.

Arielle turned 1 and that also marked the end of my breastfeeding target.

It has been a month since I started deceasing supply. It began in Japan where I fully latched and did not pump after. I have always pumped after I latch, for Arielle’s subsequent bottle feeds and frozen stash. For the last 3 months, my individual pumps had been unable to meet her feeds already. She drinks 190-210ml per feed, 4 - 5X a day and I could only pump 80ml each time on usual days, up to 150ml on good days. To ensure she gets the freshest, I would wake up at least once at 3am to pump. These goes to her day feeds while I am at work. The consolidated pump amounts meet her needs perfectly.

3rd Mar: Got home from Japan and weaning project began. One of the changes that occurs with weaning is a drop in prolactin and oxytocin levels. Prolactin, a hormone that is required for milk production, also brings with it a feeling of well-being, calmness and relaxation. Oxytocin, the hormone that is required for milk ejection (let-down), is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.” A sudden decrease in these hormones could have an effect on a weaning mother’s emotions. Therefore, it’s important to take weaning slow - for Mother’s emotions and mastitis! I first stopped all night latches with Alvin’s help to handle Arielle while I hid and gradually reduced day latches and pumps.

4th Mar: Latched Arielle in the mornings before work and pumped 3X (2pm, 6pm, 11pm). The 3 pumps were done to relieve and not to empty, to put it into perspective, total pumped amount was about 400ml a day. 2 feeds a day are from frozen stash.

12th Mar: Away for a 4D3N work trip which made weaning easier. Pumped 3X (8am, 3pm, 10pm) and brought the milk home because every drop is even more precious now. The yield was down to about 300ml a day.

18th Mar: All of Arielle’s feeds are now from the frozen stash. Yield from 2 pumps (8am, 10pm) is about 200ml.

I did my last latch before I left for the airport on 12 Mar. Ever since then, I have not latched. It‘s exactly a week and I still have the temptation and still feel emotional; but it’s getting a lot better. It has been a beautiful, bittersweet relationship. I’ve met my target, and I can now rest!

I will miss and always remember how Arielle quietly looked up at me with her smiley eyes, often flashing a smile between her feed and latch again. Thank you, Mamamiyo, for capturing this memory for me!

High and lows of breastfeeding in this A Week Into Being A Mother & The Biggest Challenge- Breastfeeding Post.

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