Monday, March 9, 2015

when to wean (and a medela pump + accessories giveaway)


francesca is a bit over two and i am starting to wonder when we will wean. she likes to nurse in the morning and evening and i still love these quiet moments together. however, i am aware that this time is fleeting and i will likely wean soon as she ventures out into the world a bit more each day. tonight, when i put her down, i sang her "stay awake" and she pat pat patted my chest while being slowly lulled to sleep. i closed my eyes and tried to trace the moment so that i could etch it in my heart. i feel like i've grown so much as a mother over these past six years and it's interesting to think back on this breastfeeding journey. i love thinking about the cocoon of the newborn days and the sleepy naps on my chest. the sweet smell of milk and baby coos. i am also reminded of harder moments which i am also grateful for and would like to share with you.

when elodie was four months old i went back to work full time at a job i really, really disliked. if i quit then i would be responsible for paying the company i worked for thousands of dollars as they had moved my husband and i across country from new york city to los angeles. our plan was for me to work there for the two year contract and hopefully have a baby sometime after. of course, babies come when they are ready and i found myself pregnant a full year earlier than anticipated. i had four months with elodie and then headed back to work. i packed up my medela pump, a little photo of elodie, and headed to the office. every day was emotional, especially when it came time to sit in the tiny room within the bathroom that was the only private place to pump. i would get worried if i didn't get enough ounces or if i forgot to pump and became engorged. but pump i did. i was committed to breastfeeding elodie exclusively until she was at least one year old and was happy when i made that goal. there were hard times along the way with both girls. i was prone to mastitis and engorgement. i remember receiving comments from family members who couldn't believe i was still breastfeeding after a year. the connection that elodie and i had was so beautiful and i thankfully ignored any voice other than my own. i don't really know why i felt so strongly about breastfeeding elodie (i weaned her when she was a little over 2 1/2 years old) but i did. it saddens me that in this day and age there are so many conflicting voices over a mother's choice whether it is to breastfeed or not. a woman is the only person who should decide what is best for her and her baby.

in honor of international women's day (which was this past sunday but, really, every day should be women's day!) i am giving away a Medela care package which includes:

A Medela Freestyle Breast Pump 

Medela Accessories:
Medela Quick Clean Soap
Medela Quick Clean Bags
Medela Quick Clean Wipes
Medela Pump & Save Bags 20ct
Medela Lanolin
Medela Disposable Bra Pads 30ct
Medela Shoulder Bag (Medela double pump kit, cooler and ice pack)
Medela Breastfeeding University Card

to enter, leave post a comment on my instagram Medela post with a nursing or pumping moment (funny, sweet, hard, whatever) that you remember and tag/follow @Medela_US.

alternatively, please post a comment below with a nursing or pumping moment (funny, sweet, hard, whatever) that you remember and follow Medela on Facebook. if you are commenting here, please make sure you leave your email address as well. this giveaway is open to US residents only. i will be announcing a winner on friday march 13th.

Medela has recently launched Medela Recycles. the recycled pumps (moms can ship their old pumps back to Medela) support the initative which donates new, hospital-grade multi-use breastpump and supplies to Ronald McDonald House charities, to provide moms with the same high quality equipment they use during their hospital stays. With nearly 40% of the families served by RMHC caring for babies in the NICU, this offering supports breastfeeding mothers. more info on how to recycle your pump here.

Medela gifted me similar products and i will be donating them to a local mama in need. i wanted to do this post because i am a whole hearted advocate of nursing and think that breast pumps can help in so many situations. please support women in your sphere of influence with whatever choice they make. we are all in this together.

26 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you that breastfeeding, or not, and for how long, should be a decision a mother (and child) make for themselves. We're all different, we all have different relationships with our children and should all respect that.

    A difficult moment we shared while breastfeeding early on was trouble with latch because of an undiagnosed lip tie and all of the insensitive comments that came along with the trouble... one that sticks out "give her formula, she doesn't want your milk" (!)

    Thankfully things are so much better and I cherish the quiet time and bond as well.

    I'm sorry you had a hard time with your job situation while nursing your daughter. Breaks my heart when I hear stories like this.

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  2. I'm pregnant with my first, so I haven't had any first hand experience, but I look forward to all of the difficult and precious times I have ahead with my first baby due in June.

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  3. I love this story and am right there with you. My little girl turns two this weekend and no signs of weaning in sight. Although I have moments where I am like "I need my boobs back, I am weaning her this week!", I can never seem to make it happen lol :) And going back to work? Ugh...I went back at 4 months as well. I STILL have hard times, especially in the warmer months when I see kids playing in Central Park across from my office or walking hand in hand with their moms down the street. I'm not one to quit my job without some sort of backup plan as far as income goes, but I made a goal for myself that by the time we have number two I will be working from home and work for myself. Anyway...great giveaway, my pump was a savior and a total workhorse! Xo Chelsea play. wash. rinse. repeat.

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    1. Ha, I have those moments myself Chelsea. I always give in when I see her ;) And what a great goal! Or at least try for some flexibillity right? I wish employers were more understanding of working mamas.

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  4. this is so sweet...
    i am having my first in 6 weeks...so no funny story yet...operative word "yet."

    great giveaway..

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  5. Lovely post ! I have been bfing my son for 6 months, at first I felt very claustrophobic being the only source of nourishment but now I relish in it!

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    1. Claustrophobia is a great way to describe it!

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  6. I am pregnant with my second and am a SAHM. I hate hearing about your experience of going back to with and thank you for sharing. Nursing my first was hard at first and gives me so much compassion for mothers who have a hard time or have to stop because of a bad latch etc.

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  7. Thank-you for sharing this. I always admire your approach to mamahood so it's inspiring to read your take on breastfeeding. My 19 month old twins have been exclusively breastfed and it is still one of my favourite things about being a mama. I am not looking forward to the day I have to wean them but hope it is a natural process that occurs at the right time for me and my littles. (This comment is not for the give away - just a comment :))

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    1. Thank you Bailey! I think you are right, we put all this worry into how things will happen but if we just let it, most of the time it works out as it should.

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  8. I pumped exclusively for 9 months which was hard work but totally worth it giving my child the best milk there is my milk.then got pregnant with second and milk dried up very quick but I was content knowing I gave my baby my milk for that long I was proud of my self for making it to 9 months.my memory will always be spilling fresh breast milk worst feeling ever..

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    1. Kittygurl637@hotmail.com baby#2 is due next month am looking foward to bf this time around more determined than ever.

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  9. I breastfed both my girls and I'm due with my 3rd baby girl in May. I had the most bonding beautiful experience nursing my first born and the hardest time nursing my second baby! She had a poor latch from the beginning and it was quite a painful experience for the first couple months. I'm hoping for a better experience with my 3rd baby. It's amazing how even breastfeeding experiences can all be so different too among babies.

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    1. It is so crazy that we have to often let go of our expectations with our second. really humbling!

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  10. Sorry I had to comment anonymously because I am having trouble with my G account. Anyway, I love everything that relates to breastfeeding. Experiences I won't forget are publicly but discreetly bf-ing at the airport (while walking and at the waiting area), outlet stores and parks. Not the shy type here. Will do the same thing with baby number 2 on the way. :) jolly_aralar (@) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Good for you! I'm not the shy type either!! xx

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  11. Breastfeeding was unsuccessful for us with first baby. I'm hoping to make it work with second, due august! It's so important to us.

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    1. Yes Suzanna! It can be so hard and I don't think women really understand it until they are in that position themselves!

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  12. I BF my boys until they were 30 months. It was a beautiful experience and I really do believe it has made a huge difference in their immunity. I just wanted to comment. No need to enter me! Thank you for your little message at the end as well. We should all support each other.

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  13. Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. Accessaries

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  14. i wanted to chime in and let new mothers or mamas-to-be that recent insurance changes require more health insurances to now provide a pump upon a birth, at no cost or a small copay. i got a pump 100% free with blue shield of california coverage. they simply need to call their insurance for the how-to. so many women don't know about this free benefit, so i just had to comment. and yes, my insurance provided medela as one of the options!

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  15. Elizabeth or anyone else, do you have any tips on weaning kindly? My daughter (18 months) is still happily nursing morning and night and while I love it for now, I can't foresee a time when she will electively stop on her own. Maybe it will come, but if not, how could I wean her without hurting her feelings? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated - thank you!
    Katie

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  16. My 3 year (and 5 month!) old still gets her occasional boob..I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (or both!) for almost 6 years now..my older daughter quit at 18 months on her own (2 months bf her sister was born) but the younger just was not ready until recently..they are all so, so different. I love that you write so honestly and openly here..thank you!

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  17. Thank you for sharing Elizabeth. My almost 3 year old son is still breastfeeding. I can definitely tell that its slowing down since he'll generally only nurse for a few seconds to a minute these days but "milk pecho" is still very much apart of our day. Its like his way of "checking in", haha. My mother nursed me until I was 2 and I always knew I'd want to breastfeed as well so I'm just going with the flow. This stage is just a small part of our life together and I want to relish it while it lasts. Love the work you are doing with the Mama Circle! I wish I lived closer. I'm in the process of becoming a La Leche League Leader and at some point down the road a Lactation Consultant, amongst some other things involving prenatal and postpartum support.

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  18. Wow. Everything you said here landed so deeply with me. I'm (35 weeks) pregnant and currently (literally) nursing my son who is almost two years old. I also do not know why I advocated myself so intensely to exclusively nurse, but I did and I am continuing to regardless of all the opinions. I don't know what my life will look/feel like nursing two- that is how I came across this post. I find myself a little panicked these days, looking for something I truly believe in- to help me wean Koa and prepare for my newborn. I have not found anything that makes me feel as strongly for weaning as I feel for continuing. Because, I also love the sweet snores, the warmth, the eye contact we share in these quiet moments. Your post made me feel confident in myself again, I know I'm doing the right thing (and I know it will be hard, but like you, one day I'll be thankful and probably look back fondly). Thank you for creating a space to share experience. I so appreciate you and your vulnerability

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