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My baby just started weaning and I can’t stop crying.

I’ve heard that weaning off of breast milk starts when solids are introduced. Is it normal to feel emotional when this happens? I've heard that hormones can play a role in having low moods when you begin to wean.

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Dear Is This Normal, 

I’ve heard that weaning off of breast milk starts when solids are introduced. Is it normal to feel emotional when this happens? I’ve heard that hormones can play a role in having low moods when you begin to wean.

Signed, 

Weaning & Emotional

Dear Emotional, 

First off, I want you to know I have been where you are right now. I remember rushing home to breastfeed my daughter after a long day at work, my boobs engorged, and I would sloppily undress as I walked into her room. The nursery always had a dim light, a lavender scent, and soft music. It was almost like my haven—no one would talk to me and I got to spend one-on-one time with my baby not worrying about anything or anyone else. Those days were so fast and chaotic that I really treasured that moment, it was my own time to unwind and relax. 

Right before she started solids, I started to worry about stopping breastfeeding. Were my feelings normal? Absolutely! Did I think it was normal at the time? No. I didn’t speak to my family or other moms about what I was going through. I was emotional and probably delayed starting solids trying to run away from the unavoidable. I remember crying and holding her thinking I was never going to be able to move on, I basically went through an unexpected mourning period. I was convinced that the moment she took her first spoonful of food, everything would change forever.  

I had so many questions and fears. How much should I breastfeed? Will she get sick? Will I get mastitis? Do I keep pumping? I’m sure you’ve begun to experience this question ping pong too. It’s exhausting! As you know, every baby is different, so I decided to go with what my pediatrician suggested at each well check. While my older daughter weaned in 2-3 months, my youngest one had a crazy appetite and was eating solids and breastfeeding at the same time.  

Undeniably, hormones play a key role in those blues you’re feeling about stopping breastfeeding. Prolactin and oxytocin provide a sense of calm and happiness—no wonder they call them the “love hormones.” Basically, once you stop breastfeeding you have less baby time and your happy-go-lucky hormones start to drop. Sure, these side effects sound intense and you start feeling a swirl of emotions, but you are also slowly growing back into your old self: that feisty, fun, and energetic woman you know and love. Ultimately, that feels OH-SO good.  

It’s strange how our bodies keep changing through motherhood. It’s totally raw yet SO fascinating. Enjoy this moment and embrace the change. Remember those sleepless pregnancy nights where you wondered if you’d be able to take care of your little one? Now you’re a Super Mama—this transition will be no different. Don’t give in to the anxiety of weaning. You birthed a child, you have absolutely got this! You should feel proud about the insane amount of liquid gold you created and nourished your baby with and you are going to love the newfound freedom of your lightweight tatas. 

From the brighter side,

Is This Normal

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