MY WEANING STORY

Story by: Busayo Awodein

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Total weaning was something I really did not look forward to. Apart from the emotional stress being undergone by mother and child that period, I really was not ready to stop enjoying the benefits I derived from breastfeeding – especially that of the mother to child bond. Initially, I had planned to breastfeed for two years or at least 18 months, but a part of me just felt it was time to stop which I did at 16 months. Hence, here’s my weaning story.

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Immediately my daughter clocked one, I intensified the weaning process. I stopped breastfeeding during the daytime and breastfed only at nights. I had come to terms with the fact that it would be almost impossible for me to stop breastfeeding completely on my own because I could not bear to see her cry so hard for something that I had the power to give her, so I was waiting for a ‘savior’. I knew I had to stop because I was not having adequate rest at nights; she woke frequently to breastfeed, and she also had little sleep.  Thankfully mother was coming to spend some time with me. So, the plan was baby would stay with mother at nights and when she wakes to feed, there would always be a substitute- pap, chocolate drink or cereal.

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So, the process of full weaning started. It required a lot of determination on my part. The whole weaning took about five painful days…painful physically because of engorged breasts, and painful emotionally because of my baby’s cry. Gradually, after the five days we started, she started sleeping all through the night and forgot about breast milk altogether.

PS:

Script It: did everything change in that 5 days?

Busayo: yes, more or less. After 5 days maybe 3 more extra days after mom left. When she woke up then, I would just pat her bombom until she slept back

Script It: so after a week you stopped she started sleeping all through the night?

Busayo: yes

Script It: do you think their frequent waking at night to suck is not really because they are hungry?

Busayo: for my child, well, thinking back, I think it was just an addiction, bus once she knew that breast milk was not going to show she stopped. That was why I did not want to give her food too because it might just mean waking up to eat, which will become another addiction.

Script It: I like the point you just raised about not introducing food so they don’t start the habit of waking up to eat again. When she woke up for the cereal and pap back then, was she sleeping off immediately after taking them?

Busayo: yes she was sleeping off immediately after taking them. Sometimes she would start sleeping as she was taking it

Script It: during the times when she was waking up to take cereals, did her intermittent wake up frequency reduce?

Busayo: yes, it reduced drastically. Instead of waking up 5 times before day break, it reduced to once or twice.

Script It: why pap and cereal?

Busayo: I guess pap and cereals are more filling so it made her sleep more soundly

Script It: thank you

Download the World Health Organization recommendation on weaning

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