Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process

May 21st, 2012 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Weaning, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity, Video/Interactive Posts

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

When I Googled weaning, much of the first page results were relevant to the British definition of weaning – that is, how to start babies on solids (not necessarily how to stop giving them breastmilk). Then there was a bunch of stuff on weaning puppies, foals, calves. But there is a surprising lack of information on gently weaning human children off of breastmilk. Why is the topic so taboo?

When I wrote about my fears that Kieran had weaned during my pregnancy, I was inundated with responses from mothers everywhere who were also harboring guilt or other overwhelming emotions about their own weaning experiences. A common thread throughout the comments and emails I received was that many mothers feel unable to talk to anyone about weaning. Especially if they are weaning an older child.

And so the idea to have a Carnival of Weaning was born. Weaning is such a momentous step in our mothering journeys – we need to have support, we need to know others feel the same way we do, we need to celebrate the time we were able to breastfeed (five days or five years).

I asked several of my blogging mama friends if they would share some of their own thoughts and experiences on weaning in video format. My original vision was to have one five minute video, but there was so much to say on the subject that it has turned into five separate videos.

My purpose in putting these videos together is three-fold:

1) To get the topic of weaning out in the open, to start a dialogue;

2) To help mothers realize that these emotions we feel are normal! It is normal to feel deep sadness (even clinical depression) when your little one stops nursing. It is also normal to simply feel done and ready to wean; and

3) To talk about gentle weaning and about nursing past infancy.1

I hope that you take some time to watch one or more of these videos, and please share them with your friends who are breastfeeding – especially if they are under the (mistaken) impression that they must wean their babes at six months or one year.

And thank you to the wise and wonderful mamas who contributed to these videos. They are:

Amber of Strocel.com
Amy of Me, Mothering, and Making It All Work
Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen
Kat of Loving {Almost} Every Moment
Kym of Our Crazy Corner of the World
Lauren of Hobo Mama
Shannon of The Artful Mama

Here is video #1, in which these mamas discuss what they did to prepare for the weaning process.

Stay tuned for four more videos. These moms will share what support they had (or wish they had) during the weaning process, what emotions they and their nurslings experience, how the relationship between mama and nursling changed after weaning, and gentle weaning advice.2

Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):

(This list will be live amind updated by afternoon May 21 with all the carnival links.)

  • Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update — Sheila at A Living Family bares all her tandem nursing hopes and fears during what feels like the beginning of the end for her toddler nursing relationship.
  • Memories of Weaning: Unique and Gentle — Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares her weaning experiences with her two sons, each one unique in how it happened and yet equally gentle in its approach.
  • Weaning Aversion’Gentle Mama Moon shares her experience of nursing and unplanned weaning due to pregnancy-induced ‘feeding aversion’.
  • Three Months Post-Mup: An Evolution of Thoughts On Weaning — cd at FidgetFace describes a brief look at her planned (but accelerated) weaning, as well as one mamma’s evolution on weaning (and extended nursing)
  • Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler — After tandem nursing for a year, Melissa at Permission to Live felt like weaning her older child would be impossible, but now she shares how gentle weaning worked for her 2 1/2 year old.
  • Every Journey Begins with One Step — As Hannabert begins the weaning process, Hannah at Hannah and Horn‘s super power is diminishing.
  • Reflections on Weaning – Love Changes Form — Amy from Presence Parenting (guest posting at Dulce de Leche) shares her experience and approach of embracing weaning as a continual process in parenting, not just breastfeeding.
  • Weaning Gently: Three Special Ideas for SuccessMudpieMama shares three ideas that help make weaning a gentle and special journey.
  • Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning — Emily shares her first weaning experience and her hopes for her second nursling in a guest post on Farmer’s Daughter.
  • 12 Tips for Gentle Weaning — Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting describes the process of gentle weaning and gives specific tips to make weaning an organic, joyful ripening.
  • Quiz: Should You Wean for Fertility Treatments? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries talks about the key issues in the difficult decision to wean for infertility treatments.
  • I thought about weaning… — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her story of how she thought about weaning several times, yet it still happened on its own timeline.
  • Celebrating Weaning — Amy at Anktangle reflects on her thoughts and feelings about weaning, and she shares a quick tutorial for one of the ways she celebrated this transition with her son: through a story book with photographs!
  • Naturally Weaning Twins — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses the gradual path to weaning she has taken with her preschool-aged twins.
  • Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes about knowing when your child is not ready to wean and taking their feelings into account in the process.
  • Weaning, UnWeaning, and ReWeaning — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy discovers non-mutal weaning doesn’t have to be the end. You can have a do-over.
  • Prelude to weaning — Lauren at Hobo Mama talks about a tough tandem nursing period and what path she would like to encourage her older nursling to take.
  • Demands of a Nursing Kind — Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her conflicted feelings about nursing limits and explores different ways to achieve comfort, peace, and bodily integrity as a nursing mother.
  • Breastfeeding: If there’s one thing I know for sure… — Wendy at ABCs and Garden Peas explores the question: How do you know when it’s time to wean?
  • Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Two, Three? — Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses going from 3 nurslings down to 1 and what might happen when her twins arrive.

  1. It is ironic that the Time brouhaha exploded right before this Carnival was scheduled to go live. Believe me, I had no idea that Time was planning anything about parenting or breastfeeding when I published the Carnival call for submissions.
  2. You can click around to all of the videos from the links at the end of the first video, but I’ll also be sharing each one in separate posts throughout this week.

6 Responses to:
"Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process"

  1. Thank you for putting this video together, Dionna. It’s so great to be able to hear other people’s stories about this process.

  2. Kym

    Love how the video turned out! What a wonderful resource to have to share with other moms as they go through the same process!! :)

    Thanks for all the work you are doing to support breastfeeding mothers and families!

  3. Shannon at The Artful Mama   The_ArtsyMama

    Dionna – this was a great introductory video to the series. I can’t wait to see how the others replied to the interview questions. I started to cry right along with Gretchen. The stories in today’s carnival are so powerful and you begin to realize that they are universal too ever though we don’t talk about weaning on a regular basis. Thanks so much to you and Dr. Laura for getting us together to share our stories.

  4. Momma Jorje   mommajorje

    So nice to see women sharing this emotional process. As you know, finding a weaning balance has been an effort for me this time around. I do feel like we’re preparing ourselves, though, and I’ve set myself some goals.

    Today was the first time in months that I nursed Sasha for comfort and it amazed me that I didn’t experience my usual aversion! I was distracted, which helps, but it was just… FINE. Perhaps if I can get into that “soothe her” mindset, bedtime nursing (the only time we nurse anymore) will be easier.

  5. Thank you for doing this. I was too sad about our impending weaning to write about it for the carnival, with no real prospects for another child. I am going to need to keep watching these videos to get through it.

  6. Rebecca

    This post is so helpful! I thought it wouldn’t be so hard to wean, having breastfed my son for 33 months but, it’s still difficult.

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