Thursday, 22 July 2010

Notes on severing my baby

In French it's called severage which seems so much more brutal than the English weaning.

I haven't mentioned nursing Max at all which is funny since it has been such a large part of my past year. But it was so natural and so easy with my second babythat there was nothing to write about (unless someone wanted to know how much I was pumping a day or what kind of pump I use). I loved nursing Suzanne and was so happy to be able to do it for a year. But when I weaned her, I was ever so happy to hang up my breast shields and return the pump to the pharmacy (you can rent breast pumps at the pharmacy. In my case, it was covered 100% by my complementary health insurance). With Suzanne, I was so concerned about not having enough milk that I pumped an extra bottle every day (150-175 ml/6 ounces extra a day!). In the end, it was a good thing because I was able to donate the extra milk to the lactarium. With Max, I decided to take every day as it came...and a year has come and gone.

With Max, it was just...easy. I was so much more relaxed, having done it before, that I defined my goal of 6 months and then would see if I felt up to pumping once I was back at work. But once I got back to work, I wasn't ready to stop. So every week, I said "we'll see." And my little boy will be a year in just over 2 weeks.

This time around, weaning is much harder. I didn't donate milk because Max ate everything I managed to produce - even my extra milk- and even more on some days (frozen milk).

Maybe it's because he's my last baby (most likely), maybe it's because weaning means severing the baby from the mom in certain terms, maybe it's because I spent 6 months at home with him and only 3 months with Suzanne but I feel sadder than last time. By the end of the week, Max will be severed from me for good and I will be able to reclaim my early morning runs and my normal clothes. But I'm sad that my little boy will almost literally be crawling off my lap and will never come back a baby.

For any other nursing mothers in Lille, I recommend the following for any advice:

  • lactarium at Jeanne de Flandres - they are in desperate need of breast milk for sick and premature babies. If you are going to pump, you might as well pump a little extra!
  • Solidarilait - they give practical and realistic advice from experienced moms.
  • Unless you are a diehard, don't bother with La Leche League. They tend to be a bit extreme...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I found your blog through another bilingual blog and check it from time to time. My husband and I are raising our son bilingually with English and French.

I'm facing weaning my 11 month 1 week old and I'm dreading it. I have loved nursing him though I have to say I'm ready to be finished pumping. It's nice to hear others who have similar feelings.

Reb said...

I hope the weaning went well. It was much easier than I expected on my end and I am ever so happy to be rid of the pump!

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