The journey of parenthood is that of exciting twists and experiences that make it a whole lot of important topic. Right from birth, the child and mother establish a blissful merger that is painful to imagine breaking, let alone breaking it. But will the joyful merger push beyond three years? Definitely no, and no because it could otherwise turn destructive.
This is what is termed as weaning, a separation that develops independence between mother and child. Although weaning may sometimes bring varying amounts of sadness, fear and pain, it is critical when done appropriately– not forced and child is age-appropriate.
What Happens If You Stop Breastfeeding
Some possible changes will occur after weaning a child from physical to emotional to hormonal.
a) Physical Changes after Weaning
The events surrounding child delivery, and the postpartum period may repackage your physical frame so that you’re no longer feeling like before. It’s true; there would be numerous physical changes that will take place after you stop breastfeeding.
Goodbye Gig Boobs
For big chested moms, this change is mostly a relief. It makes you feel proportional when those boobs shrink back to normal unlike those moms with little boobs. Too bad for you.
But basically, boobs will drastically reduce in size due to “closure of business”!
Breastfeeding helps burn around 700 calories daily. So weaning means that you will no longer burn the calories, and you will definitely gain some weight after weaning your child. For some queens, this may make them feel less comfy, until sometime later when their body reverts to normal.
What To Do About It
One of the easiest ways to keep your body fit and to prevent excess weight is through exercise. Mostly moms claim to lack strength for work out programs, but it’s recommendable to start gently and increase gradually. The act of putting your weight under check is enough to boost your morale and help become positive.
Check Cut Your Diet
During breasting, there is obviously increased intake of food, most likely due to milk demands. It becomes challenging when you want to cut on food intake or even control what to eat. The struggle is worth it anyway. Consume those fruits and veggies more regularly and watch your body maintain a healthy weight and boost your self-image.
Don’t look at the changes and flaws with your body and start feeling sorry. No, these are basically temporal changes that won’t last a lifetime. Give your body time to reshape.
b) Emotional Changes
After weaning, mothers go through lots of emotional changes. It’s usual to feel tearful, sad or mildly depressed after. Others will experience irritability, anxiety, or mood swings. Good news is that these emotional disturbances are short term and should disappear in a few weeks.
What You Can Do
Speak It Out
Once you start experiencing emotional outbursts, look for a caring friend and get to share our struggles with them. Most probably, they have experienced the same and pulled through, or have some professional counselling that could help you.
Appreciate The Changes
Instead of focusing on this disturbing moment, decide to use it for your good. For instance, when you feel so down for no reason, it’s time to go to movie shows or some outdoor activity. Never cage yourself as this could aggrieve the situation.
Also, take some drinks you consider a favourite. I mean, there are lots of good stuff to do that fights emotional trauma like non-breastfeeding bras.
Although in most times, emotional disturbance is considered normal, sometimes they may get a toll on you. Watch out for advanced cases and seek professional help early enough.
c) Hormonal Changes
Most mothers experience some hormonal changes from mood swings to anxiety to sadness and even depression.
After weaning, the oxytocin hormone levels drop in your body. The sharp drop is responsible for stress, anxiety and increased detachment between you and your baby.
Moreover, Hormone prolactin, which helps in milk production, drops drastically after weaning. This is the hormone responsible for suppressing the estrogen, which is responsible for ovulation. That’s why it’s believed that the body has a way to prevent pregnancy during the breastfeeding period.
During weaning, prolactin levels drop while estrogene levels rise. Then the tap resumes running! Makes perfect sense, right? The hormonal changes cause mood swings and may even affect your mental health leading to depression.
The seriousness of these side effects mostly depends on how swift you wean your baby and how frequent you were breastfeeding your baby before you wean. The faster the weaning process, the more the change in hormone levels, and therefore more likely to experience adverse effects
What You Can Do
Since you cannot avoid the slap of these hormonal changes, it’s advisable to follow some tips just to soften the blow.
Ensure that you wean your child gradually, and allow your body and your brain to adjust to imminent changes slowly. Also, gradual weaning makes the transition more gentle for your baby and less traumatic for you both
Connect With Your Baby Emotionally
Have sessions for cuddling your baby regularly as this will make you feel more connected throughout the weaning journey.
A little research online could make you feel less lonely. Read those web pages talking about weaning experiences and get to realise that there a lot more people are going through weaning experience. So you’re not alone.
This would stop a lot of stress, and also act as an eye opener for more ways of coping with weaning stress.
Remember This, Too, Shall Pass
Rest assured that in a short time, your body will settle back to its pre-pregnant state. Though this depends on how long breastfeeding took place, but yes, you will soon feel more like “your old self. Just some patience.
So there you go. Motherhood really transforms life, body, and mind and mothers have been known all along to be tough, fierce, smart, and a force to reckon with. Though post weaning effects are as sure as the dawn, the good news is that you can take necessary steps towards alleviating the physical, emotional and psychological duress.Depressed