Am I (still) a Breastfeeding Mama?

It never occurred to me that being a breastfeeding mother (or not) could be a difficult thing to determine. Either you are breastfeeding or you aren’t, right?

Well, I’m finding it hard to answer that question: Am I a breastfeeding mama?

From the beginning my goal was two years and then we’ll see (which led to a desire for child-led weaning). I wrote about the major shift in my breastfeeding status that came at 18 months here and gave an update here. Things just didn’t go as I thought they would. In fact, they went downhill right when we were getting into a great groove.

So it came to be that I found myself one day wondering aloud when the last time I nursed my child was. This got me wondering if I am still breastfeeding. I started to think about some what ifs….

Am I a still breastfeeding mama if:

  • I can’t remember the last time I nursed her? (Although since I started telling her the baby is going to need lots of milkies she started to be more into them and asked to nurse one night last week.)
  • When I did nurse her last I didn’t want to?
  • There is no milk in the milkies?
  • I no longer offer and put her off when she asks?
  • My daughter no longer asks for milkies? (Is she weaned or isn’t she? See above update from last week.)

All these last months of the pregnancy, I have had a hard time nursing her and have felt some relief at her not wanting to nurse. At the same time, I feel sad and hope that she will nurse again when the milk comes back. Then again, I’m not sure how I will feel once the baby comes. It’s enough contradictory thinking and feeling to make my mind a mess.

Then today, on expressing these feelings, a friend said that she wouldn’t consider my daughter weaned because she, like me, is pretty sure that my daughter will want to nurse when my milk comes in. That made sense to me, and I’m not ready to consider her (us) weaned. It still seems so gray to me, not the black and white I thought it would be.

What do you think? When is a child weaned (particularly in the case of pregnancy)? When does a mama stop being a breastfeeding mama?

5 responses to this post.

  1. Am I still a breastfeeding mama if I just ordered one of my fave nursing tanks even though I haven’t nursed for a year?

    Reply

  2. […] weaning caused by my pregnant body’s refusal to make milk, I wondered “Am I still a breastfeeding mama?” I feared that my nursing relationship with my daughter was ended without me even knowing […]

    Reply

  3. […] nurser after my toddler relearned to latch and nurse. For a while there I was wondering, “Am I (still) a breastfeeding mama?” My daughter even gained a nose obsession from when she weaned during […]

    Reply

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