Breastfeeding: Dealing with separation

Publication Date07 November 2021
AuthorDANIEL SARANSKY
It seems difficult to put into words the hard feelings and sharp pain that the heart experiences when a mom stops breastfeeding her baby - especially if this happens too quickly.

The shattered fantasy, the guilt that floods in and the feeling of failure and anger at yourself start to surface: What did I not do right? Where was I mistaken? Maybe my decisions were reckless?

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Anat Yaari, a breastfeeding consultant certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLC), who owns the "Mother and Way" school for training breastfeeding instructors, believes that Western society does not like to be overwhelmed by issues that have a lot of emotions and can ignite quickly. And therefore there is not enough discourse on the complex feelings that mothers experience during this period. As such, your feelings may be silenced with a general statement like, "the main thing is that you're both healthy, and in the end everyone grows up, even if they weren't breastfed."

But for a mother whose breastfeeding hasn't been successful, these feelings can be unbearable, and these comments won't help things improve. On the contrary, pain can lead to withdrawal and an internal process similar to the experience of grief, heartbreak or separation.

So first of all, it's important to remember that you're experiencing human feelings that are motherly and normal. You wanted the most basic and existential thing for your baby. Your hormones and body prepared for the...

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