Breastfeeding is a deeply personal experience and, for many women, not one that always comes easily.
It’s a relationship of sacrifice — if that baby won’t take a bottle, it’s you and you alone responsible for ’round the clock feeds — but also one with great rewards.
So when the time comes to give up the breast, a lot of mums find themselves feeling very emotional. I know I did.
But a new trend known as a ‘weaning ceremony’ is helping mums to come to terms with the end of their nursing journey and celebrate the relationship they have shared with their babies.
Weaning ceremonies are not a common tradition in Australia, but that’s not the case in other countries.
Watch: Those Two Girls take a tongue-in-cheek look at the uses of breast milk. (Post continues after video.)
The Leaky Boob website (great name, guys) explored the idea of weaning ceremonies. It says the celebration can be tailored to each mother and child and can involve the baby, or be more of a private means of marking the end of breastfeeding for the mother.
Some mothers hold a special event to commemorate the ‘last feed’ to assist them in mentally preparing for the end of nursing.
There are no set rules when it comes to how a weaning ceremony should go.
Jessica, who shared her story with The Leaky Boob, chose to mark the end of her breastfeeding relationship with her baby by holding a ceremony with her husband and her other children. She lit a candle during her baby’s last feed while the family read her letters which they had written prior to the event.