The Weird Side-Effects Of Stopping Breastfeeding

22/12/2009 10:42 | Updated 22 May 2015

I finally stopped breastfeeding recently – after my daughter decided she wasn't that bothered any more.

She started biting me and refusing to feed. So, I thought, fine, we won't do this any more. She seemed reasonably happy with this and has been going to bed as normal.

But then I started noticing some really strange side-effects.

I was struggling to sleep, even when my daughter wasn't keeping me awake at night. I felt all jittery and tense and wired, like I'd drunk too much coffee.

It didn't even occur to me that the problem might be connected to stopping feeding at first. But after a couple of days I started to wonder.

So I Googled "stop breastfeeding" and "insomnia" and lo and behold, lots of other people had asked the same question!

This, it appears, is yet another thing that people don't tell you about breastfeeding.

I haven't had any of the obvious side-effects of stopping, like painful breasts and leaking, probably because I cut back my baby's feeds very slowly.

But it seems there's a whole host of physical and psychological side-effects that can happen.

Apparently it's even possible to get a form of depression when you stop breastfeeding, or "just" really bad PMT. It can have an effect on your periods as well, which will start again or could be heavier if you have already started menstruating.

It's all about our old friends, those pesky hormones – they do funny things when you stop breastfeeding your baby.

Some women also have psychological issues with weaning, particularly if they were not really ready to give it up. Fortunately for me, after a few days I seemed to stop feeling so tense and weird and have been sleeping better, when my daughter will let me... but according to the forums, some women are not so lucky.

Did you experience any strange side-effects when you stopped breastfeeding your children?

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