Posted by: Admin | April 23, 2011

The “Holiday Weaning Syndrome”


Hello dear readers! I will be taking a well deserved holiday this week-end so there will be no official post on my blog. But I do have  something to tell you: If you are breastfeeding or know someone who is, be aware of the “Holiday Weaning Syndrome”.  What is this, you ask?

The “Holiday Weaning Syndrome” is a phenomenon that occurs very frequently when breastfeeding mothers get involved in the preparation for a specific Holiday. This week-end is Easter, but the “Holiday Weaning Syndrome” happens at every holiday period, like Christmas for example.

I started some twenty years ago in the breastfeeding field as a breastfeeding support group volunteer, and when a holiday came along, we knew we would receive tons of calls from mothers suffering from the “Holiday Weaning Syndrome”.

Let me describe to you what happens during an important holiday. The breastfeeding mother wants to prepare her house to invite some guests over, and she might need to do a lot of cooking! So, for a few days, she continues to breastfeed but also asks a friend or family member for some help in taking care of the baby. Often, she will be unavailable when the baby needs to breastfeed. Either the baby will have to wait until his mother is available, or he will be given a bottle to allow her to continue her work. Both situations decrease the mother’s milk production after a day or two. Needless to say, the mother also exerts herself, does not eat regularly, and puts her whole system upside down. She might even get sick. Then, once the holiday period is over, the mother wants to go back to her previous routine, but, because her milk production has decreased, she finds that her baby is unsatisfied after breastfeeding. He cries and might even push the breast away in frustration. Her conclusion is that she does not have any more milk and she starts to give him the bottle! Weaning is then not far away…

You can avoid this by having people help you with housework or cooking. YOU should be the one taking care of YOUR baby. This is actually a wonderful reason to just lay back and enjoy life! And if the Holiday Weaning Syndrome did pass your way, you don’t have to stop breastfeeding: your production will go back up if you ask it to. Your baby will bring it back up by breastfeeding more often (but you have to answer his needs), or you can do it yourself by using a breastpump to stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.

Naturally, it is much easier to prevent a problem than to fix it!!! So think about the Holiday Weaning Syndrome next time a holiday comes along!

Happy Easter! 🙂

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Responses

  1. I almost fell pray to this during Easter. Then I recognized what was happening and dinner went onto the table an hour late. I feel that’s a fair trade off!

    • Yes, it is sooo easy to get swirled up in all the preparations and festivities! I understand very well. I am happy to hear you found a solution and were able to keep your breastfeeding going. 🙂


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