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The weaning

There exists a shared image of staying and sharing with the mother in working throughout the weaning period. Gradually it becomes apparent that she has started weaning him. She is sad that her milk is not sufficient for him. The grandfather's operation has drawn the grandmother away from her role of caregiving for the mother and she turns more to the aunt for support. The weaning has its impact on the baby, on the mother, but also on the other caregivers and the observer. The baby is seen struggling to hold on to the observer with his strong grip and his intense gaze, which seems to be his way of connecting with someone with the withdrawal of the nipple-breast-mother. His stare is intriguing perhaps communicating his state of mind in which he is preoccupied with the loss of breastfeeding and needing to keep a protective distance from intruding objects. The grandmother and the aunt stay with the mother and baby through this period and see this as their role. The grandmother particularly assists by playing with him and giving him a containing play space to explore and helps him to work through his feelings about the loss of the breast mother and his new found independence. The mother is helped further by visits to her own family where she has a sense of belonging. She slowly weaned him by day by the fourth month and then later by night. She expressed her ambivalent feelings to the observer about being glad that he was taking other liquids but sad that she could not provide for him. She did not seem to find a space in the visits to talk very much about herself and her feelings, and so she remains a somewhat undefined personality who remains insecure in her mothering.

 
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