Sunday, April 12, 2009

Requests From Our Readers: Week 1

We have our first request from a reader!! Hooray! Thank you for shooting us an e-mail. Check out her issue and see if you can help her out.

"Hi ladies!

First thanks for starting this blog and putting it out there. I have been having a very hard time lately with stopping nursing. I would call it weaning but it seems too negative. I have read A LOT on it and none of the experts seem to really help with it. She loves her nursing time. I love it too but at some times I resent it also because I have to do it and my husband can't help and it seems like my body is not my own any more. He is wonderful and supportive of everything but also doesn't have any idea to help.

One person gave me the advise to just cut her off. I tried on a weekend when I would have help at home. She just cried for me almost all day. I then got so engorged and was miserable. I also started to feel very depressed. By 11 pm after she would not go to sleep it was obvious that both of us were not happy and gave in and nursed.

I have also tried to redirect her attention or give her milk and food but she still wants and needs that comfort. She is very sweet but there has to be something to help her want to stop nursing possibly faster. Also any ideas to help me deal with it."

Next week: How to prepare a toddler for a new baby.


JeriLynn said...

This probably won't help, but I went on a vacation and left my daughter behind. The babysitter (my sil) used a bit of strawberry syrup to flavor milk and get her to like it. Worked like a charm.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Okay, so here is my two cents. Please don't take this as anything BUT my opinion. If it doesn't work for you... DON'T DO IT!! If I've learned ANYTHING about being a parent it is that no one can decide what is best. But advice is so nice.... so here you go.

If you are serious about weaning and you are still nursing a lot, you need a double electric pump. You can borrow mine if you want - SERIOUSLY!! It will make it easier (though I'm sure there are other ways to do it, a hand pump might work just fine - I don't use one though so I don't know).

Cut back on one nursing period per day every few days. Instead of feeding her during that time - pump for just a few minutes to ease the pressure off if you need to. She might be ornery that you won't feed her, but at least you have the next feeding to satisfy her. Then, after 3 days or so, cut back on another feeding and do the same (only pump if you feel really engorged).

Eventually you'll get to only 2 feedings per day. Morning and night (at least that is what I was down to when my girl was 12 months). Then, cut back on either morning or evening. Eventually, take out the last. Use the pump to ease off pressure if you need to. But, never pump until you are empty, just until you are comfortable again.

That's my suggestion. But, Delia would be the best to ask since she nursed her boy for a lot longer than I did. I went 12 months, that's it. I just kept cutting out nursing meals and replacing with more solids so that when she was 12 months, she was only nursing twice and it was pretty easy to stop.

I hope that helps and I hope that you get good ideas. :) Your little one is a sweetheart - this is just a hard thing.

Megan said...

I started losing my milk when my son was 6 to 7 months old. I would nurse him and them he was hungry again in about an hour. I followed a strategy really close to Tannie's. I picked on feeding to cut out and replaced it with a snack or a bottle. I did that for about a three days and then picked another feeding to replace with a snack or a bottle. So, then I was down two feedings, and did this until I was completely done and he was taking a bottle or a snack. Granted, it was probably easier for me because I was already losing my milk and didn't really need to pump when I cut feedings out. It took me about three weeks until he was completely weaned. I hope this helps and that you are able to pick a way to wean your girl that works for you!

Jared and Delia said...

Alright. A couple of ideas. Like Tannie said. I nursed my son until just before 18 months. At that point we were doing just morning and night feedings. Around this time he wanted to increase nursing and I was done so I dropped morning first and hung onto night time a little longer, but by the time we were down to one feeding it was much easier. To drop mornings I just made wake up time super exciting and tried to be super enthusiastic about meal time. I took him straight to the high chair and gave him milk in a cup. If he needed more distraction I considered going on a walk (and giving him a milk cup in the stroller with some dry cereal) or just getting out of the normal routine to help him forget about it. Once that was established (it takes a while - a week or so) night time was easy for us. He had been drinking from a sippy all day so doing it at night became a bit more natural. We just kept his bed time ritual pretty much similar with him drinking milk from a cup.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

You must be totally on board. Going back and forth will be hard on both of you. If you WANT to nurse longer. Go for it. Only you can decide when it is time to stop. Don't let anyone else's opinions influence you. If you want to stop, then getting through the rough spots will be easier. I went through "nursing withdrawals" myself. I didn't want to let go of my "baby" and I enjoyed the quiet time with him, but I also didn't want to go back to nursing all day which is the direction he was headed if I kept nursing.

Second. You MUST take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and take breaks for yourself. Like you said this is an emotional thing for you too. If you get a breast infection while you are weaning you have to go back to nursing a ton or you could get a breast abscess which is counter active to the weaning process. So...loose bras, good sleeping and eating, less stress if possible, and do things you enjoy to distract you from the difficulty of the situation. Also try to do it when everyone is healthy and well. When you or your baby is sick it will make it too easy for you to cave. it when you don't have anything else going on like a move, a trip, etc.

We just got out of the house A LOT and did fun things. Distraction, distraction, distraction.

Good luck. I hope that helps. could just nurse a while longer. I don't see anything wrong with that if you don't but I guess I am a more "liberal" type in that area.

Shantel said...

I hope this isn’t too much information, but I thought I would share a suggestion my ob/gyn gave me. Since I had my baby I have been on the mini pill. They prescribe the mini as compared to regular pills because the hormones are higher in regular pills and can slow milk production. So…when I am ready to wean my baby, in about 2 months, I will also switch to the regular pill, which will help in slopping my milk production. (Thanks Dr. Kirkman!)
As far as weaning suggestions, I don’t really have any. My baby isn’t very attached to nursing and doesn’t seem to care whether I nurse him or feed him table food, so I doubt weaning will be difficult. Sorry I am not much help their!

Tannie Datwyler said...

Antihistamines also dry milk up. Take some Benedryl and that can help ease the engorgement.

I think the hardest part is just getting her to enjoy something else, like you said. Delia had some great ideas. I think you should go slow though, because obviously cold turkey wasn't right for either of you. :) I also like what Delia said - it is up to you. If you are comfortable nursing her longer, do it - and don't let anyone make you feel weird for your choice. But, you could cut down so you are only doing morning and night (if you want). Then you can cut those out later.

I really do hope you get some good ideas. . .

Courtney said...

It is all about Cabbage leaves. Might sound crazy but it naturally helps decrease milk supply. Put a few in your bra and presto...some relief! =0)

My 1st didn't have any issues with stopping. He pretty much wanted to stop at 11 months.

Good luck!

Universitybabe said...

Another thought you might consider is that a lot of people when weaning from pacifiers or bottles replace that with something else like a "lovie." Perhaps as you take the weaning process slow you can start a routine such as singing the same song or using the same blanket so that baby gets used to that and as you take away the nursing can hold onto the moment/song or whatever and know that they are safe and things haven't changed too much.