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Breast health and child-led weaning

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering how the weaning process works on the breast side of things.

My daughter (June 2007) nurses 1-3 times a day most days right now, but once in a while she won't ask at all for 24-48 hours. I get nervous about mastitis though I admit, I only had one bout, at about 1 year and I think it had more to do with fatigue than anything related to nursing frequency, and I realize my concern may be entirely misplaced.

Should I be concerned about these longer periods without nursing? Does the breast handle this well? Do I just go with it and not worry about how often she does or doesn't nurse? How long does it typically take for supply to actually dry up?
post #2 of 5
Good questions. I don't know. I recall that after DS self-weaned just after having turned 5, a drop could be expressed months later.

It's been awhile for me, DD having completely stopped a bit over 3 years ago. As she got older, except for when she would ask at bad times, like for example when I was in the middle of cooking supper, I pretty much followed her lead as far as nursing went.

She was skipping whole days and eventually a week or more at a time as the years progressed. At 3, nursing was daily, probably at least 2-3 times/day. After she'd turned 5 though, once/day was not even a sure thing. And she only tapered down from there.

I did go through a period getting plugged ducts when she was a toddler, and very uncooperative too she was when it came to trying to get her to nurse in a different, odd, position to work that duct more! I don't know how much of a role stress may have played in that. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a matter of her cutting back so much or too quickly though.

Over all though, as her demand dropped, my production dropped. I'm not sure she was even getting anything every time in those last several months.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. I guess no-one else actually WEANS around here!

I got to test my theory a few days ago, when she fell asleep after nursing only one side, and it wound up 48 hours total between uses on the other. I was tender, and needed to get her to nurse in the morning, though we usually nurse in the afternoon and evening, after school.

So my question stands...anyone have any advice on handling less frequent nursings and whether I need to express or whether I should be riding it out. I feel like with the amount of production I have (it's always been high....I've pumped 14 oz in a sitting, and though much less now, I don't think it's a 'trickle') I'm in a position of having to keep nursing/expressing forever!

If there's a better forum for this question, please point me there.
post #4 of 5
I never pumped when either one was tapering down. I figured that their tapering down was how the process works.

Can't say as I actively weaned, given that I mostly followed their leads. I guess you'd say I just rode it out.
post #5 of 5
I did actually wean my 3 year old dd very recently. She was nursing to sleep and again in the morning. I had to wean her for my health so it was sudden. I have not had a problem yet and it has been almost two weeks.
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