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Feeling depleted - nursing a toddler

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

Looking for suggestions - I am feeling physically depleted from nursing my 18 month old - she is a very avid nurser and I don't set a lot of limits on the nursing as of yet - I am not looking for suggestions to decrease her nursing but how better to take care of myself..............


I am having trouble maintaining my weight (this happened with my first LO also - who nursed til he was 4) and am just feeling tired and kind of achy alot.


I am trying to increase my calories - I am hungry all the time but life is busy and I probably should take in more. I also have a quite a few dietary restrictions. (mild lactose intolerance, no legumes, no coconut)


I try to get fresh air every day. I take a B complex which also includes vitamin c and zinc. I also take 2,000 IU of vitamin D each day.


Any suggestions? High calorie snack ideas that I could eat on the go? Helpful supplements?


What worked for you?


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 10
I am somewhat in the same boat but I knew how to help myself.

It is good you are taking some vitamins. Foods nowadays often don't provide enough since they are not as nutrient dense.
I see you are not taking any iron or folic acid? That can cause fatique. I do best on prenatals but i make sure the iron content is no more than 100%.

Aches: I get aches from certain foods. I eat a Paleo Diet and avoid things that can cause inflammation. I get all sorts of pains even carpal tunnel if I cheat.

Weight: to maintain I eat Honey, eggs, lots of butter, avocado, sweet potato, carrots, fatty fish and fatty meats, supplement with olive oil....I know you can't have coconut but i eat cream or fat from it.

I also watched my calorie intake with fitness pal to assure I am getting enough. I started off with 3500 cal a day, but my body has been needing less to maintain lately. Probably around 2700.

The way I consume my butter is by eating it on paleo bread...about 50g a slice and adding honey or lunch meats.
The butter also really increased my energy. It is not all Paleo but many eat it for its benefits. I avoid other dairy.

My son eats a very small amounts of solids and nurses at night btw. So he needs quite a lot of milk still. My diet change made my milk fattier though and he has frequent thick stools and nurses less often. We nurse side lying which is very relaxing.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you Emichiee for your helpful  response.


My B complex does include 800mcg of folic acid - but I have not been taking iron. I will get myself some Floradix. The tablets always cause me constipation but the liquid Floradix seemed to work well for me during pregnancy.

I don't know too much about the Paleo diet but it is something I have been meaning to learn more about.


I can definitely eat more eggs, butter and honey. I feed my LO avocado and she loves it but never think to eat any myself! I might try drizzling some olive oil over things.


My LO eats lots of different types of foods but she is inconsistent in her amounts - some days only nibbles, other days a meal or two.She also still nurses 2-3 times per night.  I want to keep my milk supply up for her but I can feel myself getting thinner.


I really don't know how many calories I have been consuming - obviously not enough - but I am not sure how many I should take in every day. Is there a certain amount for nursing mothers??


Thank you again for your suggestions.

post #4 of 10
My son is three and nurses unrestricted. I have to eat every two hours, otherwise I feel queasy. I pack plenty of food for myself also when we leave the house, so I double whatever I pack for him. Taking cod liver oil and C daily help my immune system it seems. I also feel better while taking a b complex vitamin. I should really go back to prenatals too.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Asiago - me too, if I don't eat regularly (2-3 hrs)  I feel queasy! I don't remember this the first time around when nursing DS (who is now 14). I guess maybe I am at a different place in my life now and my body responds differently.

Thanks for sharing your experience - I feel less alone in this. Most people I know in -real - life just tell me to quit nursing!

post #6 of 10

I am so right there with you now, but in my case it is more related to DS nursing ALL NIGHT LONG, like every 45 min to 2h max, like when he was a newborn for the last few weeks. He got sick while we were travelling- he's over it and we're home, and I feel like, surely you've made up for all that by now? He's looking like a little butterball and I am looking like I feel: HAGGARD. I know he is just adjusting so I'm resiting the urge to try night weaning or something radical like that, but I'm feeling like the end of my rope is RIGHT THERE. Will I make it till he's better or be left a completely dry husk left over by brain-sucking-alien in some 50's sci fi horror movie?

post #7 of 10

one thing that pushed me to night ween was that i was s hungry come morning from nursing twins most the night that i would get an ache to my stomach and then actually have a hard time eating.  sometime limtis need to be set to save the bigger picture goal. self care is your first responsibility, without that you cant be there for your children

post #8 of 10

Just want to update since I posted last we started waking DS up in the morning to get him to nap earlier and then waking him up from naptime so he would go to bed earlier and he'd gone back to 2-5 hour stretches, usually around 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. And last night we all slept without waking at all from 9:30 to 5 am!!!! I woke up with like, angels singing, etc:) He drank a bunch of water right before bed and I don't know if it was a coincidence, but I'm so going to promote that glass of water!!!

For OP: I'm pretty sure I eat most of those extra 500 calories in almonds, walnuts, cashews, avocados, and yes, chocolate. Lots and lots of dark chocolate:)

post #9 of 10

First of all I want to say that I am completely supportive of nursing-on-demand and CLW, but I felt the need to share my experience just in case it helps you at all. I ended up nightweaning DS2 around 18 months and limited daytime feedings to 3-4 after I simply could not feel healthy despite trying everything I could. But upping fats in my diet helped-- especially eggs! And it sounds like you have a good amount of supplements going, too. But even with that I felt dizzy/nauseous/shaky 24/7. Though, restricting nursing just a little bit helped me nurse him for longer. Best of luck with your nursing journey!

post #10 of 10

Nettles tea and bone broths help me a lot. I am nursing my 3 yr old DS, and he is a heavy nurser! I agree with lots of PP too, especially the B vitamins. Good luck Mama :)

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