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have to wean

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello, dear moms
I have an 18 mo old daughter and I am trying to wean her. I have a severe eating disorder and doctors recommend I take a medication that contraindicates nursing. I've waited for a long time and feel like I cannot wait any longer. She has been sleeping in my bed since birth. She still breastfeeds like a newborn, sometimes 10 or more times at night and many times during the day. In the past week I have reduced her day feedings - she only nurses three times or so, but night weaning has been a nightmare for both of us! Last night I tried not to nurse her and comforted her by singing lullabies and holding her and patting her back, etc, but poor thing just went hysterical, was screaming at the top of her lungs for an hour and fourty five minutes, until my husband came into the room and started yelling and swearing at me, and I gave in and nursed her. I feel a horrible mother, but I just don't know what else I can do. My husband can't help, because he works and goes to school full time and as it is only gets 6 hours sleep. Oh God, I am questioning all my AP decisions, I really wish I didn't start nursing and cosleaping in the first place. I have no clue what I will do now...
post #2 of 14

I dont have much experience with weaning in your circumstance. I just want to offer you support.

You must be well, you must be healthy to care for your child. your emotional and physical wellbeing must come first here.

there are alot of moms on this board that can help, this i am sure of. In the meantime contact your LLL, they helped me many, many times.

I had a friend who was bf'g her 20 mo old daughter when she was diagnosed with cancer. she had to wean her very dependent little girl not "gradually with love", but all at once, immediately.

it was done, and her child is a happy, well adjusted 3 year old, and she is now in remission.

good luck, and God bless.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much sweetbaby3!
post #4 of 14
What's the medication? Sometimes the docs say you have to wean, when really you dont.
post #5 of 14
I second Aster's recommendation to double-check on the drug - Thomas Hale's book on Mother's Milk and Medicine (or something along those lines) should be the reference to look it up in, not the drug company's literature, which will always say nursing is contraindicated.

I don't think you should second-guess yourself about nursing and cosleeping. You've given your daughter a secure and attached start to life, and if you do have to stop nursing in order to take care of yourself and her, then that's what you have to do, but think of how much healthier and happier she is than if you had never started!

Is there a La Leche League near you that you could go to for support? A lot of moms there have breastfed, and weaned, toddlers and it might be a good source of support.

You might also look for Kathleen Huggins' book on The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning - she's a great author.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for great suggestions. I know there are LLL meetings somewhere around, but I don't have transportation at this poit. Still don't have a license, can't drive.

If I took meds, it would be one of the Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors, like Prozac or Zoloft or smth like that.
post #7 of 14
SSRI's aren't contraindicated for nursing mothers. i take Paxil, and i know another nursing mom who takes Wellbutrin, and my midwife said i could also take Zoloft if i wanted to switch. i took paxil through my pregnancy and am still taking it and have been nursing for 15+ months now.
post #8 of 14
*Definitely* get your doctor to look it up in Hale's book. It's called Medications & Mother's Milk: A Manual of Lactational Pharmacology. Most doctors don't have the first foggiest clue when it comes to drugs and breastfeeding!

Your doctor needs to know that many SSRIs are safe for breastfeeding, this is one of the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs in the US today.

Here's a couple references:




If you still feel you need to wean for other reasons, you're still a good mom; the breastfeeding relationship needs to work both ways, and 20 months is an excellent track record!
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links Jane! This is a huge help for me. I am going to talk to the Dr. about taking Zoloft.
post #10 of 14
Great, hang in there and let us know how it goes! Hope to see you in some of the other forums - this is a really great community with a lot of great parents.
post #11 of 14
I'm glad that Jane found some useful info for you and i hope that things work out well for you and your family

See ya around the boards!!
post #12 of 14
Try to find your local LLL leader. They are generally great at phone consultation and who knows, maybe she can hook you up with a carpool to meetings. I am also carless most of the time (one car family- Dh has some nutty obsession with going out making money everyday ) and have found that by pitching in just a little with meetings there are usually several people willing to give me a lift to meetings. Good luck with your babe!
post #13 of 14
Another awesome resource for drugs in pregnancy and nursing is www.motherisk.org

A wonderful organisation based in Toronto, you can call their phone number and get info on general classes of drugs that are safe in pregnancy or nursing. If you need more help, they'll call you back.

Don't stop nursing if you don't need to. It's just not necessary and probably makes you feel good as a mother. I know I did when I was out with a back problem. There are alternatives to weaning unneccesarily when it comes to taking drugs.

Oh, and I second all the other advice: take care of yourself first. You'll be a better mother and a happier person for it. It's great that you're able to openly admit that you have a problem and seek help. That's really the first step to recovery.
post #14 of 14
If you do end up taking an SSRI do a search on the internet about that particular drug and breastfeeding. Paxil in particular has been the focus of several recent studies that show that "insignificant" amounts are present in the breastmilk and it is safe to take while breastfeeding. Do what is best for you. You will be your best as a mom if you take care of your needs also. It is a tough balance.
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