Breastfeeding my 2yo - supply dwindling? X-Posted in Breastfeeding (not getting any responses) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He's still nursing quite a bit. He nurses several times a day unless we are out and about a lot and he nurses 1-3 times a night. It feels to me a lot of times like he's not getting any milk and is just nursing comfort. I don't mind this. It sure is a lot easier than listening to a screaming toddler.

I've read about milk drying up while pregnant and am wondering when that usually happens and how one would know. I do still feel a let down eventually if he nurses long enough and I can tell by the way his swallowing changes that he's getting milk so I know I still have some. Maybe it's becoming less and harder to get.

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#2 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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I think it often dries up around month 4-5 of the pregnancy, but some women's milk does not dry up. Sometimes the older babe nurses all the way through the pregnancy, even if the milk dries up for awhile. I think it changes to colustrum by around month 8; the flavor and consistency of it shift as you get closer to birth, something some kids find it disagreeable and will complain to you about it.

My supply is definitely lower (and maybe close to non-existent in my less productive boob), but DS still gets something. Can your babe tell you if he's getting anything out? Do you have a preference about weaning or tandeming? If you want to tandem, just keep doing what you're doing.

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#3 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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My milk supply dropped fairly dramatically around 20 weeks. I just kept nursing, and now at 31 weeks it seems to be building back up again.
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#4 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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Mine dropped drastically almost immediately. It also started to hurt again (nipples), and then was really uncomfortable after about 10 minutes or nursing. I tried to pump and only got like one ounce out of each boob - so that's how I knew I was losing it. I tried to keep it up anyway but DS wanted nothing to do with nursing after a few months. Especially b/c we'd had to start supplementing with a bottle and it was like WAY easier for him to fill up with that!

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#5 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Try asking your son if he's getting milk. Ds would tell me he was getting a little bit or that the "ninners are empty" if I asked him (he was about 30 months at that point)

my supply dwindled and then seemed to disappear around 4 months. Ds kept nursing regularly for awhile. I had already put some time limits on nursing (to keep me from crawling out of my skin) and was offering an alternative and then sometime around 6 months along I realized he had weaned.

He was happy to dry nurse for comfort for awhile, I actually think it was when colostrum began to appear that he completely lost interest.
He's tried to nurse a few times this month but he seems to have forgotten how to latch on... so I suspect we're done. He does tell his dad when the baby comes the baby wil fill up the ninners w/ chocolate milk
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#6 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to wean as long as it doesn't hurt too badly. My nipples became so tender and it hurt so much when ds2 was still nursing while I was pg with ds3 that I had to wean him at about 2 months pregnant. He was almost 3 years old, though, so I was ok with that (other than the fact that I really wanted to let him wean himself when he was ready). DS3 just turned 2 so I really do not want to wean him now. I don't mind the idea of tandeming. If it happens, we'll see how I feel then.

I don't think he's capable of telling me whether or not he's getting anything. He does switch from side to side quite often and will sometimes refuse one side after he's tried there for a while. I'm beginning to think that means he's not getting milk fast enough. It also seems to take a lot longer for my milk to let down based on changes in his swallowing and I don't feel the let down anymore. I know that's not necessarily a sign of lower supply but I have a very strong let-down sensation to the point that it hurts a lot of time so to go to not feeling it at all is weird.

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#7 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Hiya,
I'm also nursing my 2 1/2 year old and am 22 weeks pregnant.
Although I don't nurse as often, and not at night, I am finding it quite painful, but anyway, My LLL group said that the supply usually dwindles down to nothing towards the middle of the pregnancy and if the child is nursing for food they may just naturally wean then, but if they are nursing mainly for comfort, they will most carry right on or possibly cut down. I have heard of kids stopping and then starting up again when the new baby comes!!

I have noticed she's nursed more often recently but I think it could be because she is starting to become a bit unsettled about the new baby coming but I was also told it could be her way of upping my milk supply as it is naturally dwindling right now. I don't know but seeing as your child is 2, I imagine you can just go with the flow and see how it works out as he is not relying on your for total nutrition.
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#8 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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My oldest self-weaned at 22 mo when I was about 5 mo pregnant. Almost immediately after the positive stick, my nipples were extremely painful and he cut waaay back. Still, I would encourage him, we tried new positions, I tried deep breathing and meditation to help with the pain, and it got better.

My supply was very low, and he complained that my milk tasted funny. He continued to cut back and then one day announced he was done. And that was that. I know lots of women who tandemed through pregnancy and afterward - I had hoped to do the same but at the same time, if he doesn't want to, well, I understand. Honestly I was sad but slightly relieved.

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#9 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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My supply always dried up around 6 months into the pregnancy. My toddlers still nursed, they just didn't get much (if anything).

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#10 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 07:25 AM
 
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dd will be 3 in Oct and nurses 2x a day
I have not noticed any change in supply, she does not tell me that the flavor
has changed, etc; I did expect to lose some supply but I didn't, I have another comming in Sept--your supply may return in a few weeks if you continue nursing, I do remember feeling a little pain in the beginning and having some feelings of aversion but I quickly night weaned her --with ease thank goodness and all has been well since (knock on wood)

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#11 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Mine dried up around 14 weeks this time.
DS and occasionally DD are still quite happy to nurse that way.
For me it slowly dwindles until nothing is left. DS started asking for a drink of water during nursing.
It got to the point that I couldn't even express a drop.

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#12 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamamia10 View Post
your supply may return in a few weeks if you continue nursing, I do remember feeling a little pain in the beginning and having some feelings of aversion but I quickly night weaned her --with ease thank goodness and all has been well since (knock on wood)
I remember reading somewhere that the pain and discomfort would probably subside once we got past the 1st trimester. Strangely, the pain this time is nowhere near as bad as the pain when I was pg with ds3 and nursing ds2. It hurts a little but is bearable as long as ds doesn't try to stretch my nipple across the room. The worst thing, I think, is that it does get annoying after a while. I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin (as someone else described it) if I have to sit or lay there for one more second with this kids sucking on my nipple. If I get to that point and he's not getting any milk, I'll ask him to stop. He's usually agreeable.

I have been considering night weaning. That's when I have the hardest time. Laying in bed feeling stuck in one position (I have bad RLS when I'm pg so it can sometimes get completely unbearable) and not able to get comfortable. Every time I've tried, though, he's cried so much I just let him nurse so we can all have quiet and go back to sleep. Maybe I should try sticking to my guns a little more.

Thanks everyone for all the info and support.

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#13 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I nursed my oldest through my second pregnancy and he was 2 at the time. I found my supply went way down almost right away (no idea exactly how much I had), but he still needed to nurse, so he continued. Towards the end of second tri it changed to colostrum and then obviously to regular milk again after DD was born. As far as night weaning, I would definitely consider that, especially if you are the one primarily getting up at night...I would think it would be a LOT harder with 2 nursing kids at night! DS was nightweaned before I got pg, so I did not deal with it then. But we went on to tandem nurse for 2 years after that till he weaned at 4.75. Now DD is nursing just once at night before bed, and I plan to continue as long as she wants/needs it. She is 3.75. Do you have the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing? That has loads of great info, and I found it to be a great reference during that time. Good luck! And we are in the same DDC.

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#14 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Good for you for still nursing! It's been wonderful for us to continue, even in the beginning when my nipples were SO SORE!! It's gotten a lot easier.

DS is 2 1/2 and I night-weaned him in anticipation of a newborn in our bed. It's worked out well, as DS now sleeps in his own bed most nights and all through the night. I was worried about how I'd cope with nursing a newborn at night and quite possibly a 3 year old!

My own supply sounds like yours. I still feel a letdown, and can see by how he's swallowing that he's getting something. He definitely nurses at times only for comfort, as in, he's not really nursing like he means it! Just hanging out at the boob, which is totally fine by me. I'm 17 weeks now and still feel like my supply is ok. I'll ask him if it's gone dry and he'll shake his head and say 'this booba has milk in it' or sometimes will say 'don't like this booba. this booba dry'. It's pretty fun when they can communicate. He told me the other day that one side tastes like ice cream and the other side like oatmeal, seriously his two favourite thigns in the world. Sweet.

I'm hoping to tandem nurse, but I'm just taking it as it comes. If I lose my milk completely and he's not interested in nursing, it may come to and end. Or he may ramp it up again when I start producing colostrum. Who knows!

Good luck!

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#15 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 05:17 AM
 
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I also nursed my 2-year-old through my subsequent pregnancy. Lost my supply, became very sore, had to limit her nursing because it annoyed me, etc. However, she was really hard-core and never missed a day (we always nursed down for her nap even if we skipped other sessons) throughout my pregnancy. She also nursed while I was in labor (really helped my contractions move along!) and then every day after the birth, with great gusto once my milk came in. I found it handy to have her relieve my engorgement when the baby was full and sleepy those first few days.

We tandem nursed for about a year and a half and she finally self-weaned at 4.5. I won't say it was easy; the first couple of months were really a drag for me because they both needed me to fall asleep and I was never comfortable in bed with both of them. But now that it's all said and done I'm glad we did it that way.

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#16 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll ask him if it's gone dry and he'll shake his head and say 'this booba has milk in it' or sometimes will say 'don't like this booba. this booba dry'.
That is co cute. My 2yo doesn't talk that much. He says a few words here and there but no two or three word sentences. He might be able to me yes or no if I ask him specifically about my milk, though.

I never thought of any benefits to having a child nurse during labor. I'll have to keep that in mind.

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#17 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Mine starting dwindling right away and seemed to dry up completely early on, but my son was only nursing 3 times a day (usually only one side each time) at that point, which I think has a lot to do with it. I also had horrible nipple pain that only seemed to get worse as I entered the second trimester. Finally, at around 16 weeks I told him that it hurt me, so he needed to only nurse for a little while and then let go. I never refused him the breast, but by telling him that it hurt just two times, he weaned. He was 31 months old. It was really sad for me to see him wean, but the pain was really bad, so it was also a relief. I think if your son is still nursing a lot, then you will be able to continue as long as the pain continues to not be too much of an issue for you. The night weaning could be a good idea for your sanity though, depending on how much of an issue that is for your family. We co-sleep, and by pure coincidence I night weaned my son right before I got pregnant. It was so much easier than I though it would be and it was so wonderful. He went from awakening CONSTANTLY to sleeping through the night. I am so glad it worked out that way for us, because I don't think I could've handled night nursing in my first trimester.

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#18 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The night weaning could be a good idea for your sanity though, depending on how much of an issue that is for your family. We co-sleep, and by pure coincidence I night weaned my son right before I got pregnant. It was so much easier than I though it would be and it was so wonderful. He went from awakening CONSTANTLY to sleeping through the night. I am so glad it worked out that way for us, because I don't think I could've handled night nursing in my first trimester.
I'm torn over the night weaning. We do co-sleep and our 5yo is still in the bed with us. My dh joked that when he returns from deployment he'll just stay in the boys' room since there won't be any more room in our bed. That might actually be a good because then I won't have to worry about getting pregnant again.

I would really love for my 2yo to sleep through the night. I guess, technically, he already does. He sleeps for 5-6 hours before waking to nurse and usually only wakes once during the night and once again in the early morning and then goes back to sleep. My 2nd ds nursed a LOT more often but suddenly he stopped night nursing and started sleeping through the entire night at about 2 1/2 and has rarely woken during the night since.

I'm in the process of trying to get at least my 5yo to sleep in his own room to make room for the new baby in my bed. If I can't get him to sleep in his room, I'll have to get a co-sleeper to attach to the bed, which I really don't want to do. I have two twin mattresses on the floor next to each other to make one big bed. I will lay down in there with both my boys until they fall asleep. Then, if I'm still up, I'll go to my bed until one of them wakes up in the night. Then I'll go back in there room and probably stay. If I don't stay, I'll spend all night running back and forth between their room and my room. We tried doing this with their beds separated but I spent all night jumping from one bed to the next. I'm hoping that they'll soothe each other while sleeping and won't need me so much.

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#19 of 21 Old 06-22-2009, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I've been nightweaning 2yo for 4 nights now. I'm still nursing him to sleep when we first go to bed but I comfort him without nursing if/when he wakes in the middle of the night. It went really well for nights 1-3. He cried a little night 1 but it wasn't a really sad cry, more of a mad cry. He only fussed on night 2. Night 3 was basically nothing. Night 4 was pretty bad, though. I also finally got the boys' room finished so we slept in there. 2yo ds was up half the night squirming and fussing and trying to nurse. I didn't nurse him but it took several hours to get him back to sleep. I'm hoping that was more because of the move than the weaning.

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#20 of 21 Old 06-23-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Well, I've been nightweaning 2yo for 4 nights now. I'm still nursing him to sleep when we first go to bed but I comfort him without nursing if/when he wakes in the middle of the night. It went really well for nights 1-3. He cried a little night 1 but it wasn't a really sad cry, more of a mad cry. He only fussed on night 2. Night 3 was basically nothing. Night 4 was pretty bad, though. I also finally got the boys' room finished so we slept in there. 2yo ds was up half the night squirming and fussing and trying to nurse. I didn't nurse him but it took several hours to get him back to sleep. I'm hoping that was more because of the move than the weaning.
Good luck with the next few nights! It took 4 or 5 for us, it's amazing how quickly they adapt. DS was more mad and annoyed (like you said) than full on tears crying. Keep it up and it will pay off!!

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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#21 of 21 Old 06-23-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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I found it handy to have her relieve my engorgement when the baby was full and sleepy those first few days.
I'm so looking forward to this!

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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