What happens to YOU when you wean? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-29-2010, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD turned 3 in August 09 and the last time she officially latched on to nurse was sometime in October. (It all went quite smoothly, now that I think about it!)

The past 3 months are the first time in 6 years that I have not been pregnant and/or nursing my 2 kids. I have had a few strange things happen since then and I am wondering if they are related to my hormones adjusting back to a non-pregnant, non-nursing state. I was wondering if anyone else has had any... I don't know what you would call them... weaning symptoms? weaning reactions? What happens? How long does it take for your hormones to settle out?

I'll come back and share my observations, I just wanted to check and see what other people are experiencing. Does anyone want to share?

BTW, I hope this is in the right place. It's about weaning, seemed to fit best here. Sorry if it belongs somewhere else!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-30-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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I don't know but I have been wondering the same thing.

My daughter is almost 4 and still nurses, but a lot less than usual, and over the past few months my periods have been all over the map. Mostly shorter than usual, both in terms of days between cycles and also duration of bleeding. Also the PMS (mostly irritability) has been a lot worse these past few months.

I've also been gaining weight, but that's not quite so mysterious still eating as if I were nursing a newborn...

-Joan

Joan 39, single mama by choice to 10yo boy and 7yo girl

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#3 of 11 Old 02-01-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I was very melancholy, had super urges for another child, and for the first time got fibrocystic lumps in my breasts.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#4 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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I'm really curious to see more responses.

I noticed heavier periods/more PMS starting when dd began seriously decreasing her nursing. She weaned completely just a few weeks ago, and I'm hoping things will stabilize and my periods will be more "normal" again. I didn't have this problem when my others weaned, but this is the first time I've weaned and not been pregnant. Also, my libido is up and appetite down (but that could be due to other factors). No urges for another baby on my part.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I am very concerned about this too. He weaned himself from my right breast over 9 months ago. He never liked that one much...slow flow. Anyway, I went through some strange feelings when that happened. As it dried up I felt some weird emotions. I felt depressed and experienced a dull aching feeling in the breast too. I am really scared of what will happen to me emotionally when we are completely done. I wanted to do CLW, but I am getting to the point now where I just can't hardly stand to nurse him anymore. What a dilemma.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrycrisis View Post
I was very melancholy, had super urges for another child, and for the first time got fibrocystic lumps in my breasts.
I have a lumpy right breast. my DD is going to be 4 in May, and i have weaned over the last 2 months are so. I am wondering if the lumpy-ness is normal??? It is slightly painful....but i associate it with the over-filled ducts as when i started....i don't remember this with my other kidlets.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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HOW LONG DOES it take to Dry up completely?????
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#8 of 11 Old 02-04-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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It's been nearly five years now since DS weaned. Wow, I can't believe that. He was 4 and change at the time. My memory isn't super clear about it, but I don't remember the process of "drying up" being any problem per se, as DS was down to one short nursing a day by then. Barely noticed it except on the surface, some stretch marks and alas, my boobs are a bit smaller than they once were.

Aside from that, my periods got very heavy for a time, but then--miracle of miracles--they became regular, and began appearing on a typical time line for the very first time in my life, 30-32 days (I was VERY irregular my entire life, 35 days being the shortest cycle, on up to 60, 90 days or more--getting pregnant was a serious waiting game). I was 38 when DS weaned, I'm 42 going on 43 now and they are starting to get a little funky again, but I think that's the perimenopause talking. Lastly, I gained some weight. The nursing had me trimmer than I'd been pre-pregnancy, and after DS weaned there were definitely weight bearing consequences--just couldn't get away with the amout of food I was consuming pre-wean. I have since toned the appetite down, started running, and doing pilates and I'm actually feeling the most fit I've been in my entire life. Whew!

Mentally speaking, I remember feeling bittersweet about it. On one hand, feeling like it was the end of a very special time in DS's young life, but at the same time, feeling very excited for DS at having made such a big transition so seemlessly. It certainly lived up to my CLW expectations. However, I remember having to be more vigilant at attaching with DS in NEW ways, to remember that nursing fulfilled a major part of the attachment need and that it was important that I be aware of the ways I could now compensate for the loss of it. The one thing I thought I'd feel that I really didn't was relief, but you know, by the time DS weaned, things were so easy and we were so good with the CLW, it just wasn't all that exciting on that front. In fact, I'd say it's very close to how I feel these days, as DS recently informed us he's ready to move out of our room and into his own. I thought I'd be so happy to get DH and I's special room back to ourselves, and maybe that's true a bit--I'll definintely appreciate being able to get in and out of bed without scooching down to the end and over the foot rail. DS has a mattress on the floor next to my side of the bed and my back isn't the best--but moreover, I feel VERY excited for DS at arriving at a place that just a few months ago seemed a long way off. And for those times when DH and I lamented at not having our own space, in actuality we are both feeling a little sad at the end of another era. We're also recognizing that we will have to endeavor to find new and good ways of attaching with DS--may have to be more proactive as I won't be able to rely on those delicously easy ways of attaching anymore! But I have most obviously digressed.

OP - looking forward to reading your further observations.

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#9 of 11 Old 02-05-2010, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I'm back.

I'm interested to read different people's experiences. I, too, have noticed mild changes in my menstrual cycle, nothing extreme.

I've also noticed that my waistline looks smaller, and my lowest ribs, which spread way out for my pregnancies, appear to be moving back down. FINALLY! I don't know if these changes have just happened spontaneously or if they're due to exercise; all I know is that it didn't matter what I did before I weaned, the shape of my midsection would not change.

The most uncomfortable thing that I've had to deal with since weaning are mild hemorrhoids. I've never had them before and cannot figure out why I would have them now. A friend of mine thinks they are from too much heavy lifting--but I've been lifting two very large heavy babies/toddlers for the past 5 years and never had a problem. I hardly ever pick them up now! It's made me wonder if breastfeeding gave me some protection from hemorrhoids that ended a few weeks after we weaned. Has anyone ever heard something like this?

I'm not overweight, I eat a whole foods diet rich in fiber, exercise, etc.

My friend's other theory is that estrogen protect the vascular system, and if my hormones are out of wack from weaning, perhaps my estrogen is low and that is causing the problem. So now she has me eating a serving of soy each day to see if it helps.

I'm also going to visit my midwife soon. They're not horrible, but they don't go away either. Sorry if I grosssed you all out; I was just wondering if anyone had a similar experience. We can't think of anything else that would have triggered this situation.

I just want to say for those who are having lumps in their breasts, I recommend getting those checked out. I haven't had any breast-related symptoms during this weaning process.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-05-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I'm nursing my youngest still (she's three) but my oldest weaned when she was 3.5. I noticed that my periods became more regular and slightly heavier within a couple of cycles after weaning. My appetite also decreased slightly. It took over a year for me to completely dry up, and by that point, I was pregnant again, so I am not sure if that's what caused me to visually dry up or not.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-06-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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I lost a lot of weight when my first child weaned

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