Remind me why I SHOULDN'T wean... - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-28-2010, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really can't stand BFing anymore. CAN'T STAND IT. DD is only 15 months.

She's always been spirited, even before she was born, and she's never been able to learn nursing manners. I've seen one or two threads by mamas with LOs as awful as mine (and i hate to phrase it so negatively, but its true), and it's hard to convey what torture it is.

Basically, she goes to daycare and has goat milk and regular food during the day. She is not interested in nursing until bedtime, and then she wants to be on the boob all night. Not nursing, just latched. Tightly. Here's how it goes:

Btw. 7:30-8:00ish, nurse both sides to empty while pinching my boob/stomach, digging in my belly button, kicking me in the stomach, scratching my face, pulling my boob with her teeth, pulling my hair, etc. If I pop her off and relatch it starts over. If I try to restrain her arms, she pops off and starts screaming/kicking harder. It's like she needs to pinch me. Maybe to stimulate let down, but I DON'T CARE. It hurts. She draws blood.

Btw. 8:30-10:30, she climbs all over me screaming and whining. If I offer boobies again, she just latches TIGHT and rests, but doesn't sleep. I unlatch, she screams. I try to hold her, she arches and flips to get out of my arms. I try to walk with her, wear her, rock, same, screaming the entire time. I mean loud, call CPS type screaming. Thank God the neigbors have kids.

Last night I finally put her in her crib (in our room) so that I could sort laundry and she couldn't hurt herself. She kicked the crib rails and hit her head on them. I've tried letting her play, but she just throws herself on the floor and screams because she's so tired.

Daytime sleep is the same as it's always been--2 45 min. naps or one long nap; we are dairy-free; no signs of reflux (hx of that, but it presented differently); have tried Tylenol in case it was her teeth. She does the same thing to Daddy.

The only thing that keeps her quiet letting her stay latched all night and I just can't take it anymore. Between the screaming and her toothy tight latch all night, I may be getting 4 hours of sleep, and that's really not enough for me. She starts screaming the minute I pop her off. Please help. What can I do but wean her?

Thanks for reading this far!

Casey

ETA: I just realized I called my DD awful, and of course she isn't. It's just that the stress of our nursing relationship is really affecting me.... She is really incredibly sweet and perfect 80% of the time.

She's the little girl from the storybook--when she was good she was very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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Will she take a pacifier?

Have you considered that nursing may be a secondary issue? What is her behavior like during the day? All the behaviors you mention are heavily sensory seeking, have you considered an evaluation with an occupational therapist?
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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I was in sort of similar situation in that DD wanted to have my nipple in her mouth all.night.long. I couldn't roll over, get up to go pee or take a sip of water. It was awful.

In the end, the only way I could get relief was to night wean her. I thought it would be a disaster, but it was actually much easier than I ever expected. The upswing is the quality of her sleep has improved, too.

This probably wasn't helpful, but I do understand your position and wanted to send hugs
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you considered that nursing may be a secondary issue? What is her behavior like during the day? All the behaviors you mention are heavily sensory seeking, have you considered an evaluation with an occupational therapist?
You know, I've thought a lot about that, and have read some in the SN forum. But is 15 mos. too young for an eval?

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I was in sort of similar situation in that DD wanted to have my nipple in her mouth all.night.long. I couldn't roll over, get up to go pee or take a sip of water. It was awful.

In the end, the only way I could get relief was to night wean her. I thought it would be a disaster, but it was actually much easier than I ever expected. The upswing is the quality of her sleep has improved, too.

This probably wasn't helpful, but I do understand your position and wanted to send hugs
No, I appreciate it. Sometimes I think I'm the only one or that I'm losing my mind. She's "day weaned" b/c she goes to daycare, so night weaning isn't an option for us yet, but maybe nursing earlier in the afternoon/evening would lessen the urge at night or something...

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Old 04-29-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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Our son is 15 months old and, while not quite as challenging as your situation sounds, he's nursing a ton at night (and daytime too) right now. I think there's a huge explosion of physical and mental development going on, not to mention molars! He doesn't have very good nursing manners either, and does pinch, bellybutton dig, and flail around gymnastically.

I am committed to CLW at this point, but am also considering night weaning in the next few months. However, many mamas I talk to say that this is a really hard point between 15-18/20 months and that it will get much easier as children begin to understand reasoning, like why it's not okay to hurt mama, and that milk isn't available at night.

What I've tried to do to help the nursing manners is not working at all times, but has helped. In the daytime, just nursing on the fly, he does well just in a cradle hold in a chair. Nursing to nap or bedtime, I lay in bed with him, sidelying, and let him have the top breast while keeping the other breast underneath us so he can't twiddle. I try to wear shirts that I can just pull the neck down, or open the top buttons, so my belly stays covered (nursing tanks have been helpful) so he can't get to my navel. I'm sure you've tried giving her other things besides you to hold/pinch/pull, but that's another suggestion.

Just sending you lots of hugs, I know you're struggling and want to do the best for your daughter. She's in obvious need of some sensations that she's getting with all of her behaviors...I hope you guys get it sorted out so you're both comfortable.

Married to P and mama to DS (1/09)blahblah.gifand DD  (09/13 babygirl.gif). I'm into friends and family, gardening, exercise, yoga, reading, knitting, photos, traditional foods, breastfeeding, home birth, babywearing, and much more. 
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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IMO breastfeeding beyond infancy should be a mutually desired relationship. This goes for both sides. Its ok to set boundaries. I had to cut my DD to 4 feedings a day or I would have quit alltogether. It was a tough week but after that she understood. You may have to pick 2 (or whatever makes you sane) feedings at night and forgo the rest to keep your breastfeeding relationship going.

I say look up Dr Jay Gordons nightweaning method and modify it to suit your situation.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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You know, I've thought a lot about that, and have read some in the SN forum. But is 15 mos. too young for an eval?
15 months is definitely not to you for an evaluation. Ask around and make sure you see someone good. Check out this link for more info
http://www.sensory-processing-disord...checklist.html
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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That sounds seriously intense! Both of my kids went through similar stages, but they just lasted a week or two.

I would actually try something different. I'd schedule a nurse in and take a weekend and encourage LOTS of nursing. Hang out in bed topless, offer often etc. See if having open access to it for a bit makes her less crazy about NEEDING it.

Good luck!

-Angela
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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It's entirely possible to nightwean even if you're not with your DD during the day, and retain a good nursing relationship. (Or create one, in your case.) I had to nightwean DD soon after I went back to work, when she was a year old because I couldn't do my job on the amount of sleep I was getting. I nursed her first thing in the morning, then again before I left for work, then right away after work and before bed. I also pumped during the day and she got breastmilk in a bottle until she was about 18 mo. On the weekends she nursed as much as she wanted. BUT aside from some pinching issues, and a biting phase when I tried to go off my domperidone at 10 months, she was a considerate, gentle nurser.

Honestly, I think you may be able to have a better relationship with your DD if you can nightwean her. If you are overtired, stressed, and not enjoying breastfeeding she will know that, which will make her more clingy and stressed herself, which will lead to more pinching & grabbing behaviours. I'm a post-partum doula, and I've observed a LOT of kids, especially young older siblings, and it's really, really common for toddlers to NEED to grab mama really hard when they are feeling stress or insecure. I think it's a very instinctive primate thing - but that doesn't alter the fact that it hurts like OMG. It does stop, usually by two, but in the meantime, it's hard. The one thing that you can do to make your DD more relaxed is be more relaxed yourself, and the best way to do that is to get more sleep. Starting on a Friday night, tell your DD what's going to happen and why, and let your DH sleep with her while you sleep on the couch. With earplugs. When we did this, we had minor whimpering for a short time for one night; it sounds like you will have a rougher go of it but most likely it will make your DD a bit mellower too, because I'm sure her sleep isn't much better than yours at the moment.

I hope you can get through this - other posters are right, it DOES pass, and there's nothing lovelier than nursing an older toddler who is appreciative and can look up at you, smile sweetly and say "I love your boobies, mama."

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
15 months is definitely not to you for an evaluation. Ask around and make sure you see someone good. Check out this link for more info
http://www.sensory-processing-disord...checklist.html
Thanks. I called a few places yesterday and asked on the local AP forum for recs, so I'm feeling more empowered today. I may have to find a pedi to get the referral to the OT though--our general doc is pretty awful. Never really mattered because I don't take DD often...but that's a different thread!

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I would actually try something different. I'd schedule a nurse in and take a weekend and encourage LOTS of nursing. Hang out in bed topless, offer often etc. See if having open access to it for a bit makes her less crazy about NEEDING it.
That's a good idea. Don't know why I didn't think of it like that. I'll try to offer more this weekend and see if that makes her calmer at night. Maybe she feels like she needs to get as much as possible at night b/c she doesn't get it during the day?

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I hope you can get through this - other posters are right, it DOES pass, and there's nothing lovelier than nursing an older toddler who is appreciative and can look up at you, smile sweetly and say "I love your boobies, mama."
I am still hoping to make it to 2 years, but these nights make it so hard. The joy on her face when she nurses--I don't want to take that from her, but the resentment it's causing me right now is almost too much. I would NEVER hurt my baby, but I'm afraid that my frustration will cause me to be rougher with her than I want to be...especially the pinching! BTW, thank you guys for being a safe place for me to share that.

We'll see how it goes this weekend....

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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No advice, but I am there with you, only my little guy is only 10 1/2 months. I have just lots and lots of sympathy.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:22 PM
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oh, wow, DEFINITELY consider nightweaning. I work and my DS nurses just like spughy's child does--once early morning, right before I head out the door to work, when I get home and when I nurse him down for the night. So it's two pairs of sessions, pretty close together, but it stimulates supply more than just two sessions and he gets that closeness and connection more than just 2x. I did gradual nightweaning, pushed it back by 30 minutes per night. And yeah, there might be some crying and even screaming. But you're there comforting her the whole time (or your partner, if they're willing). For me, once I got past the first night he seemed to "get it" that he could go to sleep just being rocked and sung to and not nursed so the rest of the nightweaning got a lot easier. For awhile I would allow him to nurse as much as he wanted after 4AM. If you're worried about not making enough milk if you nightwean you could definitely nightwean until a certain time of night.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 AM
 
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I agree with with a previous poster that breastfeeding beyond infancy has to be mutually desired thing. Honestly, from what you describe, I would gently wean her, or at least night wean. I'm with Ina May Gaskin on this one: toddlers need manners when they breastfeed or it's time to wean.

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Old 05-03-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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I don't know how, but you have to figure out how to teach her to stop hurting you. Whether associated with breastfeeding or not, it is just not OK to pinch or kick. I'd probably say "If you do that one more time no more milkies tonight!" Then I'd brace myself for hours of screaming!
According to the WHO, 15 months is too young to wean. If you can't stand it, maybe you could pump and offer breastmilk in a cup?
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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Thanks. I called a few places yesterday and asked on the local AP forum for recs, so I'm feeling more empowered today. I may have to find a pedi to get the referral to the OT though--our general doc is pretty awful. Never really mattered because I don't take DD often...but that's a different thread!
Def insist on a referral. I have a great ped and she didn't think anything was going on with my ds. Finally I just told her that I trust her for medical stuff and I need her to trust me on this - it was developmental and I knew something was not right. Peds are not developmental experts.

I have mixed feelings about what others have said because I think this is probably a sensory issue vs. nursing manners. Children who are sensory seeking can not regulate their bodies. I would take it day by day and get that eval asap.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Def insist on a referral. I have a great ped and she didn't think anything was going on with my ds. Finally I just told her that I trust her for medical stuff and I need her to trust me on this - it was developmental and I knew something was not right. Peds are not developmental experts.

I have mixed feelings about what others have said because I think this is probably a sensory issue vs. nursing manners. Children who are sensory seeking can not regulate their bodies. I would take it day by day and get that eval asap.
Thanks. I'm going to rehearse saying that. She's a family practictioner, so that makes it more difficult in a way--I don't anticipate her being familiar with this. I really agree that it presents as bad nursing manners, but I really don't think she can help it--like you said, it seems like she can't regulate her body. I'm trying to be very patient with her--we can get in to see the doc until May 28, partly because of insurance and partly because we're going to be out of town for a week and a half visiting in-laws. So no weaning yet, pending the OT eval.

Thanks to everyone for validating my concerns. Its good to have a place to talk where people won't think I'm crazy...

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