Need suggestions for weaning my 20mo... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-14-2012, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a HUGE extended nursing advocate.  I gently encouraged the weaning of my daughters during the subsequent pregnancies.  My first was 3.5yr when I was pregnant with my second.  My second daughter was 26mo when I was pregnant with my son.  We have decided we have completed our family.  Unfortunately - my skill set for weaning is limited.  We have tried the don't offer, don't refuse.  But the offering was minimal to start with - so now all I have is "don't refuse" - but I am constantly nursing. I literally can not sit down - or he wants to nurse. 

I increased my work hours about 5 months ago - so I have been easing into the weaning - since I know it is a huge adjustment with work alone.

 

I love nursing my children.  I am an RN and an IBCLC. It has truly defined who I am.  But I am not so patiently awaiting being done nursing to have a breast reduction.  I am 5'3" and wear a 36K.  I have severe migraines, neck pain and my spine has been permanently damaged by the weight of my breasts. 

 

Please - I want your constructive criticism and pieces of advice- but please be kind.

 

Thanks - Heather


Heather: wife to Chris ; mama to Sophia (7/03) ; Juliana (8/07):; and Peter (3/12/10)
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#2 of 9 Old 01-14-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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Being in pain is awful and I can understand that being a motivating factor. I inadvertently weaned DS when I was pregnant with DD but I think it would have worked anyway. I basically would nurse him when he wanted but limited him in terms of length of time. It started out at like 5 minutes and slowly went down to a minute. Within few weeks he lost interest. Like I said, it wasn't my intention (I was having awful contractions every time I nursed so limiting it was just a safety and sanity thing). Granted I think my supply was dwindling too so that probably helped encourage him (and he did insist on nursing some after DD came).

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#3 of 9 Old 01-14-2012, 07:08 PM
 
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I don't know anything about weaning. My DS weaned when he was only a few months old due to some bad advice/cluelessness surrounding his heart surgery. My DD is only 12 mo.

 

But there's rarely a day that passes that I don't think about how I will begin to wean her and when and how long will it take? In my mind there's this beautiful plan of starting at 18 mo and she'll be fully weaned and OK with it by the time she's 2 because I just really hate it (not the nursing). I am 5'3" and 112 lbs and a 32F. I am also a long distance runner. I feel like I spend as much time with the chiropractor as I do at home and it only eases the pain for a short period of time. When she weans, I am done, and I will be getting a breast reduction as well. 

 

Just wanted to offer a hug and some support and remind you - this is the race to the finish. Your DC is old enough to wean now, and whenever, however you figure it out (and you will!) you will be able to move forward with the surgery and it will improve your life. You have improved your children's and now you will get to improve your own. You're almost there!

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#4 of 9 Old 01-17-2012, 05:53 PM
 
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I hear what you say about wanting reduction surgery but it sounds like it may only have limited effectiveness since the damage has already been done to your spine. There are many causes of migraines and we often don't know what causes them. You could wean, have surgery and still have migraines and pain.

 

It probably seems like he is always nursing since you are a working mom and have two other kids. He is just always nursing when you have a chance to sit down. You might consider quitting work and staying off your feet more to reduce pain.

 

 


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#5 of 9 Old 01-19-2012, 04:39 AM
 
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With my kids weaning was 'easy' (relatively) once I changed my perspective.  I had to get to a point where I knew that it was absolutely the right thing for us.

 

You should feel that confident.  He is old enough, you are in pain.  there are so many other ways you guys can connect (as you know from your older children).

 

Personally the intensity of my toddler's demands waned once we weaned and learned more complex ways to connect.  


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#6 of 9 Old 01-22-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

I hear what you say about wanting reduction surgery but it sounds like it may only have limited effectiveness since the damage has already been done to your spine. There are many causes of migraines and we often don't know what causes them. You could wean, have surgery and still have migraines and pain.

 

It probably seems like he is always nursing since you are a working mom and have two other kids. He is just always nursing when you have a chance to sit down. You might consider quitting work and staying off your feet more to reduce pain.

 

 



Seriously?  I really don't think her quitting her job is the answer.  That was a foolish response.  I doubt she is working just for kicks...my guess is that her family needs the money. 

 

And yes, although she does have spinal damage, I'm sure the reduction would prevent FURTHER damage and increased pain. 

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#7 of 9 Old 01-22-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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Have you night weaned? I've talked to quite a few Mams who say that night weaning helped them cope both physically and mentally with nursing during the day until their little ones were a bit older. It may help you get through the winter and flu/rsv/gastro season at least.

 

If you've night weaned already, I agree with a PP who suggested cutting down the time of each nursing session a little.

 

This sounds like a stressful situation - I admire your commitment to gentle weaning and respect for your child's feelings.

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#8 of 9 Old 01-23-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Foreverin blue jeans; I actually just started back to work full time in the last 3 months.  I have been VERY part time since my first child has been born - working only 2 days a week - and the kids were never in daycare - they were always with my husband  b/c I chose to work off shifts to be home with my kids.  I have seen many physicians for my migraines - and had very good control over them. But since my breasts have increased size the effect is dramatic. 

 

And unfortunately - I am the main provider for our family now.  So quitting work is not an option.

 

But I do appreciate any weaning advice someone else might like to suggest.

 

 

Night Weaning - we co- sleep, and I have made some limits; but that is going to be the Big challenge!  

 

I am confident that weaning is correct for us at this time.  My goal has always been at least 2 years.  He will be 2 on March 12; so - putting limits in place now - is definitely reasonable.  We are having some good days & some bad days... but I think we are moving in the right direction.

 

Mostly I have started by saying "no," using redirection, and saying it is for sleepytime.  So we nurse for naps and night time.  IF he is very insistent - I allow him to nurse - but I tell him "just a little bit" then all done.  Usually I get an "K_K"  which he says instead of OK.  

 

It is progress, and I do NOT want an abrupt weaning; I am just weary & feeling "touched out."  I have been breastfeeding for practically the last 9 years of my life.  But I love my children and want what is best for them.  But I also acknowledge - I have not really been giving anything back to my needs.  

 

 

Thank you for the kind words, and for the non-helpful advice; thanks for the hot air. 


Heather: wife to Chris ; mama to Sophia (7/03) ; Juliana (8/07):; and Peter (3/12/10)
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#9 of 9 Old 01-23-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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We nightweaned at 14 months (I could not do the every two hour thing any longer...it was draining me and making me a worse parent!).  To do so my DW (the non lactating mom in our house) attended all night wakings.  She comforted with love and compassion, but we were clear that there would be no nursing.  In about a week he began to STTN.  We now nurse in the am, before nap and before bed (21 month old) and I recently cut out the post nap nursing session.  To do this, I started delaying him by taking him immediately to the fridge and making other offers and offering "high value" activities like playing at the sink.  I would nurse him (and still will) if he keeps insisting, but he stopped insisting this week and is happy with something else (usually a yogurt or kefir sort of drink).  We limit other nursing sessions (the short ones apart from the 3 I plan on keeping for the long run, am, pm and nap) but saying "we can nurse for abc's or for 20, which do you want?"  He likes getting to choose.)  

 

Good luck!  I totally get what you're saying too...for the first year of nursing my breasts were a 34J!  They have shrunk somewhat and now I'm an E/F, but I totally get the pain issues.  In the short term (until you get the reduction), make sure you're stretching your pectoral muscles and try some yoga chest opener sort of things, those help me with the back pain.  You can stand in a door way with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and your forearms resting on the frame and lean forward to stretch your pectorals (I hope that makes sense!) you can also lie on your back across an exersize ball (one of those big birthing balls) with your arms extended to the side and your head leaning back.  

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