Pregnancy and weaning question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there!

I'm hoping that someone might have some advice for me and I hope I can get it without any judgement. :)  I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant and nursing my 25 month old and she is now down to once a day.  In the past week or two, it's become really painful and strange feeling to nurse; very uncomfortable not only physically, but psychologically for some reason.  I think I've hit the end of the road before she has.

My most important question is: I heard many children will self wean once the second trimester hits, but when can I expect my breastmilk to change to colostrum?  Does this normally happen during a certain week or is it different for everyone?  I am trying to hold out weaning in hope that in the next few weeks, she'll wean herself but if I'm looking at another month or two, I don't think I can handle that. 

Any tips on weaning her if I can't hold out?  I was thinking of doing lemon juice on my breast and telling her my milk went sour so that it will keep the decision in her court so she won't feel as powerless over the situation.  I want to do this as gently as possible and if possible let her feel like it's her choice.  Ladies, she loves the boob so much; this is going to break her heart.

Thanks for any helpful tips. :)


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#2 of 8 Old 05-24-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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Congrats on your new pregnancy!  I think many moms experience similar feelings/ambivalence about nursing the older child when they become pregnant again.  My oldest was just about 2yo when I got pregnant with #2.  Things were fine for the first few weeks, and then suddenly stopped being ok.  I wanted to scream and run and hide every time she asked to nurse (she was nursing about 5 times a day at that point, so there was a lot of cringing from me!)  I stuck it out and weaned her gently and gradually over the next few months. Some things that helped me get through it were lots of distraction (reading, watching tv, etc) I also tried to cut down the amount of time for each nursing.  I would let her nurse for a while and then sign a song to mark the end, or you could count to ten, or something else to clearly mark the end of each nursing.  I also tried to distract her as much as possible, whenever I knew she'd be about to ask...let's go outside! or play with playdough! or have a snack, etc.  You said your dd is only nursing once a day, before sleep? at waking?  you may be able to start a new routine that doesn't involve nursing.

Yes, many toddlers do wean during moms pregnancy, and often during the second tri...the milk dries up at different times for everyone, usually somewhere between 12 to 20 weeks.  Some will have some drops of milk throughout, and some will be completely dry.  Some babies don't mind dry nursing, and will keep at it.

 

You need to do what is best for you and your growing fetus.  I kinda think that moms' need to wean during the pregnancy is a way for the body to protect the new baby.  Be mindful of your toddlers needs, but try not to feel guilty about weaning if that's what you choose.  Good luck!
 


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#3 of 8 Old 05-26-2012, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Strawberryprincess, thank you so much for your response!  It was really helpful.  I decided to wean her tonight and I did the lemon juice trick  (actually, I picked a sour lime off our tree just to make sure she wouldn't like it) and I told her that mommy's milk has gone sour but she is welcome to try it and see if it is still ok.  She nursed on her favorite side and moved back and said it tastes bad.  She asked to try the other one and unhappily said that this one tastes bad too.  We hugged and I told her that I can imagine she is sad but we can always do lots of snuggles and pretend that wam, honey milk in a sippy cup is the booby.  She seemed a little happier and said ok.  Then she went downstairs and told my husband about mommy's milk going sour and she hasn't talked about booby since.  I know it will probably be a rough week and I will need to keep a lime nearby in case she wants to try again, but I think it worked.  The best part was that she felt no rejection and had no tears which was what I was most concerned about.

The reason I decided to do it now was because I went to my nuchal screen test and I have a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH) that has become worse.  It's very interested looking back - the onset of the SCH actually correlates to just about the day that suddenly nursing became uncomfortable.  I wonder if my body was trying to tell me something?

Anyway, thank you for your support and advice. :)


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#4 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 09:43 AM
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Weaning can sometimes be necessary but there are better, more gentle ways to do it. Have a look at this page of resources. There are a couple of books there about weaning that might be helpful. 

 

 

Breastfeeding Forum Resources And The Giant Breastfeeding Book List 


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#5 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

Weaning can sometimes be necessary but there are better, more gentle ways to do it. Have a look at this page of resources. There are a couple of books there about weaning that might be helpful. 

 

 

Breastfeeding Forum Resources And The Giant Breastfeeding Book List 

 

Thanks for the link, but it's really quite moot since it is already done?

I actually found the lemon juice way extremely gentle and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a gentle way to wean their toddler or preschooler.  There were no feelings of rejection from me, no tears, and it was all her choice on if she would like to continue or not so there were not feelings of loss of control which are so important for 2 year olds. :)  The weaning approach would have been the same if I waited for the colostrum to change the taste of my breastmilk so I really don't see a difference?  It was lemon juice, not a bitter poison.  I actually would find diversion and distraction more harsh for my little girl because she is very persistent and she's bright enough to understand those tactics. 

To each their own though and I would never judge another mother; we all know what would work better for our children more than anyone else. :)


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#6 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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One thing that bothers me about mamas using lemon juice or any other substance on their nipples is that it is not quite truthful. It's not true that your milk has gone sour. It's kind of a odd thing to tell  your child. I worry that it sets a precedent for other falsehoods when being truthful is too hard or we think our child can't handle it.  I know she's little but I wonder if you could have been more honest and told her that you need to begin the process of 'no more nursies' (or whatever you call it at your house) because it is getting to be too much for mama to handle with a baby growing, and getting all your own needs met, etc., or just that it is getting to be a challenge for your body, whatever; the truth.

 

I've found that babies and toddlers can handle it . No they don't like it, and they might fuss and whine, but they can handle hard stuff if it is a necessity.  There will be plenty of things that she needs to do or stop doing in the future and will just need the truth and to know that she and you are strong enough to handle it.
 


 
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#7 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing that bothers me about mamas using lemon juice or any other substance on their nipples is that it is not quite truthful. It's not true that your milk has gone sour. It's kind of a odd thing to tell  your child. I worry that it sets a precedent for other falsehoods when being truthful is too hard or we think our child can't handle it.  I know she's little but I wonder if you could have been more honest and told her that you need to begin the process of 'no more nursies' (or whatever you call it at your house) because it is getting to be too much for mama to handle with a baby growing, and getting all your own needs met, etc., or just that it is getting to be a challenge for your body, whatever; the truth.

 

I've found that babies and toddlers can handle it . No they don't like it, and they might fuss and whine, but they can handle hard stuff if it is a necessity.  There will be plenty of things that she needs to do or stop doing in the future and will just need the truth and to know that she and you are strong enough to handle it.
 

 

Seriously???  Are you REALLY trying to make another mother feel bad about a decision that has already been done?

What is your purpose of your reply?  Are you just bored and looking to make another mom feel bad for decisions already made? :( I'm on bed rest from the pregnancy and I'm sure my children already feel enough resentment towards my condition from pregnancy to not add yet another one: mommy can't nurse you anymore because of the new baby.

If you want to dive into the "truthful" discussion, you might as well judge me on Santa Claus and the tooth fairy then.  Sheesh.

I'm a good mother and I had a beautiful nursing relationship with my daughter for 25 months and it ended with no tears or feeling of rejection; I have no regrets.  There are lots of opportunities to foster truthful communication between me and my children and seriously, this is one instance that I think I could afford to pass up in sacrifice of her feelings.

Perhaps you and Cynthia took this thread as a debate thread on the best ways to wean?  This was actually a thread looking for support and friendly advice from a mamma in a pickle.

I'm not wasting my time responding or looking at this thread again.


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#8 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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I apologize if it came across in a way that seemed judgmental. I certainly didn't want to make anyone feel bad. That was not my intention. It was just to give food for thought for the decision making process for these types of things.  When folks do recommend that sort of thing it does give us a chance to take a look at it--not to debate it, just to consider different angles on the same thing, that is all.

 

I'm sorry you're going through a tough time. Being on bed rest can be really tough on the whole family and I can understand why you feel so frustrated with everything. Sorry to add to your stress!
 


 
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