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#1 of 31 Old 03-13-2013, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our dd is 21 months old. We would like to try for a second baby. I have no periods, and no signs of fertility. DD still nurses quite often, mostly for comfort. I can easily be gone for half a day and she wouldn't notice. But the moment she sees me, she wants to nurse. We co-sleep, and I usually nurse her back to sleep, maybe 3-4 times a night. Actual milk drinking may only be a few times a day though.

 

I've been wanting another baby for some months now, but dd never ate much solids, so I was hesitant in weaning her. We have cut down a bit on the day nursing though. She's been eating a lot more in the past 2 weeks, so I'm starting to think it's okay to wean her soon?

 

I also wanted to seek advice on her nutrition. She's never had formula, and refuses cow's milk and all dairy products. Is dairy necessary? We eat a traditional foods kind of diet, and she eats mostly rice with fish, meat, vegetables, eggs, fruit, etc. No sweets or processed stuff. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for reading!! :)


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#2 of 31 Old 03-13-2013, 06:28 AM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't wean before 24 months. I have a 21 month old and just found out we're expecting and with the exhaustion and sore breasts/nipples I've been having moments where I want to just be done with it... but I'm determined to get to at least 24 months. We're almost there! ;)

 

You have to decide what is best for your family. If you want to wean now I would do it gently... just phase out one nursing session a week until you're finished. 

 

I don't think dairy is absolutely necessary, but I do like to give my little guy local non-homgenized milk (preferably goat's when we can afford it) and keifer, and he eats yogurt and cheese. I'll also give him coconut milk (because of the fat content), but I'm not too crazy about processed milk substitutes. He still prefers to nurse over drinking milk out of a cup.

 

It sounds like your daughter gets a great variety of healthy foods. If you're going to be weaning I would try to give her either goat's milk or coconut milk and make sure she's getting other good fats like avocado, olive oil, good butter... 

 

I think it's awesome that you've made it this far in breastfeeding your daughter and wish you all the best in whatever you decide! :)


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#3 of 31 Old 03-13-2013, 07:09 AM
 
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My DD is 23 months and I got pregnant around 19 months or so. I got AF back at 5 months pp so I know it's a whole different story. What I wanted to say is that it's absolutely possible to get pregnant without regular cycles. Take a spin through the fertility board and visit the trying to conceive section. There's a whole ongoing big thread about TTC while nursing and many mamas have been able to catch that very first egg and go on to have lovely, healthy pregnancies. I wouldn't wean simply to get pregnant because weaning is no guarantee. Once your LO is weaned though, it's near impossible to start nursing again if you change your mind. What I would do is cut back a bit so that your child still has the option to nurse and you have a better chance to ovulate. Also there's no huge reason to wean during pregnancy if you don't have particular risk factors. I've been nursing for 20 weeks while pregnant and DD is down to nap, bedtime and at night but going strong.

Let me clarify to say that you should do what you feel is best but consider the consequences of weaning carefully before you do so. I don't know what I'd do without that ace up my sleeve wink1.gif
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#4 of 31 Old 03-13-2013, 07:35 AM
 
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Could you nightwean and see if that is enough to do the trick?

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#5 of 31 Old 03-13-2013, 05:18 PM
 
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Night weaning may help, I just got my AF back at 22 months, which was about 2 months after we started night weaning.  My son had been nursing probably 3-5 times/night.

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#6 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 12:58 AM
 
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What were your cycles like before you had her?

 

One thing to consider trying is taking evening primrose oil capsules to increase cervical mucus. You could also take vitex/chasteberry capsules to help balance your hormones.


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#7 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What were your cycles like before you had her?

 

One thing to consider trying is taking evening primrose oil capsules to increase cervical mucus. You could also take vitex/chasteberry capsules to help balance your hormones.

 

My cycles before having DD was very irregular, 35-40 days, and finally was diagnosed with PCOS and told I wasn't ovulating. A few months with TCM fixed all that, and my cycles became regular at 26 days. 

 

I have no cervical mucus, however. Never had, and even during ovulation is very thin and whitish. We had to use pre-seed to conceive. 

 

I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea recently, hoping it may help?


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#8 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 23 months and I got pregnant around 19 months or so. I got AF back at 5 months pp so I know it's a whole different story. What I wanted to say is that it's absolutely possible to get pregnant without regular cycles. Take a spin through the fertility board and visit the trying to conceive section. There's a whole ongoing big thread about TTC while nursing and many mamas have been able to catch that very first egg and go on to have lovely, healthy pregnancies. I wouldn't wean simply to get pregnant because weaning is no guarantee. Once your LO is weaned though, it's near impossible to start nursing again if you change your mind. What I would do is cut back a bit so that your child still has the option to nurse and you have a better chance to ovulate. Also there's no huge reason to wean during pregnancy if you don't have particular risk factors. I've been nursing for 20 weeks while pregnant and DD is down to nap, bedtime and at night but going strong.

Let me clarify to say that you should do what you feel is best but consider the consequences of weaning carefully before you do so. I don't know what I'd do without that ace up my sleeve wink1.gif

 

skycheattraffic, I remember you from the TTC while nursing board! You had just gotten pregnant when I first posted about my hoping to start ttc. How's your pregnancy going??

 

I feel sad about weaning actually. I was hoping to get pregnant while nursing. I'm trying to cut down our nursing now to see if it would kickstart fertility. But it's hard. I've never said no to her all these 21 months, and now I'm trying to distract her from nursing. I saw her sucking her thumb today for the first time. 


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#9 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think night weaning may be the hardest part. We may be able to manage not nursing at all during the daytime though. I'm currently staying with my family, and they are all happy to watch her for me during the day. When dd doesn't see me, she doesn't ask to nurse. 


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#10 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Night weaning may help, I just got my AF back at 22 months, which was about 2 months after we started night weaning.  My son had been nursing probably 3-5 times/night.

 

MamaGill, how did you start nightweaning? My daughter still nurses 3-5 times a night. Then she nurses for an hour upon waking. 


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#11 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 05:29 AM
 
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I think night weaning may be the hardest part. We may be able to manage not nursing at all during the daytime though. I'm currently staying with my family, and they are all happy to watch her for me during the day. When dd doesn't see me, she doesn't ask to nurse. 

 

The reason I mention nightweaning is just because it seems to be more effective for women than daytime sessions in dropping hormone levels enough to resume cycling.  However, you definitely have to do what works best for you!!

 

(also because I think nightweaning has been was has made it so effortless for me to tandem and triandem nurse each time) 

 

I have used vitex in the past, but I was already cycling (I get mine back around 6 months despite nursing around the clock, even when tandem/triandem nursing!), but it DID shorten my cycle from like 90 days to 40 almost immediately.


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I doubt you would have to completely wean to become fertile again. Nightweaning would be the best, as PPs have said. You could gently try and see if she at least cuts back on nighttime nursing enough to get your hormones back to where you're cycling again.

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#13 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 06:11 AM
 
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Girlspn, my pregnancy is going fine, I'm just about to hit the 21 week mark tomorrow. Thanks for asking.
It was easier for me because the pregnancy really tanked my supply but I partially nightweaned DD as well. I think it may be enough to cut down on the night nursing since your LO is still nursing quite frequently overnight. I started out letting her nurse at night but cutting sessions short saying it hurt and I needed a break. We would cuddle instead and that helped. The other thing that I find helpful is that we don't cosleep full time so I'm not constantly there as a reminder to nurse. DD has her own double bed in her room and I lay down to nurse her, then leave once she's asleep (if I'm still awake lol). I also offered her water at night which helped her nurse less. Now she's down to 1 or 2 short nursings a night but will be happy to cuddle instead from time to time. I don't remember your sleeping arrangements and I know my way isnt for everyone but thought I'd share in case you found something useful in there.

It's funny you remember me from the TTC while nursing thread. I was poking around and knew it would apply to me eventually so I started posting. We were planning to start TTC now - in March! Baby had other plans though and we're halfway there already. I SO understand being torn about weaning; I have those same feelings about getting pregnant ahead of schedule. Sometimes I feel I'm shortchanging my DD to have my second child. She was a BIG nurser too and went down to 2-4 sessions a day in a few weeks. I think I'm completely dry; can't coax a single drop of milk out manually. I then feel bad for baby and feel that I'm being ungrateful since so many women (especially nursing moms) have a hard time conceiving. Argh!! The mommy guilt!
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#14 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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The reason I mention nightweaning is just because it seems to be more effective for women than daytime sessions in dropping hormone levels enough to resume cycling.  However, you definitely have to do what works best for you!!

 

(also because I think nightweaning has been was has made it so effortless for me to tandem and triandem nurse each time) 

 

I have used vitex in the past, but I was already cycling (I get mine back around 6 months despite nursing around the clock, even when tandem/triandem nursing!), but it DID shorten my cycle from like 90 days to 40 almost immediately.

 

Also wanted to add (based on PP's...I realized I forgot to mention this) that it's totally possible to nightwean and keep co-sleeping successfully.  We've always done it that way.  It'll probably even be easier for you with an older child, mine were always around 14-18 months when we nightweaned.  Sometimes it took more than one try if I could tell they just weren't ready, but overall it was a fairly simple process each time.  I'd offer them water instead and we'd talk about waiting for milk until the sun woke up...but while the sun sleeps, milk sleeps too.  I got that idea from someone here, and for whatever reason, it seemed to work.


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A 4-6 hour block without nursing during the night is enough for many women to trigger return of AF......even a few nights. Some people need 6 hours, but as soon as my son slept a few four hour blocks at night, my AF returned the following month. I suppose as others have said, regarding weaning, basically nurse the one in your arms now instead of hoping for the future baby. If baby is weaned early in the hopes of another pregnancy, and none follows, you may regret the early weaning. I do believe whole heartedly in the minimum two year breastfeeding reccomendation, the data on reduction in mortality and morbidity alone is convincing.

 

Somehwere, on MDC there was an article I read about the 4-6 hour sleep block (even a few nights) triggering return of fertility....I only wish I could find it.

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Congratulations on 21 months of nursing!! That is a big milestone. I think extended nursers sometimes forget how awesome it is to make it so far. When so many mamas don't nurse at all or only go a few months, coming up on 2 years is OUTSTANDING! Woot woot!

 

I think weaning is definitely a combination of what is and isn't working between mother and child. If you are tired of it and growing agitated by the process, then by all means, I would slowly try to wean. There's nothing worse than feeling like you are resenting it which completely defeats one of the huge components of nursing. I have always felt that night nursing has been a connection/sense of comfort with my children. Milestones. Sickness. Separation anxiety. Etc.

 

If you still enjoy the closeness you feel, and it is more concern about conceiving, I personally would not wean. I can attest to being one of those women that have gotten pregnant without any signs of fertility ... twice. lol. I hope that your heart guides you through this time with ease in whatever decision you choose!

 

As for the dairy, IMO, I would not be worried about that at all. It sounds like she has a very healthy, well-rounded diet. If she's consuming ample protein and raw foods, she shouldn't be deficient in anything.

 

Best wishes on your journey!

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Based on what everyone says about nightweaning, I've been trying to not nurse dd at night, and cuddling her instead. She whines until she's nursed. I've been too sleepy to try other distraction methods. 

 

We are now able to go 4-6 hours during the day without nursing. It's a big step for her, as she used to nurse every 2-3 hours, and whenever she wants comfort, just last week. Yesterday, she only nursed once during the day for her nap! She nursed once at 7am upon waking, once at 3pm to nap, and then again at 7-8pm (I got tired of trying to distract her)... and then several more times at night. It's a huge decrease from before, so my fingers are crossed.... 


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Congratulations on 21 months of nursing!! That is a big milestone. I think extended nursers sometimes forget how awesome it is to make it so far. When so many mamas don't nurse at all or only go a few months, coming up on 2 years is OUTSTANDING! Woot woot!

 

I think weaning is definitely a combination of what is and isn't working between mother and child. If you are tired of it and growing agitated by the process, then by all means, I would slowly try to wean. There's nothing worse than feeling like you are resenting it which completely defeats one of the huge components of nursing. I have always felt that night nursing has been a connection/sense of comfort with my children. Milestones. Sickness. Separation anxiety. Etc.

 

If you still enjoy the closeness you feel, and it is more concern about conceiving, I personally would not wean. I can attest to being one of those women that have gotten pregnant without any signs of fertility ... twice. lol. I hope that your heart guides you through this time with ease in whatever decision you choose!

 

As for the dairy, IMO, I would not be worried about that at all. It sounds like she has a very healthy, well-rounded diet. If she's consuming ample protein and raw foods, she shouldn't be deficient in anything.

 

Best wishes on your journey!

 

j.e.n., thanks for reminding me that we are extended nurses, lol! I can't believe we're close to 2 years-- doesn't feel anywhere near that long. I don't resent the nursing, but just wish I could conceive another baby.

 

How did you know you were pregnant without fertility signs? 


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#19 of 31 Old 03-15-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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MamaGill, how did you start nightweaning? My daughter still nurses 3-5 times a night. Then she nurses for an hour upon waking. 

We roughly used Jay Gordon's method, but modified it a little bit. Basically we chose 8 hours for no nursing and comforted our son back to sleep in other ways when he woke up. We found cutting back on some of the nursing was really easy, he let go without too much protest any nursing before about 2:30. But getting him to give up nursing between 2 and 3 was hard, we were all up for over two hours for several nights. But it did happen. We decided not to have DH take over comforting, since it seems my absence would have been even more difficult for DS. But hubby was there helping through it all. We now now trying to work on cutting out a nursing around 4 or 5, and that's been really hard. We have found that if I just leave and sleep on the couch DS calms down and will even sometimes go back to sleep with DH, by telling a story.
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j.e.n., thanks for reminding me that we are extended nurses, lol! I can't believe we're close to 2 years-- doesn't feel anywhere near that long. I don't resent the nursing, but just wish I could conceive another baby.

 

How did you know you were pregnant without fertility signs? 


The time goes sooooo fast, doesn't it?!?!

 

Knowing? I basically started getting morning sickness and was like "wait a minute..."  Sheepish.gif

 

Hopefully everything will just fall into place for you at the perfect moment. winky.gif I'll send you some fertility vibes!

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A 4-6 hour block without nursing during the night is enough for many women to trigger return of AF......even a few nights. Some people need 6 hours, but as soon as my son slept a few four hour blocks at night, my AF returned the following month. I suppose as others have said, regarding weaning, basically nurse the one in your arms now instead of hoping for the future baby. If baby is weaned early in the hopes of another pregnancy, and none follows, you may regret the early weaning. I do believe whole heartedly in the minimum two year breastfeeding reccomendation, the data on reduction in mortality and morbidity alone is convincing.

 

Somehwere, on MDC there was an article I read about the 4-6 hour sleep block (even a few nights) triggering return of fertility....I only wish I could find it.

 

Is there any reason that night weaning is more effective for triggering return of AF than daytime? We've been working on cutting down on dd's nursing, and so far, we've managed to cut down on daytime nursing to once a day (versus every 2-3 hrs around the clock!). DD nurses upon waking around 7am, then nurses again around 2-3pm before nap, and then again around 7-8pm. Then she nurses a few times at night. The morning and midday nursing sessions are usually quite long. Nights, she just needs to suckle back to sleep. I'm hoping this change will help. 

 

I'm surprised by how quickly she cut down without protest. If she doesn't see me all day, she won't cry to nurse. I do want her to get at least some breastmilk though, for the health benefits. 


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#22 of 31 Old 03-18-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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It's my understanding that night time nursing plays a much bigger role in suppressing ovulation than daytime nursing.  Milk supply and hormones are calibrated largely by how much nursing happens overnight.

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It's my understanding that night time nursing plays a much bigger role in suppressing ovulation than daytime nursing.  Milk supply and hormones are calibrated largely by how much nursing happens overnight.

 

In this case, I should work on cutting down nighttime nursing then. My daughter will ask to nurse when she's half asleep, and I haven't figured out how to gently refuse to distract her. Last night, she nursed around five times (I lost count)... 


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#24 of 31 Old 03-18-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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It's my understanding that night time nursing plays a much bigger role in suppressing ovulation than daytime nursing.  Milk supply and hormones are calibrated largely by how much nursing happens overnight.

 

This is my understanding also, particularly during prolactin elevation 1-5am.

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The time goes sooooo fast, doesn't it?!?!

 

Knowing? I basically started getting morning sickness and was like "wait a minute..."  Sheepish.gif

 

Hopefully everything will just fall into place for you at the perfect moment. winky.gif I'll send you some fertility vibes!

 

Thanks!! :D 


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#26 of 31 Old 03-18-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my understanding also, particularly during prolactin elevation 1-5am.

 

So I should really focus my efforts on night weaning...

 

DD is sleeping a lot better now in the early morning, and doesn't need to nurse when she wakes (she can be distracted from it). Right now she nurses the most between 12-5am...


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#27 of 31 Old 03-19-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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My own son began naturally getting a four hour chunk of sleep at 31 months, it just happened. It was not every night, but it was enough to cause the return of my period within a few weeks, at 32 months (though I have no plans of TTC).

 

I really wish that I could locate that Mothering.com article about nursing at night and still being able to trigger return of menstruation. It mentioned that weaning wasn't neccessary and many women's bodies will respond with just a few nights of that 4-6 chunk of sleep without nursing. I could not find the actual article, but I located old thread with a question similar to your own: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/842142/nursing-weaning-fertility

 

One think to think about prior to considering night weaning, is two year molar eruption. Many moms find it is easier to reduce night nursing after those molars are in, since babies need a lot of comfort during that time.

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Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

My own son began naturally getting a four hour chunk of sleep at 31 months, it just happened. It was not every night, but it was enough to cause the return of my period within a few weeks, at 32 months (though I have no plans of TTC).

 

I really wish that I could locate that Mothering.com article about nursing at night and still being able to trigger return of menstruation. It mentioned that weaning wasn't neccessary and many women's bodies will respond with just a few nights of that 4-6 chunk of sleep without nursing. I could not find the actual article, but I located old thread with a question similar to your own: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/842142/nursing-weaning-fertility

 

One think to think about prior to considering night weaning, is two year molar eruption. Many moms find it is easier to reduce night nursing after those molars are in, since babies need a lot of comfort during that time.

 

Thanks Asiago. If I can conceive without fully weaning, that's what I prefer. 

 

I did not know that about the two year molars. DD hasn't had a teething episode in months and I assumed her teeth were all in. 

 

Since cutting down on day nursing, dd seems to want to nurse more at night these days...


single mama to dd (June 2011)
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#29 of 31 Old 04-02-2013, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Back to update that dd no longer nurses from 10pm to 6/7am. During the daytime of those first few nights, she would nurse constantly. Now I'm trying to cut down on the daytime nursing as well. The last few days, she only nursed 3 times, roughly once every 8 hours. She's taking it very well, hardly any fuss after the first few days, which makes me think I'm not pushing her to do something she isn't ready for. I don't want to wean completely, and I hope this is enough for fertility to return... 


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#30 of 31 Old 04-02-2013, 03:32 AM
 
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Girlspn that sounds great. It may take a few weeks after establishing this new rhythm but hopefully ovulation should be right around the corner smile.gif
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