Mixed Feelings about Weaning - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH and I are trying to make some decisions about weaning and I need some opinions/advice. Originally we were planning on child led weaning with no pressure regardless of what others thought. Now, we are TTC #2 and having problems. We had problems conceiving DS and the reduced fertility of BFing isn't helping us this time. My DS is 17 months (born 8/27/03). He still nurses 3 times during the day and around 3-4 times at night, we are still co-sleeping. I have only had 2 periods in the last 5 months and no other signs of returning fertility.

So, here is my dilemma. I would consider night weaning or trying to reduce his total # of nursings but I don't want to force him into giving up something he isn't ready for. Also, there is the possibility that we may not be able to have any more kids and I would deeply regret not doing everything I think is best for my son. I know that at this point there is no way to tell if we will have more kids but I would hate to partially or fully wean him prematurely only to have him be an only child anyway.

The other thing is that I am very tired, I have thyroid problems and I am diabetic. There is a big part of me that wants to wean him, take the meds my doctor thinks may help and get my body back on track. So, I have the possible regret or guilt from weaning him prematurely on one side and then the hope to have another child and get myself healthy before I get PG again on the other. Any pearls of wisdom out there?

Blessings,
Ingrid
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#2 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Hi, Ingrid.

One question I would ask is, how old are you? If you have lots of time, I would consider letting yr ds have a full milk supply til age 2. He still sounds very attached to bfing. Lots of kids around that age love to bf and would be traumatized to be force-weaned. Some will resist heartily even a partuiial weaning.

There are a lot of factors here. I am sure you know there is no right answer, just one that takes it all into consideration, including what is healthiest for yr ds.

Hopefully other bfing moms with thyroid issues will chime in. Have you talked to a IBCLC about the compatibility of thyroid meds and bfing a toddler?
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#3 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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I can only share with you what I decided, in similar circumstances. I cannot make that decision for you!

I have been told all of my adult life that i wouldn't be able to have kids of my own. Tried very hard to have DD1, and got pregnant the month I quit trying (go figure). I mean, I had finally resigned myself to the idea of not having kids, was ok with that, and blammo!
...so I started wanting another baby about the time DD was six months old! AF didn't return at all until she was 15 months old. Doc told me I should wean if I wanted to get pregnant again, considering my age and my problems and all that. Nursing was causing me to have a luteal phase defect, and that was why he suggested I wean. I agonized over my decision, but finally decided not to wean my daughter. I knew for a fact that she was not emotionally or physically ready to wean. I had a hard enough time getting her to nurse in the first place, she was unable to nurse her first three months of life! I worked harder at breastfeeding her than I've ever worked at anything in my life before or since, and I wasn't going to just throw all that hard work down the drain for the possibility that I might get pregnant if she stopped nursing. again, she still *needed* to nurse. She's always been a small kid, docs always give me a hard time about that, too. Never been "on the charts" - I'm talking very petite, like 14 pounds at one year. I wasn't about to refuse to nurse her, knowing she may not eat anything else in any given day! She's also a very high-needs spirited kind of child, and when she doesn't nurse often enough, she gets very hard to deal with. I just couldn't wrap my mind around ignoring my child's need to nurse in hopes of having another baby maybe someday. I felt it was my job to take care of the baby I already had, rather than worry too much about whether or not I'd ever have another one.

I did manage to get pregnant again, relatively easily, without ever once refusing to nurse my child when she asked for it.
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#4 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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Stacy, excuse me for asking, but I believe you are an "older" mom as well. Correct?
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#5 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I am 29 (30 in June). I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. I also had thyroid problems (hypothyroid) which with the PCOS caused me to have strange cycles, and there were times when I would go 6 months without a period and not be PG. My husband and I had been poked and prodded and finally told we may never be able to have kids without help (Clomid, IVF, etc.) We are Catholic and don't believe in all that stuff so we gave up and decided to look into adoption. The next month I got pregnant. Totally a God thing!!!

Anyhow, now I have recently had a relapse of the hypothyroid and I am taking 0.10mg of synthroid while still nursing. I have also been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic. I am managing my diabetes with diet, exercise and the occasional prescription of Metformin. However, my doctor does not believe it is safe to take while nursing. According to the 2004 Hale "Medications & Mother's Milk" it is in the lowest risk category and considered relatively "safe" for nursing moms.

My thing is that we would like to have more kids and I know the health issues accompanied with the BFing are making my fertility a challenge. I am doing what I can about the health stuff but wanted to know how some other mamas handled stuff like this and if there were any other ways to boost my fertility without weaning. I don't want to wean him because I don't think he's anywhere near ready. I just want to do the best for him but not eliminate the possibility for more kids. We would like to have 3 and my family has early menopause (early 40's) so I feel like I am short on time.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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Just wanna give you a headsup before a mod does. We have to keep our sig lines to 2 lines.

There are ways to boost one's fertility naturally. This is the best book I know of:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...041054-1017437
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#7 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Stacy, excuse me for asking, but I believe you are an "older" mom as well. Correct?
yeah, I'll be 36 in a few weeks. shhhhh....
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#8 of 11 Old 02-01-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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you may find that if you were to take the correct dosage of Metformin long term that it will be all you need. Do a search on Metformin and nursing....there is quite a bit of information on the web about it. I think that you've had 2 periods while nursing and having the issues you have is a really good sign.

Addressing the insulin resistance is really key here and can do wonders for your fertility. There are ways to naturally address this as well. I just personally found that long term use of Metformin was key.

BTW I'm 39 and have had PCOS forever. I did end up doing Clomid to become pg with both my older children (that's before anyone knew what PCOS was). We did end up doing IVF to become pregnant with my 3rd but that's because of a vasectomy/reversal situation.

I completely understand all your concerns. I'm nursing my 21 month old and we have 5 frozen embryos and I'll be turning 40 in August. I will be weaning to go ahead with FET. I plan to start gently weaning soon.

Maybe you could consider waiting until your child is 2 to decide what to do next? Maybe go ahead with night weaning first and see if that makes a difference in your cycles and your energy level. But definitely do what you can to address the insulin resistance right away. That will make a huge difference across the board for you.

The weaning situation doesn't necessarily have to be an all or nothing thing though.
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#9 of 11 Old 02-02-2005, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cloth Crazy

Thanks for that. I needed to know that I wasn't alone out there. We are going to start GENTLE night weaning this weekend and see how it goes. If he is super resistant then I won't force it. We have talked about what would happen if we didn't have more and I guess I just need to put it in God's hands and parent my DS the best way I know how which is AP and child led weaning. I know weaning isn't an all or nothing deal but I think the night weaning would really boost my energy and motivation. I can't imagine a full nights sleep!

If anyone has advice on how to go about night weaning and how to make it easier on my DS I would appreciate it.

Blessings,
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#10 of 11 Old 02-03-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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The way we started weaning (which has been going on for near a year now) was don't offer don't refuse, and i would try and delay/distract if possible. Oh, and I try to keep my shirt on when I can. That said, I've had probs concieving both kids, but it didn't take much less nursing to get pg with this one - we still night feed, I just cut out a few of the boredom/check-in nursing sessions per day, and got her down to (mostly) actual feeding and distress nursing.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-03-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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Is your Synthroid dose high enough to be effective?

"What will you do once you know?"
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