Need to wean - ds not ready - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-05-2005, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi folks,

This is my first post, so I'm a bit nervous, but excited, too. I'm so glad there is a place for all of us toddler nursers...

I am 14 weeks pregnant with #2, and because of pre-term labor experienced with ds, I have been advised to try to wean my 2 year old before my 24th week. We had been practising don't offer, don't refuse before I got pregnant, and were down to mainly just morning, naptime, and bedtime nursing, with just occasional exceptions. He seemed pretty comfortable with that, so I figured with several months we'd be able to gradually cut back to nothing.

Currently I am trying to eliminate the morning nurse, since he seems to need the other two to get to sleep. We've been making okay progress with skipping most mornings. When he asks, I've distracted with water, or offers of breakfast, promising we'll nurse at naptime. He might fuss for a minute, then will accept it and move on. A couple mornings he has completely fallen apart, and I agreed to nurse for 5 minutes, then we moved on. We're making progress.

I'm dreading moving on to naptime and bedtime, I know it's going to involve some serious tears (probably from both of us.) And I'm afraid we'll lose the nap altogether. Dh has reasonable luck getting him to bed with out nursing (obviously) but unfortunately, he works evenings, and is not home a naptime or bedtime during the week, so I am on my own.

My little guy does not appear to be ready to wean, he's been all out of sorts and clingy since I've started actively discouraging our morning session (even when he passes it up easily, the rest of the day is rocky). He walks around repeating his perception of our coversation: "bed-nurse?" "NO" "bednurse?" "NO", (even though I try hard not to use the word "no" - he see's right through my redirections...) It's breaking my heart. I really wanted to have another baby, and I knew this was going to be an issue, but now I feel horrible about the sacrifice he has to make.

I'd appreciate any advice, experience, etc.

P.S. I do intend to allow him to resume nursing after the baby's born, if he asks.
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#2 of 12 Old 02-05-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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I suggest you read through these links.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/tandem/li...gpregnant.html

Its unlikely that nursing will cause strong enough contractions to start labor.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#3 of 12 Old 02-05-2005, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the links, Amarasmom.

I have read some of these and similar articles. With my first pregnancy, I started having productive contractions at 33 weeks. I was put on modified bed rest, pevic rest, all that. If that were to happen with this pregnancy, I would also need to cut off the breastfeeding cold turkey (maybe it wouldn't aggravate the problem, but not a risk I'd be willing to take). I do think it is kinder to my son to do it gradually, rather than having to cut him off all at once.

My midwives also appreciate that the danger of continuing to nurse is not absolute. They feel that if we can get down to once a day or less frequent, with monitoring, we'll probably be all right. Also, in a much better place to stop completely if a problem does occur. This seemed reasonable to me, but my son is still distressed about it.

I guess I was looking for support/advice in an educated decision I have already made.
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#4 of 12 Old 02-05-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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What a tough thing to have to do. I feel for both of you! Glad you have researched all your options and that you are under the care of bf educated MWs as well. I know there is no easy way to tell a toddler no. A rough time for you both -
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#5 of 12 Old 02-06-2005, 05:13 AM
 
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It is possible your child may stop or cut back nursing while you are pregnant.

I started to want to wean my little one around 2.5. I started first by saying we'd only nurse at home. He cried the first few times he wanted to nurse while we were out, but then he was okay. Once that worked, I said he could only nurse at night. Again, a few tears but he transitioned well with that too. Then I gradually cut back to only 3 times per night, etc.

It if were up to him, I think he'd still probably nurse 20X per day. But he's adapted to the changes well.

Good luck.
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#6 of 12 Old 02-06-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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I think you are doing the right thing. My little guy was born at 32 weeks and it is no fun to drive to the hospital for the first month to see your newborn and try to teach him to nurse. Or go home with an apnea monitor for 6 months. I just don't think it is worth it if you have had pre- term labor before. I think it is smart to get him down to one per day, and then if you have some signs of pre-term labor it will be easier to stop. Good luck- I'm sure it is not easy, but I'm also sure he will be just fine- give him extra hugs and kisses.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-07-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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I don't have any advice for you, just wanted to let you know it sounds like you're in a really tough position, but it sounds like you're doing the right thing to me. Hugs to you and your son on doing this difficult thing.
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#8 of 12 Old 02-07-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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You are in such a difficult situation. It sounds like what you are doing is not working for either of you. Sometimes it is better to wean abruptly. If you allow him to nurse when he wants now he may end up weaning on his own. If at some point in the pregnancy you decide weaning is necessary you and your toddler may handle it better if it is necessary.

My oldest two nursed for 6 years and 4 years. I became pregnant when my youngest was 2. I had problems in the past with fertility and it was an unexpected but very wanted pregnancy. I weaned abruptly when I started having problems with the pregnancy. My son did fine. I ended up loosing the baby and having weaned was difficult for me. I offered to let him start nursing again but he didn't want to.

There haven't been studies done to show if weaning or bed rest can postpone labor. They are recommended and women follow the advice because they want to do what they can for their unborn babies. I wish someone would do some good studies. I had to be on bedrest with my 3rd baby. It was awful and it took forever for me to recover after birth.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#9 of 12 Old 02-07-2005, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans
If at some point in the pregnancy you decide weaning is necessary you and your toddler may handle it better if it is necessary.

That is a good point - since it's not completely necessary for you to wean right now, maybe you're not completely committed to the idea? And your DS maybe senses that? Whereas, if you really had to wean for the safety of the baby, there would be an urgency and level of committedness that you don't have now.


Quote:
I had to be on bedrest with my 3rd baby. It was awful and it took forever for me to recover after birth.
Me too, I was in the hospital for around 10 weeks and on bedrest for a total of about 4 months. It is hard being on bedrest.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-12-2005, 05:11 AM
 
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in this case, it may be best to wean abruptly but with a very positive spin from you, like maybe a big weaning party with cake and ice cream, the works. then if/when he asks to nurse after he is weaned, i'd first offer water (or whatever else he likes to drink) in a cup, then offer food, and lots of cuddles. i have found that sometimes the sloooow weaning, cutting out one nursing every 3 weeks or so, can actually be more stressful for the child.

2 years of nursing is a wonderful gift to give your child, please don't feel guilty! you've done a wonderful job and now you're focus is on protecting the little bean that is growing in your belly as well as managing your toddler's feelings around weaning when he might not be ready. good luck!
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#11 of 12 Old 02-12-2005, 03:13 PM
 
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Have you read How Weaning Happens and Adventures in Tandem Nursing? They offer lots of ideas for weaning and risks of bfing while pg.



has your supply gone down much yet? It may well be easier to wean once you have next to no milk.

I also cold-turkey weaned a toddler -- 3 1/2 yrs old--during a pregnancy. For her, it worked better than a more gradual approach. I had her down to twice a day, but she was always asking for more. When I just cut her off (after a week of talking about it now and then) she was much happier. In a few days, she had forgotten all about nursing.

But each child is different, so do what works for yours. Good luck.
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#12 of 12 Old 02-12-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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We are going through the same thing, and I so feel for you in this decision. My son is 22 months, and I am about 15 weeks pregnant. I went into pre-term labor at 31 weeks with Thomas, and was on lots of medication, bedrest and was hospitalized twice during those last 6 weeks. I had a cerclage done on Thursday to try and prevent PTL this time around, but weaning is our next step. On top of the rest, I also have hyperemesis, which is also a risk factor for preterm labor. I am already having contractions while nursing, and though I know that at this point they are unproductive, it's a risk I am not willing to take much longer.

We are down to the naptime and bedtime nursing, and I was really happy with that. But the last couple of weeks he has become more persistent. He says he needs a nap, when he is really just wanting to nurse, and is climbing in my lap to lift up my shirt, closing his eyes and saying, "Sleep, sleep," thoughout the day - knowng that "Nap" and "Sleep" are his nursing times. It has been really rough on both of us - physically and emotionally. I had hoped he would self-wean with the drop in milk supply (I also have hyperemesis, and have no milk left - NONE), but that hasn't happened. My only thought is that a cold-turkey weaning is the way to go from here. He's now discovered that he can nurse, and so he's being very persistent. It's just too confusing.

I'm just rambling. Just know you're not alone. I completely understand your decision, and know how tough it is to make. You are just doing what you believe to be best for both of your children, even if it's not the easiest thing to do. IMO, it would be much harder for our kids to have to deal with mama on bedrest or in the hospital for weeks at the end of pregnancy, or to have mama and daddy spending their hours at the hospital with a premature newborn, kwim?
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