Pregnant, breastfeeding 16 mo old, milk drying up, unbearable nights. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-20-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all...Sorry about the long post, I just feel like I need to have all the details to really get the advice I need. Hopefully someone will actually read through the whole thing!


I about 9 weeks pregnant with a very surprise pregnancy and my milk is already starting to dry up. When I try to hand express, I get a little bit on the right side, and one or two drops from the left. By the end of the day, I don't get anything from either side. I have a 16 month old who is no where near ready to wean. On top of this sudden unwanted weaning, she is also cutting her canines. She has been exclusively breastfed from birth...never had a bottle or pacifier in her life, and only occasionally drinks from a sippy or regular cup. She can basically only fall asleep nursing, she only occasionally falls asleep in the car. From about 6 months on she refused to be rocked to sleep. We co-sleep.


I especially notice the decrease in my supply at night. The past 3 nights or so, I have been completely dry by bed time. When I try to nurse her to sleep, she screams. When put her in her car seat, she screams and I feel bad after about a half hour and go home and try something else. She has been finally giving up around midnight, dry nursing for a few minutes and passing out since she is so exhausted. Then she wakes up at 2 am, and it starts over again. She asks for "boo-boos" and gets really upset when there is no milk. I try to give her water because her lips are literally dry from being so thirsty and she refuses it (I have tried it in 3 different types of sippies, a regular cup, a regular cup with a straw and with a medicine dropper). I try to walk around and cuddle with her, singing songs, etc., but she just screams and writhes away. I try taking a shower with her, and she just screams. My husband tries to take her and she just screams, "MAMA! MAMA!" . The only way we have been able to calm her down is to put on a movie or a show, and it is only a temporary fix because she won't fall asleep and it all just starts over again when I think she's tired enough to go back to sleep. Just like at midnight, after about 2 hours, she wears herself out enough to fall back asleep dry nursing. 


And then repeat again at 4 am.


I am at the end of my rope. Last night I got frustrated with her, which makes me feel horrible because I know she is so miserable and it isn't her fault. My husband works a job where he stands for 7 hours and lifts heavy objects, 6 days a week and I am a nanny for 2 girls (and I bring my daughter along) and we just feel too exhausted to function. On top of that, we live in the basement of my parents house, and 2 of my siblings live upstairs as well, all working, and even though they have all been SO nice about it, I know her screaming is keeping them up too.


Does anyone have any advice? My husband suggested giving her a bottle with goats milk we get from a local farmer, but it is way too late to try and introduce a bottle, right?


Thanks for reading!

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#2 of 5 Old 03-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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I would try the bottle actually.  I had a similar situation, though my ODD was older at the time than yours is now.  We ended up adding bottles of milk for bedtime and nighttime wakings; and though that brought its own problems (like eventually having to wean from the bottle), it did give us all a little rest which we desperately needed.


I did continue to nurse her on a very limited schedule, and not at all at night.  I'm not sure if you would really call it 'nightweaning' since we did have milk bottles available at night; but the frequency of her wakings decreased a great deal, which surprised me, though I've heard that from other moms who have nightweaned.  She pretty much went from nursing several times a night to waking up for a bottle of milk maybe once in three or four nights.

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#3 of 5 Old 03-21-2012, 09:00 AM
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I'm so glad I wandered in here!  My daughter is NO WHERE near wearing (6 mos. old) but she is so, so, so firmly attached to nursing herself back to sleep that I have already started to wonder just what the heck I'm going to do when it is time to wean.  I tried holding off on the nursing one night, recently, when she woke 40 minutes after bedtime and was looking to comfort suck for, oh, and hour or three and wouldn't take the bink.  She never takes the darn bink.  WE are talking about arched back, purple-faced gasping, choking, unmitigated rage.  Her hair stood on end.  (Side note:  I like this little girl.  I'm completely screwed, but I like a pissy female!)  So - I'm thinking a sippy cup of milk will be introduced from time to time at about a year, and maybe she'll accept that a substitute.  She can have a cup of milk at bedtime until she's 100 for all I care.   So glad I ran into this thread.


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#4 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 05:36 PM
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When we were in the same spot you are my DD would drink waterémilk from a cup so I would offer that.  But that doesn`t replace the comfort of nursing to sleep.  What I did was tell DD that it was owie for moma.  She really understood that as owies were huge in her life.

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#5 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

I'm so glad I wandered in here!  My daughter is NO WHERE near wearing (6 mos. old) but she is so, so, so firmly attached to nursing herself back to sleep that I have already started to wonder just what the heck I'm going to do when it is time to wean.

I wouldn't worry about when it's "time" to wean.  My older dd was (is) much like yours.   She is a POWERHOUSE.  And she really needed that nursing SO much when she was little--and she nursed hard core for at least 3 years. And it was fine.  It didn't feel weird at all, and I think it really (really, really) helped her through those early years.  I had to let go of when other people told me it was "time" to wean though.


OP, that sounds so hard!  I would try a bottle too, since maybe it will help her with her need to suck AND get her a little more nourishment at the same time?  Good luck!

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