Hello! My name is Jamie, and I am the mother of a one year old. Two saturdays ago she broke her collar bone. For about four days before that, she was barely nursing. If she did, it was a quick suckle and off. At night she nurses normally, but I am petrified my supply will be affected because of her on and off nursing sessions. I thought she would want the breast more after her injury, but nope. Yesterday, she began taking the breast for about three minutes on my left side, and one minute on the right. This happened twice, I believe. This is down from four solid nursing sessions a day. She has always been an efficient nurser, straight out of the NICU. I think a lot of it may have to do with to much going on around her, but even taking her into a dark quiet room, she wants out because she knows sissy(11yrs) is downstairs. Its early so forgive the grammar and spelling. I'd appreciate any advice! Also, I bedshare and babywear, and have an eleven year old who just got her period. Can you direct me to any active boards?
I honestly wouldn't worry about your milk supply. Your little one will build it back up if she wants it back. I know there are lots of opinions out there about the best weaning age, but mine is she will be just fine if she is finished. She'll let you know:) Don't force her to nurse if she is done. I had one early weaner, a few later weaners, and one who refused to nurse at all. None of them remember a thing and all are healthy as kids can be.
I don't know if there are boards for moms of 11yo daughters, but I do remember when my oldest two joined the lady club:) One was happy to talk to me about all the details, the other was very embarrassed about it and wouldn't say a word...I had to guess when she needed supplies. What kept us parents sane was quietly keeping track of cycles. That way if a daughter was acting emotional and irrational, we knew it was hormones and not an issue with school or friends or anything like that. I kept hot cocoa on hand for those days...just slipping a hot cuppa on her desk after an outburst was all she needed. She never had to hear us say, "Are you on your period or something?"
Your baby may be in pain from the way she is lying while nursing on the broken bone. Broken collar bones can be painful! First, treat the pain! Pain is not only a signal that something is wrong, but is damaging to development and to happiness. If she needs Motrin, give her that, if she needs a baby dose of codeine or hydrocodone, talk to your Ped and insist on that. None of these meds are toxic and certainly unrelenting pain is MORE toxic than virtually any medication.
If she broke her right collar bone (I'm guessing because you didn't say) lying on her right side (your left breast) may be painful to her. You may need to change positions to make nursing more comfortable, after you have adequately treated the pain.
I'm a Lactation Consultant and I know from many years experience: Women don't ask for help IF they think it's "the right time" to wean. They just let it happen. YES, sick babies can not want to nurse and it CAN effect your supply! I don't quite understand those who are so anxious to tell others "just quit, it's fine because I did it that way." It may have been "fine" for them, but YOU are asking for help, and people who already have made up their minds don't do that. But, weaning during a sickness or after an injury isn't natural, as these are times when small children need the breast more than ever.
She is still nursing when she is sleeping or sleepy. That GOOD! That tells me she is far from ready to wean! The pain and added distraction of her really fun sister downstairs may be adding to the problem. When the pain is treated but the distraction issue is still there this is common, but no one should wean a baby who really isn't ready simply because they are at a distractable age! It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This passes and continuing to nurse, if the baby still needs it, always pays off in the end.
You can try to really cut down on distraction: Let her play with her sister before the nursing until she's really tired, put in black out shades in the bedroom to simulate night time, try having her sister in the room while you nurse, but if that only causes the baby to still not want to nurse, then let the baby play with her as much as she wants and then have her sister leave, make kind of a big deal of saying "Good bye" and then have her be very quiet so the baby will nurse. (I remember my aunt making me pretend to leave the house, as her kids, at this age, wouldn't nurse if they still thought I was over. I would actually kiss the babies, say "Bye Bye, see you tomorrow!" and walk out the door. Then my aunt would take the baby into a quiet room and they would happily nurse. In a few weeks they all outgrew this phase.
My own oldest DD did this when my DH was home, I'd have him wait to say hello to her when he got home until after she had taken her late afternoon feeding. If she knew Papa was home, she would just twist around looking for him and even calling, nothing funnier than a 9 month old baby yelling "Papa? PAPA!" , even if he was in an other room. I wasn't "forcing" her to nurse, (silly, as it CAN'T be done) I was making the environment more amendable to her curious nature so she could still get what I, as an adult knew she still needed. In a few weeks, this phase changed and if I had "let her wean" when I knew in my heart she wasn't ready.... we both would have been heart broken.
You'll know when she's ready to wean. How? It won't hurt, and you won't question it. IF you are wondering and asking about it, it isn't time yet.
My advice; treat the pain and do what you can for the distract-ability for now. Both will pass and if you persevere, your baby will still be getting what she needs when these challenges are over. And, the challenges will end. And your baby will still have the breast and the milk she still needs.
Good luck and Blessings.