A question for mama's of older nurslings/CLW'ers r/t maintaining supply while away. - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, i've always wanted to 'do' CLW, but i'm not really sure how practical that is at this point in time. my marriage just ended and i'm looking at a future of shared custody and i'm not sure how my supply is going to keep up with this. i dont really feel very enthusiastic about pumping for a 3 yr old!

if i'm separated from my nursling for 24 or 48 hrs at a time, what will that do to my supply? i really want to keep lactating and nursing him though, bc it's one way that we can reconnect after being apart for visitation. right now, he nightnurses and napnurses and will occasionally nurse if there's been a major catastrophe. there's so much change going on right now, i'd really like nursing to still be one of the constants in my kiddo's life right now. encouragement, and success stories from other moms who have gone thru this kind of thing are especially welcome.

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#2 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 04:38 AM
 
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I think that continued nursing is going to be very important during this time for your child (and you). It sounds like you're very commited to it so I just wanted to tell you that you can still nurse even if you lose your milk. During my last pregnancy I completely lost my milk for four months. My dd (2 yo at the time) didn't care at all. She still needed to nurse and that was important to her. So, I just wanted to make sure you know that even if you lose your milk, you can continue nursing. If it's important to your nursling, he won't let an empty boob deter him.

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Originally Posted by moss
i dont really feel very enthusiastic about pumping for a 3 yr old!
:LOL I wouldn't either!

If you are interested in trying to maintain your supply while he's gone you can drink Mother's Milk Tea made by Traditional Medicinals . I would think just a cup or two over the weekend he's gone would do the trick. Brewer's Yeast is good too. These are just a couple of suggestions that might fit in easily with your lifestyle already.

IMO though, I don't think you need to do anything extraordinary. Simply let him nurse if he wants to, even if there's little or no milk. These are just my thoughts. Please disregard if they're not helpful.

I wish you and your nursling luck in this time of transition for you all.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MamaAllNatural~yes, thank you that was very helpful!

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#4 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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Sorry you and your nursling are going through this. I second MamaAllNatural's suggestion to just keep nursing when he wants to. I would probably even offer after he's been away. My 5yo just went 5 days w/o nursing and when he nursed again, he assured me there was still milk. Your body will probably have to adjust to the nursing/not nursing cycle as well.
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#5 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 01:22 PM
 
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I went away for a week when my nurslings were almost 4 and 2 and a half and had no problem... no engorgement and there was still milk. went away for a few weekends as well with the same result - and they always went right back to nursing

when I was pregnant my milk dried up and my son nursed right through also....


and now no one has nursed since June and I still have milk :LOL

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#6 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 04:30 PM
 
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I agree that nursing when you are together will keep your supply up enough. Your supply should adjust but not diminish. When dd was skipping days at a time I always had milk for her when she did nurse. It wasn't until she was skipping weeks at a time (continuously) when my milk stopped coming in.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-12-2004, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks mama's i'm feeling very reassured right now.

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#8 of 14 Old 12-13-2004, 05:39 PM
 
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It also might be possible to work out a visitation schedual with shorter, more frequent visits, at least for the short term, if his father agrees to it. When my first husband and I first separated, he got the girls one afternoon a week and all day Sunday. We also lived less than a mile apart at the time- that obviously wouldn't be practical if you live much further apart.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#9 of 14 Old 12-13-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Sure you can do it! Your body will adjust.

I work 2 24 hour shifts per week as a firefighter. I nursed my dd for almost 6 years.

I stopped pumping on my shift when she was 15 months old.

My dh and I also took 2 trips without the kids during those 6 years she nursed. ONce to Hawaii for 2 weeks. No pumping and she returned to nursing when I walked in the door. She was 3.

Then again we were gone for 6 nights when she was 4. Again no pumping and she returned to nursing.

So, try it!
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#10 of 14 Old 12-13-2004, 09:20 PM
 
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I don't have personal experience (when DD started skipping days, DS was under 1.5 years so supply was never going to be an issue) but other people I have known have gone even YEARS with missing days, even a week or two when their nurslings were older.

Good luck I'm sorry you're going through this tough time!

 

 

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#11 of 14 Old 12-13-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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That would be me, my dd missed days of nursings starting around the age of 4 and then by 5 years she was pretty much every 1 or 2 weeks until she just weaned one day.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-13-2004, 11:23 PM
 
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when my partner and I split up JAden was 2.5 yrs I started working 80-100 a week and he had her over nights once or twoce a week.
I never lost my milk, infact often I would have to express milk in the middle of my night shift at the hospital...
I think continued nursing is so importtant to both of you right now, and your body will adjust.
I have even gone on the nurse thru a pregnancy and am tandem nursing my nurslings right now at 5.5yrs and 18 mths and its going great.
supply was never an issue. if you feel better about it though maybe follow some of the advice in PP's with brewers and nursing teas

best of luck mama
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#13 of 14 Old 12-14-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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Before my ds weaned completely (I think he has it's been over three weeks now) He would regularly go 24-36 hours without nursing. He wouldn't nurse at all if my mom was around. He was just too into grandma to slow down and cuddle with me. I also had two overnights were I was away (ds was with dh) and no problems. DS said there was milk and I still felt there was milk. I am pretty sure my milk has dried up now with no nursing and being 17 weeks pregnant.
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#14 of 14 Old 12-15-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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I've gone on numerous business trips in the past year (my son is 3 1/2, nurses in the morning and evening and maybe more on the weekend), between 2 and 6 nights away, and it gets easier all the time. The first couple of business trips, I needed to express in the morning and the evening (I just did hand expression in the bath), and the most recent trip I was on (3 nights away), I just needed to express in the evening, and not much at that. It was as if my body "knew" not to make more milk and adjusted to the situation, just as it had during other nursing changes (night weaning, etc).

There is a hormone that your milk ducts produce to signal a temporary halt to milk production, and your system will get more finely tuned as you have separations from your nursling. From my experience, I would say that it can definately be done, and the key when you're away is to express if you are engorged-- but not too much, or your body will start producing "make up" milk. You just want to express enough to keep your system active and communication that this is a less milk needed time. It will be fine-- I think that the breastfeeding mechanisms are quite hardy and easily able to adjust to changes in milk demands.

I wouldn't take any supply-enhancing herbs, though-- because these will not "train" your milk ducts to make less milk when it's not needed and will just leave you engorged when your nursling is not around, leaving you to pump. Your nursling will take care of increasing your supply when he is around-- as he empties your breasts, they will make more milk from him. When he's not around to empty them, they will not make more. That's exactly what you want.

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