Stats: single sahMom of 3 (DS 10, DD 3.5, DS 10mos)
I've had it with nursing my 3.5 year old! I don't want to quite because she obviously needs it. Her dad and I seperated in Nov. and since then it is her main source of security. We've cut back to nursing just at bedtime, but this is clearly not enough, so now I'm trying the don't ask, don't refuse...but she wants to nurse upwards of 10 times a day. I can't deal with that! I can't deal mostly because her latch is funny and it is really irritating. It doesn't hurt, but it's like she stimulates a nerve ending or something and makes me want to crawl right out of my skin (a lot like when I was pregnant and nursing her but I'm definitely not pregnant).
I've decided to stick with it. I know she'll wean eventually...I know she will. But it seems like it will be a while down the road and I'm just not sure how to keep going. If any other method of calming her worked (and she really only wants to breastfeed...when I offer anything else once she's asked...like cuddles or a book, she's not interested in that and will FLIP OUT until I nurse her. I belive strongly that this means she NEEDS to nurse not that she's manipulating me or power struggling with me, so don't go there.) I'm just trying to figure out how I can continue to meet this need.
When she is not nursing I've tried to take extra time to be with her...catch her before the NEED arises, but this doesn't take away from the time she wants to nurse, not to mention that she really only wants to spend time with me when she's nursing...otherwise she's insistent on being independent, playing on her own with her brothers or with friends in our complex. My nipples feel so overstimulated! My baby (10 months) doesn't cause the same sensation when he nurses. This could be due to the fact that my DD has a severe overbite and nothing we've done to remedy her latch works.
I feel like I'm just venting...I've talked with LLL leaderfriends and other members. I just feel a bit at my wits end. Especially since tandem nursing this morning caused me to go over the edge and squeal, "I can't nurse you two anymore!!!"
How can I take care of myself so I don't get to this level of frustration? I'd like to be able to surrender to this.
Wow, that sounds really rough. I'm sorry to hear things are so difficult right now.
I can relate to the suckles being different. My 20 month old's latch still feels like a baby latch to me. It never bothers me at all. DD's does though sometimes (she's 4). I find it's less irritating if I have a lot of milk...it's when the milk is lower that the feeling starts getting to me. I know stress can contribute to the milk supply going down. Eating well, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest are really important to milk supply. So, if you think your milk supply might be a little lower than usual it might be something to look into it. I also really like Mother's Milk tea to help up my supply. www.traditionalmedicinals.com
I think it's really great you're recognizing it as a need in your daughter and trying to work through it with her. In your situation though if you feel like you're going to lose it w/as many nursings as she's taking every day don't feel bad about setting some limits. Maybe for her she could accept it as part of routines. We nurse every morning when we get up, then at naptime (or storytime or whatever), and then at bedtime. Then if she's hurt or upset about something. I'm just throwing some ideas out. I'm sure others will be more helpful.
Hang in there.
Thanks. I needed to hear those things.
I think my water drinking has gone down...but I do eat a pretty well balanced diet (which can be a real challenge when I've got so many other needs to meet!).
Today was better. One day at a time.
I think we ALL have days like that!! With natural weaning, mamas get more opportunities to have "days like that" include frustrations with nursing!! I think it's OK for our kids to see us losing patience once in a while and then pulling ourselves together. It helps teach them that it's OK for them to have "bad days" without being "bad people."
I've found that nursing feels less intense when I have more milk or the child isn't as hungry/thirsty. Having a drink and a snack- and offering the same to the nursling- can make things a lot more comfortable for me. Even if she still needs to nurse for a long time for emotional reasons, it's a different kind of suckle when she's not also looking for a tummyful of milk.
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