(Update posted below - this is my original post)
A bit of background - Em is 15 mos old and I work FT, so we nurse whenever he wants when I am home. Even with me offering in the am/pm and on weekends, he only nurses between 2-8 times in a 24 hour period - this includes nursing to bed and usually 1-2 times in the night or early morning in bed.
So - I am sad because for the last 2 nights he has not wanted to nurse to sleep. There have been occasional nights in the past when he would have a nice long nurse and then not fall asleep on the boob (then he'd go to sleep with DP singing/rocking, etc.), but this was different.
Last night he popped off after just a few minutes and said "bed" and pointed. I said "are you sure? you are all done nursing?" and he said & waved "bye-bye" to my boob and pulled my shirt down over it. So, I followed his lead and put him in bed. Then tonight he just kept thrashing around, asking to get down and walk, I tried in the chair, in the bed, even with him standing up next to me and he just kept popping off and wanting to do other things, and finally walked over to his bed and said "bed." Without ever really getting a real nurse in. Both nights I have gotten all teary and worried with what-ifs? (My only consolation was that today was one of the days when I pick him up from childcare/get off work earlier, so he had asked to nurse when we got home and that went normally.)
I am freaking out a bit that he could be on the path to weaning when I never considered that to even be a remote possibility before 2 yrs ... I was hoping to eventually get pg (I’m not now) and tandem and all that.... If he drops the nursing to bed, there will be at least 2 nights a week when I get home from work late enough that he won't get to nurse that evening at all, and if I only nurse him once in 24 hours, could my milk dry up?
I know I could be overreacting (also maybe my tears=PMS), but my questions/concerns are:
- Is this the beginning of a nursing strike? He's never had one before, so I don't know what it looks like
- Could it be because he just started walking this weekend? Anybody else have this?
- If it is a strike, what do I do?
- Could his loss of interest indicate my supply has dropped too much already (I stopped pumping a little over a month ago)? It does take a while for the let-down now; maybe he doesn't want to wait?? Both times were also on the boob that has always made less, so could it dry up in one and not the other?
Please help me feel like this isn't the beginning of the end...
I have very little experience in this area. But I see that no one has replied so I wanted to bump it for you.
Does he nurse during the day? Has he nursed since you posted?
I hope to hear that you are doing well.
oh, they wax and wane! (sp?)
keep offering, offering, offering your little one the nursing and I think it's likely it's not over.
I think it's lovely that you have such a great nursing relationship. And, I think the milestones (walking, etc.) can throw EVERYTHING off.
Take it one day at a time, kwim?
I'll throw in my 2 cents and guess it is the walking. That is something so huge for them.
I don't know the answers to your other questions about supply though, sorry.
Sending good thoughts your way.
thanks for replying, ladies ...
The lack of responses here was adding to my pms pity-party, but then I made up my mind that no one replying must mean that everyone thought i was overreacting and i convinced myself that I probably am. I guess I should have posted somewhere other than CLW?
In any case, my update is that yes, he has asked to nurse once in the morning since I posted (tho the real test will be this weekend when I can "offer, offer, offer" since we'll be together). Last night was the third night, and I nursed him to sleep wonderfully on the boob that always makes more milk. So, probably a mixture of just wanting to walk around and lack of patience for the "slow" side. But I am still concerned that the slow side supply could suffer even more if he keeps not staying on it long enough to get much milk. So, I am going to try giving him that side for his occasional marathon in the bed night time sessions to see if that helps. (like last night when after going to sleep jsut fine, he slept pretty poorly despite a couple more night nursings).
thanks again. we'll see.
I hadn't noticed the supply issue. I think it may be related to your cycle. See below for a Kellymom link to Natural remedies. You'll need to scroll about 1/3 of the way down to see dosage info on a Calcium Magnesium supplement. If you aren't familiar enough with your cycle to time it you can take it daily.
Have you tried Oatmeal or Fenugreek?
Also, further below is a link to info on the Marmet/massage technique for encouraging letdown. You might also want to to try breast compressions while nursing to encourage flow.
Finally, would you consider co-sleeping on the slow side. That way you'd get more stimulation at a time when it would be less frustrating for him. I know co-sleeping isn't for everyone but it's been a life-saver for me as a full time WOHM, especially now that 15 month old DD2 is reverse cycling.
Kellymom - Natural Treatments for Nursing Moms
SCROLL DOWN TO
“Low Milk Supply associated with (AF) … : Calcium/Magnesium supplement
“Some women experience a drop in milk supply from ovulation (mid-cycle) until the first day or two of the next menstrual period. A woman's blood calcium levels gradually decrease during this period of time, and for some women the drop in blood calcium causes a drop in milk supply. For women who have this problem, calcium/magnesium supplements may be helpful.”
Marmet Technique to assist letdown
Good luck and keep us posted.
Glad to see that things are looking up and I will be sending warm milky thoughts your way for the weekend!
I have been MIA on this board.
You lil one may do this again in the future. As others have said.. offer, offer and offer. It is most the time a nursing strike until at least 2 years.
I hope that helps.
Hi again ladies - you asked for an update after the weekend - so here it is:
Em is definitely NOT weaning or striking. I do think his balking at nursing several times last week was due to the stimulation of being a brand-new walker leading to not having the patience to wait for the let-down on my "slow" boob. The nights at the end of the week when I offered the milky-er boob, he nursed to sleep just fine. So, I have been nursing him more frequently, especially at night on the slower side to try to build up, and it seems to be helping a little. Previous to this whole situation, I think I had been favoring the "big" side for night feedings because it is more comfortable for me to lay that way ... which probably made the small side slower to begin with.
I also offered, offered, offered this weekend and he has been asking, asking, asking, too! Several times this week already Yesterday a.m. before I left for work he asked to nurse without me offering, then nursed well (on the slow side!) and then came off to comment on things in the bedroom. I thought he was done until he started signing & saying "help." When I asked him why he needed help he pointed at my other boob and at the clip of the nursing tank. I said - "You want to nurse more on the other side?" and he said "SIDE!" all loud with a big fat - which he's never called it before. Today he kept saying "side" "side" "side" when he wanted to nurse.
So. um. yeah. I was over reacting before
(plus i did get my period today *finally* so it was proably also cycle related supply drop).
Thanks for humoring me, and for the support because at the time it really did feel like the world was coming to an end...
I wouldn't assume you were overreacting. I'd give yourself credit for spotting a potential problem and nipping it in the bud.
Good for you. Glad to hear things are working out well but make sure to continue offering the "slow side".
Call me the next time this happens!!!!! I didn't notice this when you first posted, so I had no idea.
ok, beyond that, I'm glad it all worked out. J did that at about 16 months and I kinda freaked out, but it resolved itself and all was fine for a couple more years.
I also wanted to let you know that there are mothers who only nurse on one side after a while, so if your slow side continues to be slow and it's supply dwindles, that doesn't mean it's over. I have a friend here who only nurses on one side because her ds basically rejected the other one. He's about 18 months old now. A couple of months ago, he only wanted the "rejected" side for a weekend, and then he was back to his preferred side. She was confused by that, .
I miss you!
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