Weaning & trying for a new baby
Hello lovely Moms! :)
My name is Florence~I am new to these forums and am excited to meet other Moms and take part in sharing wonderful insights and support!
My little Oliver is turning 10 months old next week~my husband and I would really love to start trying for a new baby soon. Of course, we would like to do so when the time is right for Oliver and I. I have not yet had my period and I am still nursing quite frequently. I would say about every 3-4 hours during the day, sometimes more depending on whether my little one is teething and needs comfort, or just wants some comfort and food. Oliver is already eating like crazy (everything!) and is having 3 meals in a day and sometimes snacks in between. My milk doesn't seem to be enough anymore, although I'm still producing quite a bit! At night time, the longest I have gone without feeding my little one is 5 hours or so. I nurse my little one to sleep for both his morning and afternoon nap, as well as his bedtime. I then snuggle into bed with my husband and when he wakes up, I snuggle into his bed (we have a mattress on the floor in his room) and nurse him to sleep again. Sometimes he will stay on the breast because I fall asleep so quickly. I would really like to try to nurse and then go back to my own bed at night, but I'm often too tired and sleep as been so important lately (I sometimes am so exhausted I have dizzy spells throughout the day and have little energy).
So that's a quick synopsis of my nursing life with my baby! I love it so much and would like to still nurse for as long as possible, but in a way so that I can hopefully get my period back and so that I'm lovingly transitioning my baby and I.
Do you have any insights on how I can get my period back while still nursing my little one? How long do you think it might take to get my period back? And what does it feel like to have your first period? It's been just so long for me!
Re: Weaning & trying for a new baby
Welcome to the forum!
I think the best way to get your period back while continuing to nurse is to be patient. Most nursing moms get their fertility back around the time their babies start eating a lot of solids and/or sleeping longer stretches at night. Your baby is young to be doing either one of those things. While you say he's "still nursing quite frequently" I actually think he's probably on the middle to lower end for frequency- both my kids nursed every 1-3 hours throughout the first year, and into the second.
The average time until return of fertility in a nursing mom is around 15.5 months. If you reach that point and there's still no sign of your period, you might want to work on getting your LO to eat more solid foods and you might want to consider night-weaning. Once your prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels drop low for around 6+ hours, estrogen levels will tend to rise, prompting a fertile cycle.
Feeling dizzy and exhausted might be a side-effect of disrupted sleep, but there are other possible explanations. Are you taking a prenatal vitamin? And have you seen your doctor? One thing that springs to my mind- because I have this problem- is thyroid issues, which can cause dizziness, exhaustion, and a host of other symptoms. IMO, tests on thyroid function should be performed at least once during the postpartum year.
Re: Weaning & trying for a new baby
Can your husband take over some of the night time soothing? Your baby is still young for night weaning but if you can get him to fall back asleep the first time with dh and go in yourself to nurse later, stretching your time without nursing to close to six hours, your period may return. I do agree with mommal to look into other possible reasons for your extreme exhaustion.
I'd recommend reading the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hillary Flower for a realistic look at nursing while pregnant. (I'm assuming you're wanting to nurse while pregnant since you're wanting to get pregnant quickly but still wanting to nurse as long as possible?) It does go through various gentle weaning techniques if you don't want to nurse as soon as you find yourself pregnant. I was surprised to find myself pregnant last month with a still nursing 2 yo. How quickly my supply has gone down and how fast the nursing aversion set in had never a little shocking to say the least. So I think it would help you to know ahead of time what to expect.
Re: Weaning & trying for a new baby
A loving thank you to you both, for your responses! :)
Mommal, I really appreciate your insights. After much reflection and some loving chats with my husband, we have decided that we will let go and let God. I too think it's best to be patient and just wait for my period to come back on its own time. I trust that when it does come back, it will be the best time for it to return. I have a feeling that right now God just wants me to be present to and care for my baby and my own self. After all, the world health organization does recommend at least 2 years before trying for another baby, as it takes about that amount of time for a woman to fully heal from birth (my joints and hips are still achy at times) and for a little one and its Momma to fully bond and connect. Your are right that my little one is still too little to miss out on any feedings. I truly do want to give my baby all the love and care I possibly can, and breastfeeding is one of the ways we bond deeply and one of the ways that I can soothe and comfort him.
I just cannot wait for the day when it all happens naturally because then I will know it's meant to be and that we are all so ready to welcome a new little one into our lives. Hopefully by then Oliver will be old enough to understand & help out too. :)
I do try to nurse as frequently as possible~it's often every hour or 2 hours too, but it all depends on the day, where we are, how Oliver is feeling, and how excited and interested he is in what he's doing. He's not yet 10 months and he's already walking up a storm and trying to talk like crazy! He's eating solids but not too much~he enjoys food so much and is not a picky eater. He always wants food and is always eager to try what we are having (as long as it's safe for him, we let him have some).
Thank you for the tip regarding the dizziness! I really appreciate it! We are going to see the doctor tomorrow for Oliver's 10 month check up, and so I will inquire about doing a test then. I hope it's nothing serious but just being exhausted. That of course can be serious too and needs fixing! I just yearn for a night where I can sleep at least 5 hours straight! It will come in time when Oliver is ready.
Zaynethepain, thanks for the suggestion! :) I have thought about it, and have even thought about letting my husband feed Oliver my milk through a bottle at bedtime. However, Oliver is so used to me nursing him to sleep and tending to him in the night that I have a feeling it might be too hard for him. I have tried having my husband take over soothing him at night when after feeding he gets excited and won't fall asleep, but he just cries for me. I would really love for my husband to take over some night care but he works 10 hour days and really needs his sleep. I can nap in the day with Oliver, so I just tend to him myself so that my husband can get a good sleep. I wonder when he won't be so dependent on nursing to sleep and how long he might continue it for. I don't mind it, but sometimes I just get so exhausted doing it 3 times a day and then being with him all day and all night. Sometimes I'd just like a little break, but in the most loving way possible because I do love being there for my baby!
Congratulations on being pregnant! How exciting!!! I'm so happy for you that you can still nurse your 2 year old! :) I'm sorry though, to hear that your milk supply has gone down so much. What a change for both you and your little one. Best wishes to you!!! Thanks for the book recommendation~I will definitely look into it! I think I will wait to get pregnant after my period comes back naturally. :)