Well, I could seriously write a tome but I will try to keep this short. My current toddler nursling is my 3rd child. I nursed her two sisters until each of them were around 4 years old. I really treasure that special time with each of them and want to avoid pushing weaning if at all possible. So, when my first two were nursing toddlers I was doing very badly with an anxiety disorder and I feel that in some ways the frequent surges of adrenaline and blood sugar disruptions of anxiety let me get away with treating my body worse while breastfeeding.
This time around I am doing significantly better with anxiety, managed to stop postpartum weight loss at 115lb. rather than 98lb. as I had with the other two girls (I'm 5'1 so it's a healthy weight for me). Thing is, I am exhausted. Not in a pale, panting for breath, anemic kind of way but in a shaky legs, mildly absentminded, heavyheaded, perhaps low blood pressurey kind of way. I have always struggled with eating enough so I really need to make goals for myself to get enough. When pregnant I needed 2,000 plus to feel decent and gain appropriately. That said all the calculators and guidelines online seem to think that 500 extra calories is the most you will ever need to breastfeed and your needs will drop off after your child hits 6 months. Well, my toddler eats some solids but she nurses, ALOT. I lose weight at 2000 calories a day.
So, I guess I am curious as to whether other moms have tracked their caloric intake and have some idea what it really takes to feel energetic. Also, I don't have normal thirst cues so have been making a real effort to drink enough lately...still not doing great but better.
I am a tiny bit of a hypochondriac so also working hard to convince myself that breastfeeding is very physically demanding and that it is possible to feel pretty run down just from nursing. I have pretty much no contact with any women IRL who have nursed on demand past 12 months so no point of reference.
Wow, congratulations if you got through all that. Probably more than you needed to know.