My DD is going to be 2 in a few weeks. We have been doing great with nursing, in spite of me working 5 days a week most of her life. At this point, I nurse her at night, in the morning, and I pump in the afternoon if I'm at work or, if I'm with her, I nurse before nap, and sometimes after nap if she falls asleep nursing. My plan has been to continue this until the summer, then start weaning slowly, with the goal of having her completely weaned by the time she turns 3. I nursed my oldest daughter pretty successfully until she turned 2.5, then I quickly weaned her so I could try for #2 (doctor's orders... that's another story).
Unfortunately I'm suddenly having a ton of problems. I am now only pumping 2 ounces, even when I wait until late to pump. Plus I am having a terrible time with dry, cracking skin on my nipples, and I'm feeling like my DD is barely drinking when I do get to nurse her. I'm worried I'm drying up, and I'm worried about the cracking skin that doesn't seem to be getting better.
I have never used Lanolin (it didn't feel okay when I tried it with my first), but instead use MotherLove's nipple cream. I try to use it after every nursing (at least 2 out of 3), and I soak my nipples in warm salt water every few nights. It gets better and worse, but it never gets batter and stays better. I think it's due to the cold weather, but I've never had this much trouble before.
Now my mom (primary caregiver) and husband are urging me to wean her. I know that with her being 2 and loving cheese (is 1 cheesestick a day enough dairy?), it probably would be okay at this point, but I want to wean her on my own (and her own) terms, not because of problems.
Other info - I'm 42, so I don't know how much my age may affect my ability to produce milk. I had no trouble with my first, 3 years ago, but I am older now. Also, I did change BCPs recently, but I have seen no change in my milk production since then. This problem started before that. No other changes to my meds. I did start Weight Watchers about a month ago, but I tried to do their nursing mothers program. I'm wondering if maybe they're calculations aren't right for mothers with much older toddlers, but I would think that it could only be wrong in a way that wouldn't hurt me - i.e. I would be getting too many calories, not too few. But still I went off WW a couple weeks ago and haven't seen a change.
I need help! Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for me? I know there was a lot in there. My main questions are:
1- how do I get my nipples to stop cracking and stay healthy?
2- am I drying up? / how do I stop that?
3- if I do have to wean her, how much supplemental milk does she need at this point?