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Thread: Do I need to wean my baby?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    70

    Question Do I need to wean my baby?

    Hello ladies,
    I have a situation here. I have a 13 months old baby, she BFs and we both enjoy it very much. So far, so good. But I haven't had my period back since she was born, and for reasons that are beyond the scope of this forum, I need to have it as soon as possible. I am trying to reduce BFing during the day, which is easy as my baby will start going to daycare next week, when I will go back to work full time. But the night sessions will be harder to deal with: we co-sleep and BFing is the most convenient way for me to make her go back to sleep when she wakes up, which happens two-three times every night. I am afraid that this will prevent me from getting my period back. Do I need to wean her completely?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,355

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    Do you want to wean because you want to get pregnant again? That's totally not beyond the scope of the forum- we talk about stuff like that all the time! And if you do want to wean due to wanting to have another baby, what sort of gap in between kids is ideal for you, and what is too much time?

    Once you're going 6+ hours without nursing or pumping- and it doesn't matter if these are daytime hours or nighttime ones- you are very likely to get your period back within a month or two. Also, once a baby is eati lots of solids and really reducing her dependence on your milk, you're likely to get your fertility back. And the average time for return of fertility for a breastfeeding mom is around 15.5 months. I'm thinking that with the reduced daytime nursing, the fact that your LO is probably eating a lot of solids, and the fact that she's already 13 months old, you're likely to see your period return in a month or two even if you do absolutely nothing further to encourage it.

    Of course, there is a small percentage of women who do not get their fertility back until their babies are completely or almost completely weaned. It's pretty rare but it does happen. So if you really need to speed up your timetable for the return of fertility, it might make sense to actively try to cut out those night sessions and see what happens. But, again, I doubt that you really need to do that as a first step.

    ETA: if you have a reason for wanting your period back that is really beyond the scope of the forum, I totally understand. And if it's a relationship issue, the is a "Relationships and Sexuality" forum here that you can request to join. It's only available to members who have been approved to join it, so it's not as "public" as the forum at large.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    70

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    Thank you, mommal, for your kind and warm reply. The reason why I need my period is related to a fertility treatment. It's a rather complicated story.
    My baby eats solids, but not a lot. She's never been a ferocious eater, she eats more like a little bird, bit by bit. Hopefully this will change when she goes to daycare and sees other kids eating. It would help with weaning (or partially weaning) if she ate more.
    But I'm not looking forward to weaning, so I really hope it will work as you say! I will reduce BFing to a couple of day sessions, and I'll wait a month or so, and if nothing happens, I will react. I am under a bit of pressure, argh!
    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,355

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    Sorry about the pressure, mama! Weaning is emotional and complicated enough, even when there are no time constraints.

    I am willing to bet that your LO will pick up her interest in solids in just a month or so. Until 12 months, all babies need is breastmilk (or formula) and the transition from needing nothing but mama's milk to needing a lot of solids can be a very gradual one. But in my experience, kids definitely eat more when they are in a daycare/preschool/playgroup setting. Peer pressure is great for encouraging a kid to try something new!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    In case it is relevant, I went through fertility treatments to donate an egg when my daughter was less than 12 months old (why there was a time crunch for me is also a complicated story ). I did not need to wean in order to go through the treatments - the drugs they were giving me were able to override any signals the nursing was giving (but I did have to wait until my period came back, as you are doing). My doctor did want me to wean, but that was because he was concerned about the drugs passing to my baby. After we discussed and considered the risks, we just continued to nurse as normal. I was able to donate an egg and my sister gave birth to a healthy baby who is now almost 2 years old. I think mommal's advice is good - chances are your period will come soon. But I hear you on the stress of waiting for your period when there is a time crunch!!

    Anyway, not sure if it's relevant information for you, but in case it is...

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
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    70

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    That was very relevant and helpful, thank you. I have to say that your openess when talking about the subject of egg donation caught me by surprise. Here in Europe this is almost a tabú. May I ask, where did you undergo that treatment? In all the countries I've been asking (all of them in Europe) it is not legal to know the identity lf the donor. I need a donor myself, and I have two sisters, but due to current legislation they can't help me. So an anonymous donor helped me with my daughter, and I want it to be the same person who helps again with my future children (I must give my baby some siblings!). But apparently this person wants to move over, or so they tell me at the clinic, so if I want to do this, it has to be soon. That is why I have this time pressure to get my period again: no period, no treatment, and so my donor will disappear... Argh! And of course I had all kinds of problems to BF during the first months, and now it's going so well but I have to quit, ah ah!! :-S But ok, hopefully my period will come before I quit completely.
    Ah, it feels good to talk about all this as if it was perfectly normal. Because for me it is perfectly normal, it is my everyday life. Thank you once again, leche ladies, for your support on so many fronts!

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    I'm in Canada, and the treatment was headed by the Ottawa Fertility clinic where my sister is (I was supervised by a clinic in Winnipeg until the actual donation took place).

    Here in Canada, you can't give or receive payment for egg donation, but if you can find a private donor, there is no requirement that it be anonymous. There is a long process, including that my husband and I had to meet with a psychologist and have her approve that we understood what we were getting into. My sister and I talked about how to handle it with the kids and decided that we wanted to be open with them about being genetically half-siblings, so it's not something I hide.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    I don't think you do. When I went back to work fulltime at 14months my periods came back for good. I didn't pump, and we still breastfed on demand while together but being away from him for 8-10 hours a day was enough of a break to bring my period back PERMANANTLY.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*yaiza View Post
    Ah, it feels good to talk about all this as if it was perfectly normal.
    It is perfectly normal!!! I am sorry the laws in your country and the time crunch with your donor make this all so difficult. And if it helps, egg donation is not a taboo in a lot of the rest of the world. In the US, it's very common. Your donor can be a family member or a friend or even someone you pay. Whether or not that last is a good thing is debatable, I guess... But what matters is that no matter how you become a mommy- with your own biological material, through adoption, through surrogacy, through egg donation- you are still a mommy and that's all that matters.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Do I need to wean my baby?

    My period didn't return until after I night-weaned my LO (at around 17.5 months). I stopped pumping when she was 13 months, so there were 8+ hour breaks in nursing/pumping sessions, but that didn't help.

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