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Thread: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health problems.

  1. #1

    Exclamation Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health problems.

    My daughter and I have had a bumpy road in our breastfeeding experience. She came 6 weeks early, and getting her from bottle to breast took MONTHS. And so, so much stress. It was literally the HARDEST thing I have ever done; It took more patience than I ever knew I had. I would like to say that it has been a wonderful (which, in many aspects it has been) experience, but I am at my wit's end right now. Just a few months after she started comfortably nursing, I began having trouble with my kidneys. I've stuck it out, and postponed tests just to give her the nutrition she needs. Now, at 14 months, she is incredibly emotionally attached. She still primarily nurses. She still nurses about 3 times a night. She's not all that interested in solids yet. She won't take a bottle or cup. I don't know what to do. I didn't want this to end so abruptly, and traumatically. I truly believe in baby led weaning, but my body just needs a break- I'm so run down. Please- advice, tips, experience- how can I get my little one weaned as quickly (and as painlessly) as possible? Are there things I can do to decrease my supply? So maybe she'll be less interested? My mother-in-law says that I can just leave my little one with her for a day, and she'll try offering the bottle. I've heard this referred to as a "weaning vacation". She's never been babysat though, and I really don't want to traumatize her. I have a feeling that there isn't an easy way out of this situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    Are you looking to wean primarily so that you can get these tests done, or because you're feeling run down from all the nursing? If it's the former, I would contact the Infant Risk Center http://www.infantrisk.com/, (806)-352-2519. They can give you a definitive answer as to whether or not the tests you need- and any medications you may need to take- are contraindicated during breastfeeding. It's pretty common for moms to get inaccurate information about whether or not a medication is safe for nursing, so it makes sense to check with the experts. If you want wean because you intrinsically need to wean, that's fine! I just don't want you to wean due to bad medical advice.

    At 14 months, you might simply start by night-weaning. A lot of the moms on this forum have used the Jay Gordon method (http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html) or something like it in order to eliminate the night-nursing. Once you drop the night feedings, you might find that you have a lot more energy for day-time demand. But if you get to the point where you're not nursing at night and still need to wean, then you face the more difficult challenge of mother-led daytime weaning. Night-weaning is usually a little easier because the baby's basic mode is sleep, so she usually doesn't fight so hard to nurse. During the day, your best friend is distraction, since that's baby's basic daytime mode! When baby comes looking to nurse, offer a snack or a sippy cup or a game. Enlist helpers- if grandma can be around to take charge of baby during those times you don't want to nurse, that's ideal. And stay away from your habitual nursing spots. The more time you spend out and about, and away from your favorite nursing chair, the less often baby will be cued to nurse.

    Drop one daytime feeding at a time, wait a couple of days, and then drop another. Weaning vacations are not recommended with young babies, because your supply is high and you're likely to get engorged and risk nasty things like plugged ducts and mastitis, which will only make weaning more unpleasant and a bigger health risk to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    Agree that weaning gradually and with love is most comfortable for mom and baby.

    This is hard and I feel for ya. Good thinking to find ideas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    West Salem, Ohio

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    A few days before DD3's 1st birthday we were invited to a B-day party at a bar so my sister offered to watch my girls for me. I was thinking that we would just take the little one with us in case she needed me. But I decided to let my sister watch her as well and to my surprise she was the best one. It may seem like she isn't ready to be away, but maybe she is. If you are concerned about leaving her then stay close by so your MIL can call if your LO isn't handling it well and does need you. Set limits on things for your MIL, so she knows when you want her to call.
    Also I personally wouldn't bother with a bottle now, I let my 12 month old drink from a regular glass with my help. And she has a soft spout sippy and a straw one. She likes the one with handles the best
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  5. #5

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    I suppose it's more so about just generally feeling worn down. And most of that is coming from the stress of not having any control over my health, being in pain all the time, etc. As far as the tests go- I've already had a few. This test that I've been postponing is one that will check the function of my kidney- to see how much exactly it is functioning. Also, I'm planning to do some cleansing- which isn't safe to do while nursing, because toxins can pass through breastmilk. I've tried pumping- my let down reflex just doesn't work with that. I pumped for over 30 minutes and got less than an ounce. Aside from that, even if I was able to pump for 24-48 hours.. it would be a struggle to cold turkey not nurse for that long. It would be incredibly stressful to get my daughter to consume anything. With kidney problems, the last thing I need is more stress. I just wish this was over and done with. However, I did try something different last night. My daughter has never been babysat, so I was definitely going out on a limb by doing this. Especially since my husband and I are very strict about diet, and not allowing our little one watch tv- it was somewhat unsettling to leave her. Anyhow, I left her with my Mother-in-law for two hours. When I got back, she had drank HALF of her bottle. Which, was only about 3 ounces- but, it's a start! Although I am a bit uncomfortable with this, it will be best for my little one in the long run. I'm planning to leave her with my mother in law for two hours every evening- so hopefully, she'll get more use to taking a bottle/cup. And maybe in a week or so, leaving her for four hours? Please tell me what you guys think of this. I'm so scared of losing the wonderful bond me and my little girl have. When I went to pick her up last night, she was behaving very strangely. Perhaps because she felt like abandoned her? Maybe I'm over analyzing this? Tell me your thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    cold turkey weaning is really hard on mom and baby. Unless it is medically needed-which it very rarely is- probably best to avoid going cold turkey.

    It sounds as if you think nursing is what is making you feel drained. Certainly many mothers assume this. But I have always found that idea questionable. It is biologically normal to nurse children well past this age. Presumably our bodies are equipped to do so.

    You are the mother of a 14 month old. This is a very difficult and exhausting time for many mothers, nursing or not. I personally found the age between 12 and 24 months the most challenging time as a mother by far. Your daughter is still a baby, she still needs you like a baby does, yet she is starting to do 'big kid' things like walk, talk, exert her will, etc. She does not look so much like a baby as she once did. She enjoys repetitive activities that make many a mom go mad, etc. etc.

    I don't know anything about cleanses and toxins in breastmilk etc. I have heard this, of course, but I have heard lots of nonsense about breastfeeding and nutrition, even that one should not even diet when nursing which is utter nonsense. This article indicates that a colon cleanse is not typically a concern http://www.livestrong.com/article/47...eding-mothers/

    but of course anything you ingest could potentially be unsafe for you or your baby. And if you are fasting, that is potentially dangerous for you and your milk production. So it depends on what you are planning to do.

    Why not try simple diet changes and finding more time to rest? it also may very much help to read a good book on child development so you understand what is normal at this age. Maybe Mothering your nursing toddler or your one year old by Ames and Ilg.

    good books on weaning
    how weaning happens
    the nursing mothers guide to weaning

  7. #7

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    My feelings of worn-down-ness are definitely just coming from being ill; I've been ill/in constant pain for nearly seven months. I don't feel tired of nursing at all. In fact, if I felt better I would nurse my little one as long as she felt necessary. But the stress of chronic pain, and anxiety that comes along with having a health problem is really (really, really) starting to wear on me. I've got another CAT scan and a renal-graph scheduled, and pumping and dumping is no walk in the park- even for just 24 hours. I cant produce anything when I pump, and my little one won't eat! As far as the cleansing goes- I already eat a very clean diet, but I'm planning to do a juice cleanse- along with chelation therapy. So with all the vaccines and amalgam fillings I have, there would DEFINITELY be mercury in my breast milk. I just feel that if I were able to wean my daughter, my husband could help out more, I could get better sleep, and I would be able to spend a few hours per week (atleast!) doing something therapeutic. Yoga, meditate, sew, work out- anything!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    If there are medical treatments you require, that actually require weaning, then weaning makes sense. Also if you are done, you are done. But since you seem on the fence about weaning, here are some things to consider if you like.

    I just feel that if I were able to wean my daughter, my husband could help out more, I could get better sleep, and I would be able to spend a few hours per week (atleast!) doing something therapeutic. Yoga, meditate, sew, work out- anything!
    If you need time away from your daughter (and we all do) I do not know that weaning is neccesary. A 14 month old is very likely to have separation anxiety and to object to separations from mom no matter how they are fed. But she does not need you for survival for the couple of hours you need for a yoga class. If your husband won't help, hire a babysitter or trade babysitting with a friend. I personally handled this need by putting my kids in thier stroller or backpack and taking long walks and doing stretches in the park. playground equpipment can work great for this! I also did a regular moms night out. If it is impossible to leave your milk, but you think a bottle would help, why not something else in the bottle-even water?

    but I'm planning to do a juice cleanse- along with chelation therapy. So with all the vaccines and amalgam fillings I have, there would DEFINITELY be mercury in my breast milk.
    I assume you have not experienced a recent actual mercury poisoning (in which case you would have to wean due to that) then you are talking about alternative remedies that you are not likely to get consensus about in terms of their harm/benefit or any accurate info as far as breastfeeding is concerned.

    Why would you need to pump and dump? Your milk does not sit around in your breasts waiting for the next nursing session. It gets reabsorbed into the body. So once your body is cleansed, you could try nursing again. If you are concerened about getting engorged, you can try hand expression. Of course you would have to feed your child in the meantime, but if she does not eat, that is also a concern if you wean.

    Medications and Mothers Milk has some interesting info on mercury, fillings and breastfeeding btw. You can call their helpline if you are interested. www.infantrisk.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    I would like to point out that lots of Mom's leave their babies all day while they are at work and then come back and nurse. So while in theory the idea of leaving her with a babysitter might help it may also just make her want to nurse more when she gets back to you. My kids have both been able to go days between nurses before they were completely weaned and then come back to nursing like they had never missed a session. They were/are both older though.
    I was also wondering what kind of pump you have and what kind of situation you are pumping in. I pumped for over a year while working with ds1 and you really do need a good pump and to be completely relaxed to get a really good let down. Well, some of us do, I guess not everybody but that was my experience.
    Good luck!
    SAHM to Timothy 8-8-08 Keegan 4-27-11 and Rowen 3-27-13

  10. #10

    Default Re: Needing to wean my 14 month old ASAP due to health probl

    I'm new to here,but need some help and advice. I need to wean my 26mo old daughter for medical reasons too. She was conceived with IVF after being treated for unexplained infertility. Now that she's hit 2, my husband and I are ready for baby#2. However, it doesn't look as though we'll be able to do this on our own. We started seeing a specialist and fertility meds were RX'ed. I recently took Clomid, and continued to BF as I was told that it wouldn't have any ill effects to my milk. Now that I'm on something stronger my Dr. said I could continue, but would advise not to seeing as there just isn't sufficient testing to show that Femara doesn't do anything to baby. When I got the RX, it clearly stated that I should not breastfeed while taking those meds. When I looked up the drug, the main reason women are RX'ed Femara is for breast cancer, menopause and of course infertility. Seeing that this is pretty strong, I've decided to stop nursing. It's been a decision I've contemplated frequently and I think this was just the "nail in the coffin." DD was only really nursing 2x's a day; once in the AM and of course to sleep. She wakes frequently and uses my breasts more as her personal paci's than eats. I haven't had a full night's sleep since she's been born and it would be nice to sleep again. My DD isn't taking the weaning lightly and has cried a lot at night over the past couple of days. I expected this, but what I didn't expect was for me to feel so sad. I'm going to miss breastfeeding. I didn't expect that this decision would be hard on me too. As I'm writing this my boobs are sore, and my chest hurts and it makes me sad. It's like my body's warning that if I don't use it, I'm gonna lose it. And to be truthful, I don't want to lose it. Nursing my daughter has been one of the best highlights of her "babyhood." I'm a working mom, and those moments when I come home, take of my heels, and just nurse her for 5mins as I tell her about my day has been the part of the day I look forward to everyday for the past 2 years!!! That cuddle time in the AM before we get out of bed I think is her favorite time. Not to mention that the PM feedings. That's the time at time when it's the most peaceful for her and I. We pray together, I tell her bedtime stories or we just chill and watch TV together to wind down. I kept saying that I was ready to wean, but I really don't think I am. I know I should, but it just doesn't feel right. However, given the meds and the need to move forward with IVF sooner than later (my husband deploys at the end of the year) I think the timing for the rest of the world is now. What should I do? Has anyone ever cont'd to nurse while taking hormones or fertility meds? We most definitely want a 2nd child and waiting a few more years, just isn't that realistic for us. Is it wrong to wean this baby for a baby, that we can't even guarantee will be here? I feel like I'm being unfair to her. But, she is the reason why we want another one. We want her to have siblings and grow up with someone. My husband knows what it's like to be an only child, and he really does not want that for her. So, I'm at a crossroads and could use some advice. I need it rather quickly as I've already noticed a decline in milk. If I'm going to continue nursing, I'll have to start it soon before I'm too late. Thank you ladies for the help and for taking the time to read this.

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