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Thread: How do I unwean my 20 months old toddler

  1. #1

    Default How do I unwean my 20 months old toddler

    Hello, I had to wean my toddler at 18 months because needed to have a breast biopsy done. It was really devastating for me for obvious reasons: too worried about what the results would show and sad that I had to wean my LO prematurely as I had planned to continue breastfeeding him at least until the age of 2 (as per WHO guidelines). Now, once the results are back and all's fine (just benign fibroadenoma) I am wondering whether it is possible to re-start breastfeeding my toddler. I seem to still have some milk (even 2 months after weaning!!) but my toddler doesn't seem to be coaxed into nursing again. Of course, i could just express my milk and give it to him in a sippy cup but I think that would not give him the emotional benefit (I have noticed that his behaviour is more agitated that when he was nursing...unless this is normal as he grows up). Any suggestions would be really helpful. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How do I unwean my 20 months old toddler

    Welcome to the forum!

    There's no surefire way to unwean a toddler. You just have to keep offering in as low-pressure, fun way as possible. You're looking to lure your LO back to the breast. This link has useful tips: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    One issue that could complicate things is the taste of the milk. As your milk dries up (a process called mammary involution), the composition changes quite a lot. You end up with milk that is relatively saltier and richer in protein than what you produce when you're nursing a lot and have lots of milk. You can reverse the mammary involution process, and change the taste of the milk, by frequent milk removal via either nursing or, if the baby is reluctant to nurse, by frequent pumping.

    i don't mean to salt a wound, but just in case another mom in a similar situation finds this post, I feel compelled to point out that complete weaning is rarely necessary for breast biopsies. It may be necessary to temporarily wean from the biopsied breast, but nursing can generally resume fairly quickly after the procedure. And the unaffected breast generally remains usable throughout.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do I unwean my 20 months old toddler

    Thank you ver much for your response and the useful link. Will try to follow those tips. I am in the process of increasing my milk supply by pumping or hand expressing. Although, I've got to say that pumping every few hours is rather difficult with a super-active toddler. I manage to express less that a teaspoon from each breast and i did notice that milk is much thicker and saltier than previously. Plus I get this rusty, brown milk from the biopsied breast which I assume is residual blood from the procedure. I am thinking that if my toddler doesn't show any interest in nursing soon, the process is doomed to fail as pumping is not enough (given the lack of time for it...)to get milk back and I will have to come to terms with it (although still proud that I breastfeed until 18 mo)
    You are absolutely right about continuing to BF while having a biopsy done. I know this now on the hindsight but it is pretty difficult to think straight when it is such a worrying time for you.Doctors don't do a great job explaining either...instead they ask you " when do you plan to stop nursing....) Ah well, now i need to get working on how I lure my lovely toddler back to breast (and he was such a great nurser as well, really loved his milk). Xx

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do I unwean my 20 months old toddler

    A bit of an update hoping i can get some views and advice. So i have been pumping and hand-expressing for a few days now(and taking fenugreek) and although i can't say that milk quantity is increasing, the texture and taste have (sweet instead of salty and more transparent). So, i suppose this is good news? The real problem is how i get my toddler back on breast (pumping to give him milk in a cup is not long-term option simply due to lack of time, running after a busy toddler). I have gently offered the breast to my LO over the last week while following the tips from kellymom website (lots of skin-to skin, bathing together and co-sleeping - we do this one anyway ). On two occasions he came on my lap, positioned himself in cradle position and put breast in mouth for a fraction of a second. Then left! Since then, every time i ask him if he wants mummy's milk, he say a clear "no". Should I just give up trying to lure him back to breast and stop my efforts for relactation? i have to say that I'm finding it hard to come to terms with this, feel like it was an unfinished business as i had this biopsy done Although looks like it isn't for my LO xxx
    Last edited by @llli*gesky; April 2nd, 2013 at 06:53 AM.

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