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Thread: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

  1. #1
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    Default Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    It seems my 11-month-old self-weaned, abruptly but happily, five days ago. We've been through many nursing strikes where dream feeds saved us, but it hasn't worked this time. She just silently arches away, and the three or four times she hasn't, she looks at me with mild interest, then bites, as if testing out a new toy. But I don't want to discuss whether this is a strike or weaning, as I'm pretty sure it's the latter, and either way my concern is how/whether I can recover my supply enough to provide her with at least mostly EBM through a year or beyond. Particularly because LO has cow's milk protein intolerance and I feel I can provide her much better nutrition than soymilk.

    There were about 48 hours between the last breastfeeding and when I finally found and started using a double electric pump; in between I was trying to keep on top of the engorgement with a manual one. I went from engorged for two days to pretty much soft all day yesterday. Today I pumped 4 oz first thing in the morning, then 3, then 2.5, then 1.5 an hour ago. This is disconcerting! Especially since the past two days she wasn't drinking anywhere near 24 oz, since I thought I should be giving her milk in a sippy cup (which she doesn't drink from nearly as steadily as a bottle). I only have about 8 oz. in the fridge right now. She has refused the soymilk I mixed in with a little of my milk, and I'm just hoping when she gets hungry enough she'll take it.

    I was wondering if anyone's been through a similar situation---a longer nursing strike that resolved itself spontaneously, or successfully getting your supply back up to where you could finish your baby's first year EPing. Thanks so much for any advice/encouragement.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    PS I am aiming for 8 sessions a day. I will pump in the middle of the night for a few days if need be. I am not ready for her to be done with breastmilk, even if she has decided she is done with breastfeeding...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Hi mama, I know you don't want to talk about whether this a strike or weaning, but just wondering if you are still going to use back-to-breast techniques? It sounds like you are still interested in that?

    Anyway, I see no reason for you not to be able to pump for the next month (or beyond, if it comes to that)! You might have a temporary dip due to the 2 days of less nursing/pumping, but if you keep pumping your supply should come back up. And yes, you may want to do some nighttime pumping until that happens. Are you using a good pump? If it's one that you've been using for a while, have you changed out the membranes/valves? How long do you pump for? Do you use hand compressions? It's common for supply to diminish as the day goes on, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. The main thing is just to get in enough sessions.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Hi, thanks so much for your response. I have been offering a few times throughout the day, very casually, and especially when she is nodding off before naps/bed. Skin to skin cuddles before bed too. That's about it. I guess I would be pleasantly surprised if she nursed again--emotionally it's easier to just tell myself she's done, but we'll proceed in a way that leaves room for her to change her mind... I am renting a Hygeia Endeare from an IBCLC, so I assume it has been well maintained. I pump for 15 minutes, no hand compressions (should look that up), and now I remember hearing something about supply going down throughout the day. In my head I know supply and demand is generally the law at work here, and so I should be good as long as I pump enough, but there's something about hearing it from someone who knows what they are talking about that is especially encouraging! Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tejana View Post
    so I should be good as long as I pump enough
    Definitely!

    Do you ever take baths with your little one? Some people find that that's particularly conducive for getting baby interested again. But sounds like what you're doing is just right.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Definitely try compressions while pumping! I tend to pump at least an ounce more when I compress. Do you have a hands free setup?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Definitely!

    Do you ever take baths with your little one? Some people find that that's particularly conducive for getting baby interested again. But sounds like what you're doing is just right.
    Tried a bath this morning--fun, but not successful in this respect. I think we need to take a day off trying, she bit me again pretty hard the one time she approached me when I offered. This is getting exhausting. I am about to give her the last 4 oz I have pumped, with a little soymilk to top it off, for a bedtime bottle. I am pumping now (yay hands free setup with rubber bands!) and have been doing compressions off and on, but it looks like no more than 1.5 oz. I hate feeling like I have to ration my milk! I know soymilk isn't the end of the world but I was really hoping to limit the amount I had to give her while I try to save my supply. Thanks to both of you for the advice and encouragement today.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Your pumping output may ramp up a bit with the continued regular stimulation. Good luck! Whatever happens, you have definitely given your all.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Especially since you had those couple days of less nursing/pumping. You may turn the corner in the next couple of days as you've gotten into a more regular pumping routine. And I agree, you've done great!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 11 months, now trying to EP until--??

    Happily I am now making just enough milk to get by from day to day, with six or seven sessions. Thanks again for your encouragement!

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