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Thread: Shorter and shorter nursings

  1. #11
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    Okay, I just thought of another way to put it. You can think about it like this: before a year, baby's primary nutrition is breastmilk. After six months, some solids for taste, texture and motor skills. After a year, solids become more and more important, and breastmilk becomes the "dairy" portion of a diet that is also going to include fruits, vegetables, meats (unless vegetarian), grains etc. And eventually those additional components diversify baby's diet and provide all the nutrients she needs. So if you don't think baby is getting enough "dairy" through breastmilk, you can add animal's milk or other dairy sources like cheese or yogurt. But if you're satisfied that she is getting enough breastmilk (and usually nursing five times a day is plenty in that regard), then you can add non-dairy sources of other foods. Either way, you don't need to pump when baby is getting the non-breastmilk food, because it's part of the natural process of weaning. And of course there will be fluctuations in this process too. Baby may go through phases of drinking more or less breastmilk - on a day by day, week by week, or month by month basis, and your supply will adapt accordingly.

  2. #12
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    Aug 2012
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    87

    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    just read your thread and sending good wishes your way do you think baby maybe teething? i just noticed my LO has eaten a lot less in the last few days and two new teeth are cutting through her gums. I was also really worried about supply issues when I let go of the pump but like the other mamas on this site said, after 1-yr your body regulates. I had a couple plugged ducts but now the milk production is going smoothly. take care

  3. #13
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    Aug 2013
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    31

    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    You guys are so helpful, thank you so much. Explaining things this way helps me a lot.

    And yes, I do think she's been teething. That must be part of it too. There is an incisor that just broke through on the bottom.

    Re: pumping. If I don't technically have to replace feedings by pumping when she doesn't nurse or when she eats solids in lieu of nursing, then what is suggested about pumping when away from baby at this point? I don't work out of the home, so it's not too often that I am away but sometimes I have to leave for 8+ hours. If I did not pump would my supply drop? Or would it just be a question of plugged ducts (which I am prone to already) or discomfort? It would be so nice to not haul that darn hospital pump with me and search out supply closets with electric outlets!

    It is SO hard to let go of the patterns and habits that we have worked so hard to establish over this past year. But I AM proud to have gotten this far.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    418

    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    At one year old, I don't think you need to pump at all unless you are away from baby for an extended period of time (like, 12 hours or more). If you do pump it's mostly for your comfort and to avoid engorgement or plugged ducts--not as much for supply. I know it's tough not to worry about supply when you probably spent your baby's first year of life working hard to maintain supply, but after one year you really don't need to worry about it as much. Being gone 8 hours without pumping once in awhile is not going to seriously damage your supply. Your supply will also adjust to the baby's demand, so if baby picks up the nursing frequency you will start making more milk again. It's not like if your supply drops it's an irreversible drop--supply is flexible and will adjust to the baby's demand so if baby demands more you will make more.

    I think you are doing fine. One thing I would say is, if you want to keep nursing and prevent early weaning, allow baby to comfort nurse whenever she wants, insofar as possible. After one year a lot of nursing is about comfort and bonding even more than nutrition--you want your baby to continue associating your breast with comfort and peace because then she will keep wanting to nurse. My son is nearly 2 and we comfort nurse A LOT. I still have a fair amount of milk (couldn't say how much as I haven't pumped in ages) but a lot of the time nursing is more about comfort and connection than it is about milk. Sometimes he triggers a good let-down and gets a good amount of milk, sometimes he's just soothing himself by nursing. Either way it's great as far as I'm concerned.

    I also wouldn't worry about a low solids intake at one year. My son didn't really get into solids until around 14 months so I pumped at work until he was nearly 15 months old, to provide bottles during the day. He now eats 3 meals plus snacks and is a really good eater, as well as a good nurser. I don't see weaning anytime in our near future.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  5. #15
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings



    I am prone to plugged ducts, so for a while I had to go back to pumping at work once/day after initially pump weaning. But now I go ~11 hours each day at work without pumping. Still making milk. Still nursing! So if you do have that prolonged separation, if you are worried about getting a plugged duct, 1 pumping session in the middle of the day should be fine. Or you may not need to pump at all, as joshuas.mommy says. And if you decide that you do want to pump for comfort or to prevent the plugged duct, a manual pump may be enough to do the trick if you don't want to haul around the hospital-grade.

    I think it is a big psychological shift to stop worrying about supply and making enough. But it makes nursing even more enjoyable!

  6. #16
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    Aug 2013
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    31

    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies, everyone.

    I took a day off away from my computer to celebrate my daughter turning ONE!

    I can't believe we made it. I really can't. But I know I am a better person for getting through it. We all have an enormous capacity to adjust to the "new normal" - whatever that may be. And there is always comfort in sharing with others, so thank you LLLI for this forum.

    Six months ago if you asked me whether I'd still be nursing after she turned one, I would have said absolutely not.

    Just a reminder to moms of newborns that it's worth it to hang in there if things are hard in the beginning, because once the storm passes you might actually decide you WANT to keep going!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    That's wonderful mama, happy birthday to your baby and congrats on a year of nursing!

  8. #18

    Default Re: Shorter and shorter nursings

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    And, baby may go through ups and downs. In a month she may surprise you by "nursing like a newborn" - that frequently is the case with young toddlers. And yes, if that happens, your supply will respond appropriately by making more milk! Without your needing to pump in the meantime.

    I would suggest - if you can, let go of the worry that she might be weaning. It's pretty unusual, though not unheard of, for a one-year-old to wean. Keep doing what you are doing. Offer to nurse frequently. Let her comfort nurse as much as you are able. Encourage physical contact with baby, whether by wearing baby or holding her or snuggling with her. If you do those things, then you are encouraging nursing and discouraging weaning.


    On more than one occasion, I thought that my almost-3-y/o was weaning when she cut down on the frequency and duration of nursing sessions. But, in each case, she has come back to increased nursing, which then increased my milk supply, and seemed to encourage even more nursing. Regardless of where things are, it sounds as though you are meeting your daughter's needs, which seems to be the most important factor in your situation.

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