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Thread: Questions about baby led weaning...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    102

    Question Questions about baby led weaning...

    Hello!

    It has been a while since I posted but I am happy to say that I am still nursing my almost 3 1/2 year-old daughter. It was 3 years August 25th!!! I nursed and pumped until she was about 2 years old and then I gave up the pump since I was not pumping much. I pumped for such a long time (after every feeding) because I had a bad start nursing (very low supply) and pumping helped me build my supply as well as a nice stockpile of breast milk in my freezer. My daughter did not have cow's milk until she was 2 since I always gave her defrosted breast milk in her cup prior to that.

    In any case, recently I have had concerns that my daughter may not be getting any milk and is just using mommy as a pacifier. I would often squeeze my nipple after she was done nursing and sometimes I would still see some milk...not so much lately.

    So... how does this normally work with baby-led weaning? Do I keep putting her on the breast even though she might not be getting anything as long as she wants? Should I try to pump once to see if I get anything? I am at a loss. If she is still getting milk I would never take that away from her. But, if she is just pacifying herself...I may suggest other activities.

    Currently, my daughter nurses... 1. When she wakes up in the morning. 2. Before nap... if she takes a nap. She usually falls asleep nursing. 3. Before bed. If she doesn't nap she still often falls asleep at the breast... if she does nap I usually put her to sleep awake after nursing.

    I ask her if she is getting any milk and her answer always changes. Sometimes she says... there is no more milk... but then I see milk on my nipple. Other times she says that there is milk and I see nothing. I am not sure if she says she is getting milk because she is afraid I'll stop if she says she isn't.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    And, by the way... nursing has been the hardest thing I have ever done (low milk supply, failure to thrive, blocked ducts, nursing strikes)... and the most rewarding. I am so thankful to everyone who has encouraged me over the years...especially when doctors told me to quit. At this point... at almost 3 1/2 my daughter has still never been sick... no colds, no stomach viruses... nothing. We also took her to get her allergies tested because she was getting a red ring around her mouth occasionally when eating and they told me that they never see a child which such a lack of medical history who after their testing they concluded has NO allergies to anything. And, they tested everything. So thankful!!! So, if you ever stress about nursing... turn to your support network and nurse on. It is so worth it!!! <3

    Jaime
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: Questions about baby led weaning...

    If she was just using you as a pacifier, would that be a problem? With a young baby, breastfeeding is vital for both nutrition and comfort. But as time goes on and that baby turns into a toddler and starts eating lots of solid food, the relationship evolves so that it's primarily about comfort and connection, and much less about nutrition. A toddler can dry-nurse and still get a lot of value from it- it can soothe her to sleep, make her feel better when she's sick or has a boo-boo, and reassure her that mom is still there for her even as she, the toddler, becomes increasingly independent.

    If your daughter's still nursing 3 times a day, she probably is getting some milk. The quantity may be small, but that's not a problem. As a toddler weans and mom's supply decreases, the breast undergoes a neat process called mammary involution. The milk produced during involution is very high in immune-support factors, especially a protein called lactoferrin. It's very much like colostrum, and provides the baby with a concentrated immunological boost as she completes her transition to solid foods.

    All that being said, if you're feeling done with nursing, it is fine to stop, and we can give you weaning tips if that's what you want. The first small step to complete weaning could be to transition from proactive offering to "don't ask, don't refuse". DADR eventually results in the baby self-weaning- it just tends to be a slower process than mother-led weaning.
    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
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Questions about baby led weaning...

    Thanks for your response. It would not be a problem if she did just use me as a pacifier, I just wanted to make sure I am handling things appropriately. I have no friends who have nursed this long so everyone tells me I should just stop. But, I like our cuddle time and it does not inconvenience me at all.

    She nurses definitely twice a day and three times if she takes a nap. Still trying to decide if she needs a nap. With a nap, she fights at bed time. Without a nap, she is very disobedient during the day. And, at times...she just asks for milkies...so, I am not sure.

    So, I would like to carry on that way we are going as long as I know I am not doing anything wrong or that I should not be doing something or looking for some sign that I need to change things. I do not push anything on her and give her the option to nurse. We may start trying for another child and I do have some concern with her nursing throwing off my cycle...but, I do have friends who successfully became pregnant while nursing so I am optimistic.

    Thanks again for your response!

    Jaime
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

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