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Thread: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    Hey Mamas,

    I'm writing because I'm feeling quite vulnerable and need some emotional support at a crossroads in my nursing relationship. My son is 3y2m old and nursing 6-8 times night and day, including to sleep for nap and at night, and I have been taking 120mg/day of domperidone for the last two years to support our wonderful breastfeeding, with great success! We've nursed through an aversion to food that lasted until 2.25. We both love nursing!!! I would love for DS to be able to nurse as long as he'd like.

    The problem is that my cycles still haven't resumed after more than 3 years, and since I use natural family planning, there has been significant abstinence involved. Domperidone is also causing me some health issues, and I'd like to restore my own health medication-free.

    I've been tracking my cycles closely for 2.5 years postpartum, and I can see a ramp-up in my body trying to ovulate, but the domperidone throttles it. I'm now at the point where my body is trying to ovulate every 10-12 days (confirmed by positive LH ovulation tests) and I'm getting a major supply hit for about a third or more of the time.

    I think the time has come to gradually taper my domperidone and let my body achieve a medicine-free homeostasis--by the recommended 10mg/day over the course of 12 weeks-- so that we can preserve my supply as best as possible. I plan to start this taper in Mid-January, so DS will be 3.5 when we are finally nursing on my unenhanced-by-Dom supply. Even if this is tantamount to weaning, at least it can be done relatively gently and gradually with this tapering schedule. Not my ideal, but objectively a defensible way to proceed.

    I am torn up inside emotionally. In my head, I know this is what I want because it will restore some balance to my relationship with my amazingly supportive husband. He's understandably feeling like it's time to restore the balance in our family rather than having the focus 100% on DS, and on this matter I agree. He doesn't support continuing to take Dom to sustain a milk supply for an unknown amount of time if it comes at the cost of our closeness. I think that's fair.

    However--and this is where your reassurance is sorely needed--I don't want the process to harm DS, who loves nursing so much that he tells me, "nursing is how I say "I love you." He nurses frequently, though some of those times he doesn't get more than a gulp of milk--and I don't want him to feel like his favourite source of comfort and love is being torn away. I have this mental image of him weeping and alone, and every time I imagine it, it feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. I've always had an image of him confidently taking his last sip and running off to be his newfound big self, never turning back with longing or regret, and now I'm grieving at the possibility of that free child-led weaning being taken away.

    I will push forward with whatever milk I do retain, and I will pour out all the love and warmth I can into my precious little boy during this special, deeply personal time. We have had a wonderful nursing relationship so far, and it has built a great foundation for the rest of our lives--and possibly more nursing! My hope is that he will scale up his solids to fill any gap and continue to nurse a few times a day until he is ready to self-wean whenever he wants. Even if I'm dry, I will let him dry nurse until he self-weans from milk-free nursing. We will ramp up our non-nursing cuddles in the process and keep cosleeping until DS is ready to sleep solo.

    Yet, in spite of all the logic in the world and my put-on-a-brave-face positive words, I feel terrified. I've fought so hard to build and sustain our nursing relationship, and I feel deep regret that I may be the agent of its undoing. I'm making this decision with a very heavy heart and tears staining my cheeks.

    ***Updated sept 2015 below on pp.7/8***
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; September 15th, 2015 at 12:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    Oh Mama *hugs*

    Not sure if it helps but we weaned off domperidone as getting prescriptions was an issue and my DD is still happily nursing (she is a lot younger than yours). I worried so much about early weaning, about my supply, about trying to get more domperidone if it failed...

    Overall tho it seems you know you are making the decision that is right for you, it doesn't necessarily mean nursing is over and if DS weans it could simply be that it is the right time for him.

    Your son will find other ways to express his love too and cuddles are a great way forwards!

    I know that there's nothing in the world that I can write that will help, but my thoughts and prayers are with you

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    I think the are 2 things you can let go of at this point. The first is the fear that no Domperidone means that your child will be weeping and alone. I don't think that scenario will come to pass at this point, because:
    - Your child is at an age where no matter what he says about nursing and how much he loves it, he is fully capable of getting comfort and love in other ways. And you're prepared to give him that.
    - Your child is eating solids. That means your milk is optional for him, nutritionally speaking. A really awesome option, to be sure! But you don't have to feel like you MUST maintain a high supply or he's going to starve.
    - Your child is nursing at a really high frequency for his age. That points to excellent odds that he will be able to maintain a pretty decent supply all by his lonesome. I know you feel that this hasn't been the case in the past, or you wouldn't have been on Domperidone for 3 years! But I think you can feel free to at least let him TRY to maintain your supply on his own.
    - Your child seems to be happy to nurse even if all he gets is a single swallow of milk. That means that nursing for him is almost surely more about cuddling and comfort and closeness than about the actual milk. When this is the case, it's very likely that a child will happily continue to nurse even if there is no milk present.

    The second thing I think it would help to set aside is your vision of how weaning is going to proceed. That spectre of the confident last sip... Well, weaning might be like that or it might not. I've had 2 kids wean on me, and each weaning was unique and not as I expected it at all. My first daughter gave up her last regular feeding when she fell asleep after a massive tantrum that included the words "I want papa, not YOU!" And her very last nursing session of all also included screaming: I used nursing to comfort her after she accidentally ate some hot peppers and her mouth was burning. My (more mellow) second daughter just lost interest and one night requested a story instead of nursing, and that was it. My point is that whatever your dream of weaning is, there's a good chance that weaning is going to look totally different from what you fear and what you hope for.

    Want to make a friendly wager? I bet you... Um... How about I promise to eat a big dish of crow if taking the Dom out of the equation results in unhappiness and rapid weaning, and you promise to just enjoy nursing without worrying if it doesn't? . You're a great mom and you're going to continue to be a great mom, nursing or not.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    Quote Originally Posted by mommal
    How about I promise to eat a big dish of crow if taking the Dom out of the equation results in unhappiness and rapid weaning, and you promise to just enjoy nursing without worrying if it doesn't?
    This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear, particularly the bolded part. I think your points to let go of are apt. I really am borrowing trouble from the future by worrying about this.

    I've done some reflection on what possible value I get from the worrying to understand how to continue to nurse joyfully, and I think these are the root causes of my upset:

    - I had to start domperidone around 1 year when DS stopped growing for a few months. He refused effectively all food until 2.25, which was unnerving, because I had had insufficient supply previously and needed to be his 100% source of nutrition to keep him healthy. Low supply combined with a child who won't eat is a worrying matter. I haven't been able to update my internal dialogue yet around that. Keeping supply up has almost become a hard-wired heuristic in my mind that I have to de-program now. The points you made on the first thing to let go of are something I agree with on a cerebral level, but which I haven't fully internalized yet. That's something actionable I can do: work on updating my unconscious beliefs, which are driving the fear.

    - My son's birth didn't go anything like I'd hoped (a flawless pregnancy morphed into labour with DS in distress, me in medical emergency, and an emergency c-section). Silly as it sounds, nursing has been a retroactive source of control for me over a situation (birth) where I felt powerless. It allowed me in those early postpartum days to mother on my own terms. I don't want to have another major milestone taken away from me again. (So this is pre-emptive loss aversion.)

    - If I'm really honest with myself, nursing has become a large part of my identity as a mother, and I'm reluctant to give up that part of myself, as well as the more obvious bittersweet aspect of DS growing up.

    Seeing my supply maintain off domperidone will be a huge mental boost for me.

    Thanks for your great common-sense response, mommal. I knew I could count on you for the right reply. Now I need to go internalize those thoughts, because they're what the rational people closest to DS and I (DH, my mum, a few close friends) are saying, and I know you're all correct.
    Nursing my 3.5-year-old lactivore night and day!

    I tapered off 120mg of domperidone per day while maintaining supply at 3.25 years! Questions are welcome.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bsua65 View Post
    Oh Mama *hugs*

    Not sure if it helps but we weaned off domperidone as getting prescriptions was an issue and my DD is still happily nursing (she is a lot younger than yours). I worried so much about early weaning, about my supply, about trying to get more domperidone if it failed...

    Overall tho it seems you know you are making the decision that is right for you, it doesn't necessarily mean nursing is over and if DS weans it could simply be that it is the right time for him.

    Your son will find other ways to express his love too and cuddles are a great way forwards!

    I know that there's nothing in the world that I can write that will help, but my thoughts and prayers are with you
    You actually wrote two things that are a BIG help!
    - I was reassured to hear that you've been able to maintain supply off domperidone! That gives me hope!
    - Your thoughts and prayers will give me strength.

    So thank you! And congratulations on successfully navigating the taper off Dom. What was your starting dose, and how did you taper?
    Nursing my 3.5-year-old lactivore night and day!

    I tapered off 120mg of domperidone per day while maintaining supply at 3.25 years! Questions are welcome.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    I was on 30mg a day (which I know isn't huge...) I went really gradually, so down to 20mg for a month, down to 10 for 3 weeks, bottled it and went back to 20, for another 2 months then down to 10 at which point I started fenugreek for my own piece of mind, this was for another month and then off completely. I still take fenugreek but am prying myself off that too now! So am down to 8 *610mg of that. My daughter is only 12 months tho so probably a lot less able to manage without the milk!

    I basically did what my LC said... Apart from adding in fenugreek... She seemed happy if my milk wasn't enough that DD would eat more solids but I wasn't convinced. But now am aware the fenugreek is probably more my paranoia/control freakishness after a rough breastfeeding start.

    Jack Newman has a good protocol for coming off it that is worth a read. I found it after I was done.

    http://www.nbci.ca/?option=com_content&id=15:domperidone-stopping&Itemid=17

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    - I had to start domperidone around 1 year when DS stopped growing for a few months. He refused effectively all food until 2.25, which was unnerving, because I had had insufficient supply previously and needed to be his 100% source of nutrition to keep him healthy. Low supply combined with a child who won't eat is a worrying matter.
    Low supply and your baby not gaining weight isn't just worrying. It's terrifying! I think that moms who experience this sort of thing can end up with persistent anxiety, well past the point when the underlying problem has been solved. Letting go of that fear, that anxiety- it's not easy! As you said, you have some de-programming to do.

    - My son's birth didn't go anything like I'd hoped (a flawless pregnancy morphed into labour with DS in distress, me in medical emergency, and an emergency c-section). Silly as it sounds, nursing has been a retroactive source of control for me over a situation (birth) where I felt powerless
    And people say it doesn't matter how you give birth, "as long as you have a healthy baby". Birth matters! It's not silly to take power from nursing, when your child's birth stripped it from you. Moms who have difficult birth experiences need to take power from somewhere- and being the best mom you can possibly be is a very sensible thing to draw from.

    - If I'm really honest with myself, nursing has become a large part of my identity as a mother, and I'm reluctant to give up that part of myself, as well as the more obvious bittersweet aspect of DS growing up.
    That was hard for me, too. Passing out of the nursing mommy stage meant giving up something that was special and that I took a ton of pride in. It was also hard to let go of the idea of being the mommy of a baby, because that's special, too, and fleeting.
    But I promise that you can move through all those feelings and emerge on the other side. Maybe not with zero regrets, but certainly with a sense of acceptance. Because there is nothing you can do to stop your kids from growing up!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    Please keep us posted on your progress. I had a very rough start with nursing and am still currently taking 70 mg of Domperidone per day. I had dropped down to 60 mg per day but definitely felt that my supply dipped and since my LO is still under a year I figure I'll keep the 70 mg per day for a while longer before I try to reduce dosage again.
    Reading your story and feelings on the subject brought tears to my eyes too. With such a rough start the extended nursing becomes so important to us as moms wanting to give the best to our babies and just the thought of them growing up and growing out of that is terrifying/saddening.
    You have done amazing things so far and I wish you a wonderfully easy time emotionally in following the logic you have already figured out.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    I just wanted to say that I feel for you! And that I hope it goes well!

    When I think of the huge looming weaning step ahead of me, I try to remind myself that there will be many other fun things to come with my children. (I've been nursing for about 6.75 years now! And I'm on my last nursling...) As far as the domperidone taper off causing him to get angry and wean. I doubt that that will happen unless you do it suddenly. If it helps, my first two nurslings nursed through most of my pregnancy with the next and did not seem to care that my supply had dropped drastically.

    Here is a big virtual hug

  10. #10
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: Hugs please-Tapering off domperidone at 3.25

    I feel for you mama. You have already got great advice but I would like to add that I weaned from dom when my son was 22 months (also due to its effect on fertility, but we want to get pregnant) and we are still nursing at 27 months. I think my supply did go down but my son hasn't complained or changed his nursing habits in any way. I thought he would wean as well but there is no sign of that yet.
    Last edited by @llli*mrssqueegy; December 16th, 2014 at 08:19 PM.

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