My 16 month old and I both enjoy nursing and I think he still gets much of his nutritional needs from it - I don't want to wean completely! However, we want to expand our family soon. I've had two periods, 2 months apart - in January and March. Only once in late December did I suspect ovulation due to changing discharge. (I posted this in the "Fertility" forum but didn't receive a response).
I read that decreasing night feedings and decreasing frequency of feeds can spark fertility. Here is our routine right now:
I work 2 or 3 days (13 hour shifts) a week - but not in a row - and I'm still pumping since it's such a long shift. My son doesn't take bottles when I'm gone - he can go down for nap/bed without any milk from dad or nanny, but he always nurses when I put him down on my days off.
On my days off, I nurse him:
7:30 (bed). If I'm not home at his bedtime I nurse him at 10pm (and I usually wake him up for that).
On my work days:
10:30 wake him to nurse
I pump about 15oz the whole shift.
I would like to cut back on pumping, just need to figure a schedule. Here are two ideas -
Just drop one pumping session, keep the nursing at home the same. I did this yesterday, and it worked out pretty well. It would change time from 4-5 hr between sessions to 5-6 hours.
1130 - pump
4:30 - pump
10:30 - nurse
Or, to stop waking him to nurse at 10:30pm, and stretch out that nighttime interval from 8 to 12 hours... I wouldn't cut out any pumping sessions, just do my last one closer to the end of my shift.
0630 - nurse
1030 - pump
2:30 - pump
6:45 - pump
Then go all night (hopefully!) and I'll probably be super full in the morning!
So, I'm not sure which is more important to have return of fertility - going longer overnight (option 2), or going longer between pumping during the day (option 1). Since he doesn't usually wake up at 10:30pm, the nursing at my bedtime is mainly for my benefit - so I don't wake up suuuuper full in the morning. I've always made a lot of milk, so it's tougher for me to just skip sessions.
I'd really appreciate your input on how to cut back just enough to have regular periods (and hopefully ovulation!). Thank you!