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Thread: Not Really Weaning... (long)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Not Really Weaning... (long)

    This is a hard post for me. I am not weaning, but trying to find a managable system. Briefly: After a hard pregnancy and premature birth, I tried with everything in me to nurse exclusively. We had many difficulties and unfortunately weaned after 6 weeks and little weight gain. I couldn't live with it and have been attempting to relactate for three months (with decent results).

    My 71/2 month old enjoys nursing. I can almost produce enough milk if I take domperodine, follow a lactogenic diet/herbs, use a hospital pump after every nursing and get up in the night to pump then add the milk back in using an SNS. And then my monthly hormones kick in and my milk pulmits. I have to supplement up to 3 oz of furmula each feeding in the SNS and work to get my milk back up and the cycle continues.

    The problem is that I cannot manage the rest of my life and do this. I have four children that we homeschool and I am not keeping any semblance of a house. One hour of every two is spent on nursing the baby. It is also emotionally draining. (He is not ready for solids, yet. I am trying that route!)

    So, ultimately I set a goal to get through Christmas and then to make some tough decisions. I am going to nurse using the SNS a couple of times a day. I will continue to comfort nurse (it is the only way he knows to go to sleep). And I will nurse on demand at night. But I am going to bottle feed some, too. And no more pumping -- this is the hardest part for me.

    Anyway, my question is about maintaining some of the milk. Am I destined to loose it with this schedule? How many hours can I go without nursing and not loose all of the milk? I will continue to comfort nurse and nurse with the SNS whether he gets any breast milk of not. I hope he will get the breast milk, too, but I can't continue this impossible routine.

    Last night I know that my body is adjusting because when he woke up at 4 am, I was dripping on the side he wasn't nursing. This NEVER has happened. So I probably am already reducing the amount of milk I have had. He kept nursing off and on until around 7 am when we got up and didn't need to eat again until 9:30. I wish that maybe we could "reverse cycle" where he nursed all night and got a significant portion of his calories that way.

    I guess I just want to get back 20 responses saying "Oh, yeah, your milk will be just fine." But I also want the truth. I figue he will get more than just bottle feeding alone. And I whole-heartedly agree with Jack Newman saying "There is more to breastfeeding than milk."
    Last edited by relactatingmomforthelord; December 27th, 2007 at 08:36 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,178

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    First off, here's a

    Second, it's hard for me to keep up with just my 2 boys with homeschooling (and my house is definitely not up to par yet, LOL) and I'm not pumping too, so you should be commended .

    I have problems with a drop in supply with every AF too with DS#2. I know its not exactly the same as your prob., but at least you know you're not alone. It usually lasts up to 3 days or so at the start of my cycle. I usually just nurse alot more frequently to combat it, and we've not had any problems...though I did have to get used to nursing way more frequently than I normally have to, and I normally nursed every 2 hours until DS#2 was over a year old including at least 2 night sessions. I got my AF back at 4 mos. post partum, so I remember those early months pretty well where DS would be a little cranky with the supply drop.

    I totally understand you wanting to drop the pumping, after all, you have other kids and need to have the ability to take care of them all equally... and I just wanted to give you some hope, and say that I personally think that if you're willing to nurse at the breast more frequently, then you could probably keep up your supply without pumping. After all, the baby is WAY better at emptying the breast than a pump. It might take you nursing alot more frequently though. I know that's how my DS#2 gets through the AF supply drop every month...he just wants to nurse all the time during that time. Normal for him was every 2 hours during the day with at least 2-3 sessions during the night, so more frequently for him was ALOT of nursing.

    Does your lo nurse in a sling? Or is lo comfortable nursing in lots of different positions and in different rooms? If so, that could help you out a ton too with the homeschooling and nursing at the breast more frequently....plus, I think that babywearing with baby being close to your breast probably helps stimulate milk production too...and you can always add lots of oatmeal for breakfast and oatmeal cookies too, those are easy and help with production too, but aren't out of a normal mom's routine.

    Sorry I don't have more suggestions, I wish I could help more, but just know that we're rooting for you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    Thanks for your support. I think the hardest part is "taking the plunge." Last night, I took him to bed with me and he nursed a good portion of the night. It was so reassuring. I heard lots of swallowing.

    The reason that I am "pump addicted" is because we have had so many latch problems. He has not been more efficient than the pump in the past. He had an uncoordinated suck and was tongue-tied. I think that we have those things fixed, but I feel like my symphony pump is my life jacket. I have always been able to pump an additional ounce after he eats (except when the hormones kick in -- I don't get AF, just hormones!!!).

    Well, he does not seem upset with the "new plan." He reaches out for his bottle and looks deeply in my eyes while he drinks. This makes me feel less guilty. I know ultimately that this is better for him (I mean how is having a frazzled, stressed out mother good for a baby?).

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,048

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    OK, I haven't read the responses and I'm sure that some moms are more educated on your specific problems than I am, but one thought came to me while reading your post: Depo Provera.

    I started on the depo shot shortly after dd was born. I got off of it when she was pretty much weaned, and until I got off of it, I never had any monthly fluctuation in my milk - supply, taste, etc. After, I did.. but then, I was also weaning at that time, and soon got onto an estrogen birth control, so there are too many variables. Anyway, there was no period.. no monthly anything.

    When I first started to research the Depo's effect on my milk, I learned that it's safe for the baby and that it usually has no effect on supply once supply is established. But one source said that it COULD hurt supply and another source said that it can increase lactation. For me, I believe the latter. I had oversupply, oald and weaning got much easier once I was off of it.

    Do your own research, but if it's just the monthly drop that's messing you up, maybe something to regulate (or rather, de-regulate) things would help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    I will certainly look into it. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    Wohoo I found you! sorry, I just posted a reply to you on the relactating forum, but I went looking to see if you had another post anywhere about dropping the pumping.


    Mama to DD#1 Exclusive pumper for 3 months before getting back to breast

    and

    DD#2 Straight from the tap since birth

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Not Really Weaning... (long)

    Well, I did some research on Dep-Provera and I wrote to Jack Newman. Jack Newman said it was a "lousy" idea (I love how he is so blunt!). He said that it would further reduce my supply. This is similar to what I have read at other web-sites. I guess that it would be like taking the mini-pill with no way to stop. Boy I wish that had been the answer!!! I took it with my daughter, but didn't have supply issues. Thanks again for your support.

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