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Thread: Back on the Boobie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    323

    Question Back on the Boobie

    Okay, I have a question. I'm not sure if it should be here or in "relactation", but anyway:
    My dd was nursed on demand till 2 years 7 months.
    a lot of that time I struggled with it on an emotional level, some of the time I even hated nursing but I would never give it up, and aggressively defended my right to nurse and my dd's right to have bm until she was ready to stop

    I never pumped and my dd never laid lips on a bottle, she still sleeps with me.
    the circumstances of us weaning were a little extreme;
    My dd was eating a salad, and crunching a piece of raw cauliflower, decided to wash it down with a little booby. she bit off a little piece of my nipple
    It bled, I cried, she cried, I couldnt even consider letting her nurse more, on either side, so she cried herself to sleep

    by that night, I was nursing just on the uninjured side, the bitten one still too tender to touch. I was being pressured by dd's father to stop nursing (he always supported me, but only under duress - he actually felt that I should stop) though there was no chance that I would. I wanted my dd to stop when SHE was ready for it.
    So, almost exactly 24 hours after the bite, sitting in almost the exact same spot, nursing dd on the good side, I was stung by a hornet on the nipple!!! just a few milimetres (1/4 inch) from dd's mouth!!

    At first I thought she was biting me again, and pulled her off, but the pain went on, I looked and there was this massive insect with its stinger stuck in my nipple, struggling to get out! The pain was unbelieveable.
    I screamed.

    a bunch of people came over to help me, my baby cried herself to sleep again and my breast swelled up to more than double its size. by the next day, it was purple and infected...

    My initial thought was, "oh, I'm gonna have to wean now for sure... but I dont want to wean "
    I was on the verge of crying at the thought.
    I was preparing myself for the dramas that would surely follow, with my dd fighting for her right to the booby (as usually happens when i try to restrict her), but... to my surprise, she didn't even ask for it.
    she went to sleep that night without nursing (!!!) and just once, the next day asked to nurse, to which I replied that my boobies were "broken" with "big ouwas", to which she said, "okay, I want a hug".
    and for the next 2 weeks, she simply never asked to nurse again.
    I let go of my own reluctance to stop and saw that she was, indeed ready.

    only, after a while, (after my milk had dried up), she started asking for it again.
    to be honest, sometimes I feel bad that I dont still nurse her, i even feel guilty at times, but I dont really want to do it anymore.

    so : now i get to the question.

    I've started letting my dd have comfort boobie again. she's 3 years and 2 months, and I have a little colostrum, but just a drop. I'm happy to let her have a little comfort booby when she needs it, but it seems that the more I let her have it, the more she wants it (of course! ) and its starting to get too much for me.

    Should I just go back to letting her nurse on demand? am I setting myself up for another trip of having to wean again?
    dh wont talk to me about it, I know he's afraid of getting into a debate with me about it, but I'm just not sure what I should do.
    grrr

    sorry, this ended up a little longer than I planned
    anyway, I'd love to hear any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,813

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    Uhmm, I really don't know what to say. Do you really really want to keep nursing? If you're not so sure and your LG really wants her milk I say let her have it, just don't offer the breast let her ask for it, maybe in all the commotion she didn't know what to do, maybe she really wasn't ready to wean yet. I guess that when the time comes for her to weaning she'll flat out refuse to nurse. How are your nipples doing now?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    323

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    My nipples are all healed ( ) but now nursing after so long feels really irritating. and since there's no milk, she just plays with it in her mouth. it feels... annoying.
    I guess you're right though.
    I dont really feel up for letting her get back into full-on nursing again, but I am happy to let her have a little comfort when she needs it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    Majikfaerie -- you mentioned that you have a little colustrum now. Are you pregnant, then? (Sorry if you've posted this elsewhere and I've forgotten...)

    If you are pregnant, then this isn't just a question of do you want to nurse your 3yo again -- it's also a question of whether you want to tandem nurse.

    There's no one right answer to your situation, and I would just encourage you to consider the needs of two people -- you and your DD -- and follow your gut. It's not unheard of for a weaned toddler to later return to the breast. My son weaned soon after his 4th birthday, but we did try nursing once or twice after that, when he asked in a moment of boredom or out of habit during a snuggle. By that point, his latch was so uncomfortable for me, and the nursing so clearly did not really meet the need that he expected it to meet, that I could more easily make the decision that _I_ wanted to stop nursing him.

    If nursing her feels annoying and uncomfortable to you, then I would take that strongly into consideration. There are other ways to meet her need for comfort. Some children transfer a nursing-related behavior into their weaned relationship with momma -- for example, for several months after he weaned, my son still liked to soothe/comfort himself by holding my breast. I have an older woman friend whose youngest always stroked her upper arm while he nursed ... and even into his teenaged years, he would reach to touch that same spot on her arm -- probably unconsciously, but she certainly knew where that gesture came from.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    323

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    No, I'm not pregnant, it's just that even after my milk 'dried' there was always a few drops to be squeezed out if I tried.

    actually, a lot of the time dd asks if she can touch my breasts - she likes to stroke them and rub her cheek on my nipple, but she almost always asks to nurse. I'm usually firm with her, that she can have comfort, but there's no milk. but lately, I dont know why, I just started letting her nurse again.

    My thought is that I really want to give her the chance to nurse as much as she needs, even if it is really just for comfort, and to let her self-wean - I see that even though it was "easy" to wean, the circumstances were really forcing her to do it, and she clearly still wants to nurse.
    But my feeling is that, while I dearly would love to let her nurse, it's just on my terms, and a lot of the time, I find it irritating and uncomfortable if it goes on for more than a few minutes. my nipples got really sensitive since we weaned.

    It seems a bit silly to be complaining, since my dd is over 3 and already more than 6 months since we weaned... I guess I'm also still carrying some guilt over resenting nursing some of the time, and some unexpressed emotions at never having been breast-fed myself (the fault of the medical system at the time).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    It's not silly -- this isn't the first child I've heard of who has resumed nursing after a fairly long hiatus. I remember Kathryn Dettwyler talking about her daughter doing precisely that -- nursed until 4 or so, then was weaned for I don't know how long, then an uncle's practical joke scared and upset her so badly that she asked to nurse, Kathy let her, and they continued on nursing for quite some time again.

    My son and I stopped cold turkey for 2 weeks just after his third birthday. (Long story -- I thought I might need a mammogram, got a little freaked out, got some bad medical advice, and DS volunteered to wean ... for the first week.) After we started nursing again, I don't think I ever had milk for him -- but we still nursed pretty regularly for almost another year.

    I also think it's quite, quite normal to sometimes resent nursing.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    68

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    first of all...good heavens youhave been trough the ringer huh? poor nipples!! and poor baby! and poor you! as for still nursing...I don't think its a problem as long as you AND she are happy with it. Maybe you could tell her when she is hurting you and say be gentle with mommy or something to that effect. she is a little older now and can understand better, so maybe that would work? anyway, let us know what you decide to do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    323

    Default Re: Back on the Boobie

    Sorry it took me a while to get back on this one...
    my dd is sick - ear infection, very high fever, refuses to eat or drink ANYTHING, not more than the very rare sip of water. I'm offering her the breast freely as a comfort, but she's not really interested in it.
    We tried to get her to take paracetamol (baby tylenol) to reduce the fever and pain (she is really suffering from the earache), but her response was (after much coaxing), "I dont want medicine, I want to be sick, I dont need medicine, my body needs to be sick"
    So we're trusting her on that one and letting her heal herself in her own way.
    I'm just really glad that I decided to open up "mama's milk bar" again just in time. It's just such a great medicine for little kids.
    and after 48 hours of no sleeping and constant moaning and crying and a HOT baby girl, she's starting to get better without any medication at all.

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