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Thread: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

  1. #1
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    Default Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    Hi,
    I might be leaving my 6 month old daughter with very loving grandparents for a week trip to Hawaii. Not sure traveling that far with her will be best for her. I want to bring my pump to maintain my supply, but what are the chances of her returning to nursing after 7 days? Anyone have experience with this? I might still take her, I'm really conflicted and torn.
    Thank you,
    Carrie

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    Carrie, I don't know what the odds are in terms of whether she will resume nursing after a week without nursing. I would guess that there is a significant chance that she will wean altogether, and so if you leave her, you need to be okay with that possibility.

    I think it would take a lot of hard work to maintain your supply by exclusive pumping for a week. How often does she nurse now? That's how often you would have to sit down with your pump for 15 minutes or so, right around the clock if she nurses at night. When you're traveling, it can be a lot harder to pump than to just nurse the baby -- finding a private place with an electrical outlet and a place to sit, that kind of thing.

    A week away at 6 months feels to me like a VERY long time, for the breastfeeding relationship but even more importantly just for the baby and the momma. But you are not me, so my opinion really isn't what you need to hear. I believe strongly that a well-attached mother knows in her gut when she and her child are ready for separations, and she knows better than anyone else how long a separation is okay. I think your main job here is to listen to your gut and not let other external messages -- pro or con -- try to convince you that your gut says something different or that your gut sense doesn't matter.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    I don't have an answer for your question, but I do agree that you run a risk that she will no longer be interested in nursing when you return from your trip.
    I don't know if you meant to solicite opinions but... I say take her with you. As long as she generally has a good tempermant and you're comfortable nursing in public (or willing to become comfy), she may quite enjoy traveling. I personally wouldn't be able to leave my son for that long (he's nearly 5 months). When my husband and I do get away for a meal, when we sit down usually the first thing I say is "I wonder how Connor is doing..."
    I have read that some babies don't adjust to the time difference and others don't sleep as well away from home (although this is supposedly less the case if you co-sleep), but generally you can go with the flow. A month ago we traveled to my parents' house with a three hour time difference, our son didn't really adjust. He stayed more or less on Arizona time, going to bed about 11 or 11:30 at night. I also have a friend who took her nine month old daughter to Paris this past spring, and she did great.
    Do what feels right for you, but if your breastfeeding goals include continuing for more than six months you may want to consider postponing or bringing your daughter along in order to preserve the relationship.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    I agree, a week away from a 6 mo might find you coming home to a weaned 6 mo.
    That said, I went away from my dd, when she was 18 mo, and just for 4 days, but she was straight to the boobie as soon as I walked in the door. (even 6 months after weaning, at age 3 she still goes for a little boobie now and then)

    and I think what the pp said about bringing the baby with you is a great idea, if you're up for it. When my dd was 6 mo I took her from Brazil to Australia for a 6 week visit, she was no problem on the flights and got used to the time diference (12 hours!! ) as quickly as I did.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    i started working again when my son was 8 months. he was premature also he had heart surgery. i don't know if what he went through made a difference (because he was away from me before, overnight in the hospital). he has been exclusively breastfed since he was born. he's now one and still bfing. i know going back to work doesn't sound like it pertains to your question, but my job was in another state and i'm a single parent. so i had to leave both of my children with my parents a week at a time and only got to see them on the weekends until i found us a place to live. (that took about 2 months) it was very hard to leave every time. but everytime i came back he never hesitated to BF. yes, pumping is hard work, but i'd say it's definitely worth it, and it's not really that hard to find a place to pump..

    of course you have to consider the posibility of her being weaned. but from experiences i'd say the chances are slim. but every baby is different too.

    let us know what you decide.. and have fun on your trip!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    Thanks everyone!
    My gut instinct says take her with me. She's very comfortable nursing now and really likes it, but it hasn't been an easy road. She hasn't taken a bottle in weeks either and yesterday refused one, so thats a lot to accomplish in less than a month. On top of that, she has acid reflux and nurses to sleep. Plus, I don't think I could leave her for a week. Family pressure to keep her here home hasn't been encouraging either.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarriePulsifer
    My gut instinct says take her with me. She's very comfortable nursing now and really likes it, but it hasn't been an easy road. She hasn't taken a bottle in weeks either and yesterday refused one, so thats a lot to accomplish in less than a month. On top of that, she has acid reflux and nurses to sleep. Plus, I don't think I could leave her for a week. Family pressure to keep her here home hasn't been encouraging either.
    It sounds like you might have already made up your mind. Try not to let family pressure influence your decision too much. Family can have valid points & opinions but they are not the mother in the long run. It sounds like you had some BF issues in the beginning and have finally got those all worked out, I would be hesitant to shake up the balance right now. I don't think I could leave mine for a week @ 6months either. Let us know how the trip goes.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    I took my dd to Vegas with my dh and I and we had a lot of fun!!! We have also taken her on long visits to family and she does great there too. You won't have the same freedom as if she doesn't go, but you might have a hard time if you go without her because you'll miss her and worry about the bf.
    She should be fairly easy to travel with, especially if she's not crawling yet.

  9. #9
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    Pazygozo is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    I just took my 4mo on a 2 week trip to Family Reunions, and my wrap was such a lifesaver in all the different activities and places. If you haven't already, I would recommend checking out the Babywearing Forum on this site if you decide to take dd along. I hope you have a great time in Hawaii!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can she return to nursing after a week break?

    We live in Boston and took a Christmas trip to Hawaii with our DD (who was 3 1/2 months old at the time). First off - SO MUCH FUN!!

    She turned out to be a great traveler. But I also think that it is all in your attitude. Yeah, almost 18 hours traveling wasn't fun - but I figure get them in the habit of going with you where you go and they get with the program.

    So - have a great time in Hawaii. And don't worry about the flight, I am sure that your DD will be great.

    Also - on another note, if you haven't pumped much in the past - pumping for an entire week to maintain your ms will become quite tedious. Plus, you'll have to pump in advance to get enough bm for her while you're away. Seems like more work than it's worth to just be appeasing your family. Plus, don't they want to see her?

    Well, I am sure it will all work out. Good luck! And enjoy Hawaii. It is truly a little piece of heaven.

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