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Thread: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    I stopped feeding my son on Friday evening, and now I am really regretting the decision I have made. I chose to wean him because he fed frequently through the night - every 45 mins to 1.5 hours, and because I work part time, I found it difficult to cope - suffering from frequent infections and extreme tiredness. But now I feel rested, and Ben is sleeping through the night, I feel I have made a terrible mistake. I really don't know what to do. I'm afraid that if I start to feed him again I might confuse him more??? Does anyone have any experiences that might help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain
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    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Hi Sue and

    First, how old is your son? Do you co-sleep or do you each have your own bed?
    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue 76101 View Post
    I stopped feeding my son on Friday evening, and now I am really regretting the decision I have made. I chose to wean him because he fed frequently through the night - every 45 mins to 1.5 hours, and because I work part time, I found it difficult to cope - suffering from frequent infections and extreme tiredness. But now I feel rested, and Ben is sleeping through the night, I feel I have made a terrible mistake. I really don't know what to do. I'm afraid that if I start to feed him again I might confuse him more??? Does anyone have any experiences that might help?
    Go ahead and nurse him. You can always put limitations on night nursing if baby is old enough to not need to nurse at night. There is nothing wrong with continuing to nurse whatsoever.

    As far as worrying about confusing him, maybe if you added some more info, like how old he is, how much solid food he's taking in, and whether or not he's under a year old and still needing formula to replace breastmilk would help us ladies to give you better info.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Hi Sue 76101,
    You're conflicted about your decision to stop nursing. You were hoping for a break, but wonder what it would be like to start up again. It would be helpful if you could tell us more about your situation. How old is your son? How much was he nursing before you weaned? How did he take the weaning? Some nurslings go on nursing "strikes" for periods of days or weeks, and then resume nursing afterward. It's really hard to say what will happen, but there's no harm in offering if both you and he are interested in continuing to nurse. As they get older, it gets easier to set limits here and there, if needed, such as when, where and/or how long to nurse at a session. Nursing doesn't have to be all or nothing. Let us know how else we can help.

    Mary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Thanks for your replies. Ben is 17 months, and was nursing mainly at night. Ben co-sleeps with me. The lack of sleep was causing me to be irritable during the day, especially with my 5 year old daughter (who I breastfed until the age of 2.5). I have just had a pretty appauling night - Ben woke at 3.15 and has cried on and off until now (6am). He has never really had much appetite for solids, and is still refusing them even now - almost a week since I stopped nursing. My husband never really agreed with me nursing Ben, and I have told him that I am uncertain that I have done the right thing, but he doesn't really say much. I did hear about night weaning, but I think I'd got so low that I couldn't deal with the upset and thought it would be easier just to stop altogether - in the first few days it was - but now I'm not so sure. I don't want to go back to being so tired and moody, but also can't help thinking I've made a huge mistake - help!!!!
    Last edited by Sue 76101; April 2nd, 2008 at 11:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,551

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Hi Sue,
    Could there be other things going on? Could he be getting sick or is he teething? Maybe there are other factors adding to his upset and lack of interest in solids? How has his weight gain and development been? It's hard when you don't feel like you are supported in your decision to nurse. Have you considered attending a nearby LLL meeting? It might help for you to meet some other mothers who are also coping with nighttime parenting/nursing toddler concerns. You can click the "Find local support: Choose a country..." drop-down menu above, or if you let me know your area I can help you find a local LLL Group.
    Night-waking at that age is still pretty common, especially during times of illness, teething, developmental milestones, or change/stress. There's also a range of night-waking "styles". Some toddlers wake frequently for little sips, but go right back to sleep. Some toddlers wake to nurse (or play) for longer periods. Many times, there's a developmental aspect to sleeping longer stretches. It will get better as they get older. Really!
    Do you think he would still latch? How about your milk supply? One of the things to look for in mother-led weaning is how it's going for the child. You can usually tell if it's going too fast by the child's behavior. "Cold turkey" weaning can be hard for both of you, emotionally and physically. It's definitely possible to go back. He might need some extra reassurance for a bit, and then if you wanted to you could try some limits again when things have settled down for you both. Some things that other mothers have tried are setting regular "go to sleep" routines. It can help them to know what's coming next. Also, counting or singing songs can be a way to say "yes" and let them nurse, but not for long, long periods.
    I hope something in here helps, Sue. Please let us know.
    Mary

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,307

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    At 17 months you can definitely still nurse but put limits on the times you nurse. You should be able to get your lo to understand that. I have actually heard many say that knowing they can have it if they want it in the future is easier on them than saying they can not ever have it again. And, it sounds like weaning really did not help you with your night time issues anyway. (we have night issues too and it usually has nothing to do with nursing - sometimes nursing may get her back to sleep faster but she will wake up even if after we stopped night nursing)

    If it were me I would tell him times that he could nurse. If he asks to nurse at night say "we don't nurse (or whatever he calls it) at night anymore. We can nurse in the morning" or whenever you decide that he is allowed to nurse. It might help if your husband helped with the night time duties. So, when you say we don't nurse at night but you can lie with daddy or daddy will rock you instead kind of thing. Since it has only been a week you should probably still be producing milk so go ahead and try nursing if he is interested.

    Good luck.
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    I am still so confused. My husband is so far against me restarting to nurse that he has even said he will leave if I do so. . Ben wasn't actually so bad last night. He woke once, and after I rocked and sang to him he fell back to sleep quite quickly. I also spoke to my health visitor yesterday, and she said that if I did start to nurse Ben again, I would only find myself in the same situation in a few weeks time - after all I know I won't get any support at home - and that Ben would be the same with weaning no matter how old he is. My daughter was also quite jealous of the relationship I had with Ben - she was always close to me - and I do admit that her behaviour has actually improved since stopping. But I still can't shake off the feeling that I did wrong. . My breasts are really sore and I am still leaking lots of milk, and that is only making me feel much worse. As I am writing this, Ben is sitting in his chair feeding himself breakfast. I think it is worse for me - I would love just to scoop him up and feed him again - he is so adorable!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,551

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    Your husband has expressed some strong feelings about resuming nursing your son. And the health visitor also has warnings about starting up again, with the assumption that you'd be right back where you were before weaning. It can be really difficult to reach inside and determine what's right for you when the messages you are getting from others is so strong one way or the other.
    In your first post you mentioned getting frequent infections? Were these breast infections/mastitis? In general, the recommendations for weaning are to progress as slowly as possible given the time frame you have. Sudden weaning can put the mother at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. It's definitely OK to pump for comfort and ease your body toward producing less milk. If you wanted to pump more than just for comfort (more regularly) that would help to maintain your milk supply while you are deciding what to do.
    Only you can know what's best for you and your family. As it was mentioned before, nursing doesn't have to be all or nothing. It's OK to negotiate and put limits on nursing so that everyone's needs can be met. Negotiating and limits can be easier the older the child gets, and the more you can talk with them about what both of you want. Weaning is a very individual process. A really great resource on nursing through different ages and stages is Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, by Norma Jane Bumgarner.
    What was your experience like nursing your daughter through her toddler years? What was your husband's level of support like during that time? A resource that might help is this article about breastfeeding toddlers from New Beginnings in 2006. If you scroll to the bottom, there are ten myths about nursing toddlers you might find interesting.
    Also, here's a link to an older thread about coping with/convincing partners who are less than supportive of breastfeeding beyond the age of one.
    http://forums.lalecheleague.org/showthread.php?t=7227
    HTH!

    Mary

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Regretting stopping Breastfeeding

    The infections I mentioned were things like tonsilitis etc, which I never experienced before. The doctors & HV's put this down to my severe lack of sleep, pointing out that the body cannot repair itself without sleep. My husband hated me nursing Katie, and could not understand why I would be nursing a toddler. I have tried to encourage him to look at websites and info on the benefits of bf, but he refuses to even look. I'm real mad at him right now. I feel like he has taken something from me that is irreplaceable. However, I am trying to see that what I have done is not the actions of a cruel mother, but those of a person who was exhausted and needed to change something to make things better in the long term. I wish that my milk supply would go - it makes me feel worse that it is still there and that I am denying my child the right to nurse - its heartbreaking . On your last message you asked about Ben's weight. At birth he was 8lb 13oz and by 6 weeks was on the 98th centile. However, his weight slowed at 9 months (normal - I know), but in the last few months he has put on absolutely no weight - remaining at 24lbs 2oz. Ben never really weaned onto solids, but today he has had so far 2 meals. He has also been sleeping better for me now, and I feel stronger in myself, and I am not so snappy with the kids. I just wish that things were different and that the devolped world did not have such a negative and ignorant attitude towards the beautiful and loving relationship that bf is.

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