How do you keep up your milk supply while nursing a 4-year-old? Neither of us want to stop nursing (-: .

Milia - posted on 06/15/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Every once in awhile my son will say that there's no more milk in one of them. I've been taking fenugreek but at this stage, how do you know if it's working? I don't know if I can rely on my son telling my that one is empty b/c he nurses a lot for comfort. At those times, it might not even bother him if there's not much milk. I just don't want to get to the point where it might be too late to try any tricks, so to speak (-; , to increase the supply & my little guy & I are devastated b/c there's no more milk at all.

Please don't tell me that I shouldn't be nursing this long. I was one of those people WAY back when (-; who thought it was disgusting for a child this old to be nursing. This is my fifth little one and like his siblings, nursing is VERY important to him (so it is for me, too (-: ). It's just something that happens (long-time nursing); I don't know how many women actually plan for it to go this long. All I know is that my son & I are a very happy nursing couple, and I want it to continue as long as my son wants it to!

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Liz - posted on 06/15/2011

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My guess is that this is your body and him letting you know that it is time to stop nursing. From my experience milk is supply and demand. If he were truly nursing for food, than your body would make the milk. If he is nursing for comfort, than he is sucking differently (and your body knows the difference) so you are no longer producing as much.

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Minnie - posted on 07/01/2011

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That must be bittersweet, realizing you're headed toward the end of your journey. :)

By four years your breasts have probably begun involution- the actual loss of milk-making tissue, and there isn't much you can do to significantly increase milk production at that point. Fenugreek can increase milk production, but only if the equipment is there to make it, and it probably isn't at this point.



I'm sure you're still making SOMETHING, though probably not a lot. But it may be reassuring to know that what little you are making is full of super-concentrated immune factors and fats. And your son may be content to continue nursing despite a slow milk flow.



Congratulations on nursing this long! I still am enjoying nursing my almost three year old.

Lilliana - posted on 06/30/2011

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Nursing is beautiful, and i think your story is wonderful, your body will adjust to his needs! Keep going Mama!!!

Milia - posted on 06/15/2011

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Thank you so much, ladies, for all of your input! It's funny that Sara asked about possibly being pregnant b/c on Friday, I'm going to the reproductive specialist who helped me get pregnant w/my son (-: . I'm 43, so I'm hoping to get one more little one in while my clock still has some tick left in it (-; ! And Teresa, I sure appreciate your understanding & support! It's always comforting to hear someone else's story w/the same kind of problem.

[deleted account]

Four years, that's awesome! I'm just throwing this out there: could you be pregnant? Sometimes that can have an affect on milk supply. Does it upset him that the milk is not there? It seems so strange that it would dwindle when he's still nursing, especially at this age. If he's nursing mostly for comfort then he may continue to nurse even if you have very little milk. Do you have a La Leche League group near you? If not, you could try calling the closest leader. They may have info that could help you. http://www.llli.org

Good luck!

[deleted account]

I don't know anything about helping supply (other than the standard response of pump more, etc...) and certainly don't have a problem w/ you still nursing your son. I just figured I'd share my input anyway as it would/could possibly relate to my situation.... at least on some level. ;)

My son turned 3 at the end of March. We ARE still nursing, but won't be after July 1 cuz he's going to his dad's for 4 weeks and I won't be attempting to maintain a milk supply for him cuz it's time for us to wean (for other unrelated reasons).

However.... I would NOT be weaning him if not for this trip cuz my son is very attached and I don't mind nursing him. I do have a milk supply issue on the right side now (started after his last trip to Dad.... one week in December). Other than encouraging him to nurse from that side first... which he rarely will do.... I haven't done anything to up the supply. I simply talk to him about the fact that he's getting older and that he'll be done soon and that's why there isn't as much milk as before.

I don't know if you can take anything useful from my rambling.... or if it's just useless rambling, but I wanted to say SOMETHING to you at least. ;) Good luck however it goes for both of you!

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