weaning help..frustrated rant

Emma - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have been breastfeeding exclusively for 11 months now. I have struggled with milk supply issues for 7 of those 11 months. I have pumped after every feeding and had nurse-ins frequently to keep my milk supply up. I have been on fenugreek..milk thistle..red raspberry...marshmallow...mother's milk tea and have eaten oatmeal twice a for 7 months and now I am scheduled for a surgical procedure around her 1st birthday and am ready to wean.

I feel like I have worked really hard and my goal was to make it 6 months..I have made it 11. I will be put under and then be put on pain killers that are not conducive to breastfeeding so I scheduled the procedure a month out in order to gradually wean to be kinder to bub.

My frustration is that anytime I ask for weaning advice all I run into is judgment!!!even from the nurses at my Bub's pediatrician office.

I know after a week of not breastfeeding that I would have to work doubly hard to get my supply back up and I am tired..I have surpassed expectations...I am READY to wean..

I don't believe I am being selfish..all I need is guidance on how to gradually wean...not judgment. I am a good mom and I take incredible care of my daughter...I don't understand why women cannot support each other more instead of questioning their judgment.

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Angela - posted on 04/17/2012

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I've heard of people putting stuff on their nipples to make them taste bad, maybe something like that? Maybe lemon juice or something?

Melissa - posted on 04/19/2012

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Start offering the baby a sippy cup with water or a snack when they ask to nurse, cut out all of the milk building up stuff, so your supply diminishes, cut out one breastfeeding every few days. That was you are pretty done by your surgical procedure. After the procedure if the baby wants to nurse you can put bandaids on and say they can't cause you have owies. I am a lactation consultant. It is fine to wean if you are done. Good for you that you gave it a year.

Lori - posted on 04/11/2012

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Congratulations on making it this long. You've done a wonderful job nursing for as long as you have despite challenges that have been in your way.



Like the other moms suggested, cut one feeding out at a time. Start with babies least favorite. Keep the favorite session for last to go. Usually that's the one just before bed time, but with my first daughter it was the first thing in the morning time.



Try to avoid sitting somewhere that you usually nurse your daughter. She will expect to be breastfed there, and it will probably be very hard to say no to.



Also, I hope you don't get too much judgement from many people. We as Mom's seem to get it no matter what. You're feeling pressure because you don't plan to do "extended breastfeeding", and many others feel pressure to wean because they do "extended breastfeeding". Also I think weaning time can be just as hard on us Mom's if not harder than on the LO's. We tend to over analyze our decision and question if we're really making the right call. "Am I doing what's right for my baby? Am I doing what's right for me? Am I doing what's right for my family?" And that answer is different for each of us.



If you're ready to wean... do it... and don't look back.

Heather - posted on 04/11/2012

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So don't nurse her but 3 to 5 times a day, then start not nursing her when she takes naps. Then cut out the morning nurse and give her a sippy cup of milk of formula in the mornings instead. Do this throughout the day so that she will get used to having something different. Then cut out the night time feedings last. This will take a week or two. But she should do fine.



My son weaned himself at 10 3/4 months old. My daughter nursed till she was 22 months old, and I weaned her the way that I explained above.



As for middle of the night feedings, do them for a few days until she gets used to the sippy cup. Then give her the cup in the middle of the night instead of nursing her. I would skip the bottle altogether. Nuk sippy cups are similar to the breast and easy for little ones to drink from, to start. I would only buy 2 of them, sold at Walmart, and then try out a different cup as she gets into using it!



I hope this helps. I support you! You can email me if you want, mysticbutterfly37 at yahoo.com if you want to talk more.

Celeste - posted on 04/10/2012

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Good for you for nursing despite the struggles you've have been going through!



The best way to wean is gradual and to cut one feeding out per week. Babies should really have breastfeeding/formula until a year and then after a year, can be weaned to cow's milk or whatever milk you want

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Lori - posted on 04/29/2012

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Aaliya - just take it one day at a time, one feed at a time if necessary. The first 3 months are usually the absolute hardest. When I started out I didn't know if I'd make it to 3 months, much less to 6 months, much less to my goal of 1 year. I just kept doing it, and figuring things out as I went, and I breastfed my first to 23 months. And now my 2nd is 17 months, and still going strong.

Aaliya - posted on 04/29/2012

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I dont know if this info will help you, but i had my wisdom teeth taken out and i was put under aswell and the anethesist said just pump the next feed and throw it away and the rest you can continue with and i was also put on antibiotics with pain killers and the doctor and the nurses advised me that i can feed as normal. If you want to wean thats perfectly fine but i thought that i would let you know of this information in case you wanted to breast feed for longer. Hope all goes well for you and congrats for going a whole year my son isnt even 3 mths yet and i dont know if i can last till 6 mths of b/fing..

Lisa - posted on 04/18/2012

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You should be proud that you have made it this far with all of the struggles you have experienced! Many women don't get anywhere near 11 months! My first child weaned rather naturally at about 11 months because he was bottle fed at the babysitter's during the day. I just increased his bottle and baby food feedings and decreased how often I breastfed. I think I would feed him first thing in the morning, then again one time in the evening, and then at bedtime. I cut out the evening feeding, then the morning feeding until it was just a bedtime feeding. My second child had to wean abruptly just under a year old when I found out that I'd been pregnant for a couple of months. She really wanted to nurse but didn't like how my milk had changed due to pregnancy so it probably would have been more of a challenge to wean her if my milk had been what she was used to. My youngest, however, stopped nursing at 9 months to my dismay so I never had to try to wean her. I wished she'd kept nursing a little longer but she wasn't having it! Good luck to you!

Emma - posted on 04/17/2012

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Thank you so much for the advice and encouraging words ladies!!!! I really appreciate them. I think people are pretty passionate about breastfeeding and can be a bit judgmental without knowing the situation. I totally understand that but the fact that we are all on this site looking for and offering advice about children just shows how much we all care about their well-being..so it's nice when other Moms are kind and respectful in their responses. Thanks for sharing your wisdom..I will definitely be putting some of these suggestions to use!!!

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Good for you for nursing as long as you did! My LLL leaders always say, nursing is a relationship between mother and child that should continue as long as *both* parties want it to. It's totally fine if you feel like you are ready to be done around her 1st birthday. And you are right, it would be exceptionally hard to bring your supply back up if you did not nurse for a whole week (although you could keep it up by pumping and dumping, if you have second thoughts). I'm sorry I don't have much advice for weaning at this age... mine did not wean until a little later and by then it was easier because they had reached natural easy-to-wean ages. Best wishes to you and your little bub!

Birgit - posted on 04/11/2012

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First of all congrats for exclusively breastfeeding. I say take a deep breath and cut yourself some slack. I was all panicked when the doctor told me I could finally give my son cow's milk at 12 months. I remember being so happy when I bought that gallon of milk and then the anxiety about giving it to him and he was fine. He took it no qualms. He would drink it cold, straight out of the fridge and to this day, I call him my little milkaholic. I have a friend who nurses her child in the morning and at night mostly just for comfort now. You might want to try that. Maybe you could gradually replace feedings with formula. Maybe just one a day and then after a while make it two. My son actually started on formula at the hospital because he was so early and the nurses had to supplement because my milk supply was low. Then when I started working at 4 months, my supply took a nosedive and I supplemented. I remember crying as I bought that can of formula thinking it was the end of the world. But when I stopped working when my son was 4 months, I went back to breastfeeding. He was fine with formula. He definately preferred breastmilk but if it was all that was offered, he'd eat. And then at one year, he was being introduced to more solids and finger foods, so I was surprised, he kind of weaned himself. We just started giving him more bottles of formula, less breastmilk and giving him milk more at regular mealtimes when he'd be eating other foods anyway. Plus, he was so interested in being on the go, he didn't have time to stop and sit still for a feeding, so I think he took to weaning better than me because it meant he could take his cup with him and go. That's another thing that our pediatrician had us do. She had us already using the sippy cup so for him, it was a big kid kind of thing which made him take to it a little better. But my son didn't care that it was cow's milk and I never, ever put anything into his milk to sweeten it. He used to hate it when I when put his vitamins in his milk. I think our biggest challenge was him just getting the hang of the sippy cup. We tried at least 4-5 different kinds before we found one that he could master. Don't beat yourself up though. You have provided nourishment for your child and now it's time for her to get her nourishment elsewhere.

Maren - posted on 04/11/2012

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With my first I had to go back to work, but she stayed a breastmilk baby. I only started using formula when she was about 10-11 months. Twice a week, on my days off, I would give her an 8 oz bottle of formula, so I would be able to stop pumping while at work. When I gave her the formula I would make it with 6 or 7 oz water and 1-2 oz applejuice to sweeten up the horriable bitter taste. She did not have much trouble taking it, but refused if the applejuice was left out. At one year I replaced all her bottles with cows milk, only nursing at night. To put her to bed, and she would wake up once at night. I may have nursed in the morning, but To tell the truth I can't remember. After 2 weeks she got a bottle of cows milk just before bed, but would wake up and nurse once during the night still. Again after 2 weeks when she woke up during the night I would give her a bottle of milk instead of nursing, that lasted about 3 or 4 nights then she refused the bottle and would wake up and just cuddle, again for about 3 nights, then she started sleeping through the night.
Just start replacing one nursing session with a bottle each day, and after a week replace a second, then a third, and a fourth until you are done.
Good luck with the weaning, and also the surgery.

Carri - posted on 04/11/2012

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You have done an amazing job and have given your baby a great start in life. I weaned both my boys at 11months and both went pretty well, it was just me who missed it. The way I did it was to offer breast milk in a bottle to get him used to the bottle then to swap to formula for one feed a day then move to two feeds after a week and then when you're ready drop that last feed. I found it hardest to drop the feed just before bedtime as that was our nice cosy time. but now we have cosy time with a bottle and stories instead. Good luck, I think you are doing the right thing and have done a great job, many mums don't make it as far as you have!



With my first child people told me not to use a bottle but to go for a sippy cup, I didn't like this idea and used a bottle as it has that same sucking action as a breast. My eldest was weaned from his bottle by 2 years, but drank water from a sippy cup from about 10 months.



BTW - I would never put chocolate syrup in a baby's bottle (personal opinion as its not a food they need and bad for developing teeth), I'd rather use a baby or toddler formula which are naturally sweeter than cows milk and taste closer to breast milk.

Momof2 - posted on 04/11/2012

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I nursed my son for 2 1/2 years however i did also start giving him cows milk once a day after he turned 1 and slowly upped it. for a while it was a huge fight to get him to have the milk. if you feel comfortable with it you could try putting a tiny bit of chocolate syrup into the milk for flavoring (we buy the nestle syrup with the added vitamins)or you could also try giving pediasure that is already flavored and has added vitamins(i think it comes in chocolate or vanilla)



good luck and you did a great job nursing for as long as you did. and despite the struggle you even surpassed your 6 month goal.

Sandie - posted on 04/11/2012

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Sorry I don't really have any advice because my son weaned much later and kind of did it himself so it's not somethingI actively tried to do. I just wanted to congratulate you for all the hard work you've put in to feeding your little one. Ignore judgemental comments, you've done really well and should be so proud of yourself :)

I guess cutting down daytime feeds first may be easier, then gradually work into the night feeds. Do you have enough milk that you could pump and freeze some for after your surgery for any middle of the night emergencies? lol x

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