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Extended Nursing

 
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RockyMtnMom



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 391

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:54 am    Post subject: Extended Nursing Reply with quote

With the "definition" of extended nursing being mostly referred to as nursing beyond a year, I have a few questions for you all. How many of you have extended nursing your child beyond a year and for how long? Was it difficult to get into a modified pattern of nursing? Did you experience a low supply? Did you have too much supply, thereby maybe having plugged ducts or mastitis? How many sessions did you maintain a day and when were they typically? Did you ultimately wean your child or did he/she wean herself and at what age?

Here's my history... I bf my DS1 until right around a year. I felt I needed to quit so I could get my period again in order to get pregnant again. Once I weaned him completely at about 12.5 months, I got my period, then got pregnant that cycle with my DD. I bf my DD until almost 14 mos and weaned her because I felt it was the right time and I could then let my husband help out with her more, especially at bedtime. That then allowed me to be able to help my DS1 at bedtime, which had almost primarily been done by my DH since I was nursing my DD at bedtime.

At this point, DS1 is 8, DD is 6 and DS2 is 10.5 months and I planned to at least nurse him for his first year, but am now wondering if I should really put a limit on it or just let him lead the way. I am hoping the extended nursing would really help him build up an immunity to all of the junk that the older two may bring home from school :-)

I've had quite a few plugged ducts recently, which is kind of rare, I think, when nursing a 10.5 month old. I also had mastitis twice a few months back. While I try to maintain about 5 nursing sessions during the day (he hasn't nursed at night since about 3.5 months old, except for the occasional odd awakening.), we sometimes only get 4 in due to our busy schedule with the older kids. I'm thinking this might be contributing to the plugged ducts, etc. The plugged ducts obviously make the nursing process less enjoyable as it is quite painful and I feel like I sometimes plead with my little guy to drink more to help me "unplug" things!

ANYWAY...what helped you be successful at extended bf and was it possible to really cut back yet still maintain enough of a supply to nurse a couple or few times a day?

Thanks for any input you can give!!
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kkimbrell



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Snellville, GA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:21 am    Post subject: Re: Extended Nursing Reply with quote

[quote="RockyMtnMom"] How many of you have extended nursing your child beyond a year and for how long? Was it difficult to get into a modified pattern of nursing? Did you experience a low supply? Did you have too much supply, thereby maybe having plugged ducts or mastitis? How many sessions did you maintain a day and when were they typically? Did you ultimately wean your child or did he/she wean herself and at what age?


ANYWAY...what helped you be successful at extended bf and was it possible to really cut back yet still maintain enough of a supply to nurse a couple or few times a day?

Thanks for any input you can give!![/quote]

DD-13 mo
DS1-20 mo
I guess I may not be able to give you the best answer b/c with both of mine, I was pregnant while nursing, so my supply did drop a bit b/c of that, but I think I was able to maintain a pretty good supply considering. I stopped with both at 6 months pregnant. I do plan to allow DS2 to self wean. I think as long as you allow yours to drop the feedings gradually and at his lead you shouldn't have oversupply issues. With both of mine, we got down to one nursing session a day, and so it wasn't hard to just stop. With DD, (at 13mo) I pumped a little after I weaned her just to help her with the transition to milk, but my supply had dropped pretty much by then so when I stopped completely, it wasn't a big adjustment. I've heard that if you do have oversupply while dropping a feeding, you can hand express and that won't trigger the body to make more as with pumping would.

HTH!
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2blue1pink



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did extended breastfeeding with all 3 of my children, and enjoyed it immensely.

DS #1 weaned himself at 19 months, when I was 20 weeks pregnant.

DS #2 weaned at 22 months. He didn't want too, but I was DONE at that point and scheduled for surgery.

DD nursed for 16 months. This was mainly encouraged by me, she wasn't as interested after 12 months, and only nursed once a day at 14 months.

I always seemed to have just enough milk for what they wanted. Whether it was 4 times a day, or 12 times a day, my body adjusted to what they wanted. They gradually nursed less and less as time went on.
It was first thing in the morning, then prior to each nap, then before bed.
When they got down to one nap, then it was usually 3 times a day. If they napped in the car, then they missed that nursing session unless they asked for it when they woke up.

Somehow, the nap nursing got dropped. I think they just got so exhausted from older sibling activities that they passed out. One of them gave up the morning nursing last. Another it was the bedtime nursing.

I'm good for about a year and a half of nursing, then I feel like I'm finished.


If you are having problems with plugged ducts, try rubbing the plugged area toward your nipple while the baby is nursing.

Good luck.
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2purpleflowers



Joined: 15 Jul 2007
Posts: 497
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also did extended nursing with all three. I have been very, very lucky and have never had plugged ducts or mastitis.

DD1 weaned at 22 months, when I was 13 weeks pregnant with DD2. My supply dipped to practically nothing from the pregnancy hormones around 10 weeks and we were both getting frustrated, and I didn't want to tandem nurse anyway, so it was time to quit. She was pretty easy to wean because she hadn't been enjoying it much for a few weeks before weaning anyway. She night-weaned at 9 months and she dropped to 2 sessions a week at around 13 months (and I got my first AF at 13.5 months!), but I had no supply issues until the pregnancy (got pregnant when she was 19 months).

DD2 weaned at 21.5 months, when I was 16 weeks pregnant with DD3. again my supply dipped at around 10 weeks, but she didn't care. I, however, was quite tired of it and found it uncomfortable, so it was time to quit. She was harder to wean (DH did mornings and bedtimes for a couple of weeks to help with the transition) as she really would have loved to keep going. She nursed first thing in the morning, before naps, and at bedtime. She also was night-nursing until she was 18 months (I tried so many times to night wean, but she is one persistent kiddo and had to throw in the towel many times before it stuck!). At 18 months she also dropped to 1 nap, so at that point she was nursing 3 times a day. When we weaned, we dropped the nap first, then the morning, then bedtime. No supply issues until the pregnancy.

DD3 weaned 4 days after her second birthday. She also nursed first thing in the morning, before naps, and at bedtime. She night-weaned at 13 months. So at 13 months she nursed 4 times a day, and then when she dropped to one nap at 18 months, she was nursing 3 times a day. At around 22 months we dropped the morning nursing as mornings were too hectic to fit it in any longer. We went on a week-long trip that coincided with her 2nd birthday, during which I was either away from her at naptime or we were in the car, so by the time we got back, we had dropped the naptime feed as well. Then we got home, and I had a meeting at bedtime, so went the first 24-hour period without nursing her. I nursed her the next night, then was out again the night after that. Then the next night I went to nurse her and she said, "I want milk in a cup." "Really?" I said. "You can have mama milk." "No," she replied. "I want milk in a cup." That was that! It was the first time I'd weaned without pregnancy decreasing my supply, so the first time I dealt with the sore breasts, etc. Once I'd finally gotten past that (about 2 weeks), she up and asked for mama milk again! I told her it was all gone, that she drank it all. She laughed and accepted it. She does still talk about mama milk, though, 7 months later.

I do think my kids were healthier for the extended nursing (and the first winter they were no longer nursing they were hit the hardest with colds, fevers, etc.). I also enjoyed the bond, and the chance to sit and cuddle my toddler a few times a day (the only time any of them were calm enough to sit still for any period of time!). I am happy and proud to have logged a total of over 5 and a half years of nursing!
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RockyMtnMom



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 391

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your replies. You are all to be commended for such diligent hard work in the nursing department. Anyone who can bf while pregnant gets a Mom of the Year Award in my eyes. I don't think I realized with DS1 that I probably could have just cut down my sessions and gotten my period so that I could get pregnant again. In retrospect, I wish I would've gone longer with him as I do remember him getting quite a few illnesses once I stopped nursing.

Anyway, I appreciate the detailed stories as they help me figure out what my approach should/can be for my DS2. I think I'll try to at least get him through this winter/spring when we have all the junk coming home from school with the older kids and might finish up around Memorial Day if my duct issues don't throw me out of the game first.

On that note, I found some natural remedies at Vitamin Cottage that might help me...Happy Ducts (drops taken orally) and some Grapefruit Seed Extract that I can mix with Olive Oil for a topical ointment, as well as 1200 mg of Lecithin twice a day. So far so good!!

Thanks again and anyone else who has a story....I'd LOVE to hear it! The more the merrier!
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Shorty



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 60
Location: Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

DS weaned at 15 mo on his own
DD @ 14 mo. But I had to wean her as she started to bite really bad.

After DS I still had milk until I got pg with DD. They are 25 mo apart. DD has been weaned since may and I still have milk again.
My poor DD was really colicky/gassy my flow was so fast she would gag and swallow a bunch of air, then unlatch. Then wouldn't go back to the nipple, so sh never got much more than the fore milk, not the good thick stuff at the end. So therefor she was hungry again within an hour. The frequent feedings of course made my boobs make more milk and then the flow was even faster, and harder on her. Poor thing. It was a tough 3 months. I talked to a lactation cons. So many times and tried so many positions, nothing really solved it, she just got big enough to handle it. Then everything was peachy.

I also was lucky enough to never suffer from plugged ducts or mastitis. I have had a overfull boob before and that was painful enough.

I really hope the next one isn't like that. IMO self weaning is optimal for the kids. Less stress, but nursenas long as you want no matter what anybody tells you. It has to be enjoyable for both or it's not worth it. If you are ready to stop, but just do it for the baby, they will pick up on it and it will no longer be the lovely bonding time it should be.
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RockyMtnMom



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 391

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Shorty! It is interesting to hear of everyone's story and how each one is different. I am happy to report that I have seen a dramatic turnaround with my plugged ducts & mastitis problems (so far anyway :-) I started taking Lecithin (1200mg twice a day) plus the Happy Ducts herbs by Wish Garden. I also have been applying a mixture of Olive Oil and Grapefruit Seed Extract at night before bedtime and increasing my overall water intake. Whatever it is (I think mostly the Lecithin), I've noticed a HUGE difference in the way my breasts are emptying. They don't start out so hard and they are soft when he's done. What a relief! I hope this all maintains itself so we can continue at least until he's 17 months.

One other question for you all...when you got down to one session, say at bedtime, could you easily go out for the evening and have someone give your LO a bottle at bedtime or did that prove difficult for you and/or him/her? Also, did you feel like you could have a glass of wine if you weren't planning to feed him/her until the next day? Just curious!
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Shorty



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 60
Location: Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine never took a bottle so I cannot answer the first half of your question. But once in a while I was able to go out and DH put the LO to bed without much fuss.

As for the drinking, the best thing that I heard (and did) was to have your drink right after the LO fed, then there is no alcohol in the milk, provided you won't be feeding again the same night. My LO's go to bed at 6:30, so I was always able to enjoy some adult time with an adult drink w/ friends or family once they were down. IMHO, once you are down to 1 feeding a day nursing not so much for food but comfort, so the intake is small comparitavely and there isn't as much risk as if you ere to drink while nursing a new baby.
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kkimbrell



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Snellville, GA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

again, my situation was different than yours since I was pregnant and had a low supply at that time, but I didn't notice a problem. Toward the end, I would even just nurse every other day, or a few times a week, and I was alright.

As far as alcohol goes, if I have an occasional drink I'll do it right after nursing so that by the time for the next feed, it will be out of my system. I believe levels peak 1-2 hours after the drink. Here's my go-to resource for all things BF: http://kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html
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Shorty



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 60
Location: Alberta

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the website, thanks KKimbrell!
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