Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nursing no longer

When I just found out I was pregnant for the second time, I decided, despite dire warnings, to go ahead and continue nursing Shira, because abrupt weaning just seemed very untimely and harsh. And indeed, she continued to nurse quite a lot for the following couple of months.

After the first trimester, however, my milk production dropped very quickly, until I had no more left, and my daughter started spending less and less time on the breast, until a short while ago, I realized that she just isn't interested anymore.

I'm very thankful for the wonderful 15 months of nursing we had together. That time was so sweet and precious, I wouldn't trade it for anything. All the countless hours of having my little child in my arms, so completely peaceful and relaxed, any time of night and day. It's a tiny bit sad to say goodbye to nursing her, but I'm at peace - she weaned on her own, at her appropriate time, gradually and with no outside pressure. And she's an exceptionally healthy child, very open-minded when it comes to food and ready to try just about anything. We never gave any formula or commercial-brand cereals.

I am so looking forward to nursing, God willing, this new baby who is due to be born to us around the end of August. I hope it goes as wonderfully as it did the first time around. Nursing is truly such an awesome privilege, a loving gift from the Almighty to mothers and babies.
Photo credit: allposters.com

17 comments:

Kristy Quinn said...

Hello, I am a new follower of your Blog. :) Although I have been unsuccessful breastfeeding my daughters it wasn't for lack of trying, heart and determination. I loved reading your beautiful post and it warms my heart to hear a mother be thankful for the gift of breastfeeding. It's tough when I hear women who are completely uninterested and I tried so very hard and failed. I will pray for you that nursing your new one due in August goes just as well as your other.

Kristy

Kate Scott said...

I'm with Kristy! I, too tried and my body failed me. I am happy and encouraged to read about ladies who've successfully breast fed their babies. I'm pregnant again, due in 8-10 weeks and am looking forward to trying again. It has been my prayer all along this pregnancy that I can breast feed for an extended period of time with this little guy. :)

Alycia said...

You did a wonderful job with her, Anna. I'm glad you are accepting of the fact that she has weaned herself. My little daughter also virtually weaned herself at 16 months when I was at the end of the first trimester of this pregnancy, and I'm a little sad about it. She still latches on for a few seconds once a week or so, but I think we're just about finished. I'm "due" on May 12, however, so we'll see if her interest picks back up. Best wishes to you.

american girl primitives said...

I can relate to your post. I was able to nurse both my children. I wouldn't trade that gift for anything in the world. You know when the time is right my kids both lost interest at an early age 7-8 months but my goal was one year with both. That's ok because it was the right time for both of us. So many people give up and have trouble so I consider myself lucky. Good luck with your new little one.

Carey

Tracy said...

Oh, Anna! I'm so thankful to have nursed all four of my children. I agree that it is a gift to mothers from our Almighty God. It builds such strong bonds.

Lady M said...

It is so hard when they finally decide they are done. My 19 mo. old is mostly done - just a token, short nursing session in the morning. I really cannot call it a session anymore. If we did not snuggle in the bed first thing in the morning, I suspect he would not even ask.

But, given that I am 4 mos. pregnant, I already knew that my milk supply was dropping the last month and his lack of interest backs that up. So, he got 2-3 mos longer than I thought he would, given the pregnancy. And Gideon, like your little one, is very healthy and happy. With such a rough start to breastfeeding with him (latch issues related to "size" discrepancies - most polite way I can put it) and pumping all his meals for the first 3 mos of his life, well, I cannot complain!

Looking forward to the announcement of whether you are getting a little girl or boy this time around. We have our ultrasound in a month and we shall be very interested indeed, given that my 11 yr old dd was praying for G-d to give her a baby sister - and we turned up pregnant (without really expecting to). Needless so say, I will not be surprised if it is a girl, lol!

Anonymous said...

It is nice when they wean so peacefully like that! That is how I try and go about it as well. I am due any day now with my third and nursed my second at the beginning of this pregnancy. She just gradually stopped. :)

Thursday's Child said...

Good for you! And just think, you didn't really stop nursing...you're just taking a break for a few months. ;)

Rightthinker-Andrea said...

I'm so thankful for nursing, as well! I can't wait to be nursing once again....I am due the very same time as you. I'm due on August 26th, with our 6th, and planning a homebirth.

I have a bit of sadness over my last nursing relationship. I was EBF our baby, and at 6 months old became pregnant.

We're overjoyed by that! However, by 7 months, my milk was gone! So, he was obviously not getting nutrition and was moved to the bottle...alas, I know God knows exactly what He is doing, and my boy maybe will want to tandem when the next one arrives! He'll be only 14-15 months, so it's possible!

Blessings to you!

Kari said...

I had the exact same experience with my daughter - my milk supply basically just disappeared during the first trimester, so she was done nursing at 13 months. My son, on the other hand, completely weaned himself right at a year...at least it made the transition easy :) Lord willing, I'd love to nurse this next baby (also due the end of August!) as well!

Kacie said...

I'm around 7w pregnant and still nursing my 16-month-old (we're pregnant again at the same time, Mrs. T!).

I have noticed a sharp decrease in my milk production. My son still wants to nurse a lot, but I don't know if it's enough to sustain my production for long.

I'm not going to take any herbs or do anything to try to increase my supply since he's beyond 12 months. I figure, if my body is ready to be done, then we're done -- even if it's sorta sad.

Miss Kelsye said...

She is growing up so fast!!!!!!! If for some reason you do not have a really good milk supply I would recommend stop drinking caffeine ( coffee, tea, coke,etc.) and start drinking Mama's milk tea (which you can get from the Bulk Herb Store.)

Anonymous said...

You're so right about nursing being a wonderful gift to us mothers. I remember feeling the most awesome & profound emotions that my body could actually do it! How I enjoyed that time together with my children. It was so difficult at first....really painful....but did grow easier with time. I pray that nursing your second baby will go as smoothly as it has with Shira.

Brenda

Donalacasa said...

I nursed 4 babies 1 year each. They all weaned on their own. It was truly a blessed experience.

Blessings!

Alycia said...

Miss Kelsye - Unfortunately, supply increasing methods don't work terribly well on the pregnant body. I suspect the hormones simply override anything we can do during that time. Most importantly, however, fenugreek - a large component of mother's milk tea - is contraindicated during pregnancy. Even if its weak links to birth defects can be disproven (which would not surprise me), it most certainly has an effect on blood sugar, which can be a very uncomfortable thing during pregnancy.

Homemakers Cottage said...

Good for you, Anna!! My girls both weaned around 16 months and I was glad that I hung in there and let them nurse as long as they needed, despite some pressure from friends to wean sooner.

I nursed our second daughter for several months while I was pregnant with our baby boy... I nursed our son until he was 20 months old... he weaned just a few months ago and I am 6 months pregnant with our 4th baby.

Nursing during the early months of pregnancy may not work for every mama, but we managed okay with it. I'm thankful for the time I was able to nurse each of my children... it's always a little sad when they wean, since it seems like the final stage of babyhood.

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

S. Belle said...

I have nursed both of my children, and have enjoyed it so much. My daughter is 19 months, and she continues to want to nurse, so I continue to nurse her.

My son, who is 2 1/2 also still wants to nurse at least once a day. I nursed him throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, and everything turned out fine.

I think if I let my children self-wean they probably wouldn't do it until they were 4 or 5. My mother told me that my sister self weaned at 4 years old.

I guess I will see how it goes.