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Two questions and an insult

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 44 Comments

Katie and I had an interesting conversation at Sunflower Shoppe today. It went like this:

“Mommy, where’s daddy?”

“At work”

“Where’s Daddy’s car?”

“At work with Daddy”

“Where’s Gigi?”

“At work”

“Where’s mommy?”

Smiling: “I don’t know. Where is mommy?”

“At work? NOOOO! Mommy doesn’t work!”

Ahem. I was asked two other questions today that were much better for mommy morale.

“I read your blog about your food and that you were still nursing while pregnant. I have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind.

1. how did you get pregnant while you were nursing?

2. How does your body make enough for the 3 of you? I thought once you were pregnant you had to stop nursing to keep the nutrients you needed for the baby and yourself.”

When Katie was an infant, I remember cuddling her in my arms and thinking “I could be happy with just one child if I needed to.” Back then I had concerns about overpopulation and the planet, so I was trying to do what I thought was best for my child along with all the other children in the world. I have since grown skeptical regarding the motives of the organizations that promote that view. Anyway, thinking that I could be happy with just one lasted about five minutes. Adoption is a wonderful way to grow one’s family and I am personally very open to it, but I felt the need to have at least one more biological child. My experience with Katie has been so transformative I wanted to do it all again.

FIRST DISCLAIMER: A lot of people perceive mothers that nurse toddlers to be self-righteous women that think they are better mothers than everyone else. I can’t speak for them, but for me, becoming a mother has been a very humbling experience. I am routinely ashamed by my lack of patience with Katie and my inattention to her requests. Sometimes I feel like the cloth I was cut from isn’t very well-suited for mothering. I love Katie with all my heart and I worry about how my inadequacies will affect her. For me, extended breastfeeding is something I can do to meet Katie’s emotional needs while I learn to be a more patient, loving and mature person.

Because I breastfed Katie without using bottles or pacifiers, it took a LONG time for my period to return. Nineteen months in fact. Although I was already looking forward to getting pregnant and wondering when that would happen, the delay was okay with me because I knew that my body was not up to the task of meeting Katie’s needs alongside a pregnancy. When it was, it let me know ; – ) The official term for the style of breastfeeding I do is Ecological Breastfeeding. I don’t like this phrase particularly, but the “Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding” are as follows:

  1. Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. This means that your baby does not take any other liquids or solids. The only nourishment your baby receives is your milk from your breasts.
  2. Pacify your baby at your breasts. This means that you pacify your baby at the breast for comfort or to meet his other emotional needs. This comfort nursing usually involves nursing the baby to sleep.
  3. Don’t use bottles and pacifiers. These items take the place of what should be occurring at the breast during the first six months of life. It is possible to take care of a baby without a pacifier. I did it for four babies. I am not opposed to that rare situation where the pacifier calms a baby after all options have been tried. But it can soon become a habit.
  4. Sleep with your baby for night feedings. This means the family bed. You learn to sleep while you nurse your baby during the night. It has been demonstrated through research that a baby who stays at his mother’s side during the night nurses three times more nightly than the baby who sleeps nearby or away from his mother during the night.
  5. Sleep with your baby for a daily nap-feeding. This means you go to sleep for a short time and you nurse your baby during your nap. It does not mean that you lay there waiting for the baby to fall asleep so you can get up and get things done. That is not a nap. Rest is essential when nursing and can be very important in maintaining infertility for the nursing mother. The nap was a priority for me when I was a young mother and had several small children and a nursing baby. I would ask my preschoolers to lay quietly with me for 30 minutes and then they could get up. Usually they fell asleep as I did. Most schools for preschool and kindergarten children have a rest period. We should be able to do this also in our homes.
  6. Nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules. This means the absence of any schedule, even the two-hour schedule. I recently counseled a mother who used a two-hour schedule and still had to use a bottle for two feedings because she did not have an ample milk supply with this schedule. To have an ample milk supply, all you have to do is nurse frequently as baby desires and nurse during the night and those daily naps.
  7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby. This means that you do not leave your baby; you learn to take your baby with you. In addition, you avoid using certain equipment excessively which may become a substitute for your parenting. The occasional and brief use of certain baby equipment is okay. But again parents may rely more and more on these gadgets so they do not have to spend time parenting their babies or small children. Babies have the right to be cared for by their parents, especially their mothers. By being physically close to the mother, the baby is stimulated to nurse more often.

Just to clarify, I rarely did #5 and Katie DID HAVE A REGULAR SCHEDULE when it came to naptimes and other events. But until she was a certain age, I nursed her when she expressed the desire. #7 was really hard for me during the first year, but it got easier as Katie was able to go longer periods between feedings and Daniel and I could go out on mini-dates.

Question #2 is how I get enough nutrients for the three of us. First, let me say that I eat A LOT. I don’t consider this a sacrifice at all ; – ) Seriously, pass the steak and buttery mashed potatoes!!! Second, Katie eats three meals a day plus snacks. She relies on me for very little nutrition. The benefits of nursing a toddler are more emotional than physical. There are some physical elements, like that I am still able to pass on immunities as we encounter seasonal crud. When one or both of us do happen to get sick I am REALLY glad she still nurses. In the few days she’s been sick in her life she REFUSES everything but my milk. I am pretty sure we would have ended up in the ER on at least two occasions with a severely dehydrated child if I hadn’t been nursing.

SECOND DISCLAIMER: The choice to breastfeed while pregnant and hopefully to tandem nurse has NOT been easy for me. I cannot stress that enough. Honestly, it can be very demanding and frustrating. It was especially difficult during the first part of this trimester, when every nursing session caused my hormones to go ballistic. My decision to continue has less to do with what I want and more to do with what I believe is best for Katie. The more she is able to articulate her thoughts and feelings, the more I have understood just how much breastfeeding means to her. It has shaped her in a way that I find beautiful and endearing. The other day a little girl was crying because she missed her mommy. Several children were standing around watching her, totally immersed in what was going on. Katie walked up to her, took her hand and kissed it. IMO, one of the reasons she is such a nurturing and compassionate child (reality check: she DOES throw tantrums) is that she has received a lot of nurture (I’ve thrown a few tantrums, too. Guess I passed on more traits than I meant to. Oops!)

I hope this was worth reading. I would really love to hear from some moms that choose not to breastfeed their toddlers about what comforting activities their children enjoy. Katie is nursing less and less often and someday I am going to needs some new tricks in my bag ; – )

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44 Responses to Two questions and an insult

  1. Thanks to your husband for passing this my way. Let me just say CONGRATS on making it this long! Wow.

    I guess I pretty much followed all of those 7 rules while nursing my now 21 month old son. Funny thing is I never saw this list and said, “Hey, I’m going to follow each of these rules.” I just did them because it’s what came naturally.

    That being said, I was emotionally done when he was 13 months old. For me, to be a better mother, I needed to let go of breastfeeding at that point. I was so happy I’d made it that long, though :) So now the things we do to help pacify him include holding him, rocking him, and reading books. At night we rock while singing and talking about out day until he’s sleepy enough for bed. Then I pat his back for a few minutes and he’s out.

    Congrats on baby #2! I hope the nursing continues to be a wonderful experience for all of you.
    .-= Jill @BabyRabies´s last blog ..On crib abandonment and keeping it in perspective =-.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for the ideas, Jill. I think your statement about “what came naturally” is really what it’s all about for me. Sometimes we are wiser than we realize and then we overthink ourselves out if it!

  2. Ashley

    says:

    Thanks for this. I was a non nursing mother and really wished I had worked harder at sticking with it. I had so much pressure from everyone that I caved and just FF. I wish I would have listened to my gut.

    • Heather says:

      Ashley, I love that saying that goes “speak up for those that cannot speak up for themselves.” Although the application is totally different in this case, your story reminds me that I have an obligation to be vocal about breastfeeding because I DO have a supportive husband and extended family. I know that not everyone does, but maybe as each woman speaks up we can change cultural perceptions and make it easier for every mom to do what feels right for her. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love your post and i think you answered all the questions beautiful and thoughtfully.
    i had no trouble getting pregnant when i was breastfeeding, i was pregnant with my second on my son’s first birthday. i found when i was tandem nursing and nursing through pregnancy that we all got what we needed, physically and emotionally.
    Thank you for sharing both the joys and challenges of your breastfeeding story

    • Heather says:

      Oh that is so encouraging, Alison! I admit I am a little nervous about tandem nursing, so it’s good to hear that you had a good experience. I love that you said physically AND emotionally, because my apprehension are more in the latter category.

  4. Love this post, and I share many of the same worries about the cloth I was cut out of. Thank you for this beautiful story.
    .-= Bestforbabes´s last blog ..A Mom With a New Baby Needs Your Help! =-.

  5. Corrie

    says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am currently breastfeeding my 2.5 year old son & it is always refreshing to hear of another mom
    who went beyond the norm to meet her child’s
    emotional needs.

    • Heather says:

      Wow, Corrie, I am SO impressed. One of my best friends is breastfeeding her toddler and she gets tons of grief because he’s a boy. I think I’ve had an easier time with people because I have a daughter, so I really respect moms who are courageous enough to do what they feel is best for their sons despite what general society might think.

  6. Wow! You are an amazing mom. You don’t give yourself enough credit. I’m saying that as a mom who is also equally as hard on herself. At the end of the day out of the love we have for our children, we do the best we can always, most of the time its above and beyond despite what others say. I wish I could have tandem fed my toddler and newborn. I admit to being nervous about the stress it would possibly induce. I did feed my daughter until a little after her 2nd birthday and I was proud of myself for going that long. Kudos to you. I hate that mom’s feel they have to justify their actions at all. We should be supporting one another’s choices after all we’re doing the best we can.

    • Heather says:

      Thanks for your comment, Suzanne. I agree that it’s counter-productive for moms to criticize each others decisions. No one thrives in a critical environment, and we NEED to learn from one another in order to grow. Good point!

  7. I love that you shared this post, babe. Let me tell you, I’ve watched my wife endure hardship (to a fault, a few times) for the sake of our daughter’s well being. No one handles everything perfectly, and I’m convinced we could have found more balance at those times when Mommy was “taking one for the team.”

    As a husband, it’s a powerless feeling to watch your wife suffer from lack of sleep and constant badgering. My prayer life is much stronger and more consistent now than any time previous. When I don’t know what to do, I pray. I plead with Him for wisdom, insight, and solutions when my wife has been so tired she can barely form a sentence.

    I honor my wife for choosing to endure discomfort for the sake of our child’s well being. I also want to find more ways to make her life easier.

    Your prayers and suggestions are appreciated.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..A Family that Blogs Together Stays Together =-.

    • Lexi

      says:

      I know this is an older post, but I’m reading it for the first time and this is absolutely beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes to see such a supportive and loving husband. You two have a beautiful family and it is wonderful to see your strong bond.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this. I stopped nursing my first son at 6 months and there were many times when I wished that I would have done it longer.
    Now with baby #2, I’ve tried to follow more of the “rules” By doing these things I think that I will be able to continue nursing much longer. With baby #1 I didn’t feel that I had much support and I think that contributed to weaning him early. I think it’s wonderful that women like you share these things as it provides great support for other nursing mothers.
    Best of luck to you and your family with baby #2 !
    .-= Erin Hagerty´s last blog ..Snow Days =-.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you! Although I am really happy with my nursing experience so far, I am also looking forward to doing some things differently with #2 than I did with Katie. I think we all learn a lot about ourselves the first time around. Maybe that’s why I feel such strong desire for #2 . . . DO OVER!

  9. This is a wonderful post … Thank you for sharing your experience … I will share this link with my son and his wife. I nursed both my kids for two years … the first six months was nursing only … that was a long time ago!
    .-= Frances Flynn Thorsen´s last blog ..10 Tips Guaranteed to Make the LinkedIn Reciprocity Gods Smile =-.

    • Heather says:

      Frances that made me laugh. When my daughter was born my mom and I couldn’t agree about whether she should sleep on her back or her tummy. Thankfully some things never change . . . breastfeeding is breastfeeding!

  10. Des says:

    I admire you for your dedication to what you believe and for being sensitive to your daughter’s needs.
    I personally am not a long term breast feeder. With my daughter I breastfed exclusively for 7 months and with my son I breastfed for almost 9 months.
    I didn’t really make a decision to quit breastfeeding my daughter. The decision just kind of came about with my new, 50 hr a week and stressful job. In a new environment it was difficult for me to find a quiet place to pump and so it just tapered off.
    With my son, it got to the point where he was needing more milk than I was giving him (he’s huge. At 8 months he was wearing size 18 month clothes) and I had to make a choice to either start waking him up to nurse him at night (he was sleeping 12 hours) and pump in between feedings to get my milk supply up. Or start supplementing and eventually weaning him. I chose the latter, although after a few weeks of taking supplements and pumping in between feedings which didn’t help.

    When it comes to my kids, I just viewed nursing as a form of sustenance and wanted them to learn to self soothe without my boobs needing to be there.
    It seems selfish when reading a blog like yours, but I begin losing myself in my children and needed that independence and time away from the kids to stay grounded and be the best mom I can be to them.
    Anyways, I know your heart and I know that you don’t judge those of us who don’t nurse as long as you do as well as I know you know that I don’t think you’re weird because you do. :-)
    I think parents find the balance of what is best for them and what is best for their kids. In my case, a happy mom was more vital to my kids well being than breastmilk for 2 years.

    To answer your question. Both my kids have paci’s and since my daughter is 2, we weaned her off her paci and now she sleeps with Boo-Boo the bear :-) Shi sleeps with a paci, but it’s not vital to his existence as it was with Lyric. I have some of THE cuddliest kids on the planet. Even as I’m typing this I’m having to do so around my 2 year old as she is laying in my lap watching Monster’s Inc. So I like to think that I am meeting their emotional needs as best as I can as you are with Katie and this soon to be new baby!

    Wow, that was longer than I wanted it to be.

    Bottom line. You amaze me with your selflessness and dedication to the health of your child. Way to go you!
    .-= Des´s last blog ..Lessons Learned =-.

    • Heather says:

      Destiny, you are one of my favorite commenter’s because you always have a different perspective that forces me to see things a little bit differently. Plus, your comments are practically BOOKS! j/k The thing I have always admired about you and Courtney is how fun you make mothering look. We all know it is hard work, but I know your kids feel loved and accepted because they know you ENJOY them. Sometimes I find myself thinking about ya’ll at moments during the day when I am trying to pull myself out of a crummy mood. It’s inspiring!

  11. Henrys mum

    says:

    Thanks for sharing so eloquently your experiences with breastfeeding. I am also currently nursing & expecting our 2nd baby in April. It’s not been easy. I found at times it was very difficult to let Henry feed – I felt so sensitive and struggled with personal space issues sometimes, while supply dips meant he nursed more often. But I kept going because I knew it was right for Henry and I am so glad I did. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding. :)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Henry’s mum! So glad to connect with someone that is in exactly the same boat as me. I am just finishing out my first trimester and hoping that the sensitivity will subside a little. I hope you come back and leave your blog URL so I can learn more about what to expect in the next stage!

  12. I talked to Heather briefly on IM earlier. She wants to respond to comments, but had to prepare lunch and then take a nap with Katie.

    We were both fairly impressed that she found time to blog. Hopefully she can get around to writing some replies a little later in the day.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..A Family that Blogs Together Stays Together =-.

  13. Google Alerts send me here … You have some good juice, Lady! Thought I would share a blog post I wrote yesterday.

    You have a TERRIFIC blog!

    http://francesflynnthorsen.posterous.com/if-breastfeeding-offends-you-put-a-blanket-ov
    .-= Frances Flynn Thorsen´s last blog ..10 Tips Guaranteed to Make the LinkedIn Reciprocity Gods Smile =-.

  14. Pippi

    says:

    I know this comment is a few months late — but I have to say that it’s an awesome post! I’m going to be tandem nursing in just a few weeks and I’m a bit nervous about it, too. Will my daughter start nursing again all the time? She’s getting close to 3 years old and only nurses before naps and bedtime and I’ve really liked that routine (especially with the nipple pain — more would be really hard to take). I don’t know how I’ll handle a newborn if she starts nursing again all the time.

    I’m lucky to live in a really supportive community. Nursing toddlers are quite common here. My friends who haven’t nursed their toddlers usually wish they could have. Tandem nursing, though, is more unusual. Nobody has said anything negative but there aren’t many other moms I can share experiences with. I’ll be stopping by your blog to see how you’re doing. It looks like we’re due around the same time.

  15. ken says:

    The use of bottles and pacifiers have changed more than our society and culture. They have changed the ways our childrens faces, jaws, teeth and skulls develop. The issue is that the pressure from the bottle/pacifier changes/stunts the proper growth of the bones in mid-facial region. Bones can be molded by pressure. Take a look at children from native american tribes that used cranial deformation by either using planks of wood or binding. The same type of thing happens to the bones in the face.

    Educating yourself about the options that we all have to choose from. Because our choices now, will effect our children when they become adults later.

    I wonder what ratio is of people that were bottle fed to those that have sleep apnea as adults. I would bet that there would be a large correlation between the two.

  16. melanie says:

    this is a GREAT post! i wish i could have seen it 8 years ago when i was expecting my second baby. i had so many questions & fears that no one seemed to be able to answer. i had to find my own way in the dark.
    i can report that it is perfectly safe and healthy to nurse while pregnant. i have done it through 5 pregnancies now. i have been nursing my babies (without stop) for the last 9 years and have tandem nursed for all but 2 years during this time (the first year and the 4th year). every woman’s body is different; i found that my hormone levels were not high enough to deter the next pregnancy except for the first year after the birth of the younger baby of a tandem pair. for example, i am currently nursing my 22 month old and my 5 month old. i expect my fertility to return around my 5 month old’s first birthday. often i have nursed 2 toddlers through my pregnancies. i nursed my #1 & #2 through my 3rd pregnancy, nursed my #3 & #4 through my 5th pregnancy, and nursed my #4 & #5 through most of my 6th pregnancy. i can also say that it was possible to nurse 3 at once since the older ones really want comfort more than nourishment. i stopped nursing my #3 when my #5 was 6 months old and my #4 & #5 continued to nurse.
    i began tandem nursing because i wanted to nurse my first baby until he was 2 years old. when my #2 was born, my #1 was only 14 months old and i felt he was still too much of a baby to wean him (he also only wanted to eat crackers & cereal and i didn’t think that type of limited diet was at all healthy). i continued to tandem nurse my #1 & #2 because i see nursing as comfort & love as much as nourishment for the toddler and i couldn’t figure out how to deny ‘love’ to the older baby while giving it to the younger baby in front of him!
    it’s not easy to tandem nurse, but it’s worth it. it is a lifestyle you become accustomed to and i believe that it has been the right decision for our family. and i believe it has given my children the start they needed.
    thank you again for your great post!

  17. Mrs. Mom of 6

    says:

    I have nursed and gotten pregnant 4 times. I even tried the method you describe above with baby number 4, to prolong the time till I got my cycle back, but it came a the same time as it had in the past. (I do have a slightly longer span in ages between 4 and 5 but, not sure if that is related to the nursing or not, since my cycle came back at the same time as it had before.) When I was pregnant with 4, I was nursing 3 ALOT, she was still very dependent on the mother’s milk at 15-19 months, she barely ate other food, and one of the main reasons I nursed her throughout my next pregnancy and after was because of her tiny size, poor growth, and attitude problems (she’s on the spectrum we later found out). I tandem nursed her with her baby sister until her baby sister was 16 months old, and she was one month shy of her 3rd birthday, and then I weaned them both because I was pregnant again. So I just want you to know, the method above doesn’t always work, AND, your body may not tell you when it’s healthy enough to get pregnant again, by getting pregnant… I certainly got pregnant when I wasn’t that healthy, even resulting in autism and eczema and some mysterious perpetual “itch” in baby 5.

    I’m pregnant again with baby 6, and I weaned baby 5 when I found out, because my body really CAN’T handle tandem nursing again so soon. I get terrible symptoms of nutrient deficits that I can’t overcome. (for one my teeth are rotting out of my head faster than I can prevent new cavities with a healthy diet and HVBO/FCLO.) I do confess that I can’t always eat the healthiest meals. I can’t afford to ALWAYS eat gf meats, purely organic, etc… and supplements are really killing my pocketbook…

    Well anyway, my point is that there are exceptions to every method… I seem to be the exception to the two methods you mention above: Ecological Breastfeeding, and the body being able to determine when it’s healthy enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy. I really hope that THIS baby is healthy, because I have not been able to stick to a Traditional Food diet as much as I wanted to. Maybe one day I will get to tandem nurse again…. I hope so, I really enjoyed the bond it fostered between my two daughters.

  18. Timo

    says:

    “For me, extended breastfeeding is something I can do to meet Katie’s emotional needs while God makes me a more patient, loving and mature person.”

    No, Katie did.
    She’s the one in control here, not some superbial or extraterrestrial being that is perfect in all it’s ways and gave you the chance to communicate with Katie. No. Katie did.

    ;-)

  19. Devin says:

    I breastfed exclusively for 3 months then had to go back to work. I pumped milk and she drank from the bottle at daycare, but I kept the breastfeeding going when I was with her. You are right about the connection it creates. I was a little heart broken when she turned 8 months old and started to refuse the breast. Unfortunately the bottle is easier. So I make sure to hold her and sing to her and do lots of cuddling to make up for the missing bonding. I also lie with her to fall asleep at night and she rubs my face as she falls asleep. It definitely takes work to be a mom and keep my career, but I didn’t have kids to ignore them. They are worth every minute I put into it!

  20. Christina

    says:

    What a great post. I’m tandem nursing my 38 month old and 20 month old….which I get so many people’s unwanted comments. But whoa whoa whoa, does that change when they find out I’m pregnant too! They just can’t help themselves. its frustrating because these are people who dont even eat a clean diet. I don’t have any support outside my husband, and it’s hard to always go against the grain. I would like to stop to make life easier for me, but I know they need that closeness, and I just can’t deny them of that. It’s nice to know I’m not all alone, or that others have done the same. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Rowena Tucker

    says:

    Thank you for sharing this essay/part of your diary! It was very well written, and I hope many mommies find it. Good luck in Eden. R

  22. Tasha

    says:

    Just a comment to anyone who considers breastfeeding a form of birth control. My son was exclusively breastfed and I ended up pregnant with my daughter within 4 months! Please don’t assume you are “covered” because of it, lol. My midwife said that we go through a hormone change at around 3-4 months post partum and that’s when a lot of women get pregnant again. I breast fed my son until he weened himself about a month before his sister was born. (I also have a great aunt who had babies NINE MONTHS APART11!!! Yikes!

    To all the breast feeding Mama’s out there–virtual high five! Keep it up. :)

  23. timsdanni

    says:

    I just read this article – my last child (now 5) weaned a little over 2 years ago – and as we face challenges as our lives change there are times I still wish I could comfort her at my breast. We are transforming as a family from me being a stay home mom the last 19 years to hubby being the primary parent and me in grad school, gone 4 LONG days a week. The little one misses me desperately and there are days we both cry, those are the days I wish I could snuggle her to my breast and provide that ultimate comfort.

    This article reminded me of how dear that time was – I will always be glad I gave that time to my children (now 19,11 and 5). There were times I was touched out but let them nurse anyway because I knew how much it meant to the child.
    Thank you for sharing

  24. Rachel

    says:

    My first baby was a preemie. She had a lot of latching problems at first (due to the baby developing that “sucking reflex” the last weeks in utero.) By the time she was a month old (her due date), it suddenly “clicked” for her and she was a nursing pro. I nursed exclusively, and got pregnant again when she was 7 months old. It happens; not every body clock is the same. I’m not complaining. But, unfortunately, my plans to BF while pregnant were nixed when I ended up with placenta previa, which led to low amniotic fluid, and I had to “conserve resources” for baby #2. I felt SO GUILTY having to give my 10-month-old a FORMULA bottle, when we had planned to nurse her at least til a year old! It was not what I had in mind, but it all worked out in the end. She seems fine, and I’m thankful for the months of her life that she WAS able to nurse. Just a little encouragement to mommies whose plans don’t go as they intended. God is in control, and there’s no room for worry.

  25. I appreciate you sharing. I’m 4 months pregnant and my son is turning 1 this weekend. I always wanted to nurse until he was ready to stop but now I find myself overwhelmed with continuing throughout this pregnancy and after. Ironic that today we took a bath together (he usually takes a bath with daddy every night) and he was all over my boobs! Normally he enjoys playing and splashing in the water but he was so distracted and just wanted to nurse. So I lay back with him in my arms and breastfed him in the warm soapy water. It was so sweet and relaxing and touching and I teared up. I’m tearing up now! Nursing has been such a beautiful blessing for both of us. And I have thought it’s more for him than me but God occasionally shows me instances where I’m taken aback by the closeness and love I feel. I’ll continue to try and have patients and not worry what happens after baby number 2 comes.

  26. Mary Trillich

    says:

    Hi Mommypotamus!~

    Is this comment to be posted….i cannot really talk about what i want to talk about with you if this posted bc what i have to say is that you & i have alot in common…as far as breastfeeding our children!…I nursed my first child til he was about 5 years old, my second child (who was born 7 yr later)…i nursed her til she was about 2 and my third child until he was about almost 2 years old….and the second and third one at the same time!!!~…Lauren I weaned her when Michael was at 3 months old….yepp i tandem nursed the two of them together….with a newborn and a toddler…and she was great about the baby too!~and i would do it again and again too!~

  27. Vi

    says:

    Heather,
    I never knew this rules until I read this post. Unconsciously, I have followed all the rules after giving birth to our son. I breastfed him for 3.3 years every 20-35 mins, depending on his mood. And without any food for almost 8 months, sometimes I would give couple drops of water. I only followed my instinct but now I am glad I need. My son is a very lovably boy, I can tell the difference between him and kids his age who were not breastfed.

    Thanks for sharing. It makes me feel good hearing there are mothers out there who still care about this.

  28. Miss Dandelion

    says:

    This is a great list. Thanks for the encouragement!
    My first son was born at 31 weeks and I had a very hard time getting my milk going and getting him nursing well once he was out of the hospital. Finally, after 3 months of agony and tears and pumping and bottles and supplementation (yech!) someone noticed he was tongue-tied. That was solved at once and things improved totally within one week.
    I continued solely with the breast and he became tremendously fat and healthy. Despite constant criticism from my husband and mother-in-law about weaning (they simply did not understand what I knew to be true about it), I continued.
    I breastfed at bedtime until 2.5 months into my second pregnancy. By this point, my son was almost 4 years old. I was diagnosed with irritable uterus and high risk for another preemie. In addition my nipples were in excruciating pain day and night — it was like Reynaud’s Syndrome or something…I could barely stand nursing anymore. I couldn’t even look at my poor little boy when he was causing so much torment and I was gritting my teeth and counting the seconds. Finally, I decided that the nursing wasn’t helping my uterus or my anxiety levels. As well, I was concerned about nutrition as I was barely able to eat with constant nausea. To top it off, my son was loudly complaining about the poor milk supply! So we had a nice chat and I told him that I needed to stop for a while (but that when the baby came he could have milk again — yikes!). My little fella was so totally cool about it. Now instead of nursing, he comes to me and cuddles the Num Nums when he needs emotional nourishment.
    And I should add that shortly after I stopped my son’s bedtime ‘immune-boosters,’ he got pneumonia and was on antibiotics for the first time in his life!
    Thanks for the forum, Hugs

  29. Marina

    says:

    I’ve definitely had a rough time with my 8 month old. i began with oversupply, and because I didn’t know enough about it or because of a problem with baby, I ended up with recurrent plugged ducts. I had absolutely no energy to do anything about it until she was 3 months. The first several months were exhausting, and it continues to be so. For months I was cooking my own food and desperately trying to clean up after myself and the baby so my family wouldn’t get angry. I still ended up leaving a mess, and they still did get angry. They said i wasn’t doing enough, and that i wouldn’t let them help me because I would take care of the baby myself instead of handing her over to someone else so I can clean. I’m still doing housework and taking care of the baby, and they still feel like i’m not doing enough. They think i should put her down for naps instead of sleeping with her. Enough whining. My main thing is that I’m wondering if my daughter has tounge or lip tie. She has always spat up after feedings, and she would feed for a long time despite my having a lot of milk. Even now she cannot drain the breast. She does seem to prefer a faster flow, but is that because it is difficult to nurse? She’s been gaining weight well, but she always fed often. She started teething at 3 months, and finally showed 2 teeth at 5 months. I’ve always assumed that her pulling off was gas, which she always burped and then fed again, or teething. We called the lactation consultant, and they said it was fine. I am definitely going to call and ask about it. Anything to make our nursing relationship easier. She gets so frustrated. I wish there was a bit more information about 6 months and up with being around the parents here. Is there more in the book?

  30. Moonfalle

    says:

    I was just browsing the web. I’ve been feeling pretty useless lately. For some reason the beginning of your first disclaimer was just what I needed to hear right now. thank you for letting other people know that not everyone out there in mommy-blog land is as perfect as they like to seem.

  31. colleen says:

    Hi Mommy potamus – love your blog – thanks for being so articulate – you are a fantastic momma; I also raised my children – self weening them and I agree it is so much the best way – they are so much emotionally secure, although they do have issues (me being a single mom for one would create a few) , however having their basic needs met was never an issue and has made them oh so much more healthy in every way, than any other choice I could possibly have made. (NO Vax either) – Keep up the awesomeness!!

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