Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts on Weaning

So I just had a friend message me and ask for posts on a few different topics. Honestly, I was totally flattered. Then, I thought, "I want to blog right NOW!" It's kind of crazy how when someone asks you about something that you totally want to give your opinion or experience. So, thank you friend, you know who you are :)

One thing she asked about was weaning and how that went with Levi and what I'm planning on doing with Aria. I think the only thing about me giving my experience is that my body is different than anyone else's. It's been interesting to discover things about my body, mainly my fertility and all that womanly stuff, as I go along. For me, breastfeeding and fertility go hand in hand. So, this is part of my motivation for extended breastfeeding. With Levi we stopped using a diaphragm (our only form of birth control) when he was around 8 months. I was sure I would get pregnant even though I hadn't started my period. Also, I knew I wanted to try to breastfeed him for at least a year and I would re-evaluate after that. I ended up making it to about 14 months. He was toddling around and I was just tired of it. I also honestly wanted to get pregnant again and I wondered if that was a hindrance.

As it turns out, it was.

Along came Aria. Second time around I wondered if my body would do the same thing. So far it has. I started my first period around 13 months again. I'm wondering if I will get pregnant because we are not using any form of birth control, but if it's like Levi, I won't. Who knows? The only thing that is holding me off is that I would really love to have a spring baby. Having a baby in the winter time can be depressing, and worrying about keeping a newborn warm and it's cold and flu season... not cool. I'm a huge fan of spacing kids close together, just because I feel like they will be better friends the closer in age they are. I mainly just don't want to have another winter baby, but if I do, I won't complain for too long.

I've been different with nursing Aria than Levi. With Levi I did more on demand, we nursed for comfort, I nursed him to sleep a lot, I nursed him many times a day. Maybe sometimes 9-10 time a day. It was more so something we liked to do. I was his pacifier. He has never sucked his thumb or taken a pacifier. I think that caused me to want to wean him in the end though. If there had been more boundaries I think I could have held on a little longer.

With Aria we have done the SEW (Sleep Eat Wake) Cycle. I heard about it from a lady with nine kids. You feed them as soon as they wake up and then they play and then learn to fall asleep on their own. Aria also sucks her thumb when she's sleepy. I love this in some ways because she's not using me. It's been different with her. I haven't enjoyed nursing her as much. For one thing, she pinches a lot and so I'm always telling her no or trying to distract her. I've almost lost my supply twice. The best thing I've found for regaining supply is drinking beer. Again, that's my body. Everyone's body is different.

So, I'm mainly just continuing to breast feed for two reasons:
1. I want to get pregnant in the summer so I can have a spring baby
2. I want to give her immunities and some good nutrients from my body

Here's my last thought on weaning.

This made me want to weep the other morning.

I was reading in 1 Samuel where Hannah prays and prays for a child and then promises God that she would give him back to the Lord. My heart aches for women who cannot bear children, absolutely aches. She becomes pregnant with Samuel and has him. She decides that when she weans him she will give him to the Lord. I suddenly had this picture of her with her newborn baby and the depth of joy and pain she must have felt as she looked at this child she would eventually have to give back. Don't you know, she probably did everything she could to keep her supply up and to keep breastfeeding as long as possible. I look at my three year old and think of how that might have been how old Samuel was as he went to live in the temple.

I just have to think about that for a while.


  1. I wish I could use breast-feeding as birth control. After Chloe, my period started back in 9 weeks... NO JOKE... exclusively breast-feeding. My doctor had never heard of such a thing. :)

  2. really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on nursing/weaning. i've struggled with supply issues and wondered what kind of beer you drank? and thanks for the reminder of how precious our time is with the children God gives us!

    1. Natalie, I liked the taste of Budweiser Select. I can't remember the other kinds that I tried, I think it was Oatmeal Stout Samuel Adams. Usually the more expensive beers taste better :) And it is an acquired taste. I would think the Oatmeal Stout would be good though because oatmeal is supposed to help with your supply.

      Also, if you are struggling with supply, make sure you get enough calories and fat content in your food. I know when you just had a baby you're like, i want to get this weight off! but I majorly cut back on my calorie intake when Aria was about 4 months and I saw a direct correlation, it was crazy.

      Another thing I would recommend is just extra nursing. Not stressful, oh-no-is-my-baby-getting-enough?! kind of nursing, but really just the kind where you are bonding and chilling out together. When I feel like I'm short supplied I nurse when the baby wakes and then nurse again one to two hours later. Just to be relaxed about it is good. Stress doesn't help supply, which stinks when you're worried about how much they are getting. Listen to music, relax, breathe... that's all I can say. I'll be praying for you! If you need anything you can FB any time!

    2. Hey, Jodi! Thanks so much for the advice...I have also noticed a calorie correlation and have tried to snack more and eat more of healthier foods with good calories in them. I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I probably will hang onto this last 7-8 pounds until I wean Ruby.

      Also, I will try the beer. I have tried Levi's before, and it tastes gross to me, but maybe some Sam Adams Oatmeal Stout with a yummy Big Orange burger doesn't sound so bad! ha!

      And the extra nursing makes a lot of sense, and I will try that as well. It has been a stressful month in general now that I am back at work part time (not even 2 full days per week but it still feels like so much when they are still babies!), so I very much appreciate the prayers. I really want to nurse Ruby for the first year, so I am hoping I can at least get 5 ounces per feeding consistently for her. The supply thing is so stressful. Thanks again for the help!