Calling All Weaning Experts!

Updated on January 07, 2011
A.G. asks from Houston, TX
10 answers

I am sick with lymphadema, my clavicular lymph nodes look like they have golf balls in them, my whole neck is fat as a result. I cant lose weight because this messes up my hormones, and i catch every sickness that dares rear its ugly head my way. I cant do any treatments besides massage to get rid of this because i still breastfeed at night. My baby is already 2 years old and has been weaned besides the night feeding. This kid literally DOES NOT sleep unless she is suckling (i call her my boobie baby). My husband works away from home and is in town mere days, so he cannot help. Him and i have no parents and no friends that we would trust to put her to bed instead of me.

I am at a loss. Ive tried the bottle, its a no go. A very angry no go!, Give me all your advice, and even make fun of me if you have to.
I am a big advocate for extended breastfeeding, but i am sick, and my husband is scared i will get worse, i need to stop, and stop now.

*i have done my own research and all the treatments i can do that are recommended cant be done because i am breastfeeding, once my lymphnodes empty there is a variety of breast lymphnodes that could carry the offensive blockage, some experts i have talked to are concerned it will enter the breast milk, then my baby. Quitting breastfeeding and solving my issue ARE hand in hand.

trust me ive done what i can

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answers from Milwaukee on

dd was 22 months when I weaned her. I cut her off by one min every couple of days. When we were down to zero min I didn't let her wean. She cried, but w/ extra snuggles she did ok. I didn't ever cave after that either otherwise it would have made all the crying for nothing.

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answers from Tampa on

I've done some research on it... seems the main treatments across the board is pressure dressings (but you can't since yours isn't an extremity), massage (already doing), exercises, and diet elimination (cutting back one type of food group at a time to see if it helps).

Antibiotics are the ONLY medication used for this issue - and majority of them are breastfeeding friendly. Seems many medications cause the issue to worsen, except antibiotics. If you need pain meds, most are safe for a breastfeeding toddler.

The prolactin you are producing in order to breastfeed actually helps BOOST your own immune system. So if you get this sick WITH nursing, imagine what may happen when your prolactin levels go back to normal.

I think your best answer is to go to another Dr to see why the massages aren't working. Maybe you've been misdiagnosed. Enlarged lymph nodes are the symptom of a few things. Have you been tested for lymph cancer, cat scratch disease and MRSA?

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answers from New York on

i was a power breastfeeder and i hate to tell if your kids dont self wean as one of mine did its just a painful process. i will give this bit of advice- shorten the nursing sessions! the second bit, prepare a good distraction, something they know you love. and the best thing u can do is enlist hubby because he cant will be rough for him but he can do it for u. trust me, any crying that happens, it will let up. and they all go to sleep eventually through any level of sleep training

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answers from Seattle on

Your child might be old enough to understand that it is time to stop. Explain that (for whatever reason you want to give: you're sick, she's two, etc.) it is now time to stop nursing and offer up a replacement activity (cuddling, back rubbing, etc). I know it sounds easier than it is. Be firm and say after tonight, no more nursing. It sure was lovely etc, etc. but time to be done". she will probably fuss and cry about it and beg, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Two years is a good run and you should feel good about yourself for doing it so long. But now for her it is comfort, not an absolute need. To help you tune out the potential crying and protesting that will undoubtedly tug atyour heart and weaken your resolve, get some noise cancelling headphones for yourself to wear during the weaning tantrums. I weaned my son at 2 and he took it really well. I thought for sure there would be lots of begging and whining, but he just accepted it. With my daughter, I weaned her a 1.5 ( I left for a brief trip). When I came home the first things she wanted to do was nurse, but I told her there was no milk left (even thought there still was a little) and she was fine with that too. They were both pretty obsessive about nursing, by the way.

Do what you need to do for your own health. Your kid will be fine. Expect one unpleasant week, and then you should be in the clear.

good luck!

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answers from Victoria on

its like you have to take her fav blanket away. the boobie has become a danger for her and you. she is going to get angery she is going to cry but you know what. she will get over it. its not going to be easy but kids catch on quickly. it might take a few nights of you going in and soothing (holding, patting, rocking, sing or hum quitely) her untill she calms down. then putting her back to bed even if she starts to cry again. then going back in after twenty mins. she should be sleeping all night by now. not only is it effecting your sleep habbits but hers too. i would go cold turkey on this one. best of luck. sorry life sometimes has other plans than we do! congrats for being able to bf for this long. it truly is a great thing.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I weaned my son when he was 2 years 3 months. It wasn't easy but my husband traveled constantly for work and I was exhausted with nursing every night before bed. Plus I had an older child that I felt was being slighted in the bedtime routine. I started talking with my 2 year old about it to let him know that soon no more boobies. Then I wool tell him 4 more days, 3 more days...etc. Finally the night of I held him and rocked him gave lots of love. I just kept telling him that mommy had no more milk. It helped that my supply wasn't so great and he often wanted more than I could give. Also, before I did this I had my husband put him to bed whenever he was home. Good luck! It's tough to give up for mommy too!

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answers from College Station on

I would call in any reinforcements that you can to spend the night with you. Can hubby take some vacation time? That would be great if he could. Then he could deal with your daughter.

To wean my youngest overnight (like yours he would not sleep unless there was a boob in his mouth), DH took the week off, we sent the older kids to grandma. Anytime DS would wake at night to nurse, hubs took him and got him back to sleep. It is gentler than crying it out, which you may just have to do if DH can't take off work. It took a good week to sort itself out.

Good luck to you. You are just going to have to get tough with her. Sorry :(

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answers from Honolulu on

Would your child understand bandaids as an ouchy area? If the child does then just cover your nipples in bandaids and when jr wants to drink show them the nipples and say "ouchy".

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answers from Gainesville on

I've heard lots of women say they put band aids over their nipples and tell the little one they have a boo boo (which is something they can understand). But the bigger problem is that she doesn't know how to sleep without nursing and that's where you need to start. The more you understand about sleep the better you can teach her how to sleep without nursing. Dr. Sears Baby Sleep book has a section on toddlers and The Baby whisperer and The No-Cry Sleep solution both have toddler versions I think. That's where I'd start so you can teach your daughter how to sleep.

It might go very easy or it might take a while but the bottom line is she needs some sleep education and don't let anyone tell you just to leave her to cry and she'll figure it out. How crazy is that? She wouldn't have a clue or understand why her routine has immediately changed and you aren't there to comfort her. There are kind and gentle ways to teach her to sleep. But it takes some reading on your part and learning on her part.

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answers from Austin on

I used the Band-Aid method at around the same age. (Just be sure and stick them to your pants for a moment, to loosen the adhesive.) Because you're just down to bedtime, you shouldn't have a problem with engorgement.

I don't think it should be a problem going to sleep without (mine always managed to doze off in a carseat without nursing), so I would explain, "Mommy has owies, but would LOVE to hold you and snuggle."

It worked like a CHARM!!!

Best wishes and healing -

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