Need Encouragement - Sioux Falls,SD

Updated on October 23, 2006
S.D. asks from Sioux Falls, SD
31 answers

As wierd as this sounds I am only posting this to get encouragement and/or reminders of why I should be breatfeeding. I have visited with my doctor and a couple different lactation consultants and despite my best efforts and stuck doing the following to keep up my milk supply for my 3 month old. I have to feed her no less than every three hours, pump for 10-15 minutes after each feeding, take my prescribed Reglan to keep up my production and also take the herbal supplement Fenugreek. I am getting frusterated and am just in need of some TLC. I am not ready to give up without a fight but that doesn't mean that I don't get frusterated. Thanks a lot in advance for all of your kind words!

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So What Happened?

I have set a goal to breastfeed for at least 6 months. My daughter is four months old today and I think we might make it! Thank you everyone for all of your support!!! All of your messages were very inspiring and have helped me to continue doing the best I can for my daughter. Good luck to all of you as well!
I am staying on my reglan and the fenugreek and currently looking for blessed thistle and mothers milk tea...since so many people have suggested them. I have stopped pumping after every feeding...i decided that it was only adding extra stress. Since then, I think that my supply has reached a satisfactory level and my daughter seems more content. The bonding that we get from BF is unbelievable...I can't believe i ever thought of giving up!

Later update: I made it to 6 months with breastfeeding. Thanks again to everyone who gave me some light at the end of the tunnel!

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D.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

IF breastfeeding is bringing you down this much, you don't need to keep goiong. 4 months is a long time to breastfeed. With my first I bf for 1 week and with my second I did for 3 months. I quit because I started a new job and I hated pumping. My boys are very advanced for their ages already at 4months and 19 months. Do what you think is right and don't let a doctor tell you what you NEED to do!

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H.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I understand what you're going through! The same happened for me with my first . . . and unfortunately he then weaned himself at around 7 months despite my efforts. I felt like such a failure! Afterall, breastmilk is the one thing I am supposed to be able to provide my infant - it's natural, right?

I don't say this to discourage you, but rather to give some support that friends were able to give me . . . regardless of what happens, you are not a failure - and you are not alone! And as awful as I felt having to "resort" to formula, I learned that it really was okay! I had given my son the best I could for as long as I could - and the formula would still give him the nutrition he needed. Today he's a happy and healthy 16 month old (very few illnesses - I think the breastmilk immunities did help!).

And one more bit of encouragement - I'm learning that just because you may have struggled breastfeeding one child, it will not necessarily be the same for another. I now have a 6-week old who so far is doing VERY well breastfeeding! My supply is more than I ever imagined. We are just relaxing and taking one step at a time.

Enjoy each moment with the precious (although, yes, hard work) gift God has blessed you with!

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D.S.

answers from Lexington on

Wow! It's been tough for you to say the least. Good for you for hanging in there! Breastfeeding is hard, but so worth it. My two beautiful girls were both breastfeed for their first 14 months and it was hard and wonderful and frustrating and SO WORTH IT!!! Lydia, my oldest, wouldn't take my breast at first and so for the first 6 weeks I had to pump (I didn't have the $ for anything but a manual pump) and bottle feed (there was very little sleep involved)and see a lactation consultant. Then she wouldn't take a bottle once we did get her to regularly latch on (so no babysitters for me). Sydney nursed great, but she got up every 3 hours for the entire 14 months to nurse (sleep deprivation took on a new meaning for me). So I know it can get rough, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world. And now my girls are 2 & 6 and nearly never go to the doctors except for well visits and don't normally even catch the usual colds that go around. You are doing the right thing. You can do this!!! Good luck & God's blessings on you!

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A.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear Sweet Lady,

First of all, you are doing the best with the "tools" you have at this moment, and your are doing a great job!!
Stepahnie, I have two kids, my first son is a very smart, happy and sweet 6yr old boy. I did not breastfeed him.I fed him with formula. At some point, I felt guilty and very sad, I tried to breastfeed, but I couldn't for different reasons. I could felt that pressure from some people, even pediatricians, and that did not help me at all. With the passing of time, I realized that the key was doing the best I could for that little love of my life with what I had at that moment: love, love, love and formula..and of course the support of my husband. Nothing else mattered to me then.

I breastfed for 6 mo my wonderful second baby, who is going to be this week 7 mo old. I can describe those first two months of breastfeeding very hard, sad, sored and frustrating.... I felt that I was the worst mom of the world because I wanted to stop breastfeeding. At that moment, all those fairy tales and pictures with moms breastfeeding with the happy faces and beautiful skins and perfect smiles were not my reality...and I realized that it wasn't so perfect..it was the real thing baby!: pain, sadness and frustration....After I decided to stick to it, and put all of my efforts, I found myself breastfeeding my little baby and feeling the most wonderful experience in my whole life.....
S., in my opinion with the two experiences, I can say that you just do with all your love and kindness whatever you CAN do, do not force yourself more than your limits remember that is healthier to feed a baby when you are relaxed and happy and believing in what you are doing for that little sweet girl. Do not worry...

It is not easy to be a mom, and there are a lot of choices for us to raise our kids. We should make those choices according to OUR needs not other's..

Try ..if you cannot do it anymore, just do it the other way....That baby will be fed and happy anyway and you will be always the best mom of the world!!!

Take care and congratulations for your little girl!!

Alejandra

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A.

answers from Omaha on

My first child who is 8 now was formula fed. I always regreted not bfing her so with my second (who is now 16 months) I breastfed. She is still happily nursing. I was able to take the first 3 months off after I had her and I think this helped so much get my supply up but when I went back to work I struggled to keep up with her needs. We bf at home but she had a bottle at daycare. At 9 months I was able to quit work and stay home with my girls and it was SO much less stressful. I never had to worry if she was getting enough because I never responded to the pump very good. I would get maybe 2 ounces on each side. I never did have to give her formula and like I said at 16 months she is still nursing. I still take Mothers Milk Tea every once in a while for a littl boost. I will say that Fenugreek did absolutely nothing for me. I would eat oatmeal in the morning (which is said to help production) and then drink Mother's Milk Tea all day with tons of water on top of it. I would try my best to relax while pumping also. Just remember that you won't get as much when you pump as your baby can get. You are doing the best possible thing for her. She is getting SO much from you and building up her immune system. As well as you are getting benefit from bfing also-less risk of cancer! Give yourself a goal-like when she starts solids. If you can work on that goal and bf till then it doesn't seem so hard. Keep at it mama! Your doing the very best thing for your baby!

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J.F.

answers from Omaha on

hey mama....I went through all those things too - so I know how you feel!! Just don't forget how beautiful it is when you nurse your baby and how much better it is for her! :) keep it up and good luck!

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K.K.

answers from Fort Wayne on

S.,
I am a mom of 3 little girls and a registered dietitian. First of all I commend you on your efforts. A lot of women don't stick with it as long as you have. Congrats to you! Second of all I would tell you that if breastfeeding is causing you so much stress, it may not be worth it. You want to enjoy this time with your baby. And if all you remember is how stressed you were about breastfeeding-- you're not really enjoying your time.
Keep up the good work and remember whether or not you breastfeed does not determine the kind of mother you are. I can tell from your concern that you are a fabulous mom and would be even if you decided to use formula.
Good Luck!!
K.

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J.P.

answers from Wheeling on

isnt it something how all of the breastfeeding booklets and videos make it look soooooo easy. i mean the baby just latches on, nurses and both baby and mom are so content. what a bunch of buffalo droppings if i may say so myself. breastfeeding is best for the baby as far as all of the antioxidants and all of the good nutrients go as long as your diet is healthy. try to make sure you are getting enough water and calcium. and as far as pumping, i know it worked better for me to pump more often rather than for long periods. when my 3rd child was born, she was in nicu and eating every 2 hours....and i had to pump because she was fed thru a feeding tube. i would pump for 10 minutes just to get enough for her feeding...have to go back and pump 2 more times in an hour just to get my supply up so she could have just breastmilk. it felt like i always had breast pumps attached to me. but after a couple of days of pumping 2 times an hour, my supply shot right up. i know it is a pain at first, but once you get your milk supply increased then normal feedings and occasional pumping should be all you need. and hey if something happens that you can not continue breastfeeding, dont feel inadequate or anything. the formulas have everything a child needs as well. i know theres a lot of stuff about breast fed babies get less colds and ear infections and things like that....well my oldest was breastfed but i was unable to breastfeed my middle child.....and i have to admit that my middle child rarely has a cold as opposed to my oldest. so if your gonna be all stressed about it, why not consider formula too. im not saying you should go either way, but this is your special time with your baby. and if you cant breastfeed, you are still a great mommy. just keep yourself healthy...get some exercise...continue your prenatal vitamins( those nasty buggers do help) and remember that you love your child and only you will know what is best.

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S.M.

answers from Evansville on

S.,
I had to pump for my son (due to some birth defects) and it was hard to keep up the supply. One, I couldn't handle the pressure of being his only source of food! It was just too much. So we did supplement as well, which helped me. There were times I could keep up, and other times I couldn't.
I nursed him until he was 7 1/2 months old, and I was ready to be done.
You are doing a great job, and think about all those antibodies your baby will get from you....and even though she has no idea what a pain it is for you right now, when she has her own baby, she will know what you went through....

Good luck!!!

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T.C.

answers from Evansville on

Hi S..
I noticed you said that you were feeding every 3 hours or less. TRy this. Let her nurse as often as she wants till you notice a difference in your let downs. This will sound strange BUT, I noticed with my son i was having trouble with let downs at first. I was so nervous he would nurse and nurse and barely get anything. After i learned to accept that breasts are nurturing my baby and that i didnt have to worry about indecent exposure i became more confortable and as i relaxed i had more let downs. I began to allow him to nurse till i felt first let down and he wuit taking long drinks. THen i would burp and switch sides. Try to get him to drain the other side and then allow him to go back to the first breast. IF you can get into multiple let downs you will release more milk and in exchange make more as well. Also check to see how your daughter is latching on. The more she has in her mouth the better latch she gets which will also help. Try soothing music, lots of water, and most of all just kick back and relax. The better relaxed you are the easier it gets. I know it is hard but keep at it mama. I have a baby girl due in Dec and i will be BFing again. The benifits for both of you guys outweight the stress. If you cant get it up no matter what ask about a supplemental feeding system. It goes around your neck and while you nurse there is a think tube filled with formula or if you have a milk backup supply you can put that in there as well and you still get the stimulation and she gets the food. That was also an option i tried however my lil man would spit the tube out. or pull it off. Most babys dont notice it and just nurse as usual.
Hope i helped need anything just email me

[email protected]____.com

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C.G.

answers from Indianapolis on

I applaud you for working so hard to give your daughter the very best start. Remember that you are doing the absolute best thing for her and YOU! Nothing can replace the physical and emotional benefits you are giving her. Don't feel like a failure for the problems you are having. It is TOUGH and takes the type of dedication you have put into it! Congrats on being such a good mother and good luck with those boards!

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M.E.

answers from Lexington on

Not every one can solely brestfeed. some woman can't or won't. that doesn't make them bad mommies. I breastfeed for only 4 months and had to supplement once i went back to work. becuase. despite my best efforts, i could not produce enuf to keep her satisfied. Formula is not the enemy as long as your daughter is getting the nurishment she needs.

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T.O.

answers from Charleston on

I totally feel your pain ..
I bf my last daughter... for 2 months.. and it was the hardest 2 months of my life.. -- reglan, fenugreek( I walked around smelling like a bottle of maple syrup for 2 months)-
soooo... - turns out.. that ALL BOOBS cant bf.. no matter what a lactation nurse says... mine was the first to find my problem.-
there is this condition where breasts are spaced further apart than normal.-- this interfers with the milk glands.. and little did I know.. I had this problem..
Im not saying you have this same issue...- but my daughter almost 5 now.. --and she has turned out just fine.. by giving her formula after those 2 months of guilt and determination.-
BF is very important .. and I do believe that it is best for the baby .. however... formula is another way to go .. and its fine.. ITS JUST FINE ... and less stressful .. making your mother.. baby bonding much easier with out the stress of worrying about your milk supply--
all Im saying is ... if you chose to stop bfing... please dont feel bad... dont feel guilty .. YOU TRIED.. and your baby will be just fine either way .. -
hugs to you ..

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C.

answers from Omaha on

S., I am a first time Mom of 9 week old Joshua and I am also breastfeeding. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP. I was told that eating oatmeal (in any form) will boost your milk supply. It has worked for me and other moms that I talked to at Baby Talk as I am getting ready to go back to work and need to pump to have a safe supply of milk pumped just in case. I was also told eating (or drinking) malt would help boost milk supply. Also, try to RELAX and not think about the struggles you have been having with breastfeeding. Just hold your baby close and look in her eyes when you're not breastfeeding. I'm not a radical by any means and if it doesn't work out, your baby will still be fine on formula. I commend you for hanging in there because so many moms would have already given up. I wish you the your family the best, C.

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K.C.

answers from Indianapolis on

The best way to keep up your milk supply is to drink lots of water. The more water you drink the more milk you will have. I know that is the only thing that helped me keep up the milk supply for all of my babies, even twins.

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S.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I'm in the same boat S.. I just thought it would help to let you know you aren't alone. I have a 4 1/2 mo. old daughter and I am trying everything to keep my supply up as well. I just finished a second round of Reglan (that's all they will give) and I'm taking Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and pumping as well. I feel like I'm popping pills all day long! When you have doubt or your just a little frustrated, look at your beautiful daughter and know you are doing this for her. That's what always gives me reassurance! My goal is at least 6 mo. when she starts with solids. I do give her some formula now AFTER she breastfeeds. I figure I will give her what I can for as long as I can... I feel for you b/c I understand what you are going through. Just hang in there. Take care and if you just want to chat sometime, shoot me an email: [email protected]____.com.
S.

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M.M.

answers from Omaha on

((((( big hug )))))

I breastfed all 3 of my girls, but they were all different and sometimes quite challenging...my only advice is to do what is best for you (first!) and then your baby...a happy Mom makes a happy baby...

I always had to keep up a (relatively) high calorie intake... about 2500-2700 cals/day and enough sleep (6-7 hours) to keep up a supply once my girls got to be 3-5 months old...when they need the most milk..

Do what is best for you and what helps you to enjoy this time the most...they grow WAY too fast :)

M.

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S.M.

answers from Des Moines on

Dear S.,
I had a very hard time with my milk supply as well. I was taking 3 different herbs, drinking mother's milk tea, and taking Reglan 4 times a day. My daughter was classified with failure to thrive, and I had to start supplementing with formula. I used a device called a "supplemental nursing system" that supplied formula while she was still nursing, so it helped build my supply up. In the end, I had to give her more and more formula because I wasn't getting a let down at all. She wasn't getting the fat rich hind milk that she needed to gain weight. That was two and a half years ago, and she has since grown into a fiercly indepdndant and too smart for her own good little girl, who still nurses at night before bed.

I felt like such a failure when I had to start supplementing. My birth didn't go as planned (I ended up with an emergency section), and then I couldn't nurse my baby even though my mother had enough milk to drown the whole neighborhood when she was nursing me. I was so determined that something relating to my baby would go right, but as we all know, life rarely goes as planned.

One book that really helped me relax was Babies, Breastfeeding, and Bonding by Ina Mae Gaskin. When I was reading that book, I swear that was the only time I felt confident and relaxed enough to have any kind of let down. Maybe it could help you too. I'm not sure who you go to for your doctor, but when I ws having problems, my midwife sent me to Sheryl Puderbaugh at the Heart and Hands Clinic. Her number is ###-###-#### if you would like to call her. She has had a LOT of experieance breastfeeding, so she may know some tricks to help you out, and you could ask her about the supplimental nursing system too.

I hope some of this was helpful, and I wish you confidence in yourself and your decision, what ever it may be.

S. Meyer

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A.O.

answers from Evansville on

Do you have a goal of how long you want to breastfeed? I set a goal that I would breastfeed until my son started on solids, and thats what I did. I know it's the very best thing for him, and the cost of formula is what kept me going. I'm not longer breastfeeding, because I want to lose weight and take supplements to help with that, so I can't anymore. I know pumping really sucks, and my job wasn't very accomidating for me to do that, so I quit pumping long before I stopped breastfeeding. If you need a break from it, its okay to give your baby a bottle every once in a while if it helps you stick with it longer.

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H.G.

answers from Kansas City on

Wow! It's really nice to hear of someone who is so dedicated to breastfeeding! You will be so happy that you made this very hard choice for your daughter. I BF all my three children, but my son (now 14 months) was the only one that I made it to one year. It was really difficult at first, but I hope that things get easier with time for you as they did for me. Just take things one day at a time and hang in there. It also helped me to drink lots of water and my son wanted to BF about every two hours, and this really helped my milk supply. Best wishes to you!!

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S.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

S.,

I understand about being frustrated. I have a 3 mth. old daughter as well. I was real frustrated with the breastfeeding thing as well. Until I had a breastfeeding consultant come out to my house for free. If you live in Marion County you can call the Health Department and they will come out to your house. She spent over an hour at my house and was very helpful and very encouraging. The lady who came to my house is Pam Desir and her ph. # is ###-###-####. I hope she can help you. Hang in there I promise it gets easier.

S. Sonnefield

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N.H.

answers from Omaha on

I don't know who came up with the notion that just because you don't breastfeed your child you are a bad mommy! Whatever! I tried specialist after specialist and I gotta tell you how relieved I was when I switched over to formula...What a fabulous invention. My kid didn't get sick, he's just as healthy (if not more so)than any other kid. There is nothing wrong with "giving up" as you called it. You are one dedicated woman for sticking it out and my applause goes out to you. If you find you get to the point that maybe breastfeeding isn't for you, you'll find tons of support for that too. Good luck with everything!

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D.H.

answers from Huntington on

i know the doctors say that breastfeeding is the way to go, i disagree with this, my daughters are 18 & 19 years old and i bottle fed them and they are healthy as their friends who were breastfed, the baby formula out there is just like breast milk, if not better in some cases.......good luck with your decision.......

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R.D.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

Keep it up girl!! What you are doing is admirable, many women in this day and age don't ever even give it a chance!!! Trust me the first time (with your first child) it is VERY common to have a low milk supply and there are many new stresses in you life now, and this can effect your supply, but just keep in mind of all of the AMAZING things that are going on with you, your baby and your family now! You are doing great and you are NOT alone!!!
Best of luck! R.
p.s. never make yourself feel guilty...a women who takes care of herself AND takes care of her children is the BEST mom any baby could ask for!!!

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B.G.

answers from Fort Wayne on

What a mother won't do for her child. God bless you! That sounds like so much for one person! Breastfeeding can take a lot out of you, and then add all the extra stuff that you have to do! Your poor breasts and nipples must be incredibly sore and tender! Keep it up, just remember who you're doing it for! I'll pray for you!

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J.G.

answers from Lincoln on

Don't get discouraged. I just kept on going when I went back to work. It was hard work, but worth it. I only made it two monthes after returning to work, but would not change a thing. Sometimes I think the stress of returning to work and caring for two children took it's toll on me. I just reminded myself that I gave my son the best start possible.

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L.J.

answers from Sioux Falls on

you are doing a great job! the first 4 1/2 months were tough, and i was a milk mama. hormones regulating dont help you feel any better either. what helped me the most was a 1/4 to 1/2 bottle of home brew beer (small micro brew will help too) about 15-20 mins before nursing. the brewers yeast helps increase milk production, and the mild relaxation effect helps with letdown. as long as your little one is growing and happy you and your body are doing what they are ment to do. and drink water, water, water, then more water. i was up to 1 and 1/4 gal. a day to keep up with my little ones. its worth it!

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

Congratulations on your new baby girl! Sounds like you are doing all you can do to physically breastfeed your baby, and good for you for getting the help you need. Don't give up because your baby is worth all the work! Just remember the benefits: healthier baby, healthier mommy and an opportunity to bond with your new baby that is irreplaceable! Keep up the good work!

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R.J.

answers from Omaha on

How do you feel when you are holding your daughter in your arms and feeding her? If you are having positive feelings about it, I would stick to it as long as you can. I tried nursing my first born and gave up after 2 weeks. I had no one to encourage me. Because of that experience I didn't even consider the option with my second. With my third, and last, I started reading books about breastfeeding and got alot of information and encouragement, enough to decide to breastfeed my third and vow to stick with it for a month before I would allow myself to quit. It was difficult the first month, but after that, it got easier. By 3 months, it should be okay, so if your docs can't find a way to make it work better for you, perhaps before you begin having feelings of resentment, you should stop. I finally had to give up nursing my son after only 4 months because I was taking care of two other kids and I just didn't have the time to devote to nursing him when the others were there. I have regretted it ever since. When you nurse, you are creating a bond with your child that you will never forget. Good Luck to you. R.

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L.S.

answers from Davenport on

S., have you tried eating oatmeal (the cooked kind, not the instant) or drinking a beer? I know that sounds wierd, but if you drink a 1/2 a beer and then pump a few hours later, you should have more. I know it's hard, but it's worth it too! HUGS

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R.

answers from Indianapolis on

First of all, you sound like an amazing young woman. It does not sound like you give up on too many things, your only 22, have been married for 2 years and just completed nursing school. All of which is difficult to keep together at such a yound age and now you have a almost 4 month baby girl and you chose to breastfeed!!! You are amazing, and I salute you!! Don't give up, you seem like you really want to give your daughter the best, and if it means suffering a little, then your aggrevation will be all worth it when she is healthy and thriving because her mother cared so much. In a month or so you can start feeding her cereal and maybe she will not nurse so much.
My daughter nursed for two years because she would lose weight (too much weight) whenever I tried to stop nursing and she would not eat anything else or take a bottle. And even though those two years were extremely tough, she turned out to be healthy and finally eats anything I put infront of her, so the frustration is worth your children being healthy.
Your doing the right thing, just be patient and enjoy the time you spend nursing her, it will be a bond that will never be broken.
Your doing great!!!

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