I have proudly been nursing my son for 17 and a half months and we have worked hard to get here. Our plan is for him to decide when our nursing relationship is over. My hope since nursing has become easier for me and a wonderful tool for us, is to tandem nurse when our second child arrives, so we nurse.
But that is just it – when our second child will come. Like I said I’ve been nursing for 17 and half months and I have only had two cycles, that weren’t even regular. When I entered my cycles into one of those online fertility charts the comment came back: you may be infertile, you should talk with your health care provider. Epic fail.
My biggest challenge is trying not to blame nursing for my lack of fertility. I am one of those “lucky” women that any amount of nursing prevents me from having a regular period. I made the decision about pumping at work in order to help bring on my non-existent cycle. When that did not work, I encouraged gentle night-weaning and stopped bringing Little Man into my room when he woke up at night. I might have been tired but we worked together until he did not need to get up in the middle of the night regularly. Despite all of these changes, I am still not regular.
I realistically cannot blame all of my cycle abnormalities on nursing. Before we became pregnant I had been on birth control for 10 years and the time between cycles was growing longer and longer. I decided to begin TTC when I made the decision that the birth control was not working for me as a woman, despite having tried multiple brands and formulations. It took us 9 months to conceive Little Man, but we did.
I have days when I am so touched-out and upset that I cry and wish that he didn’t want to nurse. I have days that seem brighter and nursing does not bother me and we nurse happily on demand. I have days that I try to discourage nursing with distractions and games as well. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t. Every day I don’t want to nurse though, I feel like a monster.
I love my son and I wouldn’t stop nursing him for anything, but it is hard on our bad days not to want to cut back. As my hormones fluctuate so does my milk and he nurses more frequently. If I am upset, he is upset and then he needs more nursing time as well. Nursing is love for us – plain and simple. Even though we are having a hard time right now, I have to believe that we will have a positive outcome. It took us so long to get to where we are right now as a nursing dyad that I would hate to give that up for selfish reasons. Did you have trouble with nursing while preparing for new additions to your family? How did you handle this?
For more information about Breastfeeding and Fertility:
- Kellymom: Breastfeeding and Fertility
- LLL.org: Boosting fertility while breastfeeding
- Katherine Dettwyler Ph. D.: Breastfeeding and Fertility
This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is Talk to Me! Breastfeeding – A 3-D Experience. From their website:
Communication is an essential part of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. We live in a world where individuals and global communities connect across small and great distances at an instant’s notice. New lines of communication are being created every day, and we have the ability to use these information channels to broaden our horizons and spread breastfeeding information beyond our immediate time and place to activate important dialogue.
Continued Reading from another Natural Parents Network Volunteer!
Please join me in supporting my friend Sarah, as she confesses her experience with breastfeeding today in her post about being a breastfeeding advocate who was not able to breastfeed either of her children.
I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.
(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)