Thursday, July 25, 2013

Post Weaning Problems

  So if you go online and look for problems post-weaning you are likely to come up with something like depression and/or mood swings.  What you won't see is all the other stuff some of us (many of us?) experience that is not recorded and has not been studied.
  Since I weaned gradually I did not have some of the symptoms you might expect (severe breast pain, engorgement, mastitis, fever etc.).  But about a week out I started having migraines, dizziness, nausea, bloating, feeling faint.  The migraines hit one day after another for over a week as my hormones adjusted.  I feel relatively normal now about three weeks later.
  When I did a little online research I got basically nothing until I found a mom forum.  The mom's were all talking about how after they weaned they basically felt pregnant again for a few weeks.  They too, could find no information about it.  About three weeks out now, I am having candida problems and have had to cut out sugar and start on a routine of coconut oil, pao de arco, and garlic.     
     Like many things regarding our reproductive organs or hormones, our culture has largely ignored these important parts of our lives, leaving us with little information with which to help ourselves.  I was completely incensed when I read Tony Weschler's book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and found that girls were being prescribed antibiotics for perfectly normal vaginal fluid, it seems even the doctors can be misinformed about our own sexual organs,what they produce and how they behave.  It is up to us to be informed, and to inform our children so that they can avoid these health "pitfalls".
  I took pain killers that week for my head, and munched on ginger and sucked on lemonheads (my pregnancy nausea helper) and root beer candies.  Several times that week, my husband came home and took over childcare for the rest of the evening, while I either slept or just laid down, physically unable to do anything else (those of you with migraines can empathize/sympathize).  I am feeling better this week, but it is clear that my hormones have much adjusting to do, and I need to treat myself tenderly, eating healthy, taking supplements and getting lots of sleep while my body gets back to business as usual.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Toddler Weaning Final Phase--We're Done!

Well, we've done it.  I am filled with both excitement and sadness.  This was/is the final phase of weaning slowly, so if you'd like to see how I'd started, see my other weaning posts.
  We had been nursing in the morning only for some time, so it seemed to me the next step was to wean completely.  I noticed a hormone shift a few months back (you know that brown color you get in pregnancy? Mine stayed until just a few months ago!), then another now that he would try to nurse, then squirm around and just irritate me. I actually wanted to wean--it was time.  On a similar note, I have been told that if you are trying to have another baby, some people cannot conceive while they are breast-feeding, even if they are years out from doing it like I am.
  I thought the only way I was doing this was if we were separated till I dried up, otherwise I was afraid I might cave in and let him nurse and ruin the whole thing.
  We sent him to Grandma's for 1 week.  He went to the pool, played with his cousins, all the while I chewed fresh sage leaves, 1 leaf, 3x a day for 3 days.  The first day I pumped maybe a 1/4 ounce off each breast to make sure I was comfortable and didn't get an mastitis/complications from being over-full.  I only had a couple instances of sharp pains in my boobs (like I experienced when cutting bed-time nursing).  Then they just stopped making milk. I don't think I was making much more than a couple ounces in the morning anyhow.  It was very easy and my son's homecoming was easy as well.  I am pleased to say he has been back with us one week now and has still not cried about not being able to nurse.  For months now we have been discussing how little boys and girls get too big after awhile, and their Mommies' milk dries up, so he knew it was coming.  A couple weeks before I sent him to Grandma's I also mentioned that he was getting really close to being too big, that it would be soon.  He was a little worried, but not very.  Then  we talked a bit about weaning presents.  When he got home we explained my milk was gone, but now he was big enough to get a weaning present! We took him to the store and he got to pick his out--a batman car that shoots fans into the air that hover--I even think it's cool.
  I am so proud of my Little Man, and I am glad that everything went smoothly.  I hope this works for others.  Sending your kid away for a week certainly isn't going to be doable for everyone and I think that definitely helped us, because it got him out of the habit of thinking he needed it in the first place.