Breastfeeding Hurdles

Holy sweet mother. Just got nip bit the worst that I can remember 馃檧馃樀馃檧 It was totally accidental (she was already sleeping), but still. Oww!


Mika’s been sick this week and basically not at all interested in food (at least while I’m around) and also waking to nurse frequently during the night. During our month-long vacation, she was also asking to nurse a lot, during the day for comfort (new surroundings, Jetlag, etc.) and during the night because the kids bunked in with us, and I think that distracts her from sleeping.

So basically, I feel like I have been going above and beyond my regular milkmaid duties with my nearly 15 month old daughter in the last month and a half, and this bite (it still smarts!) has got me thinking; when, how and why will my daughter and I wean?

I have very little experience in the matter. With my son, the decision was made for us when he was 19 months when my milk went dry because I was pregnant. He was nursing twice daily at that point (in the morning and before bed) and didn’t seem to mind when my body decided for us that it was time for him to wean.

Philosophically, I am partial to child-initiated weaning. I believe strongly in the physical and mental health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, and neither of my children have had formula (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) However, when my daughter screeches like a banshee every time she sees me, and pounds my chest demanding milk, or throws all of the food off of her tray because she’s more interested in nursing, or wakes up consistently throughout the night for a series of midnight (+2am, +4:30am, +6am, +7:30am) snacks, my otherwise strong philosophical stance begins to wilt a bit.

Sometimes, I just want a little bit of alone time, if not actually alone, just not being touched/climbed on/pinched/groped etc. and it seems nearly impossible at this point.

I believe strongly that a nursing relationship, especially after the first six weeks and absolutely after the one year mark, needs to be mutually pleasurable. Not in every moment, not even every time, but generally. If mom is consistently resentful of and exhausted by nursing, that’s being passed on to baby, and it’s not good for anyone.

I don’t feel like I’m quite at that place yet, and admittedly, the last month and a half have been extraordinary, but I am starting to feel my breastfeeding determination and strength dwindle. All the while, Mika’s appetite for milk only seems to be on the rise.

Any positive advice, anecdotes or encouragement for a mama in need? I feel like this is just a hurdle, and I could use a little support in clearing it….