Thursday, June 21, 2007

seeking advice

This week, a weird thing happened with Natsuki. Well, weird for me anyways. Natsuki turned 10 months on Monday and I had been planning all along to start weaning her around this time. She is nursing four times a day (8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm) and my plan is to take one feeding time away every two weeks and hopefully finish nursing her before her first birthday. I did the same thing with Misaki & Sakura and it worked really well. Emi quit on her own one day when she was 8 months old probably because my milk had changed since I was pregnant again(surprise!). I'm already not feeding Natsuki her 4pm feeding on Tuesdays when I teach English and it doesn't seem to bother her at all so I figured this process would go smoothly. I started giving her a bottle with apple juice and water in it a few months ago and although she doesn't drink the whole thing down, she will drink some of it so I figured if she was thirsty she would drink more.

I thought my plan was pretty good. On Monday, instead of her 4pm feeding, I gave her a bottle with formula instead and she drank about 20ml. Not great, but it's a work in progress, right? Then on Tuesday, she refused to nurse at all and she only drank about 100ml of formula altogether (I think normally a baby her age would drink between 800-1000ml per day). When I went to teach my English class, I was so sore from all the build-up of milk in my breasts so I made an effort that night to concentrate on her during her 8pm feeding. She hardly nursed at all, but at least it relieved the pressure for me.

On Wednesday, again, she wouldn't nurse at all again. This time, not even bothering to latch on, just a lot of crying and screaming. So I tried the bottle again, but she only drank about 80ml throughout the day. Grrr! I was pretty sore again, but not as much as the day before which worried me because I could lose my milk supply if she's not nursing so I went through the last few days to see if I could find any contributing factors. One thing I know is that she is working on her second tooth so I think that when she nurses, the pressure hurts her tender gums. Other than that, the only other problem would be stubbornness. Just my luck.

On Wednesday night, I really wanted her to nurse well for her 8pm feeding so I gave her some Infant's Tylenol before her 7pm nap and then woke her up after the girls had gone to bed. I kept the lights low and just had a CD playing to minimize distractions. She was pretty groggy when we got her up and she nursed for her normal 20 minutes. Yeah! If she hadn't nursed, I was going to go to the store and buy a breast pump and a variety of bottles and try them all with her until something worked. But she nursed, so I thought that whatever was going on with her was over.

Was I ever wrong!

This morning, she woke up at 7:30am so I brought her down and tried to nurse her and I was met with protestations. Crap. Not again. I was also busy trying to get Emi out the door to school so I decided to ignore Natsuki a bit and see if she would change her mind if she wasn't getting anything else. After about 30 minutes, she gave in and nursed half-heartedly and then I gave her breakfast. But I tried the same thing at lunch, but she's smarter now and wouldn't even *think* about it.

So what do I do now? She needs to drink something and besides feeding her popsicles to get liquids into her, I can't think of any other options than just pursuing the formula with her until she gives in or figures it out. I'm worried about her getting constipated and/or dehydrated (it's starting to get hot here). Also, should I just let her stop nursing? If her tooth comes in and then she wants to nurse again, it's going to be too late.

Any suggestions?


Abigail Munday said...

Do you have a midwife nearby you can trust? If so, I'd say head right there and tell her the whole story. We've got one near us who is great and has helped me with nursing when the doctor told me "it was all in my head" when I knew it wasn't, and so did the midwife. She helped me and we got through it. You don't want Natsuki to get dehydrated. If you want, come with Chikara to work tomorrow and I'll take you to see her.

coarse gold girl said...

what a puzzle! I haven't got any useful suggestions, although if you are worried about your milk supply going dry, just hand expressing a bit thoughout the day would keep it from totally drying up. Or purchasing a pump (which would be my preference cause I could never really relax enough to get much out by hand). Your friend's reccommendation to find a knowledgable midwife is a good one. Here's the name of one that was a life saver for me when I had nursing troubles with DD#2 in Osaka. Shigeyo Koshimyama. the tel # I have for her is 792-25-4808 and email at but this info may be outdated. . . She might be too far away to help you but could possibly give you a good person locally to turn to? No chance you're pregnant again is there? My DD#1 displayed similar behavior when I fell pregnant again and she was about 18 months old. But at 18 months I didn't worry about her dehydrating--she loved that baby version of poccari sweat. . . can't recall the name of it right now. Have you tried letting her sip from a cup? DD#2 could amazingly (to me at least) do that before she was even 4 months old! Mid wife trick that Koshiyama san taught me when I had to take a break and pump while my nipples healed.

Teething. . . that can really be uncomfortable for them but if I remember correctly from LL meetings, it is just at latch on that it would be most uncomfortable and giving her the tylenol ahead of the feeding should help.

Poor mum! Of course, you gotta remember, "they can smell your desperation" . . . my kids are never more stubborn then when they can sense (or is it that they absorb?) mynxiety. Wishing you happy nursing days again soon!

Gina said...

Sorry I don't have any helpful advice at all. But I wanted to say, I hope you can get things worked out. : )

BTW, I am hoping Noah stops nursing soon. I am tryng to wean him at the moment. It's not going so well. He loves the boobie and doesn't wanna give it up! Sigh! Ha ha ha! : )