Q&A: weaning earlier than you want to

Second half of yesterday’s post, on negotiating things with your mother, is getting bumped for this cry for help. Kirsten writes:

"I am sorry to be so pushy, but I am in a desperate, time sensitive nursing situation. My 13 month old who has been the nursingest baby ever got a cold, started teething and went on a 100% nursing strike. I have been working with a LC and am doing EVERYTHING I can. I have always had a meager supply and take Reglan and I don’t let down well for the pump, so even though I have a hospital grade Lactina, I am still only pumping about 6-7 oz. per day. I know I am going to lose my supply soon. The baby, I hate to admit, is no closer to getting back on the breast that she was a week ago, she just get furious whenever she sees a boob anywhere in the vicinity. I wake her up in the night to catch her sleepy, I try in different places/positions/noise levels. People keep saying that it is unnatural to wean this young, but it also feels unnatural that I am forcing my will on someone who seems to very much know that she wants no part of breastfeeding at this point. We are on day 9 of the strike. I wanted to nurse at least another year. I feel guilty, rejected and sad. What do I do?

It would mean the world to me if you would respond and allow other mothers to comment to my dilemma. My supply is only going to hold on another few days."

Who are these jackasses who are telling you it’s "unnatural" to wean this young? All other things being equal, if you lived in a tribal society 500 years ago your baby would probably still be nursing*. But, realistically, what control do you have over 1) a nursing strike that sounds serious, and 2) your supply?

Until we figure out if there’s anything we can do to reverse the effects of all the plastics and other things in our environment that are screwing with women’s supplies on a large scale, we all just need to back away from the guilt.

And, seriously, how much control can you have over a baby? If you’re working with a knowledgeable LC who knows all the tricks to help babies and moms through nursing strikes, and it’s not working, then it looks like it’s your time.

FWIW, I think a majority of us are conflicted about the weaning process, no matter how old our babies are. Two weeks, two years, three years…you always feel like you should be doing more. You wean and your baby gets a cold or ear infection the next week, and you think it’s you. Heck, my mom still feels bad that I weaned myself at 16 months or so–she’d wanted to nurse until two years. But you know what, 34 years later, we’re both healthy and happy and still close to each other.

Anyone who’s been through a rough nursing strike, who didn’t nurse as long as she wanted to, who wasn’t able to nurse at all, or has at any point felt disappointed in how things went with their baby or toddler, show some love, please.

* Or someone else in your tribe would be nursing your baby for you.

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