Help! Periods not coming back

(41 Posts)
Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 08:47:30

I really need to have another baby ASAP as I am 38 and have very irregular cycle when ov - often only 6 cycles a year,

DS is 18 months and still bf, which I am very happy about. Still feeds approx 6 times a day - waking, going to sleep at nap time and waking and then going to bed, with two random feeds somewhere in the day. He sleeps through.

I am really worried about never having another dc but don't want to stop bf DS entirely. I really wanted to let him self wean.

Any advice, anyone?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 08:51:01

I didn't have periods after DS1 until I stopped entirely - even when I was down to twice and then once a day. Six times a day is on the high side for this age group anyway, I think (no judgement, just observation of mine and friends' kids).

He may not self wean - there are extended BFers who would know more but going on to age 2-4 is not unheard of.

PeachTown Sat 02-Feb-13 09:04:25

I know you would like him to self wean but I think you need to prioritise TTC if that's what you want.

You've done such an amazing job for 18 months and your DS will be fine - you may find it heartbreaking to stop though!

Console yourself thinking about how much he will love his sibling.

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 09:19:15

DS is 4.2. He seemed to be self weaning before Christmas but upped his feeds when he got the flu and we're back to a long feed every morning and some nights. I had hoped he'd self wean, but I'm going to have to do more to wean him for my own reasons now.

How would you feel about working towards cutting out daytime feeds? By gently discouraging him in the day, over time, eventually only feeding in bed at night or morning? (Or more when he's ill of course).

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 09:20:23

I'm assuming that if you only feed twice a day your periods will come back? Maybe worth talking to a BFing counsellor?

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 09:21:58

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub I can see twice a day didn't work for you but I wonder if this is fairly unusual?

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 09:22:28

I had really hoped to feed until at least 2.

When I talked to bf counsellor they told me most mothers find periods come back by 18 months sad

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 09:25:33

Yes, possibly, also I stopped feeding at 13 months.

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 09:38:48

Lost, if you did decide to wean (and I totally understand your reluctance to) you would presumably go through a process of cutting down.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing! Why not try cutting some daytime feeds, to see what happens, rather than deciding to stop, and take it from there?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 09:44:35

Lost do you offer feeds or does he ask for them?

It is tough, I know that DS1's BFing was cut a little short by me being pregnant with DS2, my milk changed and feeding became very painful, but also his latch altered.

How long are you going overnight without feeding? I agree that 6 feeds is on the high side for his age. If you wanted to cut back without refusing a feed then try being out of the house at the time he would normally ask. DS2 is 22 months, but for some while has been to busy to think about BF when we are out.

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 10:23:49

The being out and about is a very good idea - he normally asks around mid morning and mid afternoon - maybe I could preempt with an exciting snack of something solid?

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 11:30:22

The snack may well help, but as it's about comfort (a great thing!) and an established way of doing things, as much as the actual nutrition, changing your day / being out at those times he usually feeds sounds like a good suggestion to me. Is that possible? Even if it's not every day?

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 11:31:14

Oh sorry didn't read your post properly blush
I blame my phone!

squidgeberry Sat 02-Feb-13 11:39:18

I night weaned at 18 months to encourage periods to return and cut down to 2 feeds a day at 2 to encourage a return to a regular cycle. I remember reading that if you have a six hour break in feeds it might be enough? I was still having fairly irregular cycles when I conceived - 33-41 days.

Now I'm pregnant and thought dd was weaning as she was barely feeding at all - sometimes nothing for a few days, but she has upped her feeds to at least 3 a day now I'm 26 weeks, so I think she'll carry on for a fair while - she's now 2.8

I night weaned DS2 at a similar age to get my cycle back. He is back to night feeds hmm but cycle is relatively steady and I am definitely ovulating.

It was as simple as telling him "No, the milk is having a rest, you can have milk in the morning" and offering water instead. He was pretty cross but got over it quickly until he got ill and regressed but hey ho.

And fwiw he was going 12 hours without bf during the day at least half the week before that - it is something about night milk that does it. The hormones are different.

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 11:56:43

Hi OP, I breastfed ds1 till 16 months, then mine came back about a month later. Then with ds2 I breastfed him till he was 4 and a half and went to school. They came back at 28 months - when he was 2 and 4 months.

I was still feeding him quite a bit at that stage.

Fwiw mine are normally regular, even short cycles, eg 24 days etc. So it doesn't mean you're weird or infertaile if your periods are still AWOL.

Good luck x

piprabbit Sat 02-Feb-13 11:59:22

My periods came back about 4 months after DS dropped down to have a night feed only (I was 38 too). He was about 2 yo when they restarted.

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 12:18:10

Tried this morning - gave a snack just before he would usually feed and then took him out.

Aaaggh didn't work at all! Just had to feed him in the middle of town and now feel guilty for trying to distract him when I could see he was starting to get towards the end of his tether sad

I want to do don't offer, don't refuse, but he can say milk and will ask for it at the usual times.

Will try again tomorrow, as I think he's particularly tired today - he is teething and wanted to fall asleep feeding in the middle of town, which isn't like him - normally doesn't nap until 1/2.

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 12:26:06

About the gaps in feeds, at night there is at least a 6 hour gap, if not 8 hours. I work one day a week out of the house and on that day there is at least an 8 hour gap in feeds.

One obvious thing I should probably stop doing - only just realised blush is expressing - am leaving him just a little milk for when I'm away - around 80mls and I should try to stop expressing now, I think, but don't want to leave him without his usual source of comfort sad will try to reduce that slowly from this week.

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 12:58:17

That sounds like a good idea.

"don't want to leave him without his usual source of comfort"

BFing is more than the actual milk. His comfort comes from the act of feeding, as much as the milk.

If he finds expressed milk comforting he'll likely find cows or other forms of milk as comforting when you're not there.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 13:07:21

By the age he is now it is the actual feeding from you that is the comfort thing. He will be just fine while you are out smile

What I did with both of mine was get them used to cows milk in a cup mid-afternoon from around a year old. And when we are out I always have some milk in a beaker and a piece of fruit for DS2 if he gets hungry.

From personal experience, my body needed to see a regular 8-10 hour gap between a feed most days before my periods returned.

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 14:41:52

Thanks so much for the advice to all of you - so lovely not to feel alone with this as in RL anyone I know who is really pro bf just says 'go with the flow and self wean' and everyone else would just tell me to stop bf sad

squidgeberry Sat 02-Feb-13 17:32:42

Just remembered that dd wouldn't accept cows milk as a replacement to boob but would accept chocolate milkshake (made with a half teaspoon of powder and cows milk). Not the healthiest replacement I know, but she will now drink cows milk plain after I weaned her off the choc milkshake smile

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 18:23:43

Interesting squidge!! DS won't drink cows milk either.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 18:43:20

Lost will he drink it warmed? I'm guessing you have probably tried that, but just in case smile

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 18:46:49

Haven't tried that, but I've never warmed my ebm either - maybe worth a try - thank you!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 19:12:23

Ooh it could work. I think cold EBM is ok because the taste is familiar, but cold and a different taste might be a bridge too far!

It is an emotional situation you are in, longing for a second child weighed up against what you think is best for an existing child.

Good luck smile

LittleOne76 Sat 02-Feb-13 22:22:35

I had to wean completely before my period came back. We did this just before Christmas last year and I got my first period 4 weeks after. Do try maybe cutting down feeds as that could be enough to kick start your periods.... ?

Lostonthemoors Sun 03-Feb-13 13:47:49

I agree and am definitely trying Little, but is hard to space out feeds with an ultra determined DS not keen!!

I am so hoping period comes back soon - if it does I will be singing allelujah!!

Lostonthemoors Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:47

Right - tried missing out morning feed today and day went like this:

Wake up - feed
Me start work
Mid morning nanny gives DS snack and drink of water
Lunchtime I rejoin DS and he wants to feed as soon as he sees me
Minor domestic emergency so couldn't give mid afternoon snack in advance so he asked for and of course got 2 feeds in the evening.
Bed time - fed again

This is 5 feeds in 24 hours, which is definitely a reduction from before Xmas when I must have been doing at least ten mini snack feeds.

Is there any way I can distract him from feeding when he sees me come home? I think he sees it as his way of reconnecting with me.

sad I do feel very guilty about cutting out feeds, but I think he will benefit from having a sibling and I really want another baby.

Lostonthemoors Mon 04-Feb-13 22:08:01

Oh rats of course he had a feed both when he went down for and woke up from his nap, so it's still 7 in 24 hours sad

Aaaagghh - at this rate I will be 40 before I can TTC again.

Tomorrow I will get ready with the snacks to preempt the two late aft/ early evening feeds and I will try to get it back down to 5.

aufaniae Tue 05-Feb-13 08:23:12

"I think he sees it as his way of reconnecting with me."

I can really identify with that. DS was 14mo when I went back to work and it was our way of reconnecting. I used to feed him at the CMs before taling him home. After a while (I forget how long) we stopped doing this, mainly because of lack of time.

I'm not sure what to suggest though!

Might the following be worth a try?

- Asking your nanny to start feeding DS lunch, and you join them once he's started eating?

- Can you get DP to do the mornings for a while to get DS used to a morning routine that doesn't involve BF?

- "Is there any way I can distract him from feeding when he sees me come home?" Maybe a total long-shot but could you ring ahead and your nanny bring DS to meet you at the end of the road, make a big fuss of him and when you get home go straight to do something you know he really enjoys?

I'm not suggesting you try all of them at once! Just hoping something might help?

aufaniae Tue 05-Feb-13 08:25:19

Actually I notice all of the above involve the help of other people. This wasn't intentional, but when we started cutting down BFing it was because we discovered DP could put DS to bed fine on the rare occasions I wasn't there, and the lack of BFing didn't seem to be a problem when I wasn't there, so once we'd sussed this, DP started alternating bedtimes with me.

Lostonthemoors Tue 05-Feb-13 09:15:03

Auf those are really clever ideas - thank you! I do actually have the help of two people at the moment - nanny and DH, as DH is not working at the moment as he has a chronic illness sad in fact that's another issue with TTC as DH needs to be off one of the medications before we can conceive, but I'm hoping by the time periods come back he will be off the drugs.

Really wish I was ten years younger like I always wanted to be when first TTC - then I could let DS self wean and still have more dc

Lostonthemoors Wed 06-Feb-13 07:56:10

Right, yesterday was a much better day -

He fed:

On waking
Before going down for nap
When waking from nap
X 1 early eve
On going to sleep

He is now down to 5 a day. If this keeps working it is a big reduction on x 10 per day which is where we were at before Xmas.

Auf thank you so much for the ideas - I asked nanny to get him in bib and highchair and then I joined them for lunch - that way there was no reuniting bf - though I do feel mean writing that sad

I spoke to dm yesterday who fed both of us for ages and she said I am doing the right thing and that I should try to get it down to 4 by distracting at early eve feed times with lovely snacks and then gradually try to drop the feed before the nap by getting DH or nanny to get him to sleep in the car instead of me feeding him to sleep.

I've been giving him lots of cuddles and kisses - really don't want him to think I am rejecting him, but do need periods to come back.

Lostonthemoors Fri 08-Feb-13 21:52:09

Another post just to say thanks so much everyone for all the help and advice. He is now only feeding 5 times a day - last three days, which is much better than where I was before.

Now the day looks like this:

Wake - feed
Go up for Afternoon nap - feed before
Feed on waking
Feed on going down at night
One random feed during the day

Hoping over the next week to lose the random feed by supplying lots of particularly exciting snacks smile

Went to see the dr this week, who was very stern about a nearly 38 yr old with pcos and thyroid problems who still isn't ovulating continuing to bf a lot confused

Lostonthemoors Sat 09-Feb-13 19:32:45

Not sure anyone is still reading but posting is helping me, so I'll keep writing down what's going on for a while.

Only 3 feeds so far today, so with one at bedtime we are now down to 4. It has really been so easy over the last few days that I think he must have been totally ready. Any time he asks for a feed he gets one immediately of course, but I'm using loads of distractions and offering lots of snacks and drinks to pre-empt.

Next week I might try letting DH and nanny get him to sleep - that would then mean he would only feed x 3:

On waking
When he wakes up from nap
When going down at night

I would like to keep it there for a while and see if periods come back - don't want to go down any more or stop - fx confused

piprabbit Sat 09-Feb-13 19:36:38

Lost you are doing really well, it's hard breaking routines that appear to be working well. Your DS is very lucky to have such a patient and thoughtful mum.
I'm crossing my fingers for the speedy arrival of your periods grin. Good luck.

Lostonthemoors Mon 11-Feb-13 19:57:13

Thanks pip - I will never have been so pleased to see if when it finally happens!

DS just turned 19 months and we are steady at around 4-5 feeds in 24 hours. I am going to try dropping the pre nap feed next week by getting other people to get him down for his nap.

Feels mean sad

piprabbit Mon 11-Feb-13 20:21:39

It's not mean at all - just a sign that you are both getting ready to leave his babyhood behind and start a new, gorgeous phase of toddlerhood and independence. You are doing something to be proud of - gently easing your DS from one stage into the next.

I felt bad packing my then toddler off to sleep at his grandparents (I was getting desperate for sleep as he didn't believe in sleeping --for 3 years--). I felt like I was pushing him away for my own benefit. But we planned carefully, took time to prepare ourselves and DS had a wonderful time in the end. In the short term I got a little sleep, in the longer term he has repeated the experience often and has built a very special relationship with his DGPs

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