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Breastfeeding 2.5yr old shortly going away for a week - what about my boobs?

(10 Posts)
Darcey2105 Wed 05-Aug-15 01:01:44

Can anyone recommend what I should do in this situation?

I am still breastfeeding DS age 2.5, he feeds about 5 times throughout the night, but not really in the day.

I've only spent one night away from him before, he was 1.5. I bought a hand-held expressing machine, but actually my boobs were fine, and I didn't need to express at all. It makes me think he mustn't be getting that much milk, it will be more for comfort.

Well now it's a year later, and he still breastfeeds about the same amount, but he is much much bigger.

I am separating from his dad, and his dad wants to take him on a week's holiday in 2 weeks time. I could actually really do with some time to myself, so I wouldn't otherwise mind. But I don't know what will happen to my boobs in that time, or also what will happen to our breastfeeding relationship.

As we will soon be moving, and all the disruption that divorce causes, I had thought it would be helpful to ds to keep breastfeding as long as he wants. Meaning I had no intention of forcing him to stop.

I'm just worried about what a week away from each other will mean. And I don't particularly want to sit expressing by myself every night.

Has anyone got any advice?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 05-Aug-15 01:28:24

I would use the week as an opportunity to wean him off the five night feeds. At 2.5 it is wholly unnecessary to wake and feed five times a day.

Go to bed. If you wake and feel engorged, hand express or pump and dump. Get his dad to do a sippy cup of milk AM and PM and swap this to boob when he comes home. Stand firm on not offering through the night any more.

Darcey2105 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:48:02

Well night waking and feeding is quite normal in extended breastfed babies. We co-sleep, so it is not a problem for me, and it's how he settles himself.

And as we're going through a difficult time with divorce and separation, I don't want to start unnecessary conflict over how often ds can feed. I'll deal with that when we are in our new house, wherever that maybe, and in an otherwise settled routine.

I'm sure ds will cope fine on the week away from me. I'm just worried about getting mastitis, and knowing how much milk to pump out. It would be terrible if I inadvertently upped my supply. Plus I absolutely hate expressing.

Clarella Wed 05-Aug-15 21:12:42

Hi,

I recently spent 3 nights away from my son, 2.5, and a night guzzler. My boobs were completely fine, barely full, the only thing I noticed was obv less milk so possibly more sucking in the early morning - hard to tell as his back teeth are coming through. He doesn't feed a lot in the day; probably only naps if in the house and has two days at nursery so my boobs are used to full days without.

I don't know though if being less full was also as I was premenstural (sp?!)

I know a mum in a be toddler group in a very similar position and she seemed to be fine; another mum stopped after she had an appendectomy, and just expressed a bit off if she was full, intended to wean but got so sad she re started 3 weeks later and was fine.

If you feel full uncomfortably so I'd hand express and massage, dangle feeding-like. As I say the issue may be that the milk supply is less and you get more cluster feeding!

Clarella Wed 05-Aug-15 21:17:41

Ps the milk is produced very different at this stage- the child has to spend time at the breast to get the milk flowing and to be produced; when younger it's automatically produced. This is as its a bit different now I believe, more antibodies but also to accommodate the fact that feeding is less frequent.

My MALE gp actually told me all this shock when lo was ill and I said he was only having milk and fish fingers, he started explaining I really needed to stay sitting still nursing for quite a while. Hence the night guzzling!

Darcey2105 Thu 06-Aug-15 14:36:35

Ah thanks Clarella, that was what I wanted to hear! I did wonder how much milk was coming out. Hopefully I'll be alright!

Fugghetaboutit Thu 06-Aug-15 15:01:48

Who says it's normal for EBF toddlers to wake 5 times at night to feed? He must be exhausted. Doesn't he eat enough food during the day so he has to wake 5 times for milk?
I agree with PP about time to wean him off 5 times a night wake up. I feed mine once before bed and before nap.

Clarella Thu 06-Aug-15 16:32:10

It's normal if co sleeping. Barely wake if at all. Very variable, more likely if poorly or teething.

Alone, babies/ toddlers will wake a similar number of times but either don't or have been 'trained' not to signal or call for parents.

My son will stir and wake in his own room in his own bed and go back to sleep. Other nights when clingy or not so well he'll want me.

Clarella Thu 06-Aug-15 16:37:48

Bf is much more than food, at this stage not really 'food' - it has nutritional value but can't be compared with food or the amount of food eaten in the day. It can be reassurance, soothe a throat, calm after a bad dream. To an ebf baby- toddler it's the one consistency they've had since birth so is very primal. It's fine if both are happy with it. Often, mum gets tired of it first but not always.

The op is right that it will give stability during her split with dad, and ime even extra oxytocin for herself during this difficult time.

Darcey2105 Thu 06-Aug-15 20:43:13

Thanks Clarella for your support! That's good news about the extra oxytocin for me too!

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