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Advice on how to wean off the breast in order to TTC again? DS is 1 yr old

(10 Posts)
ILickYourSlimySleeves Sat 25-Oct-08 18:50:33

Hi, DS is 1 on Tuesday and I still breastfeeed him 2 x day (upon waking and at bedtime), sometimes with a feed in the afternoon. We were very fortunate to have conceived DS via IVF last year and are also very lucky to have 7 frozen embryos from that cycle. We are now thinking about doing a frozen embryo transfer in possibly Jan or Feb 2009 so I will need to stop breastfeeding in order to get my body back to 'normal'. My AF has now been here for 4 cycles but the length of my cycle is still a bit wonky!

I don't think I'm ready to stop BFing but then again we'd love another DC so I'd need to. Any advice on how to wean DS (& me!) off breastfeeding? I'm also concerned about his fluid intake if not BFing either as he doesn't drink that much from his cup (water or cows milk). He's always hated bottles so I can't do that. Mind you I don't think he really has much breastmilk anyway but his nappies always seem wet enough.

Help! smile

pinkspottywellies Sat 25-Oct-08 19:08:30

Is it a specific thing to IVF that you need to stop breastfeeding? A lot of people are still feeding when they concieve the next baby and you can carry on right through pregnancy. Sorry if you do have to but obviously you don't want to stop so just thought I'd make sure you know that under non-IVF circumstances you don't have to.

As regards stopping I have no helpful tips I'm afraid. DD gave up by herself at 18 months. Hope you get some useful advice though.

RuthChan Sat 25-Oct-08 19:12:40

I too weaned my DD at 13 months because I wanted to TTC DC2.

It's great that you've already got him down to only 2 feeds a day. You've already done a lot of the work in that he knows he can go for most of the day without feeds.

In order to cut out the last two feeds, I replaced them with a cup of warm cow's milk and a cuddle. I replaced the morning drink first and the evening one after that.
I thought it was very important to have DD drinking the milk on my knee, recieving the same kind of physical closeness that she got from the BFing, especially just after waking up or just before going to sleep.

It only took a week or so before DD realised that she didn't need to BF and surprised me by deciding one night that she would go to bed without BFing, of her own accord.

Don't worry too much about your DS's lack of liquid intake. You'll probably find that he increases the amount of water/milk he drinks naturally to replace the lost BFing.
It'll probably work out the same as babies who increase their solid intake when they stop BFing.

I'm sure it won't be as tough as you imagine.
Good luck!!

ILickYourSlimySleeves Sat 25-Oct-08 22:23:09

Hi Pinkwellies, it's advised to stop to prepare for an IVF cycle as BFing can affect implantation of the embryos so given that the FET may be our only hope of extending our family I want to give up BFing just in case it didn't work and I think it was the BFing to blame IYSWIM? I really wish I could keep it going though as I do love it and so does DS.

Thanks Ruth for the advice. How much would your DD drink from a cup? I find that DS only manages about 10-20ml and even half of that ends up all over him! I am in the habit too of bringing him into our bed in the morning for a longer snooze as he feeds while I lie sleeping and the night feed helps him get drowsy so I think I may be in for a bit of a tough time!

llareggub Sat 25-Oct-08 22:32:32

A friend of mine conceived her first via IVF, and had just arranged to go back for the frozen embryos when she got pregnant. A lovely, amazing story!

I got pregnant while still breastfeeding, but obviously if it is advised then I guess you feel better if you do stop breastfeeding.

No idea how to stop, DS is 2 and still feeding!

Pannacotta Sat 25-Oct-08 22:37:31

Was also going to say that you may find you get pregnant naturally anyway, I do know a few people this has happened to (ie IVF first baby and no IVF needed for second baby).
I also got pregnant while bfeeding (twice a day, DS1 was 18 months), he stopped himself aged 2 ish and DS2 is 18 months and going strong so no expert in giving up!

Perhaps leave it a while, see how things go and if you do need to stop I'd recommend doing it very gradually, leave a good space of time between dropping the morning and night feeds.

ILickYourSlimySleeves Sat 25-Oct-08 22:42:58

I do soooooooooooooooooo wish we could get Pg naturally but we TTC'd for 5 years pre IVF and have been TTC again since AF returned so I don't have much hope

At least we have our frozen babies though, most people don't get frozen ones from their IVf cycle so I know we are lucky. I am so broody though, I think what with DS's birthday coming up and thinking that this time last year I was in labour is really feeding my broodiness!

llareggub Sat 25-Oct-08 22:57:36

Well, having had fertility treatment myself to have DS I was very, very negative about our chances of conceiving again. I didn't have IVF but had a different procedure that involved drilling holes in my ovaries.

We started TTC last christmas and got pregnant in March, then miscarried. Got pregnant again in May, same outcome. Successfully got pregnant again in August and I am now 12 weeks. Whatever problem I had before has now gone, so we are looking forward to a successful pregnancy now that I have had my 12 week scan. All this while still breastfeeding DS1.

Good luck, relax and stay positive. It is very common not to need treatment 2nd time around.

RuthChan Sun 26-Oct-08 21:02:08

Hi again IKYSS

It is advised that toddlers should drink 300ml of full fat cow's milk per day.
My DD drinks that from a cup with a straw fitting, half in the morning and half in the evening.
She can now drink from a normal cup, but when I first weaned her the straw was really necessary.

Up until I weaned her, she always fell asleep at the breast. I too was worried that I wouldn't be able to get her off at night with only a cup of milk. However, a cuddle while she drank and then cuddling her to sleep at the beginning worked far better than I thought it would. It was then not too long before I was able to get her going to sleep in her cot by herself. (I ended up using controlled crying for that a while after the weaning was successfully completed.)

In the morning, I too sometimes liked to bring her into my bed for a drink, a cuddle and an extra snooze. I still did this with a cup of cow's milk, I just had to go to the kitchen to get and warm it first.
That was a bit of a hassle, but I had to go to her room to get her from her cot anyway, so it wasn't so different.

I really wish you luck with it all. It really needn't be as hard as you fear. The most important thing is for your DS to realise that he no longer needs to feed from you. Then he will probably be quite happy to stop.

Tapster Sun 26-Oct-08 22:18:36

I gradually got my DD off the breast recently, although she gave up the last feed herself when I was about 14 weeks pregnant. For two months in a row I think I conceived but the egg didn't implant so I decided to cut down feeds, one feed every week or two. There were a few tantrums but I had to be firm. Once I was down to two feeds I did conceive successfully.

My DD doesn't like cows milk, I've been trying her with cows milk since was 11 months and won't drink more than a mouthful. I wouldn't get hung up about it - they need two portions of dairy a day if they don't drink milk.

I did use biscuits and chocolate buttons as a bribe, and quickly I withdrew them when she had forgotten about the milk. I leave a cup in her cot with water for her to drink and I think she drinks more in her cot than at any other time of day.

Good luck - its tough because part of you is thinking whether you will ever BF again, I did, but now I'm 20 weeks pregnant (not IVF though). Well done for feeding past a year.

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