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Way to fight for it!! Good luck with weaning! I am so glad to read you again.


I wish that someone had told me before I finally got pregnant that people who have a hard time getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term are most likely going to have issues breastfeeding. I had no clue and I went into it thinking I would be able to breast feed. I went through 6 months of hell trying to breastfeed, my schedule was breastfeed my son, then give him a bottle, then pump for 30 minutes, then wait an hour and a half and do it all over again. I took prescriptions and I tried supplements, nothing helped. The most milk I ever pumped was like 2 ounces combined. After 6 months I finally gave up and at that point I was glad, I felt like i fought the good fight.
I never plan on having another child, but I have determined if I do ever get pregnant again I am going to start pumping a few times a day starting at 6 months.


Great story, and welcome back, Karen! I never thought I would be one of "those" moms either, but I nursed my daughter for 2 years and am still nursing a 21 month old boy. I'm also pretty much ready to wean, but he isn't - can't wait to hear your weaning story. Oh, and I think since only, what 14% of moms are still nursing at 6 MONTHS, 2 years definately qualifies as "extended."


Karen I can totally relate to this story as I had some difficulties breastfeeding... while I didn't have milk issues I had a son who didn't know what the heck to do with a boob for 6-8 weeks after he was born. As one of those people who is still nursing as well and my son is 2 going on 3 I can relate as well. Can't wait to read part 2! So very excited to have you back.


Yay! You're back.


You? Are amazing. Fantastic, determined, strong.

I made it to 19mths with my daughter, but my son weaned of his own accord at 13 months, and I was strung out and exhausted and I let it happen. I almost regret it, but I'm glad I was able to breastfeed until 13 months with him. (He was also the kid who weaned off a dummy at 6 months and never looked back, he just refused it one night and then got pissy everytime I tried to give it to him. Strange kid)


Jenna--is that true--that people who have trouble getting pregnant also have trouble breastfeeding? Did you read that somewhere? I would be REALLY interested in any info you have on that! Crazy!

Michelle, Sami, Veronica, YAY! I'm so glad I'm not the only mom who has nursed past a year--I'm the only one I know around here!

MM, Cobblestone, Thanks!!


I had a lot of problems with nursing, but the later problems of thrush, thrush, and more thrush. And we're still nursing...he's a bit over 16 months old at this point.

I read a comment where someone snarked about how breastfeeding moms are just doing something that their bodies do naturally and so they shouldn't be so damn proud of themselves. OMG. I'm still pissed.


I had a terrible time breastfeeding my daughter the first 6 weeks, so I can totally relate. I didn't have the jaundice / low weight issue to deal with -- you were very brave and strong! I will always be proud of myself and grateful for the good luck that enabled me to push through and get to successful, pain-free feeding. I nursed until my daughter was 18 months, and we both sort of gave it up together.


Still nursing my three year old over here, along with my 5 month old. And to think I was definitely in the "if they can ask for it, they're too old" camp pre-kids.

Love your determination in the face of ignorant paediatricians.


What a happy ending to this post! And, as I'm sure you know, 2 years is a recommended minimum. So good for you!

I nursed until 3. A few months before my daughter's birthday I asked her one day how long she thinks she'll drink mama milk and she said until she's 3. I was feeling like I needed to get my hormones back to normal, so I ran with it. We did a countdown and had a birthday/weaning celebration. Her last nursing was special and wonderful. There were a few challenging days afterwards, but then it was just fine. The hardest part was the hormone crash. Holy crap was that difficult. But you move on and it's all good.


:-) I just weaned my 2 1/2 year old. I laugh when I remember worrying about making it through the 9mo strike!


Thanks for sharing with us - it's not often that you see such honest, non-judgmental posts on breastfeeding. I was apprehensive about weaning my 2 yo, as she was still nursing in the night. But one day at around 28 months she just lost interest, and basically weaned herself. As Amy said, the hormone crash was pretty hard... Hope Bo weans easily!


My friend had a 3 year old she was still nursing and weaned her when she became pregnant (lucky bitch). Her solution was to have a "bye-bye booby" party and make weaning into a fun thing for her girl. It worked pretty well.
I weaned at 15 months and yes, damn those hormones, I really crashed hard. I think it was harder for me than for him...


Good for you! I don't think breastfeeding is easy for anyone - I'd like to meet them if it is easy so way to stick with it!


I can't find where I read that having a hard time getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term would cause problems with breastfeeding. At the time I had so much paperwork on breastfeeding and I am not sure if it came from the lactation consultant or where.
I remember reading over and over again thinking it was such a cruel joke. After I read it I thought about all of my friends who went on to have babies after infertility and all of them had problems with milk supply. I really wish I could find the info, when I have more time I will keep looking.


I had a very similar experience! Breastfeeding was hell for me for the first 3 months or so. I never liked it the whole time I did it, but I kept going for over 2 years. It was important to me.

Anyway, weaning was actually a lot easier than I expected. There were tears but both my son and I learned how to give/get comfort in new ways. I just used an excuse he would understand - the boobies were broken and have owies. (I've heard some people use bandaids to illustrate this point.) He totally accepted that and even patted them to make them feel better. :P


i was the same as you, although with different (and not as big!) problems. i had twins and was determined to nurse them. cried when we had to give my NICU baby (i had 1 of 2 in the nicu for a few days) formula. it was just my thing and my body failed me so in terms of fertility that i was just going to make this work. the first month was torture and then it got better. never easy but better. nursed them for 21 months. i think, at some point, i just refused to stop trying.


Maybe the infertility/trouble breastfeeding thing is just related to hormones. So if your difficultly conceiving is related to hormone probs, then maybe breastfeeding will be tricky too.

The two hormones that govern breastfeeding are prolactin, which makes the milk, and oxytocin, which governs the let-down reflex, (I'm sure you know this, just working it out in my head). It sounds like it was the oxytocin that was the problem for you Karen as you mentioned you had lots of milk, it just wasn't coming out. Maybe being induced does have something to do with that too as your own oxytocin is totally outgunned by the synthetic stuff.

Anyway, so so many admiring thoughts coming your way for your amazing persistance. What a blessing for your little girl.


joining the chorus of how amazing you are. I'm so glad breasting turned into a triumph for you.


Yay! You are back! You popped into my head yesterday and I decided to go looking for you and here you are. I'm with you on the difficult start to breastfeeding which turned into extended breastfeeding--let's hear it for sheer stubbornness! With mine it turned into tandem, followed by weaning the 4 year old over his strong protests. He didn't get the weaning part of "child led weaning" at all, and still occasionally asks 4 months later. The baby girl is still at it at almost 2. But I am hoping for weaning before 4 with her.....


Karen...I have to thank you for something. My son is now 19 months old. When he was born, I spent HOURS trying to get breastfeeding going holding him in one arm and using my other to navigate your website! Your trials and tribulations (and the insanely helpful comments people left for you) were like my bible. I too was crazed and wanted to make the whole thing work so badly. I have a daughter who is now 4 and breastfed her for a few months but getting things going was not smooth and I hated every second of it. Once I weaned her I was so regretful...and I was so determined to make it work the second time around. I successfully breastfed my son for 6 months, and would have gone much longer if not for a week long hospital stay with my daughter that the pump was no match for.

I worked like hell to keep my supply up too...hospital grade pump rentals, herbs, tea, the works. It was the best thing I ever did. I still miss nursing him.

I applaud you going for 2 years...that's fantastic. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping a hormonal post-partum woman not throw in the towel prematurely!


Yay! You're back! I clicked on my Cheek link by accident, expecting nothing, and here you are!

Congrats with your nursing success. Perseverance pays! I had a similar experience w/my first DD, but her latch sucked and never got better and we weaned at 13 months. My 2nd was a pro from the get-go, but was extremely attached to mama and nursing ... I nursed her until she was 31 months. I had to wean cold turkey to take meds for Crohns, otherwise she probably would have happily continued through Kindergarten.

If Bo is so demanding and bossy, I think you will find it very difficult to wean, no surprise. Might I suggest that you try night weaning first, and keep nursing her past her 2nd birthday - she'll be developmentally more ready to negotiate. You're now in the midst of the "terrible twos" and her emotional stability will be hard to find until she's closer to 30 months old.

Good luck and thanks for reopening your blog!


WOW, I am really happy to see you posting again! WOW! All my occasional blog checks finally paid off. YAY!

I met you in Guangzhou with my daughter Camille. Then I became unexpectedly pregnant about a month after you did. And my son will be 2 in July, and I am still nursing him too. :-) I love it now, such a sweet comfort for him.

SO GLAD TO SEE YOU POSTING! Glad to hear your precious girls are doing well.


Hurray for a post on breastfeeding that doesn't act like one must be on a "side".

I'm so SO glad you're back. I've been reading the archives and remembering all over again how those posts helped get me through infertility with a little less insanity.

By the way...the posts you wrote on finding out you were pregnant? Are those around somewhere?

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