Friday, May 6, 2011

Why I am not weaning my daughter.

I have been asked countless times when I am going to wean my 19 mo old daughter. The answer : I am not. I assure you that she will quit nursing in plenty of time to attend college. There is nothing wrong with nursing her until she is ready to quit and everybody will get over it.

I weaned my now 4 yr old daughter when she was 23 months old. I was a couple of months pregnant and it hurt alot. I really regret it. I wish I had worked through the pain. She was already skinnier than I would have liked her to be. But I hadn't connected the dots yet. When she started solid food, she started losing her body fat. Then when I took away her breastmilk, she started looking like a walking skeleton with a distended belly. I now know that she was malnourished. it wasn't because there was no food. I fed her alot, all the time, anything she wanted. It was the fructose malabsorption. She was eating the wrong food and it was causing her to not absorb any nutrients or fat. This went on for a year. I kept going to the doctor and asking. I knew she wasn't looking right. They kept assuring me she was fine. I couldn't help but think that she looked fine before I stopped nursing her. So I did research. Breastmilk is high in easily digested fat. It also has properties to it that help heal guts, reduce bacterial overgrowth, control gut yeast, and help regulate metabolism. I wanted so badly to start nursing her again. I asked our family doctor and she gave me some suggestions to help, but alas my poor daughter had forgotten how to nurse. So I started pumping for her. Every morning and every afternoon I would pump. After getting her diagnosed with fructose Intolerance I learned that breastmilk is fructose free. Even the high amounts of fructose I was ingesting would not cross into the milk.

After having been on the diet for several months, my now 4 yr old daughter looks great. She has a round face again. She has grown muscle where it belongs. Before she had no muscle because her body had been eating it for fuel. I pumped breastmilk for her to help her build up fat and muscle. It was the only food I knew for sure was good for her. I think she has reached a point in her life where she no longer feels the need for breastmilk. She no longer asks me to pump for her every day. She only asks on days when she feels ill, mostly because she ate something new that we were trialing and it didn't agree with her.

My now 19 mo old daughter shows the same reactions. She was not old enough to test but the GI doctor assured me that because she had signs and all the other children had it, that she would have it as well. She will gladly chow down on fructose free food. I follow her lead. That is how I will find out what makes her stomach upset and what causes her issues. If she doesn't want to eat it, then fine. She doesn't have to eat it. Later, she will usually steal the same food off my plate. I am not worried about what she is not eating because I know that every time she nurses she is getting the perfect food in the perfect amount. The longer she nurses, the healthier she will be. That is why I am doing it. For her. It has nothing to do with me wanting her to stay a baby. To be honest I could do with a little less nursing gymnastics or accidental nipple injuries. I do get slightly embarrassed when she tries to dive into my shirt in public. I do see the looks people give me and it does hurt my feelings. But I am willing to go through all of it. For her. Because it is what is best for her. And everybody who has something bad to say or dirty looks to give me can all jump off a cliff. Because none of you matter. She matters.

This message is supported and approved of by her primary care physician, her geneticist, her gastroenterologist, and her mother.

1 comment:

  1. You're a dedicated and fiercely loving mom. I applaud you!