Tricked by my toddler that I'm still producing milk?

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AB1JCW
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:36 pm

Tricked by my toddler that I'm still producing milk?

Post by AB1JCW » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:54 am

I am not sure if I have been tricked by my almost 4yo that I am still producing milk.

He wants a "feed" every night before he goes to sleep, 99% of the time comes into our bed for a "feed" during the night and usually wants a "feed" first thing in the morning.

He's just gone on holiday with his brother & dad for 3 weeks so I got my pump out, which I haven't used for 2 years, but even 36 hours after he left the best I can get is one drop from each side (15 mins pumping on each side, breast compression, warm shower beforehand) - literally just one drop on each nipple & not even a big enough drop to run through the collecting cone into the bottle. I have tried the electric pump & manual pump both which used to work for me (I am rubbish at hand expressing) - but as I mentioned I haven't done any expressing for 2 years.

I am not sure if it is worth me continuing to try & pump twice a day for 3 weeks not getting anything out (or just to relax & enjoy my kid free time). I assume that 3 weeks without bf/expressing & my milk will have dried up - will getting even one drop out help at all?

When he was feeding I was hearing/seeing him swallow but could it just have been saliva from the sucking action? He sometimes said there was no milk, but then told me he was just joking - could it have been a double bluff just to have the excuse to come and sleep in our bed? If he was really getting milk I am not sure how upset and or angry he'll be if I don't persevere in maintaining my 1 drop, twice a day - he seemed very keen on his feeds.

Has anyone else had a similar experience and how did it go when you were reunited?

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MamaMagoO?
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Re: Tricked by my toddler that I'm still producing milk?

Post by MamaMagoO? » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:56 am

Gosh, that's a tricky one. I know I often feel that my 3 yr old DD is just pretending to feed even though she claims that there is still milk there. I'm particularly suspicious as my breasts are continuing to shrink despite the fact that she still feeds at least 3 or 4 times a day. But, on the other hand what would she get out of lying about that?? When I was pregnant with her and my then 3yr old DS was still feeding he was quite open about the fact that there wasn't much there but he wanted to keep going anyway. We also know that expressing is never a good indication of how much milk you actually have. Babies (and children) are much more efficient at removing milk. Especially given you haven't expressed for 2 years, you have probably lost the knack.

As for the separation I don't have any personal experience of being away from a breastfeed child for so long but I suspect that without daily stimulation your supply would likely dry up in 3 weeks and there is also a pretty good chance your 4 yr old would out-grow the need to feed in that time as well. But I think only time will tell. Be prepared to give him as much love and affection as he needs when he gets back. You can still have a very close and loving relationship without the feeds.

How are you feeling about the separation and the idea that it might be the end of your breastfeeding relationship?? It can be a very emotional time. Sending love.
Little Magoo 07/08. Breastfed for 3yrs3mths.
Miss Magoo 10/11. Breastfed for 4yrs3mths.

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breastfeedingisnormal
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Re: Tricked by my toddler that I'm still producing milk?

Post by breastfeedingisnormal » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:52 pm

If you're not uncomfortable, and would be OK with him weaning, you could just not express at all and see what happens when he gets home. A baby is much more efficient at removing milk from the breast than a pump is, so it is likely that he's been getting more milk than you think. After a separation many mothers find that their toddlers 'forget' how to suckle and breastfeeding peters out. If that happens, you'll probably find he needs extra cuddles and one-on-one time to make up for the loss of that special breastfeeding time.
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AB1JCW
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:36 pm

Re: Tricked by my toddler that I'm still producing milk?

Post by AB1JCW » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:39 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I'm a bit sad that our last bf has probably happened without me realising it was going to be the last one at the time - but probably not as upset as I would have been if I had known then that it was the last one.
I am concerned that he won't understand/appreciate why there's (probably) no more milk when I see him again. That he'll think it's my fault and think I'm being mean to him. The best scenario would be that after 3 weeks he won't be bothered about bf.
I'm actually enjoying the free time without the kids so far - him and his older brother are a bit of a handful and I've actually felt the most relaxed I have felt for a very long time (I know they are in good hands and having a fun time).

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