I used to be in the camp of people saying "once a child can ask to nurse, they're too old". Now that I am a nursing mother myself, I am definitely finding myself re-evaluating that attitude. Partly from reading comments on other blogs (Jenn was discussing nursing at one point, and one of her commenters very astutely asked WHY a child is too old once they can ask for it - a question to which I have no good answer), partly from reading things like the WHO's recommendation that children nurse until at least age two, and partly from my own experience. I was intitally planning on breastfeeding for six months and most likely weaning at that point. But I got to six months and saw no reason to stop, as it was going perfectly well, and how could I deprive my child of the nutrition and benefits of breastmilk for, really, no good reason? (I am NOT judging anyone who stops BFing at any point, for whatever reason. I just didn't feel I had a reason to stop that I felt comfortable with.)
My only dilemma comes from the fact that we'd like to start trying for a second munchkin when Ant is around 14 months old. I am pretty certain that I will not see any hide or hair of the crimson bitch until I stop nursing. My theory is that HA is partly due to a system that is much more sensitive than normal to hormone levels, so the elevation of prolactin and decrease in e2 due to nursing will most likely suppress my system until I stop nursing. (Hopefully NOT thereafter! Pretty please.) But that means that I will need to decide to stop nursing in order to attempt conception. And I'm having a lot harder time with that idea than I ever imagined.
Then again, I've been having much more trouble with my supply in recent weeks than I had before. Well, not my supply necessarily, but more my ability to access my supply. I used to let down equally well for pumping as for nursing, within about 30 sec of starting either. More recently I have had a number of pumping sessions where I have not let down at all, despite feeling relatively full, which means that I only manage to pump 2-3 oz, instead of the 5-6 that I normally get. And on occasion it's taken as long as 4-5 minutes for me to let down when Ant is suckling. I did notice some CM for the very first time since Ant was born, so I wonder if in fact my hormones are shifting a bit. I've tried the looking at your baby's picture, thinking about them method - I'm just so non-sentimental that things like that really don't do it for me. Even his cry doesn't set me off. I've tried shaking the old knockers, stroking and massaging as recommended on kellymom, to no effect. I've even tried sucking myself. Yes that was probably as funny as you imagine. I was desperate though! So now I just get out as much as I can and call it a day. But I do wonder if this is the beginning of a forced end? I'm trying to keep it up by pumping 2x while I'm gone, with him only eating once, and that has been working okay for now, but barely. Any suggestions?