Monday, March 28, 2016

The Nursing Schedule

After deciding to re-open our ANR, and considering our options (whether I would dry or wet nurse him specifically), we elected to induce lactation. This process in itself takes a great deal of consideration and commitment, but as much as he enjoys suckling, S told me that he would like to drink as well as nurse, and because I am not opposed to lactating, even with the added challenges it may bring, I agreed to induce.

Although I plan to discuss lactation within a loving ANR in a future post, I am focusing on the adult nursing schedule, which is key to an ANR, particularly if you plan to induce lactation. There are several blogs and forums available for reference,  but the best example of an adult nursing schedule I found comes from The Land of Milk and Honey. To be able to fully experience and take advantage of the site, you will be asked to pay a $5.00 membership fee, but the owners/admin generously shared their advice on nursing schedules, and I'm sure that anyone, no matter how hectic their life is, will be able to find a routine that works perfectly for them.

S and I have a  very set in stone schedule. He leaves for work Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. and comes home at 5:30 p.m. During these hours, the children are schooled and I have my own work obligations. Dinner as a family takes place at 6 p.m. and bedtime follows at 9:00 for the children. Because we are very involved parents, we aren't afforded the opportunity to snuggle together on the couch for a nursing session between the hours of seven and nine; instead, S and I agreed that our daily nursing schedule will involve night feedings, and because he nursed at 11 p.m. on March 26 and we were hoping to embark on our journey and induce lactation as soon as possible, we set 11:00 as our targeted nursing time. This works out perfectly for us, as it is a wonderful stress-reliever, which may either lead to lovemaking or sleep.

We both understand the IMPORTANCE of the nursing schedule. To induce lactation, you MUST adhere to your schedule...for an entire month. The advice that I received from The Land of Milk and Honey outlined an incredibly simple 24 +/-2.4 hours nursing schedule. S and I agreed that this schedule (combined with our set time) will work out beautifully for us, particularly since the children visit their grandparents every Saturday; this means that we can indulge in a lovely nursing session around 8:45 p.m. if we don't want to wait until 11. On the other hand, if we've had a late night, he will still be able to nurse around 1 a.m. without fear of disrupting our schedule. Not only did I find the flexibility encouraging, I appreciated the fact that once a day nursing is as effective as round the clock feedings because as much as I would love to have S at my breast 24 hours a day, it is simply not practical.

As if sharing the knowledge that I am S' loving milk maid wasn't enough information to share, I'll admit that I am obsessed with organization and list-making and routines, so this nursing schedule is absolutely ideal for me. It saves so much trouble and avoids what I view as complications and confusion. I am the sort of person who likes to know exactly when things are going to happen, and our set nursing time really eases my mind. I don't have to worry about "fitting this in" to our already busy lifestyle; it is simply going to happen, and it gives me something to look forward to during the day.

If schedules are stressful to you, then an ANR with the intent of lactation might not be what you seek. Perhaps nursing sessions for intimacy and personal enjoyment when time permits may be more to your liking. ANRs are NEVER meant to be stressful; quite the contrary. They are meant to be loving, intimate, bonding, and relaxing. If a schedule doesn't seem to work for you, don't do it! Simply focus on intimacy--not milk! You DO NOT have to lactate to fully enjoy an adult nursing relationship; I have both dry AND wet nursed, and both experiences were equally amazing. Initially, we were planning for S to merely comfort nurse, which simply meant that my breasts would be available for him to suckle as he chose, and if lactation is never induced, we will continue our ANR as it stands.

Remember, a schedule is a COMMITMENT. You MUST nurse at least 9 out of 10 times during scheduled nursings IF lactation is your ultimate goal. I plan to follow this 10%, 24 +/-2.4 hours routine for the next 30 days and update my blog after our nursing sessions.

If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below or email me.

A revised version of this post is available on www.bountifulfruits.com

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