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Tips for Nursing &/or Co-sleeping while Pg?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Anyone else out there trying to manage being pg (10.5 weeks here) while nursing and/or cosleeping? I am so nauseous and tired (hx of HG here) and had this crazy thought (based on a few friends' stories) that my milk would dry up and that would help my 15 month old ease out of the all-night fascination with my milk bar. Well that hasn't happened and she is a terrible co-sleeper (punches, kicks, pinches, scratches and bites my nipples in her sleep) to the point that with my hormones and lack of sleep some mornings I wake up already wanting to throw her or myself out the window . Then my 4 (almost 5) year old wonders why mama is so tired and short fused.

Please don't flame but we have tried the transition to the crib and dd is adamantly opposed to it - okay so we are only on day 2 of the all night trial but she has been up every 10-15 minutes and only slept straight about 2 hours last night. Add that to her habit of only sleeping for about 20 minutes a day (in her crib) and I am getting really desperate. I can barely keep up with the nutrition and hydration for the baby and with dd nursing all day and night (by all day I mean about oncce every 2 hours or so - if she cosleeps she's on my nipple most of the night or screaming if it falls out of her mouth) I am getting really really waaay more dehydrated and sick than I was with my other 2 pregnancies.

So has anyone out there been through this or have any advice? I am not sure whether its better to try to nightwean now and just hope the all night waking up lessens or cosleep and then at least my dh sleeps (but I don't get any and I get more dehydrated/sick). My dd is nowhere near ready to fully wean (and I wouldn't want to force that) and I am not opposed to tandem nursing but I just don't know how to get through this and maintain my (and my babies') health.

On a side note I am feeling so ill now that after having two babies out of the hospital (one at a birth center and one at home) successfully I am actually considering a hospital birth for this one so that I can stay with my ob's (who follow me during my 1st trimesters for low progesterone before I usually switch to my midwife for homebirth) and have access to IV's (I can get them easily in the ob office whenever I need them for dehydration), continued Zofran rx's, and whatever other support I need. My dh thinks I have lost my mind!
post #2 of 13
sounds *exactly* like my dd when i was pg with ds.

i also had extremely sensitive nipples. she would scream at night for hours, for months, until she finally got that i had no milk. i would have let her dry nurse, but it was too painful. and i'm no sissy.

looking back, i wish i would have just weaned her and been done with it. even though she was only 15 months and nowhere near ready.

i even tandemed for a while, and it was a horrible experience for me. i wanted to KILL something when i nursed. i wanted to throw my children across the room. the hormones from nursing both of them just messed me up.

i finally weaned dd when she was around 32 months. she still wasn't ready. actually, she will be 4 in a couple weeks and she still wants to nurse. every couple months i wake up with her latched on. ds couldn't care less. he was never a boob monster like dd.

both kids still co-sleep. we've tried time and again to introduce a big-girl bed, but she is happier with us and i am too. i love having my kids in bed with me.

i always wanted to nurse my children until they self weaned at hopefully 4 or 5 years old. but my hormones won't let me mentally do it. i am a better mama not tandeming and weaning around 18 months. which i believe is actually too early. i believe in bf for a minimum of 2 years. but i can't do it without being on a sedative, which i won't do.

sorry if i was no help, but i just want you to know that you are not alone in all these conflicting feelings and values.

eta: at almost 4, we have a lot of difficulties in our relationship, partly because i had so much resentment and anger for so long at her wanting to nurse and clinginess. she was only 15 mo when i got pg, and she is/was high-needs/highly-sensitive from day 1. i know in my heart if i had just had the courage to wean her our relationship would be better.
post #3 of 13
My situation is nowhere near as bad as yours but I do have HG and a 21 month old who is still nursing. Fortunately, she only nurses a few times a day and only nursed about 3 times per night. But the night nursing was really frustrating to me and I can relate to wanting to throw her across the room. Nightweaning was definitely the right choice for us but I also think whe was more ready so it wasn't that difficult. We only had two bad nights.

After I nightweaned my nipples were quite a bit less sore, I think because her nighttime nursing sessions were long. I would definitely try nightweaning. I know it's so hard to convince yourself to do it but it has really helped our nursing relationship and our relationship in general.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 13
Hi, I'm from August but thought I'd chime in...
I have a 17 month old and a 3 year old that still share our bed. Only the 17 month old nurses, but he was an all night nurser. I'm not really one to wean (I think I'm too lazy, LOL) but once my cycles came back and I started ovulating, my nipples were getting really sore from the night nursings... so I tried to cut ever other nursing out. By rubbing his back (until my arm ached) and saying "night night" over and over. I wear a nursing tank to bed so I could clip it shut and he wouldn't have access. It wasn't easy at first but he seemed OK with it after a few nights. And he is very demanding and very stubborn....LOL... Now, I only nurse him to sleep - as long as he wants or it takes - and that's it for the night. He wakes up and I soothe him back to sleep. Which is awesome, because now that I'm 8 weeks pregnant, it's like daggers shooting through my breasts....ouch. We still nurse for nap and in the morning as well.

Hang in there mama!
post #5 of 13
Lots of luck to you, mama. Hugs. I weaned DD 23 mos. about 6 weeks ago...between the weight loss from throwing up and the low low low energy, I really just didn't have it in me to keep nursing her. She still asks for it ("I need a little seesee, mama. Just a little seesee...I sad.") on occasion, but it was an ok transition in the end.

As for the sleeping - is the crib in your room? Have you thought about trying a toddler bed side-carred, or at the foot of your bed? It might help her to know that she's not "trapped" in the crib. DD moved to a toddler bed (in her own room) around 15 months and it was a 6-week transition while she experimented with understanding the freedom, but she's now content in it and can always come in to our room if she needs to. Plus, your DD might be old enough to appreciate being a "big girl" bed?
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by slgt View Post
Lots of luck to you, mama. Hugs. I weaned DD 23 mos. about 6 weeks ago...between the weight loss from throwing up and the low low low energy, I really just didn't have it in me to keep nursing her. She still asks for it ("I need a little seesee, mama. Just a little seesee...I sad.") on occasion, but it was an ok transition in the end.

I am in the process of nightweaning my 23.5 mo. Booby Monster here (dd2). It is heartwrenching as SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT. But I *have to* nightwean her because I won't nurse two babies at night when the newborn comes. I have a history of depression, anxiety and panic, and I NEED to have SOME sleep to function. If I don't then it gets ugly ugly ugly for us all. Anyhow, I let her nurse to sleep at the start of the night if she wants to fall asleep on the breast, otherwise I tell her to finish up and I'll rub her back/tummy as she falls asleep. In the meantime I gently remind her that cici are going to sleep and will wake up in the morning when we can nurse again. She was accomodating the first couple of nights and then GOT ANGRY!!!! It's been a rough several nights. But I have stuck to my guns because it has to be done. Other than my heart breaking at watching her grieve her loss, I feel good about putting up a boundary for my body. I keep telling myself that I have NOT withdrawn any love from her or anything, I tell her I am still there with her, I love her, will pet her, etc. The past two nights she screams at me to go away and "alone!", knocking my hand away so I can't touch her. But in the wee wee hours of the morning she settles and lets me soothe her back to sleep. It's rough going but we can do it. I am resolved on being her Calm In The Storm. Last night was my first big cry though, but I think that's because of the hormone changes.

Whoa didn't mean to write a novel! But I hear ya! Good luck!!!

You might check out Breastfeeding Challenges and see if there's any info/advice there. There is a nightweaning thread.
post #7 of 13
Surfacing, that's so funny - your DD calls them cici too? DD came up with that one on her own, no encouragement from me. I wonder why it makes sense to them? She calls bras, "cici wraps". Came up with that one on her own, too.
post #8 of 13
Oh, whichever happens, hope it's a smooth transition for you. We succeeded in night weaning a few months ago. I quitely went to bed in another room and dh and ds went to sleep in our bed. He protested a few times the first few nights, but nothing like I expected. I rejoined them a two days later and night nursings stopped. I also had alot of nipple pain when he nursed, so between my wimpering & winching and frequently redirecting him during the day, he gave up nursing (on his own) a few weeks after he night weaned. He still asks to nurse once in a while, I tell him my milk is all gone. For us, it has been a blessing. Ds is much easier going since he weaned. He is more independent and talkative. Best wishes to you.
post #9 of 13
I have HG too and I am nursing an almost three year old. Luckily, she was already mostly night weaned before the pregnancy. She still nurses to sleep for naps and night and throughout the day. I am so on the fence about weaning. I really don't think I want to tandem, but she is still so attached to nursing. Not sure what to do, but I need to make a decision if I want to wean because I don't want it to be too abrupt. I was hoping she would lose interest if I lost my milk. So far I think I still have milk. Not sure how....I have lost 15 lbs and barely eat anything! Just wishing you well OP and hope you figure out a solution.
post #10 of 13
I would tackle one thing at a time. Let her cosleep for now and try to night wean (or get as close as possible). Maybe both things at once are too much...crib and weaning. My milk is pretty much gone now but we are cosleeping. It is still ok but I'm not looking forward to when I get bigger.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your suggestions and support! We ended up compromising and dd is pretty much nightweaned now - I am honestly amazed at how fast it happened. We do put her in the crib still when she falls asleep at 7pm since she doesn't protest then and its safer for her to be contained while we are still awake but then we cosleep once she wakes up in the middle of the night. I had to put my foot down because with the nausea and dizziness I just couldnt handle any vertical nighttime parenting now. After about a week of screaming/scratching/clawing fits here and there while she and I renegotiated our comforting methods, she is now peacefully sleeping with us and snuggling with me without digging out the milk bar or protesting their absence. I even wore a tank top to sleep in last night and woke up with her nestled in my armpit and no digging for boobies!

Now if only this all day sickness will just leave....
post #12 of 13
So glad for you!!! What a relief!!

It took us about a week (just over) also for things to settle down. And I like how you said "she and I renegotiated our comforting methods" -- such an accurate description!
post #13 of 13
I ended up night weaning DS at 18 months, a couple months before I got pg, because I was growing resentful and exhausted and didn't feel that was healthy for our relationship. I used Dr. Jay Gordon's method and it took about a week for him to really be okay with it. We had a few really hard nights but then he started sleeping through the night most nights. We've had a couple of setbacks... for example he got sick a couple months ago... and I nurse on demand when he's sick (and he does get pretty demanding!). We also just moved into a new house last month and our routine has been very off so his sleep schedule got very off too, he was in an unfamiliar place and waking up a lot and just needed that comfort so I let him, but I think we're pretty much back to normal now.

I'm so glad you were able to reach a compromise and that things seem to be working out well for you!
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