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CLW during a pregnancy???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay wise women. Talk to me about the benefits of nursing beyond 3 years and issues for children who wean themselves (??) during a pregnancy.

My dd is 3 years 3 months and loves nursing, but I'm pregnant and I'm pretty sure my milk's going to go away pretty soon (she said there wasn't any milk when she was nursing today...but then said there was a little).

She has been nursing much differently for the last week or so--asking to nurse, having a few sucks and then being done. She hasn't been upset about it or anything, but her nursing sessions are much shorter, and at night, they're pretty pro forma (okay nurse one side for a suck or two, then the other, okay now I'm done and I want my binky).

I love the idea of CLW, but at this point, I think she may end up being done herself before the new baby comes (I'm only 6 weeks along, and to see this much change in her nursing already was a surprise).

I guess I'm wondering if I'll get the chance to try tandem nursing. Will she be "done" before it's an option? If she is, will she be done just because there's no milk left? If so, is that a bad thing??? I'm really interested in your thoughts on this....
post #2 of 6
I was planning to tandem nurse #1 and #2, but my first child weaned at about 19 months, during my pregnancy with #2. Although I was a little sad at the time, in retrospect it was such a gentle and easy process for my daughter that I'm glad it happened that way.

I know some people don't consider that CLW, but I do.

Also, my son chose to wean at 18 months when he got 4 molars in at once. I had thought for sure he would nurse until at least 2 years old . . . I tried everything I could to get him back to the breast but he actually never nursed again. He tried putting his mouth on my nipple a couple of times but never nursed. I was pretty heartbroken, but again I look back on it and see how natural a transition it was for him, and I'm okay with it.

I think if your 3 year old weans gently and at her own pace during your pregnancy, that's a sort of gift for both of you. I would try to embrace it and hopefully like me, ultimately you'll feel thankful that it was a gradual, gentle and low-stress process for both of you.
post #3 of 6
I nursed my DD through my pregnancy w/ DS. She was about 3 years 2 months when he was born. She slowed down nursing while I was pregnant. I did have to impose some gentle limits for my own comfort (my nipples were sensitive the whole pregnancy). My supply dropped radically too, though DD said there was still some milk in there. She also noted the change to colostrum in the third trimester. When DS was born, she went back to nursing full tilt. LOL. The creamier milk for my newborn was particularly pleasing to her. LOL.

So anyway, your little one might be responding to the change in your milk's taste or to the reduced supply. It might also be less comfortable to nurse over your growing belly. It was a little harder for my DD to find a comfortable position to nurse as my belly got bigger and bigger. She may resume nursing when your new little one is born (very nice way to releive engorgement, I must say) or she may be self weaning. 3 years is not too early. Each child has their own pace. My DD weaned at 5 and my DS at 3.5 yrs. Both were CLW, though I must admit I was anxious for DD to wean for quite awhile before she actually did wean.

Tandem nursing: I did tandem nurse my two little ones. It was both rewarding and uniquely challenging. Once my DS was born, it seemed like my DD was suddenly huge to me. I kept expecting her to be more mature than she was developmentally and situationally. That was a struggle for me. After a couple of months tandem nursing, I actually found myself irritated w/ my DD's requests to nurse. I tried to be as patient as possible because I was commited to CLW. It was difficult for me and I'm sad to say that I wasn't always as patient as I should have been. It was a learning experience though. For my DD and my DS, the tandem nursing was extreamely beneficial. Of course, my DD continued to get the benefits of breastmilk, but she also got a chance to still be close to me as her new brother was. It helped ease the strugge of adapting to a new sibling. I think DS was able to bond w/ DS more too. I would definitely do it again...though I would also not be sad to not tandem nurse. KWIM? I would be happy w/ whichever my child needed. I also think that, if I do have the opportunity to tandem nurse again, I will be much more relaxed because I've had a chance to work through some of those issues.
post #4 of 6
DS is also 3 (3 yrs, 6 months) and I'm 36 weeks pregnant :-)
He's told me there's nothing left, then said there was the next day, then changed it etc LOL I don't think he knows what he's talking about. I was kind of hoping he'd give it up during the pregnancy but I'm thinking that won't happen.
post #5 of 6
Both DD1 and DD2 almost weaned during pgs, they were nursing by the time that the baby was born, but it was done to once a week for DD1 and every few days for DD2. DD1 stopped completely when DD2 was 6 weeks old, DD2 went 3-4 months after DS was born. Neither one increased their nursing once there was milk again, DD1 actually lost the ability to suck at the breast and DD2 never liked the taste of the BM after DS was born. She let it drip out of her mouth instead of swallowing.

It isn't a bad thing if they decide they are done during pg, there are so many reasons why that could happen. I just continue to offer or if it hurts then I don't offer but I never refuse if they ask.
post #6 of 6
I nursed ds threw my pregnancy with dd2 and really there was no milk for a lot of it but he kept on going. A couple weeks before she was born he had pretty much weaned, but started up again when she was born and weaned again 5 wks later. Then at 3yo he tried it again for about a wk or 2 and quit again.

Ever child is so different, but I don't see any negative effects from him weaning earlier that I know he would have otherwise (due to my pregnancy and milk drying up)
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