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If you lost your milk during pregnancy...

Poll Results: Pregnancy & CLW

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 5% (8)
    Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, dried up
  • 1% (2)
    Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, didn't dry up
  • 13% (21)
    Nursling(s) 12-18 months when I got pg, dried up
  • 2% (4)
    Nursling(s) 12-18 months when I got pg, didn't dry up
  • 12% (19)
    Nursling(s) 18-24 months when I got pg, dried up
  • 2% (4)
    Nursling(s) 18-24 months when I got pg, didn't dry up
  • 15% (24)
    Nursling(s) 2-3 years when I got pg, dried up
  • 1% (2)
    Nursling(s) 2-3 years when I got pg, didn't dry up
  • 3% (5)
    Nursling(s) 3 years+ I got pg, dried up
  • 1% (3)
    Nursling(s) 3 years+ I got pg, didn't dry up
  • 6% (11)
    Reduced nursing due to pain, fatigue, etc., dried up
  • 1% (3)
    Reduced nursing due to pain, fatigue, etc., didn't dry up
  • 22% (35)
    Nursed just as frequently, dried up
  • 1% (3)
    Nursed just as frequently, didn't dry up
  • 8% (14)
    Nursling weaned during pg
158 Total Votes  
post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
...was it purely hormonal? Did you continue to nurse just as frequently but still dried up? Or did you have other reasons (extreme fatigue, sore nipples, etc.) that caused you to reduce BF'ing and possibly dry up? Or was your nursling older & already had decreased nursing sessions? Or combination of these?

I know there have been a lot of similar threads but I don't think many have answered the above specifically. What I'm trying to get around to, is if I got pg in the next few months (we've been casually TTC with no luck yet!), how likely am I to lose my milk? DS is 12mos & nurses as often as every 1/2 hour or so. Well except now 'cause he's sick, poor kid!!

ETA: Seems like this calls for a poll! Adding one now...

OK I messed up the second option but it should say "Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, didn't dry up"

TY for voting!
post #2 of 31
How likely are you to lose your milk during pg? Well, flip a coin and that's about as good of an answer you will get! There is absolutely no way to figure it out before hand or even while you are in the process of it.

The normal rules of milk production no longer apply during pg, so supply and demand means nothing. Prolactin is the hormone that drives milk production, during pg that hormone takes a backseat to estrogen which is a well known milk reducer, hence the reason nursing moms can not take regular BC pills while bfing. There is nothing that you can do to stop that, now what does matter and really is a mystery is which women do continue to have a milk supply during pg. See, it doesn't matter how old the child is or if you have a great milk supply pre-pg, nothing of that makes a difference, but for whatever reason some women do continue to make milk despite the hormonal switch. That is not the norm though and most women will have a decrease in supply, they might completely dry up or just have a dip, that could happen towards the beginning, at 20 weeks is a common time, or maybe later, or maybe nothing. If if the milk remains then the taste does change, it is much higher in sodium then regular milk and some children do not like the taste.

I have nursed through pg two times and completely dried in during the beginning despite having very avid nurslings. After the milk was gone then they started to lose interest, but both continued to nurse through the entire pg. I hate, hate, hate nursing during pg, dry nursing is the worst feeling in the world for me, it was all I could do to sit through and let a child suckle when all I wanted to do was run away screaming. Nursing went from something I loved to something I absolutely dreaded. I do have regrets about when I got pg with #3, #2 was nursing frequently but eating lots of food, she did not take the loss of milk well. She lost 6 lbs in a month after my milk dried up and she started refusing to eat food at the same time, I spent the next 6 months struggling to get her to eat and gain weight
post #3 of 31
Got pregnant when my first was 11months old,; nursed through the pregnancy but set *major* limits after it started to feel awful when he was mostly dry nursing. I started to lose my milk in the second trimester, pretty much gone by the third, continued to nurse at least once a day. Toddler didn't like the taste after the baby was born (and my afterpains were so awful I didn't even want to nurse my newborn) and went maybe four or five days without nursing, then started up again and is still going strong at 3 years.

I am making very sure that we don't conceive again until the older two have weaned, because I do *not* want to nurse through another pregnancy.
post #4 of 31
My DD was 13months when I very unexpectedly fell pregnant. My milk supply dropped almost immediately, and by 20weeks it was mostly gone. It was absolutely hormonal. I would hope to never go through that again. It was devastating for my daughter who was not much of an eater, and she lost weight and both of us suffered for months.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you, this was exactly what I was wondering!! So glad to have you super knowledgeable experienced moms on here!!

I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!

On the other hand, we seem to have chronic oversupply issues... so losing SOME milk could be good... losing ALL of it, not so much!!
post #6 of 31
My DS was 2 years 8 months when I got pregnant. My milk dried up around 14 weeks, and did not come back until after the baby was born. It was definitely hormonal - he was still nursing very frequently.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!
I am laughing a bit here because even at two years apart, my kids seem too close in age. lol.
post #8 of 31
Got pregnant with DS2 when DS1 was 5 months old. By the time he was 7 months, milk dried up significantly; nursed significantly MORE because he wasn't getting enough milk but refused a bottle until finally milk dried all the way up at 20 weeks and he gave up the good fight and took a bottle (not that he stopped or slowed down his nursing; oh no, but at least he did take a bottle in addition so he started having more than 3 wet diapers a day again...). With this pregnancy, DS2 was already 20 months old and I was working full time, so not nursing much during the day at all though both DSs nursed at night and weekends. But the milk drop was definitely all pregnancy. I had stopped pumping at work when DS2 hit 12 months or so because I wanted to get my period back. 3 months later I started pumping at work again because a friend couldn't make enough milk to feed her newborn, and I had little trouble getting back to pumping maybe 8-12 ounces a day for maybe 3 months. By the time I was 7-8 weeks pregnant, my pumping supply went down dramatically even though my pumping habits hadn't changed at all.
post #9 of 31
When I got pg, my toddler was 20m. old. He weaned by himself, because the supply dwindled and dwindled and finally dried up... and the last time he nursed was exactly one week before his 2nd birthday.

I was 4 months pg when he stopped nursing because the milk had dried completely up.
post #10 of 31
This is a very sad thread for me. We are considering having another pregnancy later this year, mostly for our 7mo old to have a close in age sibling. I cannot imagine my LO wanting milk and it drying up. What to do?
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!
I do like having my two 20 months apart (thankfully the second was an incredible mellow and easygoing babe). I love how close they are. Buuut- I would have been really angry if my oldest had completely weaned (like I thought he was about to!) after I suffered through nursing through the whole pregnancy.

And because most women do lose their milk during pregnancy, and there's no way to tell if you'll be one of the lucky ones that won't, you really need to delay pregnancy until you're at least somewhat okay with the idea of your existing child weaning or at the very least going without breastmilk for a period of many months. 3 years ago I was "okay" with a one year old going without breastmilk (heck, most aren't getting any at that point!). Now it seems crazy to me to think about doing anything to jepordize a nursing relationship before the age of two or three at the very earliest. But then, an intense 9-18month old may be more likely to persist in nursing through a pregnancy with no milk than an older child who has less emotional need and instinctual drive towards the whole thing.

I'm also amazed at how grown up we thought my oldest son was at 11 months when he decided to conceive his brother, and how truly and profoundly young his baby brother seems now at 19 months. My perspective has changed a lot- one and two year old children are just *so* young.

I'm probably not making this decision any easier, hah!

To sum up- I'm glad I did it, we were reasonably lucky and everything worked out well in the end even if it stunk miserably at the time, and I don't want to ever ever ever go through it again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

On the other hand, we seem to have chronic oversupply issues... so losing SOME milk could be good... losing ALL of it, not so much!!
I did as well, so there was a brief period where things were just about right, hah! I took some supplements to help with my supply earlier on- they just made my oversupply worse when I wasn't having problems and did very little when my milk did start to go away.

I will say that nursing the second time around, with a toddler willing to help out with engorgement, was so much nicer. My second son didn't get drenched or drowned when he tried to nurse as a wee babe.
post #12 of 31
I got pregnant with my dd sooner than I had planned (ds was almost 5 months), and my milk dried up when my ds was 9 months old. Nothing has ever made me more humble than being a lactivist whose son had to drink formula for three months.
post #13 of 31
I got pregnant when my oldest was 20 months. My milk dried up around 20 weeks but he also was only nursing 2-3 times a day at that point and it was an easy transition for him and me (he just stopped nursing, he was fine with it, I was fine with it).

With #2, he was 18 months when I got pregnant and still voraciously nursing, probably 8-10 times a day. I really thought I'd be tandem nursing...until about 20 weeks again, when my milk started to dry up and he cut out nursing. HE was fine with it, but I was not. I was intensely sad that he had stopped nursing so abruptly and tried to keep him nursing, but he was not really interested. He was a real cuddlebug and I think that is why I really mourned the nursing relationship ending. He was still a cuddler but it as different.

My #3 is now 10 months and still a good nurser - probably in between my first two. We're not planning on TTC until he is a good 3-4 (for various reasons not related to nursing) and I'm curious now to see how long our relationship will last
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OurGift View Post
This is a very sad thread for me. We are considering having another pregnancy later this year, mostly for our 7mo old to have a close in age sibling. I cannot imagine my LO wanting milk and it drying up. What to do?
I know, I'm feeling pretty sad now too.

I appreciate all the experiences everyone has shared! I wish I could know for sure whether I'd be a "lucky one" or not! I guess DH & I will stop TTC until DS is eating more solids at the very least... maybe longer.. Ideally he'd nurse to age 2 minimum (and I'd love to get him through next winter) so I guess we have to reconsider our family plans!!

Watch, this will be the month I end up pg anyway (in the 2ww now)!! Ahhh then I'd still be excited but also scared the whole time. How come no one tells you about this? I've read several books on nursing & tandem nursing and I don't remember any mentioning that you are likely to dry up when you get pg!!!
post #15 of 31
I answered for both age and frequency (cut frequency due to pain), but from reading the replies, I realized my frequency answer might point toward the opposite of what happened. The drying up was definitely hormonal, around 14 weeks pregnant, and the decreased frequency of nursing due to pain came after that. My dd was 21 months when I got pregnant, still nursing every 2 hours around the clock until 23 months when we nightweaned, and still nursing every 2 hours or so during the day even after my milk dropped (14ish weeks) and then essentially disappeared (by 16 or 17 weeks), when she was just over 24 months. THEN we started instituting some limits on frequency and duration. She's now 29 months and still nursing (same frequency and duration limits, still hurts!).

Just wanted to clear that up, I didn't read the OP before I voted.
post #16 of 31
I've been pg 5 times while nursing. (3 losses and 2 healthy pgs). All 5 times, I dried up completely by a mere 4-5 weeks pg. I do get hyperemsis so I'm sure that effects it. But I also have stronger hormonal reactions with nursing compared to most women so I'm sure some is just how my body does things.

Though I compleltely dried up, my nurslings still nursed. (Sometimes I had one nursling, sometimes two). At around 20 weeks, the colostrum started and then there was a few swallowfulls. I went on to tandem nurse the first pair for 26 months. I'm now just about 12 months in with tandeming the second pair. (Though my middle child is in the same pair!)

I strongly suggest waiting until at least baby is 12 months before ttc if you're commited to not giving formula since you never know what will happen. Some women commited to CLW will wait much longer. But at least after the 12 month mark, you won't have to give formula.
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
My DS did just hit the 12 month mark but he's still relying primarily on my milk for his nutrition. He's eating some solids but not nearly enough. If I'm not pg this cycle then I think we'll actively try to avoid, at least until he's eating significantly more solids. I would like to CLW but I am OK with other scenarios as long as he's healthy. And I really would like to make it to 18mos absolute minimum, preferrably 2+ years. If I am pg this cycle... well then I guess we'll have to hope for the best??? (I doubt I am anyway but there is a chance)... maybe pump like crazy until the milk dries up? Or make DS smoothies & purees so he'll get more solids in him???
post #18 of 31
I totally agree with everyone here. You cannot know, and it might be a total dry up or just a decrease.

That being said since you are worrying that you might be pregnant now... Toad was just shy of 21 months old when I got pregnant with Frog. He was and avid nurser, nursing for a huge chunk of his nutrition still. He continued to nurse all through my pregnancy and in fact when I first got pregnant I noticed an increase in my supply. He was my first baby but when I got pregnant I was nursing him every day obviously, nursing my friend's baby (15 months old at the time) Monday-Friday during the day while her Mom was at work and I watched her, and pumping for my niece who got exclusively breastmilk by bottle. The pumping for her is what alerted me to having more milk, or at least an easier time getting more out for her despite still nursing both other kids.

I kept my milk all through my pregnancy and then began tandem nursing my two boys. This time the boys were 3 and a bit years, and 10.5 months when I got pregnant and I'm 10 weeks now and nursing both of them strong with no noticeable decrease in supply. The baby still nurses many times a day as per usual and my older son nurses between 1 and 4 times a day.

I wouldn't get pregnant on purpose until you are OK with a decrease or total loss in your milk. However since you might already be pregnant I wanted to give you some encouragement that you might just get lucky and keep it up.
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks Alison for the encouragement!! The chances are pretty slim anyway so I'm trying not to worry too much about it but even DH was having trouble falling asleep the other night hoping that "we didn't make [DS's] milk go away!!" (Which I have to say was nice, to have him recognize how important nursing is to DS & to us parents!!) I just wish I had understood sooner how very real the possibility of drying up is. We'll make it work either way though.
post #20 of 31
With #2 my milk dried up almost immediately, he nightweaned almost immediately but kept nursing off and on through the day- he was 2 and at the time about 90% of his nutrition was from bm. with #3 my milk mostly dried up very soon but she was happy to keep nursing- I did wean a few months in a bit after she was 2 as it really, really, really bothered me when she nursed. It is one of the reasons I wouldn't purposely try to get prego until at least 18mo-2 yr.
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