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Mothering › Groups › November 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Breastfeeding my toddler while pregnant

Breastfeeding my toddler while pregnant

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My daughter just turned 2 and I am 6 weeks pregnant.  She breastfeeds 3-4 times a day.  My family doctor suggested against it today.  Haven't been to my midwives yet, so I'm not sure what they will say.  I don't really want to wean until my daughter is ready.... but I don't want to cause any adverse affects to the new little one... Does anyone have any info/experience with this??  Thanks!

post #2 of 17

I'm currently nursing my 13 month old.  I've nursed through every pregnancy except my first.

I've never spotted or cramped because of it.  I did have a later m/c that had nothing to do with nursing, and my MW had suggested to nurse more to help "move along" the m/c and it did nothing at all.  I'm sure everyone is different but for me, as long as I can tolerate the "creepy" feeling I can get and the sore nipples, I stick with it as long as I feel is right.  My kids have all weaned before the next was born...I think once the milk is gone they slowly lose interest.

post #3 of 17

My daughter was 9 months old when I got pregnant.  I did not wean her although the doctor said it would be hard on my body (she wouldn't touch anything from a bottle - not even breastmilk and to this day won't drink milk).   I continued to nurse her up to a year, then I was going to decide if I should try to wean her.  I didn't have to, she stopped on her own right after her 1st birthday and went straight to food & drinks from a cup. So at that point I was about 6 months along.  I think I read somewhere that your milk starts to change as more of your nutrients are directed toward the growing baby and that often they will wean on their own. 


However, she was still a baby and your 2 y.o. may be at this point doing it more for comfort than as her main source of nutrition so it could be a different scenario.  


I'd be concerned about not weaning her and then having to sustain both an infant & the toddler on the breast, and there may be more of a psychological issue for her to wean when the new baby is there.  Just a thought.   In my case she was 18 months when she saw her sister nursing, once she asked if she could try it and I said sure but then she just giggled and ran away saying "I'm not a baby". I suspect it would have been hard for me to tell her "no" and then give the goods to her sister.

post #4 of 17

Quick little note about it, not a very extensive research base, but interesting nevertheless:  http://mobile.journals.lww.com/jnr-twna/_layouts/oaks.journals.mobile/abstractviewer.aspx?year=2012&issue=03000&article=00010


I am also nursing a toddler, 19 months old.  I hope to continue on, but honestly I have no idea.  I have always weaned at this point with the other pregnancies as my milk supply simply died.  I am eating SOO much better now than other times and am drinking tons of water, so I am hoping for the best.  I am not worried about the pregnancy.  I will stop if I feel it is detrimental to the babe, but you rarely hear of that happening so as of right now I am not worried!

post #5 of 17
I'm still feeding my 22mo with no plans to stop. I would love to tandem feed. The Australian Breastfeeding Association advices that it is fine in low-risk pregnancies. Sorry, no link, I'm on my phone but you can google it if you want to.
post #6 of 17

I was still nursing DS1 when we conceived DS2. He self weaned about a month after his 2nd birthday, and I would have been just into my 2nd trimester at that point. I had planned to tandem nurse, but it didn't work out that way--my milk started to dry up.


So many doctors (and even midwives) have a one-size fits all mentality because nursing can cause preterm labor in at risk women. If your pregnancy is low risk and you don't have a history of PTL, you'll probably be fine. 

post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by Bella Catalina View Post

So many doctors (and even midwives) have a one-size fits all mentality because nursing can cause preterm labor in at risk women. If your pregnancy is low risk and you don't have a history of PTL, you'll probably be fine. 

That's definitely the predominant view on nursing during pregnancy, though I've also seen it the other way, where LLL leaders or such will insist that nursing won't hurt the baby, even in high risk pregnancies. And they may be right... but I'm not willing to risk it with my baby. shy.gif  I have a history of miscarriages (and I just was discharged from the hospital tonight for a subchorionic bleed), so I weaned DD just as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion, though my decision probably would have been different had she been really young, especially under a year. But at 33 months, it was an easy decision for me.

post #8 of 17

I'm still nursing my 2 year old, but really, have been ready to stop for a while now. He shows no sign of ending the relationship, so I hang on. Last time I was nursing/pg, my milk completely disappeared & that was great for me. Sounds awful, I know, but I wanted a break before starting a new relationship again.


post #9 of 17

Breastfeeding throughout pregnancy is fine as long as you and the toddler are happy. Many, but not all, start to find it uncomfortable around 8 weeks. Many, but not all, find their milk production drops substantially at around 20w. Many, but not all, toddler self-wean at this point.


There is no research that supports that "breastfeeding during pregnancy is bad." 


I am still nursing my 2.5 an finally night-weaned her two weeks ago, right before I got my bfp.


I totally respect tandem nursing but I am not planning on it. My first self-weaned right at 20w (gently, without any tears on his part, lots on mine). I am actually hoping she does it herself by that time as well. 3 was my outer limit for nursing anyway.



post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

There is no research that supports that "breastfeeding during pregnancy is bad." 



This is true, however there have also been no studies on women with complications (preterm labor, threatened miscarriage, etc). There have only been a handful of studies dealing with women with normal pregnancies.

And for what it's worth, even LLL advises women put on pelvic rest by their doctor to stop breastfeeding.


However, if you are having a difficult pregnancy and are at risk for early labor, and in particular have been told to avoid sex during pregnancy, then weaning would probably be advisable.


post #11 of 17

Also, see this case study of a woman with placental abruption who was still nursing her two-year-old. Obviously, it is a case study and not a large statistical study, so you can't make broad conclusions from it. And I am, of course, not encouraging women in healthy pregnancies to wean before they're ready.  But as someone who has been on pelvic rest with more than one pregnancy, I just think it's important to present the other side. smile.gif

post #12 of 17
I'm nursing my 22 month and am 8wks preggo. My ob said that I should continue nursing if We wanted to. I was a little surprised since I thought there'd be more resistance.
post #13 of 17

My 20 m/o is still nursing and I'll let him continue as long as he wants. When I was pg with my 3rd, my 2nd child nursed through my pregnancy and for a few months after I had him until she was 4 and weaned herself. Same happened when I was pg with my 4th. My 4th child weaned herself at about 3.5 y/o shortly after I was pregnant with my 5th. All was great each pregnancy and so was the tandem nursing so I'm prepared for either one. My ob never has anything to say about it...I think she just thinks I'm crazy, lol!

post #14 of 17

I am pushing night weaning, and sadly day weaning is happening by itself.  (DS is only 14 months.)  I need 9 hours of sleep regularly, and 10 when I'm pregnant, and when I was nursing ds to sleep and on demand overnight, I was getting 8-9 hours, plus interruptions.  This sounds like a good amount of sleep, and it is for most people, but for me it really, really isn't.  


So far the only real change we've made is that dh puts ds to sleep.  I've also been waiting longer and longer to get ds when he stirs at night, and when I do get him, I try to put him back to sleep without milk.  But it's so hard because the whole reason for this is that I desperately need the extra sleep.  I am planning on getting ds a twin mattress soon and seeing if having ds sleep there improves things, but I'm not sure if we're ready to take that step.


As for the day weaning, my ds has been preferring solid food to my milk for a long time.  I'm sure the changes in my milk are not helping things.  He still nurses, but really only a couple times a day.

post #15 of 17
I nursed ds1 through my last pregnancy. He was a little over two when I got pregnant and self weaned several months after the birth of my second son. I did have some difficulties with nursing during the pregnancy, but I'm glad we stuck with it and I'm so glad weaning came on his terms. I'm pregnant now and nursing my 30 month old with no plans to stop. I have been told by some to wean (mostly those who are ill informed on breast feeding) but I've never had a midwife be anything but encouraging of continued nursing (as long as I still comfortable with it). My youngest is very attached to his "milk" so I won't discourage him in any way.
post #16 of 17

I nursed my first through the pregnancy of my second and tandem nursed for 10 months after that. I plan on nursing my second through this pregnancy and tandem nursing. I started getting braxton-hicks when nursing at about 10 weeks last time, but had zero complications and went past 41 weeks. I also get the same type of contractions after sex, it's actually caused by the same hormone, but don't stop that either. as long as you're not high risk for miscarriage or preterm labor then there isn't a risk for nursing. 

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and links etc.   My 2 y/o's pediatrician - an ND sees no issues with it.  I was spotting a bit off and on - light brown and was a bit worried, but the midwives said they weren't worried at all about me continuing to breastfeed.  It is rather uncomfortable at times.... we'll see if we can make it all the way through the pregnancy....:)

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