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Nursing through pregnancy and tandem nursing

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
DD3 is still nursing. This isn't the first time that I've nursed during a pregnancy, but it is the first time I've nursed an older child and not had to work. Every other time resulted in weaning because my milk supply dropped fast while pregnant and working and the children were much younger. DD3 does not seem to have any intention to stop. I don't think that I would mind tandem nursing.

Any other moms nursing? Anyone plan on tandem nursing? Has anyone had experience with either? Recommendations? Are there any good books on the subject? fly-by-nursing2.gif
post #2 of 38
You beat me to the post on this one! I'm nursing on demand and thru the night. DS is 16 mos, an the thought of weaning totally stresses me out! I'm gonna follow his lead throughout this pregnancy and beyond. I can see us tandem nursing, as he shows no signs of slowing down as of yet! I've heard stories of babies to wean themselves once supply drops and the taste changes around the fourth or fifth month? I'm totally exhausted nursing thru the nite right now, but we sah, and homeschool so it's not as though we have the time crunch issues, which is truly beautiful. Anyway, I try to remind myself to be at peace with it since my time with him is bound to change once the littlest arrives. My nipples are a bit sore, but not enough to cause discomfort right now. I've heard of a few books, but can't remember the titles off the top of my head! What has your experience been?
post #3 of 38
Adventures in Tandum Nursing by Hillary Flowers. Think I'll pick up a copy soon!
post #4 of 38
I am nursing a three year old. Ideally, I'd love him to wean on his own during pregnancy. He doesn't seem to be slowing down. He nurses about 1-2 times per day, sometimes 3 and occasionally he skips a day. I don't really have the heart to wean him, he is so sweet and loves it, but I don't really want to tandem nurse or nurse a 4 year old. (I have no idea why I feel like that, but that is how I feel.) Plus, I hated to be touched during my previous pregnancies due to being sick all the time and I am nervous about going through that again.
post #5 of 38

I'm nursing my 2 year old, but he will be 3 in May and I plan to wean him over the summer.  I nursed my daughter throughout his pregnancy and then tandem nursed them until she was a little over 3 (they're 25 months apart) and that worked well for us.  I can feel my milk drying up and I hope he'll go ahead and self wean, but I'm not sure that he will.  Anyway, the tandem nursing was really hard on me I felt like I never got a break and it's not something I want to do again.  I've already earned that badge I don't need another one!  Haha!  J/K

post #6 of 38

Not currently nursing but I nursed DD1 through the first 5 months of DD2's pregnancy. She was just over 2.5 years when she weaned and it was perfect. My milk was starting to go right around 5 months and she just seemed less and less interested. Luckily I didn't have too much pain and I didn't have the skin crawling feeling I think because we were done before the end. 

I always thought I'd tandem but when she started showing signs of stopping it was kind of a relief! 

post #7 of 38
I'm currently nursing my 18 month old and my 3 year old just weaned 3 months ago. I obviously tandem nursed through that pregnancy and plan to do it again. It was a really positive experience for me... And a way to keep tabs on my toddler when nursing new baby and wanting to sit down and not nurse in the wrap.

I night wean around 15 months for my own sanity using Dr Jay Gordon's methods. I don't mind nursing during the day but I just can't handle it once they're old enough to be able to go 7 hrs without nursing. It's worked well for me so I don't feel overwhelmed or touched out.

Nursing kick started my second labor (water broke while nursing) and kicked up contractions enough to the point where labor was less than 3 hrs. Intense, but fully welcome!
post #8 of 38

I need to look into Jay Gordon's method. :)


My 3 year old is still nursing all the time - throughout the night and day. The nighttime nursing is killing me. Since I found out about this pregnancy, I've begun to implement the 10 second rule for some of the nursing sessions and it's working fine. Before nap and at bedtime, we have longer nursing sessions and I'm just trying to relax about it.


I've tandemed before and have mixed feelings. I nursed my second child all throughout my third pregnancy and then tandem nursed both children for a few months and then weaned my then 3.5 yr old. My third child nursed for most of my first trimester with my fourth pregnancy until he said the milk was all gone (he was just over 4 yrs old.) I think tandem nursing the first time really tanked my adrenals because I was a wreck after that birth beginning around 6 weeks pp. I had so many physical aches and pains that I worried something was really wrong with me (which didn't help things.) It took a long time and a lot of visits with a naturopath for adrenal healing before I began to feel like myself again. I was glad when my 4 yr old self-weaned in my fourth pregnancy. On the positive side, I think tandem nursing my daughter with my son (third baby) helped her to transition to a new sibling and it also helped a TON with my oversupply issues. It was nice to have my 3 yr old to drain what my newborn didn't.


With my third pregnancy (the one my Dd nursed right through) I had a subchorionic hemorrhage at 12.5 weeks and I still wonder if nursing had anything to do with it. I didn't have any issues with my first two pregnancies and I didn't nurse through them. I was pregnant this past fall and m/c around 6 weeks so I'm trying really hard to just relax and go with the flow this time. I know the embryo/fetus will get nutrients before my older nursling, but I do wonder how all of this nursing affects progesterone levels.


Anyone else concerned with the nursing/progesterone thing? Any ideas on naturally increasing our progesterone levels?

post #9 of 38

Just got through the first round of 3 nights (Gordon's method), and while he woke, and was completely bummed about 'sleepy milkies', he fell back to sleep w/o nursing!!!  I can't say how long he is up rustling around, and asking to 'nusss', b/c we don't have a clock in our room, but he's only up once as opposed to three or four times!  This is a wonderful and gentle plan.  I also think the timing was just right.  Still nursing throughout the day, but I'm ok with that for now :)  Should I be taking anything other than a prenatal?  What symptoms would I have if I were deficient in anything?

post #10 of 38

I just read about Jay Gordon on the LLL site. I have an extremely strong-willed toddler who has hit me, kicked me and bitten me when I've denied him "mick" at night. I tried singing "In the morning when the sun comes up" like I did with the others and it's just not happenin'. He just shouts, "Me hate the sun!" I'm actually surprised that he's buying this whole "until I count to 10" thing. I'm sort of just waiting for him to say, "Me hate 10!" It's still new to him so he's okay with it and I think I have a window of opportunity here that I need to take advantage of. DH and I have been talking about him having his own "sleeping surface" like something side-carred to our bed. With the girls, we side-cared a full size bed to our queen and they slept in that until Ds was born and then the girls moved into their own room with bunk beds.


As far as deficiencies, there are soooo many possibilities.

post #11 of 38

Tandem nursing 2 1/2 year old twins here. Nights (they nurse a lot at night) are getting hard, and I've been having some nipple pain. But for now, just seeing where things go.

post #12 of 38

I am currently nursing my 20 month old dd and just found out I'm pregant.  I want to follow her lead because it doesn't seem like she is looking to wean.  I have been trying to night wean over the last few months but starts to cry when I don't let her nurse right away.  If she is not actively nursing I try to escape and sometimes it is ok and sometimes not.  I do feel a little discomfort inside my breast and tenderness but nothing too overwhelming.  During the day it is easy to distract her but at night it seems harder and I just want to sleep.  I guess ultimately I will let her lead and see how it goes.

post #13 of 38

Just play it by ear. I tried to tandem nurse with each of my other ones, who were about 2 1/2 when I became pg with the next, and it was ok for a few weeks, then nipple pain, then increasingly, I got "the heebies" which was not in my head, but a total physiological sense of revulsion, the need to "get it off! get it off me!" that was really sad to have about my own nursling toddler. For some women, it's mild and goes away. Others don't experience it at all, and for some of us, it gets worse and worse and is unbearable, and becomes good cause to wean. That, and dropping supply.


So don't feel like a terrible Mom if you do end up weaning, and don't feel you have to wean, either. You just won't know til you're there, and it's different for everyone. Hugs! As for trying to gently wean a reluctant toddler, there are discussion groups for that, too, and I hope that helps if you end up heading in that direction. One of mine was easy, and the other two, not!

post #14 of 38

I nursed through my second pregnancy. I'm so glad I did. Made some of the rough toddler moments a little easier to handle - gave me one more tool in toolkit to try with the upset toddler. 


I very much recommend the Adventures in Tandem Nursing book. I had just weaned my oldest when she was writing it, and remember reading her posts and requests for stories (I'm one of the moms in the book!). 


Basically, though, take it one day at a time. Drink lots of water. 


My own personal battle with tandem nursing: when my colostrum came in while I was pregnant, because it's a laxative, it caused diarrhea in my toddler. I didn't make the connection, and took my other-wise healthy son to numerous doctor visits for the never-ending loose stools. Once I figured out that it was ok, I stopped worrying. 

post #15 of 38

I'm not having any discomfort and I can't remember if that's normal for me. I know my nipples were a bit tender last time I tandemed, but I can't remember the first time I tandemed. I think it was only for a short period of time. I've added sore nipples to the list of symptoms I wish I was having.

post #16 of 38

I'm nursing a 21 month old and due to massive family food allergies, will be nursing on demand as much and as long as needed. I've tandem nursed all six and that included my 3yr old twins while pregnant with number 3.  At some point I get the heebie jeebies and have to work through it, but it always goes away toward the third trimester.  I'm not having the nipple soreness to the extreme I seem to recall, but I'm wondering if after nursing for 15/16 yrs, maybe I'm just numb??  I'm not sure when the supply drop usually hits me, but DD nurses now a lot, and almost all night, so I'm worried about the scarce other safe foods to offer if/when my supply drops too much. I remember using More Milk, maybe version 2? for maintaining supply while pg but it's been a long time ago.  I cherished being able to offer milk and tandem nursing when that new-baby-first-arrives, unseated youngest feeling hits me.  I always feel very nostalgic for the baby who is no longer the littlest during that postpartum time, and the first time each youngest child climbed in my lap to nurse with the new baby was the most special feeling of all for me.

post #17 of 38

Thanks NotMy1stRodeo. It's nice to hear that others have managed with twins.

post #18 of 38

i'm nursing dd (18 months) and plan to as long as works for us. i just night weaned her a week or so ago and i'm loving it! :) 

post #19 of 38

I nursed my ds during my pregnancy with my dd.  It became uncomfortable midway through the pregnancy but I found it really helpful tandem nursing them once she was born.  He was comforted by it and it helped them bond and I think kept any issues of jealousy from arising.  I'm currently nursing my 20 month old and will as long as she wants to. I don't see her weaning anytime soon so I imagine I'll be tandem nursing them.  I read Adventures in Tandem Nursing too - it was helpful.  

post #20 of 38

I'm nursing my 28 month old DD at nap time and bedtime. It is INCREDIBLY painful, but I'm working through it thinking she will wean when my milk dries up come the second trimester. Though, I've never nursed during a pregnancy so I don't know if/when my milk will dry up. I've never really had a "stopping" age in mind for nursing and at this point I just want to get her to 2.5 and then whatever happens, happens. If she wants to continue nursing, I think I would be open to it and to tandem nursing but part of me wants my body to myself (as much as possible while pregnant) for a few months before I start nursing a newborn again. Guess we'll see what happens!

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