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Don't get pregnant - Page 4

post #61 of 85
I'm not surprised. The tone of the first post seemed to say that if you want to be a good mother and CLW, you are not supposed to get pregnant. That's a pretty narrow minded view as many women have posted in this thread to say that they DID get pregnant and their nursling continued to nurse and they tandem nursed and successfully CLW at some point later in the nursling's life. Obviously, you CAN get pregnant and CLW.
Of course you never know if your nursling will continue to nurse through a pregnancy so if you want to ensure that your baby gets to nurse as long as possible, it might be a good idea not to plan for a pregnancy as a way to avoid the risk of weaning. But I've nursed through my pregnancies and even tandem nursed during this one. No issues at all.
post #62 of 85
Perhaps it was the tone of your post bluejeans? Your original post struck me as a continuation of another conversation that none of us were privy to. You just started right in about not TTC until after 2.5yo. I agree with part of your point... I personally wouldn't intentionally get pregnant before my baby was 12-18mo but I don't consider a mom who does so bad. I would hope she is prepared for the possiblity of milk supply problems. I plan to TTC a few months after ds turns two. I suppose you would consider me a bad mom, but my ds loves to nurse and I don't foresee it stopping him a bit.

post #63 of 85
Some women can nurse a baby or toddler through pregnancy with no problems, most can't.
Citation please. While I realize many women choose to wean during pg (and that is a reasonable choice, I am not attacking it) I was not aware that most women COULD NOT nurse through pg.

You don't have to nurse 2.5 years or CLW to be a good mother or to have a healthy child. Perhaps there needs to be a forum for mother-led weaning. I am surprised by how upset and defensive some people have responded.
What's that about?
Though it's already been said, I will state it again: tone.

If circumstances (financial, maternal age, ect) don't allow you to wait until your child weans at 3 or 4, at least wait to TTC until the child is 2.5. If the child weans because of pregnancy, at least they got to nurse 2.5 years. I know it can be difficult when you are longing for another baby. When those longings start making you think of TTC, remember how important nursing is to your child and how difficult nursing through pregnancy can be. Read about the problems other mothers are having nursing while pregnant.
You say that you *should* wait until 3 or 4, but then say wait at least 2.5 years.

As a mother who became pg w/#2 when #1 was 23 months it definately rubbed me the wrong way. I realize there are possible problems associated with CLW when you become pg when your first nursling is still young (though for some children, their mother's get pg in their first year and they continue to nurse for years longer and for some children even your stated ideal of 3-4 years would be too short) but nursing does not exist in a vacumn. There are too many other issues at hand to assume that waiting a minimum of 2.5 years is the best for every family.

Perhaps more qualifiers such as "for my family" or "it made it much easier, IMO" etc unless you truly believe it is a truly bad choice to become pg before your nursling is 2.5. If you do believe that, why ask why people are upset about your statement.

What's that about?
post #64 of 85
Research has shown that human babies are biologically designed to breastfeed between 2.5 - 7 years (Dettwyler). For all of the facial and oral advantages of breastfeeding you need to breastfeed until around the time all of a child's baby teeth are in. If you were wanting most of the advantages of breastfeeding for your child (evidence based) then you would want your child to breastfeed for at least 2.5 to 3 years. Breastfeeding continues to offer advantages to the child as long as they breastfeed.
Now see, this has everything to do with the benefits of extended nursing, but nothing to do with CLW. Which, btw, is the point you seemed to be making in your original post. Waiting until a child has hit 2.5-3 may be your idea of the minimum length of time to nurse, but it is irrelevant in terms of CLW... for a child leads the way with that- not a study or two... not a minimum nursing age. THE CHILD.

Few babies in our society get the chance to experience CLW. Mothering Magazine is an advocate for the child and has long supported CLW. This is a new forum and many may not understand what CLW is and isn't.
And you're here to "fix" our misunderstanding about the term? What exactly are your credentials to decide what child led *really* is and isn't for other families? Mothering magazine supports lots of things, including tandem nursing... so obviously there is a place for that within mothering. I have yet to see anything that backs up your original statement: "if you want to CLW, don't get pregnant."

I think most of us would agree that if we want the best for our baby, we breastfeed. There is evidence that if we want the best for our child, we breastfeed at least 2.5 - 3 years. That is why 2.5 years is the magic age to wait to TTC. Some women can nurse a baby or toddler through pregnancy with no problems, most can't.
YOUR magic age mama. And again, irrelevant to CLW. I could list a lot of benefits to having kids who are 2 years apart- but when all is said and done- it is still just MY IDEAL of good spacing and NOTHING more. I feel the same about your opinion here- it is your ideal and NOTHING more. I'm not speaking up for your sake, I'm speaking up to encourage and support all the pregnant mama's here who actually feel discouraged because of your post.

You don't have to nurse 2.5 years or CLW to be a good mother or to have a healthy child. Perhaps there needs to be a forum for mother-led weaning. I am surprised by how upset and defensive some people have responded.
What's that about?
You don't understand why people don't like your post? You're trying to kick out the tandem nursers as "not really CLW", suggesting there be a forum for "mother led weaning" for those of us who tandem or nurse through pregnancy. Thankfully i'm confident enough in my decision I can just roll my eyes and move past your post But not everyone is that confident in their choice yet- and you're post is setting the weary up for failure.

CLW and tandem nursing are NOT mutually exclusive terms
post #65 of 85
I found this on nursingtwo.com:

"“A majority of children self-wean during their mothers’ pregnancies.” ...MYTH or FACT?

Myth. It is true that a majority of children do wean during their mothers’ pregnancies; the question is: who’s idea is it? In one study of La Leche League mothers breastfeeding during pregnancy, 26% of children self-weaned, 28% of the mothers led weaning, and the other 46% went on to tandem nurse."

I think if you are committed to CLW, you have a high chance of succeeding even if you get pregnant before the "magic age." I know a few people who have nursed through pregnancy/tandem nursed, and I can't wait to do it.

The reason why people took offense to the post was because it was very judgment laden, instead of helpful. Maybe a post giving women tips on how to successfully nurse through pregnancy/tandem nurse would have been more helpful.
post #66 of 85
why i'm jumping into this fire is beyond me, but here i go!

i nursed through my second pg and am still tandeming my 13.5 mo old and my almost 4 yr old. i would've had my girls a little bit closer in age if life circumstances had worked out. they're 2 yrs 10 mo apart. my ideal spacing would've been 2.5 yrs. dd1 has really enjoyed having a sibling and even though i did lose most of my milk while pg it didn't really faze dd1.

i guess i agree that if long term nursing is your goal (not saying CLW) then pregnancy has the potential to interfere, but that doesn't mean it will necessarily. i think there are a lot of other factors to consider in pregnancy and child spacing, but if long term nursing is the most important thing to you (it's not to me) then you might want to wait until your child has naturally weaned before becoming pg.
post #67 of 85
I think when we look at research regarding ebf and the like it is a tool for breastfeeding Mom's to support their need to ebf. It is certainly not so they can explain to another ebf Mother why thay have chosen to get pregnant or not? I believe the OP is the one who is putting unecessary emphasis on a very individual unique relationship between mother and baby. I am surprised that the OP would not see that for herself being a fellow ebf'r. I guess some need to rely on other sources and make comparisons to feel good about the choices they make, like the OP for instance. Since becoming a mother a couple of years ago I have gained the most piece of mind from breastfeeding my son and following my motherly instincts and his cues. No research or other feedback can ever replace that. I have never had to wonder when I should get pregnant? or analyse the timing etc etc. My body told me when the right time was. How incredible our bodies can be, how much inner wisdom we can tap into to if we want to. So now I am 3 months pregnant and nursing my 23 month old and everything is moving along just wonderfully. I am glad I don't feel the need to compare my path with anyone else's and thank goodness I don't have to rely on research as opposed to my own inner motherly wisdom to know what is best for me and my little boy. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful gift that we all have as Mothers. Hopefully the OP can eventually gain her own inner strength too if she allows herself too. I guess it will be up to her in the end. It is so very sad that she is taking a beautifully relationship between mother and baby and turning it into an ugly debate. What's that all about?
post #68 of 85
I got pregnant again when my fist little one was 14 months. I didn't really expect it, but it happened. I was still breastfeeding her a lot. But I wasn't on any birth control -- not that birth control guarantees anything -- (I dread the day I feel I need birth control!), so it was bound to happen some time.
My daughter does love her brother tremendously though, so I think it all worked out for the best
Also, I nursed through pregnancy and it wasn't difficult... except for one week! Turned out my aversion to breastfeeding during that week was all in my head! Tandem nursing was a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but is going great now.
post #69 of 85
If circumstances (financial, maternal age, ect) don't allow you to wait until your child weans at 3 or 4, at least wait to TTC until the child is 2.5. If the child weans because of pregnancy, at least they got to nurse 2.5 years. I know it can be difficult when you are longing for another baby.
Again, this is assuming that you have the chronological luxury of even HAVING that much time to wait. The impact on DS's nursing was certainly a factor in our deciding to TTC #2, but it was one factor. My decision was to wait until he was at least a year, and then TTC. I didn't even meet DH until I was over 30, how could I have possibly planned the spacing of my children based on CLW and maternal age? It's great advice in an ideal world, but you'd likely be better off if you go and tell women in colleges "Better find your partner quick, the clock is running!!" I tried to wait to have kids/settle down until I was financially ready, could take some time off from my career to be home (well, that will likely be a much longer hiatus than I had planned ), etc....oh, and prior to 30 there was no DH (or even a potential partner) to father them. ALL of these factors weiged into when was the "best" time to have kids, not only CLW.

As for tone, yup - I feel judged. The "you're a lesser mom because YOU sabotaged your nursing relationship by selfishly getting pg." That the only reason you really acknowledged for choosing to have another baby prior to 2.5 years is "wanting" one, sort of like the desire for a cute new puppy. I realize that tone is very difficult to convey on a message board, but the OP comes across as a directive and the missive on what consitutes the "right" way to space kids.

ETA: Also, it's always a roll of the dice when you TTC, I've read enough articles on secondary infertility to know I wasn't guaranteed an easy conception and a baby that 'stuck" the second time around. I was fortunate enough to conceive relatively quickly, but that factor is yet another that has to be weighed in when deciding when to TTC another child. If you're starting in your mid 30s, particularly, fertility (statistically) declines, if you wait x amount of years, your fertility drops proportionally each year.
post #70 of 85
If the average age is 2.5-7, then I still think 2.5 is arbitrary. Maybe your child would have self-weaned at 7. You can never know, and just because your kid has reached an average age for some people doesn't mean it would have been his weaning age. I think people can nurse through pregnancy/tandem nurse in most cases.
post #71 of 85
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans
This is a new forum and many may not understand what CLW is and isn't.
So, *you* have decided that it's not child-led weaning if it happens before the child is 2.5 years old? What about women who *don't* get pregnant, and their kids still wean at 12-30 months? I've heard loads of stories from women whose children have weaned themselves younger than that. Is that not child-led weaning? Because I was under the impression that child-led meant just that: the child decides when to wean. Not you, not me, the child. Where are you getting this idea that it's not CLW if they don't nurse for at least 2.5 years? What about the idea that most children can't/won't continue to nurse during a pregnancy?

From all the evidence I've seen, a child won't wean during a pregnancy if they really need/want to be nursing. They just won't wean until they're ready. My son wasn't, so he nursed the whole time and is still nursing now.

Oh, FYI: my cycle returned three weeks after my son was born, despite the fact that he nursed well and often and slept in my bed and spent most of his time in my arms. We avoided pregnancy actively for six months before we started TTC #2. I knew even then that my son would nurse through the pregnancy, regardless of what happend. If anything, he's become more attached to the breast since then.
post #72 of 85
Hey, I'm pregnant and my son still nurses as much as ever... It is HIS choice when to stop, and if he stops during pregnancy and then restarts after the baby's born, that is STILL child led.

Such blanket statements about "all mothers have to wait this long" is about as counterproductive as saying that every single mother should feed their child organic foods with no exceptions... There are ALWAYS exceptions, and we should learn to be understanding of those.... A child who weans for a couple months only to restart nursing again is not going to be extremely detrimental to that child... Why make people feel bad for their decision to become pregnant? Especially if that mommy worked her butt off to give her child breastmilk for the first 14 months... (Yeah, I've been dealing with extreme low supply for 14 months...pregnancy doesn't really make a difference in my situation...)
post #73 of 85
My dd weaned at 20 months, when I was 2mo pregnant. She had already decreased her nursing times to bedtime and naptime (IF she napped) before I got pregnant. She was already weaning IMO if she nursed once or maybe twice a day.

Next you're going to say that working moms can't CLW... I believe I did CLW with dd. Even though I worked p/t, even though I got pregnant before the magic age, even thought I wasn't Mother of the Year... I believe I CLW. Perhaps if circumstances had been different, she would have nursed longer. Perhaps not. Perhaps she's just very independent and was done nursing!

What matters is that a mother is trying to CLW. What we were looking for on this board (yes, I was on the original thread where we begged for this forum) was support for moms who were not going to initiate weaning and a place to come where we didn't need to read advice on keeping kids from nursing. A place where no one would judge us for allowing our babies/toddlers/kids to nurse past whatever arbitrary age a person may have fixed in their mind. That's all.

post #74 of 85
My mild did dry up whemn I was pregnant with morissa so yana weaned at 16 months. I wanted to nurse her until at least two so I do see what you mean.
post #75 of 85
Just a heads up... For those who were admiring these nursing necklaces with me... I found an MDC momma to make me two!

Danielle at Doodles Jewels made me two... See them here. She ordered the unakite for me and was really great to work with.

Now ds has something else to fiddle wtih instead of my shirt hem, my other boob and my mole that he discovered last week!
post #76 of 85
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama
Again, this is assuming that you have the chronological luxury of even HAVING that much time to wait.
Good point! DH and I got married when I was 25 but it took me 2.5 years to conceive our DS which made me 28 when he was born. We would like to have 4 children and I was afraid that it would take just as long to get pregnant with #2 so I started trying as soon as my AF came back (around 10 months PP). It only took us 11 months to conceive this time which meant that DS was 21 months when I got pregnant. He weaned 1 month later which made me very sad.

I think though that I am giving him a gift by giving him a sibling. I have such a close relationship with my 4 siblings and I cannot imagine not allowing my child the same privilege.

When I got pregnant my DS was down to nursing 1x a day anyway...and yes I wanted him to nurse more often than that but honestly I was so grateful that he WOULD nurse after our 3 month strike that I wasn't about to pressure him for more than he wanted.

I don't think anyone needs to quantify or judge what CLW is for someone else. You may not agree with other peoples definitions but that doesn't necessarily mean that you are right and they are wrong.

post #77 of 85
The bottom line here is that to decide how many kids you will have and the distance between them is based on 2 things for most people. 1. What you have decided as husband and wife. 2. God, who gives the life.

Because of this, no one, not even researchers can decide these things for a woman. It is also largely the woman's decision as to whether she will breastfeed and how long she will breastfeed and if she will clw or mlw. And if most of us were to think about it we would possibly say that throughout the whole bf process our ideas about these things go through changes..sometimes depending on our mood and whether we have just been bitten by a full set of teeth!

I wish more moms had access to research so they could benefit from all the information out there. But the fact is not everyone can, and most of us who decide to breastfeed do it because we are determined it is the best thing we can do for our child and because we have some kind of support system
(husband, LLL etc) that encourages us when the going gets tough.

So to put it out there that CLW has to be done a certain way and a certain time (which is a contradiction) and that ttc is only healthy in certain configurations when another child is nursing..etc. is to bring up a whole issue that Ive never even heard before because there are SO many other issues about nurturing children that are way more important and pertinent to our daily lives!

I think its more helpful to maybe post an address or something if you find verified, reseach information that you think would be interesting to everyone on the board. That way no one will feel attacked and we will all benefit from the information if we so choose.
post #78 of 85
well said, rainbow (how are ya?) more rolled eyes here.

sure, my milk decreased and colostrum came in, and he cut back a lot (pg at 20 months. i was fertile again at 3 months. better than the 8 week anovulatory periods i had before.)

when the milk came in, he began nursing a lot again (and a nice help it was to have a hungry toddler during those first few days when my tits felt like watermelons.) so now i'm nursing a 2 and a 4 yr old. (not to mention, when the nurse freaked about my nbs blood sugar level & suggested sugar water as i couldn't possibly have enough colostrum, i was able to give her stupid paperwork a big squirt from four feet away. what a shock he didn't end up needing sugar water after all. nursing thru pregnancy saved my nb's gut flora from pure evil!)

there is no reason a well-fed mama can't tandem- there's enough for everyone. what on earth has it got to do with clw?

post #79 of 85
you know, i keep on coming back and re-reading this thread.

I got pregnant when dd was 18 mo and nursing 4x a day, some days more. Since then, in the last three months she has pretty much weaned. It is VERY sad and some days I feel like i have cheated dd. I offer to nurse her ALL the time, but she is down to about 1-2x a day for a few minutes.

but then i remind myself that dd was given the gift of nursing for 20 mo and that to me is still CLW. I am really hoping she hangs on until the colostrum is in, or tries to nurse again when the baby comes. If not, oh well.

I would not have been comfortable ttc before we did since dd was not eating enough solids for me to feel comfortable with a diminished milk supply.
post #80 of 85

I'm just curious what people have been doing for thousands of years, since obviously birth control and condoms have not been around that long in the scheme of things, and breastfeeding has? KWIM? Did people 200 years ago avoid pregnancy for 2.5 years, and were they worried about their childrens' development and CLW? I don't think so. When famillies were 7-8 children strong as the norm, I don't think waiting until each one was weaned was an option.

Further, DH and I are considering TTC now that DD is one. My fertility returned when she was 3 months old like some other mamas on this thread. Nature was telling me at that point that I could carry another baby. Whether it would have been a wise choice to do so at that point, I don't know. But now is a different story. I am definitely weighing the pros and cons and impact it would have on my DD, but there are other factors, such as when is the right time for our family, etc. I have no plans to formally wean my DD, it is all up to her. I tend to think TTC and pregnancy is detrimental to CLW only if you allow it to be. If you continue to offer and perservere through whatever hardships you encounter (lowered supply, pain, etc. - like Carrie ), how can it be anything other than CLW?
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