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#1 of 116 Old 09-25-2005, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have experience or knowledge of doing IVF while still breastfeeding? I have been getting TONS of info which seems contradictory...My son is almost three, and all efforts to gently wean seem futile. I'm not getting any younger and want another baby, but am having a hard time seeing my calm, happy son upset when we don't nurse...
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#2 of 116 Old 10-03-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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#3 of 116 Old 10-15-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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Hi there--I am in a similar situation. My son (conceived after 4 IVFs) is 2 1/2, and I too want to do IVF again. I don't think the drugs themselves are too dangerous, but from what I've heard, the main drawback is that while you are nursing it messes up your hormones so that you don't have as great of a chance for a positive beta. That's my main concern right now--IVF is expensive, so you want to give it the best chance you can.

It's so frustrating, though, because I am not ready to wean my son--it's not fair to him! And I'm not getting any younger either. I'd love to hear others' experiences with IVF and nursing.

Good luck to you! I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Joyce
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#4 of 116 Old 10-16-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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I have heard, too, that nursing negatively affects fertility treatments. It's so unfair all around, isn't it? Mine is 2 1/2 and still nursing strong. I so envy the moms who conceive naturally while nursing, especially the ones who had previously had to have fertility tx to get pg.

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#5 of 116 Old 10-16-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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yes, it's really unfair! I really don't want to "cheat" my ds out of extended nursing, especially when it's good for both of us. On the other hand, I don't want to cheat any future embryos out of the best possible chance at life.

pookietooth, do you have any plans for another treatment? we are hoping to do an FET next year, but I don't think my ds will give up nursing anytime soon. I also worry about being pg while chasing an active toddler around--my pregnancy with him was tough and I was on bedrest for a while. I don't know what I would do if that happened again. I think my mil would have to move in with us!
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#6 of 116 Old 10-17-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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I haven't got any specific plans, am just thinking about it. DH never wanted us to go though fertility treatments in the first place and is not really wanting another child, so it's more of a dream than a reality. I mean, he wouldn't ask me to have an abortion if I happened to get pregnant, KWIM?

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#7 of 116 Old 10-18-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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I hear you. I have sort of the opposite problem--I'm so grateful for my one, and my dh is pushing for #2. It took us so long to get pg the first time that we're getting old now! And I'm certainly not eager to go back to the doctor . . .

I was an only child myself and I liked it--so to me a family of 3 is just fine.
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#8 of 116 Old 10-18-2005, 11:12 PM
 
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I weaned my oldest at 14 months to conceive again. It was 8 years ago and I still regret it. I conceived twins and vowed to let them self wean before using more of my frozen embryos. They didn't wean until 4.5 years so the baby is 6 years younger than them. Now I have 2 embryos left and I'm debating what to do. I've sworn that I won't wean to do the FET. It's different for me though as I already have 4 children. If it were very high stakes (ie one of a few IVF tries) I'd probably wean. I only did one retrieval cycle though so all of my subsequent IVF's have been frozen cycles, my point being that my age wasn't an issue as far as likelihood of success and I could wait until I weaned. I'm 40 now, I did the retrieval cycle at age 30.
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#9 of 116 Old 10-18-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twindaze
I weaned my oldest at 14 months to conceive again. It was 8 years ago and I still regret it. .

I am scared of this myself. DS is 28 months, and I know deep down he isn't ready to wean, but, I am ready for another. I dont want to regret taking something from him that is so sacred to him (and me).
But, I am scared that the longer I wait to TTC, the longer/harder it might be than the first time, and we might never have another of our own.
This is probably the hardest decision I have faced as a mama so far.
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#10 of 116 Old 10-19-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocyte
I am scared of this myself. DS is 28 months, and I know deep down he isn't ready to wean, but, I am ready for another. I dont want to regret taking something from him that is so sacred to him (and me).
But, I am scared that the longer I wait to TTC, the longer/harder it might be than the first time, and we might never have another of our own.
This is probably the hardest decision I have faced as a mama so far.
It IS a super hard decision. I was working to get insurance for IVF so I felt that doing a quicker IVF was better for him so I could quit working.

How old are you if you don't mind my asking? I was 32 when I did my second IVF/FET.
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#11 of 116 Old 10-19-2005, 12:26 AM
 
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I'm 30 now, but, I was hoping to have my 5 kids by 35!!! DH is the same age, but not knowing what exactly is in store as far TTC #2 (and beyond), I am just nervous about timing etc. And where he is still nursing and I still don't have AF (I know this is completely normal...) time is just passing very quickly.

LOL, guess I might have to change the number of kids wanted and the age I'd like to be done by.
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#12 of 116 Old 10-19-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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Monocyte, I agree, this is one of the hardest decisions I've had to face while a mom. I haven't found many other IF people to talk about this with, because most of them used formula and rushed back to the clinic as soon as they could. And now that I'm actually ready for #2, I just can't bring myself to force the weaning, and the clock is ticking. Even though I have two frozen embies, I'm worried that they won't stick and I'll need to go through IVF again, and I worry about that too! So, I guess I'm just prepared to continue to be happy with my one perfect little boy. I too used to say I wanted 5 by 35! It is funny how we adapt to changing circumstances.

It's funny, my IF friends fall into two categories: those that were so into the high-tech treatments that formula was a natural choice, and those that found that breastfeeding was even more important since they had gone through all the treatments. I know I was one of the latter--it meant so much to me to actually be a functioning woman after all that! I thought it really helped with the healing process after 3 long years of ttc and 4 IVFs.
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#13 of 116 Old 10-20-2005, 04:37 AM
 
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Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?

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#14 of 116 Old 10-20-2005, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth
Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?
Sure, I'm happy to!

As far as it being smart to do the IVF at 30, it wasn't really that, it was more luck that I had the insurance and also I was just so desperate for a baby that I was forging forward on treatment as quickly as possible. We had no idea that I'd get so many embryos to freeze, just hoped and prayed for one baby out of it if you KWIM. It took me 3 years total to conceive.
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#15 of 116 Old 10-21-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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Of course!!!!

and MORE

And if you have any left, can you please send it back??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth
Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?
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#16 of 116 Old 11-23-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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Keckland,

This is exactly the thread that I'm looking for!
Thinking about ttc#2 and we are not ready to wean either. DD (16 months! ) was conceived by IVF with ICSI. No extra embryos to store away... Almost 39, so was told not to 'wait too long'.

I am more concerned about drugs (lots of hormones from those fertility meds!) in breastmilk, than about b'fing interfering with fertility. I'm sure that REs would say to stop : ! (I'm sure they're not into a year+ of b'fing! ) If it wouldn't hurt dd, I wouldn't even tell them that I'm still b'fing. It's hard when you're going through all of the IVF stuff, but I would think it would be worth extra cycles to still be able to give 'Mommy milk' and have another dc.

Any thoughts or references regarding fertility meds and breastmilk?

Simone
Happy Mommy of dd (7/26/04) and dh
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#17 of 116 Old 11-23-2005, 07:00 PM
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With the IVF success rate and IVF while nursing....is the success rate decreased because periods hadn't returned yet? Is there any info on this? I was thinking about carrying for someone else, but I am nursing and have no plans on weaning any time soon.

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#18 of 116 Old 11-23-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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The success rate is affected by subtle hormonal changes while nursing, even infrequently. No real studies have been done on this, so doctors are mostly erring on the side of caution--considering what people will spend on treatments, doctors just want you to have the best possible chance, so even if there's a 1% chance that nursing would affect IVF, many people don't want to reduce the odds by that much. I know I feel that way--I want to give my embryos the best chance possible! Such a hard thing to deal with--I want my ds to have the best too, so I want to nurse him as long as he wants, but I do have to think of the future baby. There is just too much at stake. I only have two embryos, so it is stressful to think that if they don't stick, I will not have another child.

As far as safety of fertility drugs: from what I've read, injectible fertility drugs are not harmful to nurslings, esp. older ones. The fact that you need to inject them means that if you took them orally, they wouldn't have much effect, so they should not have much effect taken orally in breastmilk either. Thomas Hale's Web site has some good information on this.

This is such a painful subject. I myself am really feeling like it's time for #2, but I just cannot bring myself to wean ds.
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#19 of 116 Old 01-06-2006, 01:39 AM
 
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Keckland,

Thanks for opening this discussion. I have felt so alone in this unique predicament of wanting to continue breastfeeding my 23 month old son, who was conceived via IVF-ICSI, while also wanting to initiate IVF in order to have a second child (we have no frozen embryos). Time is of the essence, as you know, but my efforts to eliminate nighttime feeds have not been successful and the whole process is heartwrenching.

I have done my research (Motherisk - Canada), and none of the IVF meds (that I previously used) would be harmful to my child if he continued to breastfeed. The doctors have agreed to make a big exception and allow me to breastfeed during IVF, but I am still worried that breastfeeding will further diminish my already slim chance of success with producing follicles and maintaining a pregnancy.

I would really like to hear if anyone has had any success/failure with actually proceeding with IVF while breastfeeding.
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#20 of 116 Old 01-06-2006, 01:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalovesjay

The doctors have agreed to make a big exception and allow me to breastfeed during IVF, but I am still worried that breastfeeding will further diminish my already slim chance of success with producing follicles and maintaining a pregnancy.


I would really like to hear if anyone has had any success/failure with actually proceeding with IVF while breastfeeding.
IKWYM. I have a feeling that not many doc's know when a nursing mother is going through IVF, and depending on who is paying for it, how many nursing mothers actually go through with it. Seems that no docs around here will accept a nursing mother as they do not want to risk the failure not only for mother, but also for themselves as it affects their track record as a IF doc.
And I think the latter is the main reason.

I hope to hear some positive stories!
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#21 of 116 Old 01-07-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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My daughter was conceived with my first try of injectable gonadotrophin treatment (similar drugs as IVF, just lower doses and not as intense) when I was 38. Now I'm 40 and my baby is 18 months. I've done #3 more rounds of gonadotrophin treatments, starting when she was 12 months...and been entirely unsuccessful. We co-sleep and night nurse.

Did the last #3 treatments fail because I'm older? Does her nursing somehow affect my fertility? I stimulated reasonably well #2 of the #3 times, so I ovulated, but were the eggs bad, or does nursing adversely affect implantation somehow?

I don't know the answers to my situation, but I am unwilling to wean my tiny girl to try again as this very well might be my only child--if I'm not conceiving due to my age and the quality of my eggs.
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#22 of 116 Old 01-12-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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Wow, did I need to find this thread today. I just tried night weaning for a heartwrenching 45 minutes last night,and I couldn't stand it,there has to be a better way. My son just turned 2, I turn 42 at the end of Jan. and I"m on the IVF waitlist, so need to start meds probably in Feb or March. My son loves nursing and it feels so wrong to make him cry and traumatize him. I love nursing and co-sleeping, but want him to have a sibling. I got pregnant naturally twice (m/c both time) and on my first month of Clomid (that was my son) 2.5 years ago, but no luck in a year of trying on our own, with CLomid, and with CLomid and IUI. My FSH etc is good, but the RE told me my ovaries didnt' look like they were ready to produce a lot of eggs, so he doesn't know if I'll stim well.
MommalovesJAy, I'm Canadian too, and am at the Calgary clinic. May I ask which clinic agree to let you nurse and BF? Did they tell you your chances were diminished?
I know there is a solution to this, I"m just not sure what it is. Another mom on a different board talked about her son's short term need to nurse vs. his long term need for a sibling. I guess at my age the sibling is a real gamble, but the nursing is a sure thing! I do'nt want to regret weaning, or not giving my all to trying to have another baby. What a dilemma!!
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#23 of 116 Old 01-14-2006, 02:06 PM
 
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Has anyone had their hormone levels checked? DS turned two in September, and is still nursing. However, in August my hormones started to shift. I started having hot flashes, mood swings, etc. I went to the midwife to have my hormones checked because I was concerned about early menopause. All that was happening was that, because ds had been more active and nursing just a little less, my hormones had finally shifted back to normal after two pregnancies one after another and extended bf. It was a relief to know that my hormones are "completely normal," as we are still nursing strong, and will be starting IVF and doing ICSI, hopefully completeing a transfer in July. My first two pregnancies were plain old sex induced, but dh had abdominal surgery that damaged nerves involved with reproduction. Can still use his sperm, but need to use needle aspiration to retreive them. I was nursing (about every 20 minutes, she was/is high needs, and almost constantly at night) a 10 month old dd when we conceived ds, so I guess I'm not sure that the "no nursing" policy i've heard so much about is any more than cya on the IF experts' part. I'm glad I found this thread, though, because it is a concern for me. We only have limited resources for cycles...probably one full cycle, hopefully with a few embryos for more than one transfer, if necessary.

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#24 of 116 Old 01-14-2006, 02:51 PM
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Our baby Jonah is 7.5m.o. He was conceived through IVF. We want to have one or two more babies and we were hoping to conceive the second one within a year or so after Jonah was born because we thought that it’d be a good idea to have a minimal age difference between the siblings as I believe it’d make them more close to each other and reduce possibility of jealousy.
Having said that, we already talked to our fertility doctor about a possibility of hormones-free IVF (I wanted to continue breastfeeding during my pregnancy and so I didn’t want to have any IVF related medicine).
According to his words it is possible even though the chances of success will be probably reduced. Of course, in order to do that a woman has to start ovulating to produce progesterone naturally.
We have few frozen embryos left from our first IVF cycle (we got pregnant after our first IVF), so for us it’d be easier to do hormones-free cycle; after transferring embryos inside the uterus it’d be pretty much the same thing as if it was natural conception with no extra help of making uterus lining nice and thick and etc.
Even if we wouldn’t have frozen embryos, hormones-free cycle would be still possible, the only thing is that they would have to use a single naturally produced egg to fertilize and to transfer which of course isn’t that great as far as chance of success, but still can lead to a pregnancy.
So we were hoping to go with our hormones-free frozen cycle in the beginning of March (our baby would be 9m.o.by then), but last few days I have been reading alot about tandem nursing and I realized that there is a good chance that my milk will dry up during the pregnancy (which seems to be pretty common during second trimester) and even if it doesn’t there is a chance that the baby will wean himself because of the change in milk’s taste which happens during pregnancy. Having said that, it made me realize that tandem nursing may not work out the way I imagined it to and therefore, we decided to postpone our frozen cycle for another at least 9 months. We are not crazy about it, but we have to do what we have to do to give Jonah the best chance for healthy and happy babyhood and further life which can be done by prolonged nursing .
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#25 of 116 Old 01-24-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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I conceived my DS with IVF and ICSI, and my FSH was 9.9 at that time. Some clinics won't take you if you're over 10. (We were at University of Michigan.) I was 38 when they drew my FSH, and conceived on the first try at 39. I have no prior history of infertility, but my husband's quadraplegic so we also had to do sperm aspiration. They gave me pretty dismal odds because of that FSH, and I didn't respond to the drugs very well--we only got 8 eggs, and 4 of them fertilized. My periods were like clockwork, and I suspect I was ovulating regularly. We really want a sibling for our little guy, who's 4 months old. They told me I'd have to wean before we can try it again, which breaks my heart. BF'ing is going really well. Before he was born, I thought I'd wean after 6 months, but now I'm saying, "Maybe after 8 months".... I'm 40 now, and we don't want to wait too long. We can afford 2 more attempts, and don't want to reduce our odds. If he has a nursing strike anytime after 8 months or so, I'll probably let him wean. It's a tough spot to be in--I'm glad I found this board and know I'm not the only one!
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#26 of 116 Old 01-24-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Did you by any chance see Dr. Ohl? We've been seeing him but were considering a doctor closer to our house, as this doc. accepts payment plans and UofM does not. Just wondering what you thougt of the whole process, b/c that is exactly the same protocol that we will be following (aspiration, ICSI, and IVF). Thanks.

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#27 of 116 Old 01-24-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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Yes, we did! Dr. Ohl had been my husband's urologist for years before we started trying to get pregnant. I really liked him. Feel free to E-mail me if you want to discuss this.
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#28 of 116 Old 02-02-2006, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's great to know I'm not alone in this...here's our update. I got an extension on our ivf approval, as we were unwilling to wean "traumatically". Our son is now 3 years, 4 months, and is almost completely weaned. He now falls asleep without nursing, which he had not done until a couple of months ago.
I am scheduled to begin ivf with this cycle!
I'm so glad we took the extra time. We felt moving forward to try for another child had to be right for our whole family, particularly since the outcome is so uncertain ( I'm 42, and our son was 4 years in the making). I have told my son that he may nurse in the summer, maybe in the spring...this was because the thought of stopping for awhile seemed more acceptable to him. He is one of those kids who vows to nurse until he's ten-talks about nursing, jokes about nursing, etc.
I'm wondering if anyone personally has nursed with ivf meds, or soon after. I will also most likely need progesterone for a few months if I do conceive.
Thanks for the comraderie- tonite for some reason, my little guy was very sad about not nursing, and it broke my heart...
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#29 of 116 Old 02-03-2006, 01:34 AM
 
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I'm waiting to see how things go with you! Went to see my RE on Tuesday; I'll be 41 in May and my RE is now talking accepting having only one child or adoption...a distant second is donor eggs. We're doing day #3 bloodwork in a couple of weeks to see if I truely have too much "diminished ovarian reserve" for ever considering trying IVF with my own eggs, but he's not very optimistic, obviously. I am still nursing my 19-month-old baby and don't want to quit, either.

Have my fingers crossed for you!!! Keep us updated.

Kim
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#30 of 116 Old 02-22-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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Just wanted to update you on what I've decided: after much thought, I've decided to wean my little sweetie when he's a year old, and he can go right to cow's milk. Every formula ad in the parenting magazines claims "we're more like breastmilk!", and I just think, "how can I give this stuff to my baby when I HAVE breastmilk?!?" If I wasn't so concerned about giving him a sibling before I'm too old, I'd nurse him until he's two, and I know weaning him is going to break my heart, but I'm an only child and I DON'T want that for him if I can help it. Here's another question--has anyone ever heard of weaning, then resuming bf'ing? Is this even possible? If I could resume bf'ing him after I'm pregnant, that would be so good (if he's even interested by then).
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