Nursing...weaning...fertility - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-05-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I know this probably doesn't belong in this forum- so mods please move if needed.
My son is 16 months old, and still nurses all the time (inlcuding several times per night), which I am completely fine with (except for the total lack of sleep, but that is a different post ). However, my period hasn't returned yet. My cycle was completley regular prior to getting pregnant. I have no plans on weaning my son...and in fact that thought of refusing him really breaks my heart..but deep down I am already starting to get worried about conceiving #2. I had wanted to get pregnant when DS turns 2 (which is still 8 months away) so that they would be close to 3 years apart. I know there is a ways to go...but what if the nursing doesn't slow down and the period doesn't come back? I had planned on Child Led Weaning, but not if that means my kids are going to be 5 years apart! We only plan on having one more.
I guess I don't have a specific question, just looking for shared experiences.
Thanks!

Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Just to share my experience: My period came back when my daughter was 16 months. We were nursing constantly then and after (~10 times a day/night). I got pregnant when she was 18 months. We continued to nurse until this past month when my supply all but dried up. She's 22 months now. I too really wanted to nurse for as long as possible, especially since she has food allergies, but it became too painful and frustrating for both of us. She took to night weaning really well and now we're working on gradually stopping the daytime nursing. We cuddle a lot and I explain to her what's happening and she really seems to be accepting things. I fully plan on nursing her again when the new baby comes, if she wants it.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks halaroo. I never thought I'd be wishing to get my period!

Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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What is wrong with a larger age gap? (this is what we are going for...for alot of reason!)
I think this is something you truely have to think about -deeply. Either way, your DC will get a sibling - if that is what you would like for him and if that is what he would like as well. But what is more important to you right now?...your desire for another baby or his desire to carry on in a bf relationship with you. (and if you stop him bf as much so you can have another baby - which really is what you want at the moment, your DC has no idea! lol... and this next baby will be your last, does that mean they will then get the opportunity to self wean when your DS now wouldnt have?) Only you can weight up the pros and cons and decide.
I am not you - but if I were you, I would wait. He wont be nursing as much as time goes on and eventually our periods will return...however I feel you are lucky, mine returned after 5 weeks!!! lmao

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
What is wrong with a larger age gap? (this is what we are going for...for alot of reason!)
I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but for us for a lot of reasons 3 years feels like the right spacing. I certainly wouldn't want them too close together either! Right now I actually have no desire to get pregnant...I had just always assumed that by the time he was 2 I would have my period back and then I could continue to BF and TTC...and then hopefully tandem nurse. I don't want it to have to be a choice (BF and TTC) and that is what is getting me a little worried. I am certainly not going to make any changes in the nursing relationship right now...but if the night thing continues for a few more months I will probably have to think about partial night-weaning for sanity reasons, and then maybe that would trigger the return of fertilty as well.
Thanks!

Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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My experience has been that my period comes back around the time that my dc have reduced their night feedings to once a night (even if they still nursed very frequently during the day). But of course it is hard to say whether the return of fertility was linked more to night-weaning or to the passage of time - from what I've heard most women become fertile again after about a year, year and a half, even if they continue to nurse frequently. So I'd try to not worry about it for a few more months.

You probably already know this, but you may ovulate before you menstruate - so if you aren't using birth control you could get pregnant without ever knowing you were fertile again.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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a lot can happen developmentally between now and 2 yrs. your son might start nursing less, you never know! i ovulated for the first time pp when my son was 15 mos, and got pregnant. at that time he was nursing a ton, and still through the night. i really think i ovulated because i had gained the 5 lbs back i had lost this summer from my son not eating solids and us walking everywhere in the stroller. if you're one of the women who get super skinny after nursing, maybe try gaining a little weight?

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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Old 02-05-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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It totally depends on your body. Both times I got my period back around 1 year, while I was cosleeping and day and night nursing heavily, the second time tandeming. It does in general seem to be linked to night nursing frequency but a lot also depends on your body. From experience, getting pregnant before your first is two years old is very very hard. The first is still really a baby when the second is born and nursing is only a part of that picture.

You have quite a bit of time still before your son turns two, so I'd say try not worry yet about return of fertility.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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I'd wait till he was closer to 2y to freak out. Our toddlers are a month apart, I don't have AF back either, I'm also not expecting it either. I'm one of those ones that really struggle with fertility while bfing. I have been faced with CLWing and my fertility, but I had a much older child. I have to say that in hindsight the additional spacing that I hadn't planned on (my DD's are just shy of 4y apart, when the original plan was 3y), has worked out very well for us. I took it one month at a time, in the end, I did nothing that compromised my CLWing beliefs, and was able to get pg, it just took some help with my hormones.

I know how my body works now with bfing, and will start working on things TTC #3 when DD2 is 2 as well. Sometime things are out of our hands.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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i could have written your post as far as the thinking on spacing our next child but not wanting to jeopardize the bf relationship with the first. mine has restarted just recently so now i can start 'planning'.

my 'strategy' for getting my period to restart was totally accidental. i was bragging on christmas eve that breastfeeding had kept my period away for almost 14 mos now...of course the next day (in fact during christmas dinner at mil's house) i got my period, haha. that's what i get!

i understand your thinking as i am a big planner too. but a lot can happen between now and 8 mos from now. plus unless you have a reason, it doesn't have to be exactly a little less than 3 years apart right? what if it was 3 years and 2 mos, etc? why spend time worrying when it's not going to make your period start any quicker?
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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I completely understand! It too me 3 years to get pregnant with DD and after she was born I immediately wanted another baby. I got my period after a year and still by the time she was 2 I had not gotton pregnant despite my trying. We stopped nursing at 24 months and I got pregnant 3 months later. Im in my 30's so I felt I did not have the luxury of waiting. It was not difficult for me because DD stopped asking after 2 days.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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I am brokenhearted that our attempts to TTC have been thwarted by my lack of period. We really really wanted our children to be 2 years apart & I thought "natural child spacing" would allow it.

My daughter has nursed like a newborn... well, since she was newborn. I nightweaned her around 12 months #1 to get sleep & #2 in hopes we would conceive.

My daughter is 22 months & we weaned completely last month. She's doing great, but I'm not. Still no AF, still no BFP. Everyone I know has had a period.

I have no suggestions for you, but I thought I would share my story too. Life always has other plans, I guess.

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great replies! It helps so much to hear others' experiences. I am 31 (will be 32 in August) so I do have some time-- and it definitley doesn't matter if they are a little under 3 years apart or a little over 3 years apart...so I guess at this point I will just stop thinking about it. If I decide to nightwean in order to get a little rest maybe that will help with the return of fertility.

Thanks again.

Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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Another thought, in older cultures, were the children were nursed frequently and for years, the natural spacing was 3-4y. There is an older book about this subject, I'm spacing the title, and am trapped under a sleeping toddler so I'll try to remember to find my copy later.



It can be hard to wait, I really do understand. I'm guessing you are a planner, I am as well, which really didn't help things. It was an awful feeling for me to wait another child so bad, and not even being able to TTC since I still didn't have AF.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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My dd still nurses all the time (though we're down to maybe 2-3 times at night) and I just got my first period at 26 months. I have no plans to ttc now- still really not ready for another baby- but if we got pg now, they'd be three years apart. My concern wouldn't just be about limiting nursing in order to regain fertility, but also about the resulting limiting that you might want to pursue because of the pain of nursing once you did get pg. I was completely thrown for a loop by the pain I experiences during my first pp ovulation (I thought I was pg, might have thrush, etc.- worried about everything and how to MAKE THE PAIN STOP!) I feel very strongly about child led weaning, and because of that I, personally, wouldn't want to get pg until she was already nursing a lot less on her own.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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I was freaking out when I hadn't gotten my period back yet at 12 months postpartum (my original ideal was to have a third when my twins were just 2!). At 18 months, still no AF, but I'd begun to rethink my child-spacing plan anyway (18 months was ROUGH for us!). AF arrived at 21 months postpartum when my twins were still nursing very frequently (every hour or so during the day, a couple times each at night). Life was way too crazy to think about ttc. We started ttc at 30 months postpartum (when my twins were out of diapers, sleeping through the night and hardly nursing at all anymore) and it took five months to get a BFP. So the end result is that my twins are 3 years and 9 months older than their younger sibling. And I think the spacing is pretty perfect indeed. It's allowed me to truly enjoy my littlest one's babyhood, with no jealousy or regression from the older kids. They've enjoyed it as much as we have! The whole pregnancy was so much fun too, since they were old enough to understand (for the most part), and they were so excited to be big brothers. My older sister is 6.5 years older than me, and she is one of my best friends.

HTH!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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