DD is 13 months and I am 5 weeks pregnant. My nipples were in a lot of pain but I have been paying a lot of attention to her latch and learned the nipple flick trick. I feel a lot better. She was practically EBF until a few months ago. In preparation for the worst I have been diligent about offering solids and she has an appetite but she is not to the point where she could be sustained by solid foods alone. I know what to expect (creepy crawlies, milk turning to colostrum, etc.) but I DO NOT want to wean! I want to avoid these things or learn how to deal with them. We are extremely attached and live pretty isolated lives. I am very preoccupied about this and besides a healthy new baby and a healthy delivery I really, really desire to nurse throughout this pregnancy and tandem nurse. For myself in this present situation, I find it very discouraging to read that many women seem happy for their children to self-wean during pregnancy and I am not one of them. I would really appreciate any success stories and what I can do to avoid these pitfalls.
Thank you so much.
Firstly would say not to stress! (that will only make things worse)
I would try to put all the bad feeling and things you have heard out of your mind. Just try. Just keep nursing on demand and see what happens.
Drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and eat enough fatty (good fatty) foods and hope for the best.
Where there is a will there is a way. Even if she does self wean at some point maybe she will go back to it once the colostrum or milk comes in. You've got to think positive!
BTW I am so in your shoes right now but very newly pregnant and my DD is almost 2 but very high needs and nurses about hourly. She definitely needs it still and I am really hoping she won't wean.
Young born-again mama and loving wife to DH and SAHP to two crazy girls we and believe !
I, and many others here, have successfully nursed through a pregnancy. I tandemed ds and dd for about 21 months. dd weaned about a month after turning 4. I'm 30 weeks pregnant now and ds is going strong. Sometimes one or both get sore, and when they are, I make nursing sessions very very short, and use earth mama angel baby nipple butter. Sometimes it feels slightly "creepy crawly" and sometimes it really not so bad. Again, if its bothering me, I cut the session very short. Everyone is different. I wouldn't have any experience/proof with this, but I do wonder if your dd being so young might make it somewhat easier? I think genuinely wanting to tandem also might make nursing through pregnancy easier, simply because when a challenge like sore nipples comes up, mentally you're in a "I am determined to work through this, so I WILL" state of mind, whereas someone who would prefer not to tandem and is hoping weaning will occur in pregnancy would be more likely to become even more set in the "arrgghh hurry and wean already!" when faced with equally sore nipples.. ya know? It sounds like you are determined and have realistic expectations about what nursing through pregnancy will be like, and that alone will set you up for success!
I think mostly, as long as you and your DC are willing, you will continue to nurse through pregnancy. That said, some LO's do wean during pregnancy, and I don't know that you can really do any more than encourage or offer the breast. I would continue to ramp up the solids -as much as possible - because at the very least you will have less milk.
for me; my milk dried up completely by 10 weeks, and so did our nursing - FWIW DS was 14 months old when I got my BFP. DS is still interested in the boobies, but hasn't tried to latch on since he weaned. I don't know if he'll try once the baby is born (in about a month) but I am willing for him to try if he wants.
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011 and Theo03/11/2013- married to Wayne -
I nursed my then two year old through my pregnancy with her sister and went on to tandem nurse for 9 months. My milk never totally went away, but my supply did decrease so that was the point when I started to also give her some cows milk. One thing that may have helped DD1 to not wean is that I talked to her nearly every day about how there would be a lot more "good" milk once her sister was born. (And also that her sister would need to nurse ALL THE TIME, unlike her...) I don't know if it helped my milk supply, but I was in the habit of eating a lot of soy, oats, and Luna bars (which are basically soy/oats/chocolate/vitamins) while pregnant and I've heard that both soy and oats can increase milk supply? I also took Zofran so I could eat/drink enough to maintain supply, which is a consideration if you have really bad nausea. You can probably find even more people with tandem nursing experience in the breastfeeding forums. You can do it!
I think it depends a lot on your nursling. Some of them are very attached to the boob- others, not so much. If you have one who asks to nurse frequently, needs to nurse to fall asleep, etc, then you might be fine. If she nurses only for nourishment or boredom it could be different.
My DD was 6 months old when I got my BFP. She was obviously EBF at that point, as we were JUST starting to introduce solids. We ended up needing to go to formula but she continued to nurse even when it switched to colostrum. I would nurse first and then do a bottle. I would nurse her when she woke up from naps or woke up at night so she had that first and if she was still hungry we'd top up with formula or solids (depending on time of day, etc). If she finished a bottle quickly and was still awake, I'd nurse her down to sleep.
So basically I would do everything I could to nurse her during the times she was most likely to want/need it, either for that little bit of milk/colostrum or for comfort or when she was still so half-asleep she wasn't paying attention. At nearly 3 she's still going strong.... which is less than ideal now, because TBH I I despised nursing through pregnancy (but did it because I knew it was best for her) and am not doing it again.
Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!
Hi, your baby doesnt have to wean at all. Plenty of women nurse during pregnancy, and i was one of them. Not all women experience the ''éxcructiating'' feeling that some women get. In fact, the more you have been nursing at the beginning of your pregnancy, the less likely you will experience the nipple pain that forces some women to wean. I only know this anecdotally, from myself, and friends that were nursing alot before they got pregnant. I believe there are supplements that reduce nipple pain also, but i am not sure exactly which. 15% of women do not experience nipple pain when nursing in pregnancy and it could be a combination of diet, and frequency of nursing. Im sure that Kelly.com will have information about that. I believe it was magnesium that was mentioned as a supplement that can reduce pain in general. But look it up, as i dont know for sure.
My experience with my last pregnancy, when my nursling was younger (this time my nursling, now 3, has almost weaned anyway), was that my milk supply did reduce alot in the first trimester, despite my nursing on demand. This in itself discouraged ds1 from nursing, but we kept on anyway. You might have to supplement, especially with a 13mth old, but you most certainly shouldnt have to wean.
I had some colostrium in the third trimester. By the time baby was born, ds1 was nursing considerably less, but he was 2 by then. We tandemed nursed without a problem, always with the proviso that baby went first. Friends of mine experienced the older child being difficult with sharing and wanting to go back to nursing like a newborn. I didnt experience this myself. Ds1 he finally self weaned at 5.
You dont have to wean your baby! Every womans experience is different and i have heard many different types of experiences. It might be difficult, or it might not be. Just do the best you can and make sure you are well nourished.
Wow, thanks for the magnesium tip. Over the past week I had had very sore nipples and read this and started to eat a few handfuls of walnuts a day. Walnuts are quite high in magnesium. Within 24 hours the pain was dramatically reduced :)
Still nursing now at 22 weeks :)
Thank you everybody for your support. I ordered "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" and I feel better already. DD is nursing ALL through the night and I am debating trying to get her to drop one of those feedings. On the one hand I can get more sleep (it is not very comfortable to nurse side-lying these days) and her daddy can get used to soothing her at night but on the other hand it will keep up our supply,
Hi Purplefish, im 22 weeks too! Fascinating about magnesium and the walnuts. I eat walnuts regularly. Interestingly, i never expereienced afterbirth pains at my last birth either. I was advised to have motrin on hand, and bought it. Kept waiting for the after pains, never got them.
Mammochiko, so glad its working for you.