If you lost your milk during pregnancy... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Pregnancy & CLW
Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, dried up 8 53.33%
Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, didn't dry up 2 13.33%
Nursling(s) 12-18 months when I got pg, dried up 21 100.00%
Nursling(s) 12-18 months when I got pg, didn't dry up 4 26.67%
Nursling(s) 18-24 months when I got pg, dried up 19 100.00%
Nursling(s) 18-24 months when I got pg, didn't dry up 4 26.67%
Nursling(s) 2-3 years when I got pg, dried up 24 100.00%
Nursling(s) 2-3 years when I got pg, didn't dry up 2 13.33%
Nursling(s) 3 years+ I got pg, dried up 5 33.33%
Nursling(s) 3 years+ I got pg, didn't dry up 3 20.00%
Reduced nursing due to pain, fatigue, etc., dried up 11 73.33%
Reduced nursing due to pain, fatigue, etc., didn't dry up 3 20.00%
Nursed just as frequently, dried up 35 100.00%
Nursed just as frequently, didn't dry up 3 20.00%
Nursling weaned during pg 14 93.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...was it purely hormonal? Did you continue to nurse just as frequently but still dried up? Or did you have other reasons (extreme fatigue, sore nipples, etc.) that caused you to reduce BF'ing and possibly dry up? Or was your nursling older & already had decreased nursing sessions? Or combination of these?

I know there have been a lot of similar threads but I don't think many have answered the above specifically. What I'm trying to get around to, is if I got pg in the next few months (we've been casually TTC with no luck yet!), how likely am I to lose my milk? DS is 12mos & nurses as often as every 1/2 hour or so. Well except now 'cause he's sick, poor kid!!

ETA: Seems like this calls for a poll! Adding one now...

OK I messed up the second option but it should say "Nursling(s) under 12 months when I got pg, didn't dry up"

TY for voting!

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#2 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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How likely are you to lose your milk during pg? Well, flip a coin and that's about as good of an answer you will get! There is absolutely no way to figure it out before hand or even while you are in the process of it.

The normal rules of milk production no longer apply during pg, so supply and demand means nothing. Prolactin is the hormone that drives milk production, during pg that hormone takes a backseat to estrogen which is a well known milk reducer, hence the reason nursing moms can not take regular BC pills while bfing. There is nothing that you can do to stop that, now what does matter and really is a mystery is which women do continue to have a milk supply during pg. See, it doesn't matter how old the child is or if you have a great milk supply pre-pg, nothing of that makes a difference, but for whatever reason some women do continue to make milk despite the hormonal switch. That is not the norm though and most women will have a decrease in supply, they might completely dry up or just have a dip, that could happen towards the beginning, at 20 weeks is a common time, or maybe later, or maybe nothing. If if the milk remains then the taste does change, it is much higher in sodium then regular milk and some children do not like the taste.

I have nursed through pg two times and completely dried in during the beginning despite having very avid nurslings. After the milk was gone then they started to lose interest, but both continued to nurse through the entire pg. I hate, hate, hate nursing during pg, dry nursing is the worst feeling in the world for me, it was all I could do to sit through and let a child suckle when all I wanted to do was run away screaming. Nursing went from something I loved to something I absolutely dreaded. I do have regrets about when I got pg with #3, #2 was nursing frequently but eating lots of food, she did not take the loss of milk well. She lost 6 lbs in a month after my milk dried up and she started refusing to eat food at the same time, I spent the next 6 months struggling to get her to eat and gain weight

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#3 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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Got pregnant when my first was 11months old,; nursed through the pregnancy but set *major* limits after it started to feel awful when he was mostly dry nursing. I started to lose my milk in the second trimester, pretty much gone by the third, continued to nurse at least once a day. Toddler didn't like the taste after the baby was born (and my afterpains were so awful I didn't even want to nurse my newborn) and went maybe four or five days without nursing, then started up again and is still going strong at 3 years.

I am making very sure that we don't conceive again until the older two have weaned, because I do *not* want to nurse through another pregnancy.
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#4 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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My DD was 13months when I very unexpectedly fell pregnant. My milk supply dropped almost immediately, and by 20weeks it was mostly gone. It was absolutely hormonal. I would hope to never go through that again. It was devastating for my daughter who was not much of an eater, and she lost weight and both of us suffered for months.

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#5 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, this was exactly what I was wondering!! So glad to have you super knowledgeable experienced moms on here!!

I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!

On the other hand, we seem to have chronic oversupply issues... so losing SOME milk could be good... losing ALL of it, not so much!!

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#6 of 31 Old 02-06-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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My DS was 2 years 8 months when I got pregnant. My milk dried up around 14 weeks, and did not come back until after the baby was born. It was definitely hormonal - he was still nursing very frequently.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!
I am laughing a bit here because even at two years apart, my kids seem too close in age. lol.

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#8 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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Got pregnant with DS2 when DS1 was 5 months old. By the time he was 7 months, milk dried up significantly; nursed significantly MORE because he wasn't getting enough milk but refused a bottle until finally milk dried all the way up at 20 weeks and he gave up the good fight and took a bottle (not that he stopped or slowed down his nursing; oh no, but at least he did take a bottle in addition so he started having more than 3 wet diapers a day again...). With this pregnancy, DS2 was already 20 months old and I was working full time, so not nursing much during the day at all though both DSs nursed at night and weekends. But the milk drop was definitely all pregnancy. I had stopped pumping at work when DS2 hit 12 months or so because I wanted to get my period back. 3 months later I started pumping at work again because a friend couldn't make enough milk to feed her newborn, and I had little trouble getting back to pumping maybe 8-12 ounces a day for maybe 3 months. By the time I was 7-8 weeks pregnant, my pumping supply went down dramatically even though my pumping habits hadn't changed at all.
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#9 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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When I got pg, my toddler was 20m. old. He weaned by himself, because the supply dwindled and dwindled and finally dried up... and the last time he nursed was exactly one week before his 2nd birthday.

I was 4 months pg when he stopped nursing because the milk had dried completely up.

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#10 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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This is a very sad thread for me. We are considering having another pregnancy later this year, mostly for our 7mo old to have a close in age sibling. I cannot imagine my LO wanting milk and it drying up. What to do?

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#11 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I am so torn because I desperately want DS to have a sibling close in age (one of my sisters & I are 18 months apart & we grew up like twins practically!) but it sounds like we're better off waiting (if it's not too late lol)... DS eats barely any solids still so the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health!!!
I do like having my two 20 months apart (thankfully the second was an incredible mellow and easygoing babe). I love how close they are. Buuut- I would have been really angry if my oldest had completely weaned (like I thought he was about to!) after I suffered through nursing through the whole pregnancy.

And because most women do lose their milk during pregnancy, and there's no way to tell if you'll be one of the lucky ones that won't, you really need to delay pregnancy until you're at least somewhat okay with the idea of your existing child weaning or at the very least going without breastmilk for a period of many months. 3 years ago I was "okay" with a one year old going without breastmilk (heck, most aren't getting any at that point!). Now it seems crazy to me to think about doing anything to jepordize a nursing relationship before the age of two or three at the very earliest. But then, an intense 9-18month old may be more likely to persist in nursing through a pregnancy with no milk than an older child who has less emotional need and instinctual drive towards the whole thing.

I'm also amazed at how grown up we thought my oldest son was at 11 months when he decided to conceive his brother, and how truly and profoundly young his baby brother seems now at 19 months. My perspective has changed a lot- one and two year old children are just *so* young.

I'm probably not making this decision any easier, hah!

To sum up- I'm glad I did it, we were reasonably lucky and everything worked out well in the end even if it stunk miserably at the time, and I don't want to ever ever ever go through it again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

On the other hand, we seem to have chronic oversupply issues... so losing SOME milk could be good... losing ALL of it, not so much!!
I did as well, so there was a brief period where things were just about right, hah! I took some supplements to help with my supply earlier on- they just made my oversupply worse when I wasn't having problems and did very little when my milk did start to go away.

I will say that nursing the second time around, with a toddler willing to help out with engorgement, was so much nicer. My second son didn't get drenched or drowned when he tried to nurse as a wee babe.
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#12 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I got pregnant with my dd sooner than I had planned (ds was almost 5 months), and my milk dried up when my ds was 9 months old. Nothing has ever made me more humble than being a lactivist whose son had to drink formula for three months.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#13 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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I got pregnant when my oldest was 20 months. My milk dried up around 20 weeks but he also was only nursing 2-3 times a day at that point and it was an easy transition for him and me (he just stopped nursing, he was fine with it, I was fine with it).

With #2, he was 18 months when I got pregnant and still voraciously nursing, probably 8-10 times a day. I really thought I'd be tandem nursing...until about 20 weeks again, when my milk started to dry up and he cut out nursing. HE was fine with it, but I was not. I was intensely sad that he had stopped nursing so abruptly and tried to keep him nursing, but he was not really interested. He was a real cuddlebug and I think that is why I really mourned the nursing relationship ending. He was still a cuddler but it as different.

My #3 is now 10 months and still a good nurser - probably in between my first two. We're not planning on TTC until he is a good 3-4 (for various reasons not related to nursing) and I'm curious now to see how long our relationship will last
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#14 of 31 Old 02-07-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by OurGift View Post
This is a very sad thread for me. We are considering having another pregnancy later this year, mostly for our 7mo old to have a close in age sibling. I cannot imagine my LO wanting milk and it drying up. What to do?
I know, I'm feeling pretty sad now too.

I appreciate all the experiences everyone has shared! I wish I could know for sure whether I'd be a "lucky one" or not! I guess DH & I will stop TTC until DS is eating more solids at the very least... maybe longer.. Ideally he'd nurse to age 2 minimum (and I'd love to get him through next winter) so I guess we have to reconsider our family plans!!

Watch, this will be the month I end up pg anyway (in the 2ww now)!! Ahhh then I'd still be excited but also scared the whole time. How come no one tells you about this? I've read several books on nursing & tandem nursing and I don't remember any mentioning that you are likely to dry up when you get pg!!!

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#15 of 31 Old 02-08-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I answered for both age and frequency (cut frequency due to pain), but from reading the replies, I realized my frequency answer might point toward the opposite of what happened. The drying up was definitely hormonal, around 14 weeks pregnant, and the decreased frequency of nursing due to pain came after that. My dd was 21 months when I got pregnant, still nursing every 2 hours around the clock until 23 months when we nightweaned, and still nursing every 2 hours or so during the day even after my milk dropped (14ish weeks) and then essentially disappeared (by 16 or 17 weeks), when she was just over 24 months. THEN we started instituting some limits on frequency and duration. She's now 29 months and still nursing (same frequency and duration limits, still hurts!).

Just wanted to clear that up, I didn't read the OP before I voted.

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#16 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I've been pg 5 times while nursing. (3 losses and 2 healthy pgs). All 5 times, I dried up completely by a mere 4-5 weeks pg. I do get hyperemsis so I'm sure that effects it. But I also have stronger hormonal reactions with nursing compared to most women so I'm sure some is just how my body does things.

Though I compleltely dried up, my nurslings still nursed. (Sometimes I had one nursling, sometimes two). At around 20 weeks, the colostrum started and then there was a few swallowfulls. I went on to tandem nurse the first pair for 26 months. I'm now just about 12 months in with tandeming the second pair. (Though my middle child is in the same pair!)

I strongly suggest waiting until at least baby is 12 months before ttc if you're commited to not giving formula since you never know what will happen. Some women commited to CLW will wait much longer. But at least after the 12 month mark, you won't have to give formula.
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#17 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS did just hit the 12 month mark but he's still relying primarily on my milk for his nutrition. He's eating some solids but not nearly enough. If I'm not pg this cycle then I think we'll actively try to avoid, at least until he's eating significantly more solids. I would like to CLW but I am OK with other scenarios as long as he's healthy. And I really would like to make it to 18mos absolute minimum, preferrably 2+ years. If I am pg this cycle... well then I guess we'll have to hope for the best??? (I doubt I am anyway but there is a chance)... maybe pump like crazy until the milk dries up? Or make DS smoothies & purees so he'll get more solids in him???

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#18 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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I totally agree with everyone here. You cannot know, and it might be a total dry up or just a decrease.

That being said since you are worrying that you might be pregnant now... Toad was just shy of 21 months old when I got pregnant with Frog. He was and avid nurser, nursing for a huge chunk of his nutrition still. He continued to nurse all through my pregnancy and in fact when I first got pregnant I noticed an increase in my supply. He was my first baby but when I got pregnant I was nursing him every day obviously, nursing my friend's baby (15 months old at the time) Monday-Friday during the day while her Mom was at work and I watched her, and pumping for my niece who got exclusively breastmilk by bottle. The pumping for her is what alerted me to having more milk, or at least an easier time getting more out for her despite still nursing both other kids.

I kept my milk all through my pregnancy and then began tandem nursing my two boys. This time the boys were 3 and a bit years, and 10.5 months when I got pregnant and I'm 10 weeks now and nursing both of them strong with no noticeable decrease in supply. The baby still nurses many times a day as per usual and my older son nurses between 1 and 4 times a day.

I wouldn't get pregnant on purpose until you are OK with a decrease or total loss in your milk. However since you might already be pregnant I wanted to give you some encouragement that you might just get lucky and keep it up.

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#19 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Alison for the encouragement!! The chances are pretty slim anyway so I'm trying not to worry too much about it but even DH was having trouble falling asleep the other night hoping that "we didn't make [DS's] milk go away!!" (Which I have to say was nice, to have him recognize how important nursing is to DS & to us parents!!) I just wish I had understood sooner how very real the possibility of drying up is. We'll make it work either way though.

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#20 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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With #2 my milk dried up almost immediately, he nightweaned almost immediately but kept nursing off and on through the day- he was 2 and at the time about 90% of his nutrition was from bm. with #3 my milk mostly dried up very soon but she was happy to keep nursing- I did wean a few months in a bit after she was 2 as it really, really, really bothered me when she nursed. It is one of the reasons I wouldn't purposely try to get prego until at least 18mo-2 yr.

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#21 of 31 Old 02-11-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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I got pregnant when DS #1 was 23 months. At that point, he was nightweaned and nursing about 4 times a day. He cut back to 1x over the course of the pregnancy and there were 2 scattered months where he didn't nurse at all (a 6 months and 9 months). I would say that my milk definitely decreased and changed (to a sweaty kind of taste, ick). Once DS #2 was born, DS #1 helped me out enormously by nursing whenever I was feeling uncomfortably full. Now he's back to nursing at bedtime only.
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#22 of 31 Old 02-15-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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My oldest still nursed during my pregnancy with his brother, even though I dried up around 16 weeks. Dry nursing hurt during that time, so I was glad when around 22 weeks colostrum came in. This time around, I am nursing #2--still have milk at 12 1/2 weeks preggo.

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#23 of 31 Old 02-15-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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Nursling(s) 18-24 months when I got pg, dried up

This is what I chose, because it was the closest to actuality for me. What has really happened each time I've become pregnant while nursing (except with my first, a terrible, shortened nursing relationship) is that I begin ovulating around 12-14 months pp, usually become pregnant right away, continuing nursing into my second trimester and end up losing my milk during my 2nd tri, when my current nursling is between 18-24 months.

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#24 of 31 Old 02-15-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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My older child was 18 months old when I got pregnant. At the time, she was nursing three or four times in 24 hours -- once at bedtime, once in the middle of the night, once at naptime, and sometimes one other time.

My milk supply dropped early on, around 9 weeks. She got really clingy and wanted to nurse all the time, so I let her. My milk supply rebounded, and her nursing went back to normal.

Later on, around 14-15 weeks into the pregnancy, I lost my milk entirely, nursing was agonizingly painful for me, and we wound up weaning (it wasn't entirely her decision, though she was totally fine with it -- she'd clearly been finding the lack of milk frustrating). By the time her brother was born, she no longer remembered how to nurse, though I let her "nurse" when she asked -- it was kind of a game for her. She continued to ask occasionally until sometime during the year she was four.

Her brother is still nursing five or six times a week now, at 3.

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#25 of 31 Old 02-16-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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My DD was 12 months exactly when I got pregnant. Tested positive at 6 weeks, had a significant milk drop by 8 weeks. She continued to nurse the whole way through, and we tandem nursed with DS for almost 2 more years. I did have to start giving her milk/yogurt smoothies for extra calories, though.

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#26 of 31 Old 02-16-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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I got a positive for DD 2 days before DS turned one. I'd say my milk was completely gone by 15 weeks and then I had really small amounts of colostrum through-out the rest of my pregnancy. By age one he already ate full meals and snacks so getting enough calories wasn't an issue. He continued to nurse as normal, thought I did night-wean him by the time he was 14 months or so. By 20 months when she was born he probably nursed 4 or 5 times a day. He's still nursing at two and a half

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#27 of 31 Old 02-27-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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My DS was around 12 months when I got pregnant with DD. (I didn't find out I was pregnant until almost 10 wks) He nursed VERY frequently and my supply still dried up, I was in my second trimester when that happened.

He still dry nursed which was very uncomfortable but he really still needed to nurse to I let him. Toward the end of pregnancy he did slow down considerably and weaned 5 wks after she was born.

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#28 of 31 Old 03-01-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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i had a tricky thing happen. my milk didn't dry up all the way, but did diminish, and ds1 weaned anyway! i was devastated. he was about 22 months when he weaned. i was 8/9 months pregnant. oh well! i had planned on tandem nursing, and even offered ds1 the boob after ds2 was born, and he looked at me like i was insane.

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

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#29 of 31 Old 03-21-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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I got pregnant when DS was 17 months old. I was pumping once a day to have some on hand so he could at least still have BM because I was pretty sure my OB was going to recommend weaning (I had PTL with him). I noticed that my pumping output went down pretty early on, and my supply wasn't fantastic to start with. Then I ended up stopping pumping because I was falling asleep in the evenings before I got to it. So I'm not sure exactly when I dried up, but over the next few months, DS was nursing less and less. I don't know if he was naturally weaning anyway, or if I dried up completely, or if the decrease was enough to make him lose interest, which then caused the drying up. By 22 months, he wasn't asking to nurse, and when I did offer, he'd latch on for a few seconds and then give up. We also had a few days here and there where I forgot to offer and he didn't seem to notice. So at that point, I felt like he was done and I didn't want to push him. I did have enough EBM stored up that he was able to have that until he was over 2, though.

Amy, wife to Paul 5/20/01, SAHM to Daniel 5/23/07, Claire 7/15/09, and Elaine 9/4/12

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#30 of 31 Old 03-22-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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by the end of my first trimester (ds1's first b'day), i had way less milk and that was purely hormonal. i had been nursing when together and pumping while at work, and was getting only an ounce or less per breast compared to 3-4 ounces per breast before i conceived. once i realized that i couldn't maintain my supply, i quit pumping, and we continued to nurse just as frequently, but the duration of nursing sessions became very brief for my sanity (like 1 minute per breast). sometimes it was longer, if it wasn't bothering me, but often we would just nurse quickly and move on.

i kept a little bit of milk (think drops, not ounces) throughout my second trimester. at some point around 30-32 weeks, i lost my milk completely for at most 7 days, and then got colostrum.
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