Don't get pregnant - Mothering Forums
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Child-Led Weaning > Don't get pregnant
foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 05:33 PM 01-13-2005
I think the best advice I got was that if you want to CLW, don't get pregnant. Your milk may decrease or taste funny and your child not like it. Your nipples may get so sore you can't stand to nurse. You are so tired you consider night weaning.

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.

Some people think that it is important for siblings to be close in age to have things in common and good relationships. That is a myth.

Rainbow's Avatar Rainbow 05:44 PM 01-13-2005
I guess it is all a matter of personal priorities and goals.

I'm nursing through pregnancy for the 2nd time, and each of my girls will be 2 year apart. Tandem nursing is an experience all its own. And your children can still wean as they choose. I actually tandem nursed while pregnant until my oldest chose to wean gently and happily.

In 10 years none of my children will be nursing, but they will all have a relationship based on shared nursing, shared babyhood, and a close knit family. That's our choice, for our family- and it doesn't mean we don't believe in child led weaning.

We didn't TTC though either, we allowed nature to determine the spacing of our children. Although we won't be continuing that path, I think nature has great timing.
nova22's Avatar nova22 05:51 PM 01-13-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow
I guess it is all a matter of personal priorities and goals.

I'm nursing through pregnancy for the 2nd time, and each of my girls will be 2 year apart. Tandem nursing is an experience all its own. And your children can still wean as they choose. I actually tandem nursed while pregnant until my oldest chose to wean gently and happily.

In 10 years none of my children will be nursing, but they will all have a relationship based on shared nursing, shared babyhood, and a close knit family. That's our choice, for our family- and it doesn't mean we don't believe in child led weaning.

We didn't TTC though either, we allowed nature to determine the spacing of our children. Although we won't be continuing that path, I think nature has great timing.
I could have written the exact same post. I love tandem nursing, it allows the three of us to have some cuddly time during the day, and to relax.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 06:21 PM 01-13-2005
I actually looked forward to tandem nursing. Sometimes I think my pg is why my dd weaned so early, but looking back she had really decreased on nursing at the time I conceived anyway.

I guess I would hold off TTC if my child had special need of momma milk or special circumstances, but I do think if a child wants to nurse that much-- he/she will keep nursing even through pg. Not all moms have sore nipples or reduced supply.
miamommy's Avatar miamommy 06:51 PM 01-13-2005
It has been really hard for me to talk about this, and I just recently posted about it on my due date club board so I won't go too far into it, but I waited 5 years before ttc number 2. DD is still nursing (age 5) and I am 20 weeks pregnant. However, I didn't have an issue with the actual nursing but when I tried to get her to stop twiddling the other nipple (she calls it pinching and it really is) she suddenly stopped nursing the right way. Her latch is so loose now. I hear her swallowing, so I know that she is getting milk, but I have to nudge her every few seconds or my nipple would just fall out of her mouth. It hurts a lot. I immediatly stopped trying to prevent the twiddling after about one night of trying to redirect her hands, but the damage was done.

It has broken my heart. I am a totally firm CLW and I feel like I failed. She still nurses but her latch has continued to get looser and looser. I wanted to tandem nurse, and I figured since she would be almost 6 when her sibling was born, that by then she would probably start weaning herself. I have never ever even considered weaning her, and I am so emotional about the turn of events...

I know in the OP you were referring to people who are striving for something totally different than me, since I waited a very long time, I knew that dd was too high needs to share until recently. But what about women like myself? Am i a failure at CLW for wanting a second child after 5 years? Maybe its just the raging hormones, but I feel so bad...yet I feel like it was fair to want another one at this point. I will continue to do everything I can to make dd feel comfortable nursing, I just try to grin and bear the pain because I know that it won't be sore forever and I would walk through fire to keep dd the secure and happy child that she is.
Quirky's Avatar Quirky 07:03 PM 01-13-2005
I think that setting arbitrary rules like "don't get pregnant if you want to CLW" or "don't get pregnant until your child is 2.5" is counter-productive. There are many, many reasons to get pregnant -- or not -- and those decisions should be made by individual families without being guilted into thinking they have done something wrong or anti-NFL.

If nature didn't intend for mamas to get pregant while their babies were still nursing, they wouldn't. If nature didn't intend for children to wean during their mamas' pregnancy, mamas' milk wouldn't change into "weaning milk."

What might be right for the OP is not right for everyone. Setting "rules" like this just leads to division between NFL and CLW mamas, IMO.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 07:03 PM 01-13-2005
Raina,

I don't know if this will make you feel better or not, but I think a 5yo is old enough to nurse without hurting mommy. Part of a CLW relationship is teaching them to respect, while respecting their desire to continue nursing. My 4yo is weaned (she weaned at 20 mo) but if she was still nursing, I wouldn't allow pinching or twiddling. With an infant, it's harder but I think a preschooler is old enough to learn to respect and not to hurt mom. JMO.
maria423's Avatar maria423 07:45 PM 01-13-2005
I think it all depends on the circumstances. It is very possible to still CLW even if you get pregnant before 2.5 (or some other arbitrary age).

My daughter nursed throughout my pregnancy, and now is nursing full-force since my milk is in. She's almost 22 months old and I will definitely let her wean herself. Getting pregnant when she was still really young did not change that at all.
Unoppressed MAMA Q's Avatar Unoppressed MAMA Q 08:03 PM 01-13-2005
[QUOTE

If nature didn't intend for mamas to get pregant while their babies were still nursing, they wouldn't.[/QUOTE]

i respect what you say in spirit, but have to disagree. my body managed to conceive my second kid very quickly. it didn't manage to make enough milk to sustain my first child. by the time she was six months old she lost a lot of weight. if not by the grace of other lactating mamas (yes, i realize that the dreaded formula is an option now, but thats a really recent phenomenon, not an inherent part of human life), she might not have survived.i fed her solid food, but i could tell her body didn't digest it well.
my kiddos are 11 months apart and i would not do THAT again!
if you are one of those crazy mamas i know who undertakes such a journey on purpose...well, have friends who share.
~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 08:05 PM 01-13-2005
I guess it all depends. I don't think I've done anything wrong to my child be becoming pregnant now. She is 2.5 and nurses once a day. If she decides to wean because of taste then she still made the decision.
I also know my child can continue to cuddle with me and get love lots of other ways.

CLW is great but be careful of implications that you are making. Some moms feel really bad when their toddlers wean during pregnancy (whether a planned pregnancy or not) and really they should be happy that their toddler has nursed into toddlerhood.
Milakais's Avatar Milakais 03:46 AM 01-14-2005
I look forward to the possibllty of tandem nursing. I am being careful to avoid pregnancy right now, as DS is still young enough that he's still really dependent on my milk for almost all of his nourishment, so I don't want to take any risks of lessening my supply. And I plan to continue avoiding getting pregnant until he's old enough to be less likely to wean because of it - say, when it's less about the milk and more about the cuddly-mom time? I'll probably wait until close to the end of his second year, so even if the pregnancy does turn him off, we'll at least have gotten two years in. But I wouldn't wait until he weans to start TTC again... not only would I be passing up the opportunity for us to tandem nurse, but if I want to be able to have more than a couple children I can't afford to space them out by 5 years or so each.

There's reasons to do it either way. While supply issues, etc., may be something to consider when planning on TTC again, there are usually other factors to consider as well. It's something to keep in mind, but I don't think there is one "right" way to proceed with this.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 04:17 PM 01-14-2005
I never "planned" any of my pregnancies!!! Not all of us have the luxury of deciding when to start TTC. When my first baby was 9mo, I found out I was 6 wks pg with #2. I found myself with the choice to wean, abort, or nurse through an unexpected pregnancy. Leah kept right on nursing throughout the pregnancy, and weaned after her baby sister did!

Now, I KNOW I won't get pg while nursing Jack because I can't imagine being ready to get married again for several years. (I respect that others have different views about premarital sex, but that's not right for me.)
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 05:00 PM 01-14-2005
This is the second pregnancy that I've nursed during and we aren't having any problems at all. My milk supply seems to be staying even. I don't have sore nipples. We won't be night weaning.

Dd will be 25 months when this baby is born and I'm planning on tandem nursing like I did with her and ds.
Pepper's Avatar Pepper 05:13 PM 01-14-2005
My period returned when my dd was 24 months old. I was practicing ecological breastfeeding. I took that as a sign that my body was returning to its' normal cycle and therefore would be physically capable of becoming pregnant and growing a baby.

I conceived 2 months later.

I'm now 17 weeks pregnant and my dd nurses to sleep and maybe 1 or 2 times during the day. I've been having a REALLY hard time in the past 2 weeks or so with nipple pain and agitation at the breast and am at the point where I'm considering weaning much to my shock and horror. I desperately want to nurse my toddler until she is ready to stop on her own but I have to consider my sanity, as well.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Don't get pregnant if you want to CLW but I'd have to say that I would acknowledge that pregnancy can make it very difficult to continue nursing (for many).
bwylde's Avatar bwylde 05:23 PM 01-14-2005
I think it's different for everyone. DS actually nursed more when I was pregnant. He had a couple of strikes (one for two days a couple weeks before DD was born and the week after I had her) but nothing changed really. Egological nursing for pregnancy prevention doesn't work for me (fertility arrived 4 months after each was born) so I decided to wait until DS was a year before deciding when we'd TTC again; it only took a couple months to get PG. When DD is one, we'll probably talk again about when we'll TTC. Pregnancy isn't the end all to nursing.
stafl's Avatar stafl 05:24 PM 01-14-2005
I must respectfully disagree with everything the OP said! While I know it wasn't meant to be offensive, I found myself getting really defensive while reading the OP... it felt much like a personal attack, which I know it wasn't, but that's how it made me feel.

I believe very strongly in CLW. I got pregnant, we actually started trying as soon as AF returned, and it had no effect whatsoever on my older nursling. At 3.5, she still nurses maybe once every few days, maybe four times in one day, it all depends on her, and it's all up to her! The first time she ever went longer than 24 hours without nursing was the night her baby sister was born. When baby was three hours old, DD woke up, met her new sister, and nursed back to sleep. DD was not ready to wean when I got pregnant, so she didn't. If she had been ready to wean, she probably would have, but either way, it would have been *her* option. I just follow her lead.

gotta say, I LOVE tandem nursing!! Though there are days I'm convinced baby will wean before older sis does!
OnTheBrink's Avatar OnTheBrink 06:50 PM 01-14-2005
So interesting!

My daughter was 2.5 when my son was conceived. She nursed all throught the pregnancy, even though my milk dried up around 5 months. It didn't matter to her. She wasn't there for the milk. She was there for the mama-time. After John was born, they tandem nursed for almost 4 months. I thought I would love it, but I hated it! HATED IT!!! Last Saturday Emma and I agreed to wean. She is 3 years 9 months. She tells me that it's sad to wean, but that it's good to cuddle. (Which we still do lots of!)

Life is so interesting. I would never set definite "rules" for anything as precious as parenting.
BlueStateMama's Avatar BlueStateMama 10:31 PM 01-14-2005
It's tough if you start having children later in life. I'm 33 (almost 34) now and pg w/ DD (child 2.) I would like to have 3, maybe four children, and I wanted to do my best to minimize the risks inherent w/ "ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE" (which, medically, starts at 35...don't you love it, only in Hollywood and obstetrics are you OLD at 35 .) I held off until DS was almost a year before TTC and yes, he self weaned at 16 1/2 months when I was about 22 weeks pg (I wanted to tandem, and did all I could to encourage his nursing, but was certainly not going to force him.)

If I were younger would I space my children further apart? Probably. But that simply wasn't an option for me.
tuffykenwell's Avatar tuffykenwell 12:26 AM 01-15-2005
So because I got pregnant before my DS was 2.5 I didn't practice CLW?? And it is my "fault" that he weaned? Nice

I nursed my DS through a THREE MONTH nursing strike starting at age 14 months...I got up to nurse him every night at 2am because he would only nurse in his sleep. I actually set my clock every night to nurse him.

I continued to offer my breast several times each day and got rejected every time. When he finally nursed when I offered it to him before bed one night I almost sobbed with joy.

When I got pregnant with Niamh he latched off one night and told me "nursies all gone gone" and except for latching on a few times after that he was done. At that point he was 22 months and even though my original plan was to nurse him to a minimum of 2 years I decided to let him make that decision even though I would have preferred to keep nursing him.

I think the OP comments are pretty simplistic advice for a choice that is no bodies choice but the individual families. I still say that my child self weaned and I still believe that he did. I realize that my pregnancy played a factor but it was HIS choice to stop and he was never traumatized by it at all. When Niamh was born he latched on a couple of times (I think to see if it was still "okay" for him to do that) but he didn't want to nurse again.

I don't have to meet anyone else's standards to feel satisfied with the way my nursing relationship with Rhys evolved. Nor do I have to follow some arbitrary rule stating at what age it is "permissable" to get pregnant again if I want to belong to the CLW club.

Steph
galadriel's Avatar galadriel 01:12 AM 01-15-2005
Bah. I'm 27 weeks pregnant with a 21 month old who nurses a zillion times a day, is not nightweaned, and my breasts don't hurt. Now she's getting colostrum and having a growth spurt, and having a healthy winter. CLW is CLW, whether you're pregnant or not. The circumstances are different for everybody.

Not getting pregnant to "ensure" CLW (and who knows when your child will wean his or herself? There is a big range) may have been good advice for the OP, but it would be lousy advice for me!!
FreeRangeMama's Avatar FreeRangeMama 02:38 AM 01-15-2005
I am tandem nursing through my 3rd pg and my 1st 2 are not going to be weaning anytime soon. We will CLW all children we may or may not have whether I am nursing 1 child or 4. If I would have waited till ds1 had CLW before conceiving ds2 I would have deprived him of an AMAZING sibling relationship that has enhanced his life in so many ways I cannot count. He is looking forward to sharing nursing with a new baby, in fact, he hopes I will have 100 babies (not in my plans though :LOL).

I agree with the idea of natural child spacing. I was not able to conceive ds2 until ds1 decreased his nursing and started eating more solid foods. I believe at that point he was ready for me to conceive. I conceived #3 when ds2 was 10 mo, but he is a much more independant child and nursed much less for comfort. He still nurses frequently now and I am 25 weeks. He rarely NEEDS or WANTS to nurse at night. Every child is different, and every family is different. I am thrilled that my children will not only benefit from having a long and fulfilling CLW relationship with me, but also from having a close and bonded relationship with each other. Their relationship will continue long after nursing has ended and I am glad they are close in age and close with each other (so far).

JMO, but CLW and child spacing have very little to do with each other most of the time
Peony's Avatar Peony 03:13 AM 01-15-2005
Hmm, this is a interesting thread. DD is 2, I practice ecological bfing, af has yet to return. Sometimes I would like for it to return soon, as I am getting that urge again, but then again I worry about dd, she still bfs alot, more then all of the younger children we know. I feel that if they really want to continue bfing, then they will.
AnnMarie's Avatar AnnMarie 03:21 AM 01-15-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffykenwell
So because I got pregnant before my DS was 2.5 I didn't practice CLW?? And it is my "fault" that he weaned? Nice
IMO it's still CLW because they decided to stop nursing. My son did the same at about 15-16 months old because I was pregnant. I didn't force him, he decided to stop on his own. My youngest son didn't nurse much longer than my older son. He was just a little bit older than 2 when he stopped on his own.
kavamamakava's Avatar kavamamakava 03:22 AM 01-15-2005
HA! My body didn't get that memo. My son recently weaned at 3 yrs. 9 months and it was the 2nd pregnancy he nursed through. He had already cut way back before I even got pregnant though. My daughter is still going strong. Sometimes she nurses as often as 8 times a day and 3 times at night. She's 2 1/2. I was not TTC.
mom2threenurslings's Avatar mom2threenurslings 12:42 PM 01-15-2005
I disagree with the OP also. It's like saying "If you want to make sure you CLW, don't get a gastrointestinal virus for a week (or get in a car accident and be hospitalized for an extended time, etc.) because your milk may dry up due to dehydration." Most kids who really want to continue to nurse will nurse whether or not there's milk! There are so many factors that could lead to a child weaning ... the child getting sick, the Mama getting sick, mouth trauma, peer pressure ... many things that are, for the most part, out of our control.

I am tandem nursing through pregnancy for a second time and will most likely be triandem nursing (as I did for over 18 months after the birth of my dd). This will be my fourth living child. Obviously my nurslings have no problem continuing to nurse when I'm pregnant and I'm blessed with plenty of milk to do so. I also know that they would continue to nurse no matter what, unless they were ready to wean. They've told me so! I couldn't imagine not nursing through pregnancy, tandem nursing, triandem nursing, etc, and neither can my kids.
mimim's Avatar mimim 01:29 PM 01-15-2005
I think that if you are absolutely determined that nothing interfere with your nursing relationship, it's a good idea to consider very carefully what getting pregnant is likely to do that relationship. However that certainly doesn't mean that you should wait until your child is fully weaned to TTC or that a child weaning themselves during pregnancy is not child led weaning. It just means weighing the pros and cons with a lot of consideration.

Personally, I would never TTC until I felt that my little one was old enough to stop nursing if neccessary. If I was trying to TTC and had a baby under 2 or so, I'd appreciate someone reminding me of the changes that my breasts will likely undergo. Of course, I prefer a wider age gap between my kids anyway.

That said, my DS is almost 33 months and I'm 30 weeks pg. We have had a lot of challenges throughout the pregnancy - reduced supply, nipple pain, he dislikes the taste of colostrum, changes in latch, general annoyance on my part. However we have made it through so far and are still nursing several times a day. I'm certain that he will nurse along with the new baby.
kavamamakava's Avatar kavamamakava 03:56 PM 01-15-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim
I think that if you are absolutely determined that nothing interfere with your nursing relationship, it's a good idea to consider very carefully what getting pregnant is likely to do that relationship. However that certainly doesn't mean that you should wait until your child is fully weaned to TTC or that a child weaning themselves during pregnancy is not child led weaning. It just means weighing the pros and cons with a lot of consideration.

Personally, I would never TTC until I felt that my little one was old enough to stop nursing if neccessary. If I was trying to TTC and had a baby under 2 or so, I'd appreciate someone reminding me of the changes that my breasts will likely undergo. Of course, I prefer a wider age gap between my kids anyway.

That said, my DS is almost 33 months and I'm 30 weeks pg. We have had a lot of challenges throughout the pregnancy - reduced supply, nipple pain, he dislikes the taste of colostrum, changes in latch, general annoyance on my part. However we have made it through so far and are still nursing several times a day. I'm certain that he will nurse along with the new baby.
Thanks for summing it up
FreeRangeMama's Avatar FreeRangeMama 10:52 PM 01-15-2005
Quote:
I think that if you are absolutely determined that nothing interfere with your nursing relationship, it's a good idea to consider very carefully what getting pregnant is likely to do that relationship. However that certainly doesn't mean that you should wait until your child is fully weaned to TTC or that a child weaning themselves during pregnancy is not child led weaning. It just means weighing the pros and cons with a lot of consideration.
Pregnancy and a new sibling will change your relationship with your child regardless of whether your child(ren) is nursing or not (and regardless of the age of your child(ren)). I think TTC or child spacing should ALWAYS be given that consideration when possible, both the current children and the future children deserve that much. To focus on whether or not to have another child based SOLEY on the nursing status of your children misses so many other important factors. There is no right answer for ALL families, and for the OP (or anyone) to say that you should do XYZ because that is right for THEM is very presumptuous. We prefer to let our children naturally space themselves, and will do so until we are "done" having children. Other families may choose to space their children differently. Sometimes despite the best laid plans a mother becomes pregnant very soon after a previous birth when she didn't want to and sometimes a mother cannot conceive again even though she tries every method available to her. None of these things mean our children haven't (or won't) CLW. Every child is different, every mother is different, and every situation is different.
Too Busy's Avatar Too Busy 11:23 PM 01-15-2005
My fertility returned when my DD was about 3 months old (I cannot remember exactly) and this was despite nursing her CONSTANTLY. She was then and is still nursing a million times a day. I choose not to use hormonal BC because it isn't natural and can interfere with the nursing relationship. My DH cannot use condoms because I get really bad UTIs that have turned into horrible Kidney infections in the past (something else that can effect nursing and is unnatural).

We use charting, but even that can fail. I had a blighted ovum when my DD was about 6 months old. If nature intended natural child spacing to be the time that the first child is nursing, then women like me wouldn't get pregnant. I actually might be pregnant right now (af is three days late!) and am still nursing my DD. I look forward to sharing a tandem nursing relationship someday.

My DD is very attached to "boob boob". And I know that it is much more for comfort than food because she eats a lot of solids. So I don't worry about getting pregnant. And I doubt that will effect our nursing relationship. It just alters it. But that is life... it changes everyday in many ways that we cannot control. Fertility is one of them.

I agree with the PPs who said that if nature did not intend for us to tandem nurse, then we would ALL remain annovulatory until our DCs were fully weaned.
amysuen's Avatar amysuen 10:42 PM 01-16-2005
If you're nursing and haven't had a period, how would you know if you're pregnant?
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