Tandem nursing and now pregnant! I need help mamas!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas! I will try and keep this from becoming a novel.

 

I am currently tandem nursing my 3.5 and almost 2.5 year old girls. They always nurse together during the day. I sleep between them at night and turn over to whoever is asking for milk. They each have a side. ;)  They nurse 3-6 times during the day and 1-4 times (each!) at night. They have never really been on a nursing schedule other then nap and bedtimes.

 

To be completely honest, our nursing relationship has not been very healthy for the past year maybe. Both of the girls like to nuzzle/ cuddle/caress the boobies while they are nursing and this drives me up the wall! Even a gentle touch can be like nails on a chalkboard. :( I wish it didn't feel like that, but I can't change the fact that it does.

 

Usually sessions begin with me unlatching both of them several times to get them to stop petting me. If it's a naptime or bedtime nurse the petting usually stops and they fall asleep. DH takes one off of me and to bed and I then get up and put the other one down. If it's just a random nurse it usually ends with me saying "That's it, I'm done!" and jumping up and away from them because I.cannot.take.another.second!!! I HATE this! This is not how I want our nursing relationship to end.

 

I have experimented with weaning a little and it has mostly been a disaster. Older DD shows some interest in having a weaning party and doing something special with mommy to celebrate our accomplishment, but then she refuses to cut back. Whining and throwing a fit and even crying crocodile tears when I deny her. :( My little one is more easily distracted, but still becomes very upset when I say no to a nurse.

 

To complicate matters more we have recently been surprised with a new little one on the way. :love: We are thrilled, but I was hoping to have the nursing/sleeping situation resolved before we conceived again. Now my nipples are so, so sore and I am almost positive that I don't have it in me to nurse all three kiddos. I just don't want to. :( And how am I supposed to handle things at night?? I want the girls to stay in their bed and I want to night nurse the baby. I have no clue how to make it happen.

 

What should I do mammas? I don't even know where to begin. I can see no solution that will end peacefully for my girls and that just breaks my heart.

 

Why couldn't they have just self weaned at 3/2 like I hear happening to everyone? Not my kids! :no:

 

Thanks for anything you have to offer me.


mama to three amazing girls (05.07, 09.08 and 2.11) expecting #4 in July
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#2 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No one??

 

OK, I know weaning advice isn't usually given here, and I usually don't suggest weaning to those who ask me for BF advice, but I really need some support, or even just a hug.

 

Maybe it's the 2 years and 2 months of tandem nursing, or maybe it's just wanting to have that feeling of nursing just one milk drunk newborn again, but I just feel like I need to begin the process of gradually weaning my girls. I can't see how I could wean older dd and not my 26 month old. She would be so hurt! I don't even know where to start.


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#3 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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Hugs mama.  I don't really have any advice since I am only nursing my 2.5 year old and my new baby.... I can see that when we decide to have #3, this could be a problem for us too.  Sounds like putting rules in place isn't working.  DD1 did pretty well with that, so sorry no other advice.... just hugs.


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#4 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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I am tandem nursing and pregnant, too. I couldn't even read your whole post because it hit too close to home - ds2 picks at my arm, dd picks at the mole under my right breast <shudder>. I've cut ds (2 years old) down to two nurses a day unless special circumstances arise (injury, teething). He doesn't like it, but I also don't like feeling as though I'm about to jump out of my skin. Dd is only just 1 and she would nurse all.the.time if I let her. I usually lose my milk around 10 weeks so I'm thinking she'll taper down soon. I'm hoping ds2 will be ok to wean in another few months. I am *not* planning on nursing 3! (famous last words) I'll continue nursing dd as long as she wants. I've mentally committed to nursing them until they are 2 but if she really wants to stop sooner (since there won't be any milk for 6+months), I'll let her. My boobs are just no fun anymore. 

 

So, I don't have any advice. Well, I do. It would be "wean everyone!" because a huge part of me wants to do that. But I won't. Because...well, I'm not 100% sure but it involves lots of screaming.


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#5 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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no advice, just hugs. sounds like it's a tough situation, because they're so used to nursing together that weaning one or one at a time would be next to impossible. 


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#6 of 12 Old 11-14-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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OK, I have not been there done that so that this advice with a grain of salt.  First, I nightweaned my daughter a few months ago when she was around 21 months and was it fun?  No, not at all but we both survived and so did our nursing relationship because of it.  She now nurses about 3-4 times a day, we are both sleeping better and I am enjoying the times that she does nurse again.  I also DO think that you can wean one child without weaning them both (if that is what you choose).  Life isn't always fair and your older child is old enough to understand that younder children still need mama milk sometimes and that when s/he is 3 they won't have mama milk either.  Does that make sense?  I know it may make it harder in some respects but if you want to wean your older child but not the younger one at this point I really think it could be done.  having said that if you are going to do through it with one you might just want to get it over with :).  I know I sound harsh but I have been where you are just in th easpect of wanting her OFF OF ME NOW - I can't imagine it times 2 and pregnant! - and to say it's no fun is an understatement.  It made me feel like a horrible mother, I dreaded ever nursing and especially sleep times.  Good luck whatever you decide.

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#7 of 12 Old 11-14-2010, 03:35 AM
 
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I weaned during pregnancy the first time and I weaned my second in anticipation of pregnancy because the two were utterly incompatible to me.  To this day I'm amazed that people cannurse during pregnancy because it just felt SO wrong to me.  Not like morally wrong obviously.  Just a real biological under my skin kind of wrong that I wasn't anticipating at all! 

 

So I'll just offer my perspective which is that as an adult you know how life evolves.. how people and relationships develop.  You know what you need to stay sane and you know the difference between wants and needs in children.  You'd be surprised at how quickly children adjust to how things need to be.  Especially when meeting THAT need means a happy mommy. 

 

Pretty obviously I do not believe in child-led weaning (I'm more of a 'mommy knows best' kind of person when it comes to nursing).  But I just wanted to offer my perspective to see if it helps you if you do decide to wean.  I'm sure you'll find some solution that works for your family!


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#8 of 12 Old 11-14-2010, 04:25 AM
 
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Gosh big hugs mama!


Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post


I weaned during pregnancy the first time and I weaned my second in anticipation of pregnancy because the two were utterly incompatible to me.  To this day I'm amazed that people cannurse during pregnancy because it just felt SO wrong to me.  Not like morally wrong obviously.  Just a real biological under my skin kind of wrong that I wasn't anticipating at all! 



 



So I'll just offer my perspective which is that as an adult you know how life evolves.. how people and relationships develop.  You know what you need to stay sane and you know the difference between wants and needs in children.  You'd be surprised at how quickly children adjust to how things need to be.  Especially when meeting THAT need means a happy mommy. 



 



Pretty obviously I do not believe in child-led weaning (I'm more of a 'mommy knows best' kind of person when it comes to nursing).  But I just wanted to offer my perspective to see if it helps you if you do decide to wean.  I'm sure you'll find some solution that works for your family!





You know, I really AM a supporter of child-led weaning but I wanted to quote the above because I also think she's right - you know what you need in order to stay sane.

Kudos to you for tandem feeding for so long. I never thought I would get through those first few months (at least without throwing my three year old across the room or myself off a cliff) and I'm pretty proud I've made it to 17 months. It sounds like your younger DD is quite a bit older than your eldest was last time you were feeding through pregnancy? DD had just turned two and was a dedicated twiddler. It seemed to be such an important part of nursing to her so I was pretty surprised at how easily she took the boundary I set early in pregnancy about that. By the time DS was born twiddling was a long distant memory. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you may be surprised how well they both accept some pretty solid restrictions around nursing.
My advice would be not to worry about nights yet. Pregnancy is a long time in the life of a small child and a lot can change in at time. I would work on the days first by setting boundaries about twiddling and discussing with them the possibility of cutting down to nursing at specific times. After all, they're old enough to talk about it smile.gif

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#9 of 12 Old 11-14-2010, 07:29 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

 

So I'll just offer my perspective which is that as an adult you know how life evolves.. how people and relationships develop.  You know what you need to stay sane and you know the difference between wants and needs in children.  You'd be surprised at how quickly children adjust to how things need to be.  Especially when meeting THAT need means a happy mommy. 

 

Pretty obviously I do not believe in child-led weaning (I'm more of a 'mommy knows best' kind of person when it comes to nursing).  But I just wanted to offer my perspective to see if it helps you if you do decide to wean.  I'm sure you'll find some solution that works for your family!


yeahthat.gif

 

I know the skin crawling feeling, momma!  I am not even pregnant, but I have 2 1/2 year-old twins and I cannot stand it sometimes.  I pull my nipple out many times and just deal with the tantrum because I can't take it.  With two, it feels like it is so hard to wean them at once.  Overwhelming. 

 

OP could you start working on weaning your older daughter first (if that's what you want to do)?  It might feel more manageable to just be nursing one.  Do they always nurse them at the same time, or one at a time?  I stopped nursing them at the same time a couple months ago because I did not like that feeling.  That might help.

 

I know how wonderful and frustrating tandem nursing can be.  I triandem nursed my twins and older DD for 14 months (until just after her third bday), and it was the hardest and best time of my nursing career. 

 

You will figure out something that works for you.  Good luck!

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#10 of 12 Old 11-18-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I would just say that wow, that sounds like it would get exhausting when newborn gets thrown into the mix. It sounds like you would like to stop nursing them. So, make a plan to make that happen. Start now so that you can reach your target before newborn gets here!

 

I am tandeming with DS2 (8 weeks) and DS1 (almost 3), and even that has been exhausting! I night weaned except for one feeding, 4-5 am with DS1. However, he still wakes up frequently if I am not laying next to him. He then screams for me and follows me around as I attend to baby. If I could do it again, I would have tried harder to get DS2 used to sleeping with dad/be comforted by dad. Why didn't I do it before? He didn't seem ready. Well, now I need him to be ready, and it is a matter of my sanity! So, even if it is heartbreaking, if it is what you want (weaning), you will get through it. Another option might be to just slowly decrease to what seems more manageable to you, like just one nursing session a day at night, or what have you. If you are like me, part of it is probably just not knowing how you'd get them to sleep for naps/nighttime without nursing. Well, you will figure it out!

 

Unfortunately, I don't have advice on doing it gently, because every single change to our nursing relationship with DS1 has led to behavioral issues and screaming/crying. The nightweaning finally went okay at 25 months, after having failed during 5 attempts between 14 months and then (by failing, I mean him staying awake 2-3 hours at each waking with no nursing, only sleeping for one-hour stretches, 4 nights in a row, and me giving up).

 

In short, though, if it sounds exhausting just thinking about it, it will be even more so when baby is there! Even though you remember it is hard with newborns, going through it again is like learning all over again how exhausted you can be! So, if you want to make changes, go for it!

 

Hugs for dealing with this!! I know I am really ready for DS1 to stop, and am working on making that happen.


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#11 of 12 Old 11-18-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I tandem nursed through my second pregnancy and for only three months after the new baby came because my older son was refusing to let go when I was DONE and I couldn't take it.  Fortunately my first son had nightweaned himself at about 21 weeks around when I got pregnant and he was just one little one who nursed less frequently throughout the PG.  Still it wasn't easy.

   I would say if it sounds right for you and your girls, that night weaning them both might be very helpful and absolutly allowing no twiddling so you don't go insane.  Beyond that, only you know if it is time to wean one or both, just make sure you are fully committed to the decision so that you don't feel too much regret if you do wean.  ((hugs))) 

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#12 of 12 Old 11-19-2010, 06:51 AM
 
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I think the real point of what everyone has said is that you need to do what is right for you and your little ones. Being "mommy" doesn't always mean being a martyr. Keep in mind that nursing doesn't have to be all or nothing. I am still nursing DD and due any day now. Many times I have wanted to throw DD across the room and run screaming from my house. Sometimes, its just the way the body responds. So, early on, I taught DD that mommy couldn't always handle long nursings. Sometimes, mommy couldn't handle nursing at all. And sometimes, mommy just needs a few minutes to get in the right frame of mind so I could nurse for just a minute or two.

 

I would start by talking to your daughters about how you feel. They are definitely of an age where they can understand that mommy can't always do everything, and sometimes, mommy needs a break. From there I would start limiting some nursings, either saying they can only nurse for a minute (5 minutes, whatever your personal limit is) or saying that you need a minute, etc. Weaning slowly/gradually will allow you to stop when you're ready. That means you may eliminate night nursings, or certain day time nursings, but you can stop eliminating when you feel good about nursing again. If the only way to feel better about nursing is to wean completely, you've done it gradually, and know you gave yourself a chance to stop when it felt right for you and your girls. It isn't necessary to limit both girls the same amount. Perhaps the only limit you need is not nursing together? Setting limits now teaches your daughters about respecting your body and respecting their own bodies (an important lesson for every child to learn). 

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