Tandem nursing - 94% would do it again? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 11-22-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I was reading Mothering Your Nursing Toddler in which a study is quoted that "only six percent of the mothers who had tandem nursed reported to Newton and Theotokatos that they would not nurse two again should the occasion arise".  I was wondering if those of you who have tandem nursed would agree that this a realistic statistic?  I have read so many posts on MDC from tandem mamas who have battled with what seems to be a pretty common feeling of aversion to nursing their older child, despite their dedication to tandem nursing and often to child-led weaning.  For some posters, they stated that they wished they had weaned during pregnancy because weaning is now much harder than it would have been.  I'm struggling with my decision to wean or not during my current pregnancy and I have a gut feeling that I may be one to experience those feelings of aversion and I feel it would be so much gentler to wean now while I have no milk and my daughter's (26 mo) interest is greatly reduced.  I can only imagine the anguish of weaning her later when I have plenty of milk and she is seeing the new babe nurse so often.

 

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!  TIA


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#2 of 31 Old 11-22-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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I struggled with this when I was pregnant too!  You just can't know how you're going to feel until you get there and I really didn't want to have to wean dd just after the baby was born--it seemed like that would be the worst of all worlds because I'd have to wean her right in the throes of her dealing with the sibling jealousy stuff.  I ended up night weaning her the first time I got pregnant (she was 1.5 years old) because I just couldn't handle the frequent night wakings in my pregnant body.  Then I had a miscarriage and was so glad I hadn't weaned her all the way!  By the time I was pregnant again, she was 3 years old (she turned 4 a month after I had the baby).  I decided to just play it by ear along the way.

 

What ended up working for us was that I ended up seriously limiting her nursing by the end of the pregnancy, but not weaning all the way.  I figured that if she was still dry nursing after several months of no milk, then it must be really important to her and I was willing to give it a shot.  By the end of pregnancy, I would only nurse a couple of times a day and then I cut each session really short (like 10 seconds per breast!).  I was honest with her about why (it hurt to nurse longer) and told her that once the baby came, there would be more milk, but that the baby would have to nurse first since it couldn't eat real food.

 

I was nervous about how it would feel to nurse two, but it actually feels totally fine to me.  There are definitely several times a day when I'm saying no to her, but she (usually) handles it all right.  I've also gone through periods of feeling a bit worried about supply, but it seems to be working out all right (6 week weight check tomorrow--I'm definitely curious).  Anyway, that's our experience, I hope you find something that works for you!

 

eta: and I would do it again (to actually answer your question!).  But that's only because it's working well :)


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#3 of 31 Old 11-22-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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I endured several months of painful dry nursing during my second pregnancy. That was probably the worst part. The upside is I've been able to nurse my 2 year old through his terrible two's tantrums, and soothe his sibling rivalry away by nursing him and his sister together. But there are times when I feel very "touched-out" and I just want them to leave me (and my boobs) alone. In my case it's hard but I feel like it's been worth it. The satisfaction of knowing I'm giving both my babies the nutrition and comfort they need gives me the strength to keep going. One thing I didn't anticipate is the additional fatigue and stress on my body from nursing while pregnant and then trying to recover from pregnancy and birth while nursing two. You have to factor that in. If I could do it over I'd make sure I ate better and took my vitamins, got plenty of exercise outdoors, got more sleep and pushed myself a little less.


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#4 of 31 Old 11-23-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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I am not yet a tandem momma, but should be days (if not hours) away from being one. Was nursing during pregnancy hard? YES! Some days I wanted to run away screaming from my nursing 2 yo. Some days I'd look at her nursing and wonder if I was doing the right thing. Would I intentionally do it again? Probably not. It has been so challenging mentally and physically. BUT, I would not intentionally wean my nursling because I made the mistake of getting pregnant before they were weaned. I'll probably wait longer next time. Perhaps until my child is completely weaned.

 

To me, nursing is SO important during those toddler years. It is like the magic wand that makes everything better when nothing else works. And even on those days that I wanted to quit, I knew that without nursing, I would be up a creek without a paddle. How would I get my DD to nap? How about bed time? What do I do when she is so overwhelmed, and doesn't know how to calm herself. Sure, we'll have to learn those things eventually, but to do it all cold turkey seemed insane, especially when I was already so exhausted with just being pregnant. When she is ready, she will learn those skills without my help. She will reach a point where nursing isn't the answer. But for now, nursing is my go to tool when she just can't cope, and I couldn't be happier to provide that, even when I'm gritting my teeth and wanting to cry.

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#5 of 31 Old 11-23-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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It sounds to me like this might be the time for you to evaluate whether or not you plan to do Child Led Weaning.  I am currently tandem nursing my 4.5yo and my 1.5yo.  I struggled with painful nursing during pregnancy, but felt that DD1 really still needed to nurse.  Since I was planning on doing CLW my focus was on my DD1's need for nursing, not on evaluating when she would be less resistant to weaning.

 

I would definitely tandem nurse again if the opportunity presented itself.


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#6 of 31 Old 11-23-2010, 08:15 AM
 
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I can't speak to the statistic, but with my children spaced closely together, tandem nursing -- while hard at times -- was a real blessing. My first didn't feel displaced by her new brother, and all those difficulties I had with establishing nursing with her weren't an issue when I had an experienced nurser on hand to help me out with engorgement and oversupply. I would do it again.

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#7 of 31 Old 11-26-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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I tandem nursed with my first two (2 years, 8 months apart) and weaned during pregnancy between the 2nd and 3rd (3 years, 4 months apart).  After tandem nursing with the first two, I swore I would never tandem again.  I had horrible nursing aversion, and it was just not a good experience.   However, that said...I probably would tandem nurse again IF I were to get pregnant and have children spaced closer than around 26 months or so.  I do feel strongly about nursing until age 2..  So, I would tandem nurse if that was what it took to keep nursing until at least age 2.  My youngest is already 2 years and 9 months, so if I were to get pregnant again, I would wean during pregnancy.


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#8 of 31 Old 11-26-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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I've tandem nursed 3 times now, it just seemed natural and was easier to keep nursing my toddler through my next pregnancy. 


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#9 of 31 Old 11-26-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I struggled nursing tandem the first  few months post partum, although I don't had any mayor issue through the pregnancy. I end up  found the middle term in limited the nusring session of my first and designated a breast for her, any way both of my kids nursed from boths breast. After a couple months the aversion dismissed notoriously. So far I been tandem nursing until today and my youngest is 2 yo and my oldest is 5yo.

 I don't planned any more kids, so no more tndem,but I don't regret a bit.  My oldest still need to nurse, in special after my DS born.


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#10 of 31 Old 11-27-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post

I can't speak to the statistic, but with my children spaced closely together, tandem nursing -- while hard at times -- was a real blessing. My first didn't feel displaced by her new brother, and all those difficulties I had with establishing nursing with her weren't an issue when I had an experienced nurser on hand to help me out with engorgement and oversupply. I would do it again.


This is why I would tandem nurse again. I don't plan any future children. And for the first time in my life, I don't sense any future children. I may eat those words.....But nursing was so much easier to establish with dd than with either ds. And I think she had a significant tongue tie when she was born that would have really hurt her had she been the only one nursing. It has since loosened up (not totally naturally, she managed to cut it herself with her fingernail at about 5 mo) And my kids are SO close even though they are still quite young. My ds stayed at their gma's tonight and dd missed him alot. :(


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#11 of 31 Old 11-29-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post

I can't speak to the statistic, but with my children spaced closely together, tandem nursing -- while hard at times -- was a real blessing. My first didn't feel displaced by her new brother, and all those difficulties I had with establishing nursing with her weren't an issue when I had an experienced nurser on hand to help me out with engorgement and oversupply. I would do it again.



agreeing - mine were 20 months apart, and since I got pregnant when DD was 12 months old, I was committed to tandem nursing. It wasn't easy to nurse through a pregnancy, but the ability to nurse both was well worth the effort. I'd do it again!


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#12 of 31 Old 11-30-2010, 04:37 AM
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My boys are 24 months (and 4 days!) apart.  I tandem nursed for a year.

 

I planned to tandem nurse.  It was important to me that my oldest nurse for as long as he wanted.  He said he wanted to be done nursing at three, and he stopped the day after his third birthday.  

 

I had some serious aversions to nursing while pregnant and to nursing him after the baby, but I just gritted my teeth and kept on going.  While there were times of significant discomfort, I do not regret my decision to tandem nurse at all!  Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to nurse through a pregnancy and tandem nurse again soon.  Though, for the past three weeks, I have enjoyed nursing just one baby!


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I am currently tandem nursing my 10 week old and my almost 3 year old (3 in 3 weeks). I am planning to wean DC1 on his 3rd birthday. We've been talking about it every day for several weeks now. Honestly, it is really just too much for me. It is often painful, and I definitely have a huge aversion. I am so ready to be done. He also screams to nurse practically every morning at 5 am even though we have weaned him from that feeding for at least 6 weeks now. I know it's going to be a bit rough, but honestly, it is not worth it for me to continue, since I am not getting anything out of it.

 

So, no, I wouldn't do it again intentionally. Of course, I did not do it intentionally this time -- just went with the flow, saw DC1 was really attached to nursing, didn't want to disrupt him. But, I feel it has been much more disruptive that he wants to nurse in the middle of the night (we do not permit it) and gets upset every time I go to the baby when the baby is crying. None of this has been ameliorated with tandem nursing. There is a lot of jealousy. However, the jealousy and behavioral issues are directed at me, not the baby, fortunately. Perhaps tandem nursing is to thank, or maybe he is just sensitive to his brother and would have been anyway.

 

Anyway, I guess I'm your .5 out of 10 who says no.


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#14 of 31 Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

I am currently tandem nursing my 10 week old and my almost 3 year old (3 in 3 weeks). I am planning to wean DC1 on his 3rd birthday. We've been talking about it every day for several weeks now. Honestly, it is really just too much for me. It is often painful, and I definitely have a huge aversion. I am so ready to be done. He also screams to nurse practically every morning at 5 am even though we have weaned him from that feeding for at least 6 weeks now. I know it's going to be a bit rough, but honestly, it is not worth it for me to continue, since I am not getting anything out of it.

 

So, no, I wouldn't do it again intentionally. Of course, I did not do it intentionally this time -- just went with the flow, saw DC1 was really attached to nursing, didn't want to disrupt him. But, I feel it has been much more disruptive that he wants to nurse in the middle of the night (we do not permit it) and gets upset every time I go to the baby when the baby is crying. None of this has been ameliorated with tandem nursing. There is a lot of jealousy. However, the jealousy and behavioral issues are directed at me, not the baby, fortunately. Perhaps tandem nursing is to thank, or maybe he is just sensitive to his brother and would have been anyway.

 

Anyway, I guess I'm your .5 out of 10 who says no.



I'm not trying to be snippy here, but maybe your attitude is why your older child is acting jealously. My children are very close, and I went to extremes to make that happen. I personally do not get anything out of tandem nursing. It is hard on my body and I eat like I'm pregnant. Sometimes, I resent nursing my son who will be 3 in 5-6 weeks. My daughter is 10 months old and I really want to focus more on her needs. But I realize that in a family EVERYONE's needs must be met. I believe that this teaches BOTH my kids that. "Wait your turn." "Don't hog all the na-na, sissy needs it more." "Sissy first, then bubs."

 

My tandem nursers are almost inseparable. He is helping her learn to walk. He wants to hold her. She follows him and always has followed him with her eyes. He is the only one who can make her laugh so incredibly hard. I wouldn't change for the world. My son isn't ready to wean, and perhaps yours isn't either. I try not to "forbid" any nursings for my son. I do try to limit nursing to nap time and night time. So that he is only nursing to sleep. This has worked for us. I am not saying don't do what is right for your family, but maybe think about why you are doing it.

 

I am tandem nursing for 2 reasons: 1. for my children's relationship to be cemented from the very very beginning, and 2. so my son still feels loved and not displaced by the new baby. In my personal experience, I feel that I have accomplished these two things. Neither of my reasons have anything to do with me. I want what is best for my kids. I would be nursing dd regardless, and I plan to nurse her as long as she needs. I am hoping that ds will soon wean, but it doesn't appear to be too near in my future. He nurses approx 2-3 times in any 24 hrs. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Like I said, if I got pregnant now, I would probably nurse all 3. There is someone on here who has done that. I believe her name is "Triandem"?


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#15 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 08:45 AM
 
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I am totally open to feedback/criticism/advice. I think it may certainly be the case that my attitude has something to do with DS2's behavior. I've been looking for insights on this. I have put these limits on my son's nursing so that I can continue to tandem without resentment. As I mentioned, I have very strong aversion feelings and feel ready to wean him, because the nursing relationship is not working for me anymore. Yes, that is me-centered, and not child-centered. Yes, if he were to have his way, he would probably continue to nurse, 3-4 times a day at least, and for at least a year or two more. But, it is one of those situations in that I feel I'm not as good of a mom if I feel resentment towards him around nursing (it is creeping in), and I yearn for ways to connect with him through hugging, back-stroking, holding, and other touching. Right now, he rejects most of those things (well, except for holding!) because he prefers to nurse. My reluctance may be driving a wedge into our symbiotic relationship, but again, I would like our relationship to blossom in other ways. I am up at least every two hours nursing my newborn at night. Then, DS1 wakes up at 5.30 wanting to nurse and it is just too much for my sanity to go back to nursing him (and it's not relaxing nursing that you can do while sleeping at this age).

 

I do find it remarkable that your children are so well-connected. So far (and it's only been 10 weeks!) DS1 is very connected to DS2 as well. He asks to hold him, shows him toys, and shows him off to his friends and family as "my baby." I do believe this relationship will continue. The jealousy has to do with my attention being diverted away from him, like when he wants to play but the baby is crying. That's when I hear, "I don't want you to hold the baby." Are you able to easily convince your DC1 to put off his needs for DC2? For us, he definitely feels the diversion of attention. It doesn't help that all baby does with DH is cry, so I am the only one who can soothe him (and yes, he often cries with him for an hour at a time, but we keep trying).

 

Anyway, Treece, I truly admire that you are able to continue tandem nursing for your children. I know it's not easy!! I'm glad it's working well for your family.
 

One final point for the OP -- keep in mind that the group of women who have already decided to tandem nurse is a very selected sample! You are starting from a group of very open-minded, child-focused women! So, it's not surprising that most would do it again! The statistic of how many women are willing to give tandem nursing a try is probably only 1-5 percent of the general population, sadly!

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I'm not trying to be snippy here, but maybe your attitude is why your older child is acting jealously. My children are very close, and I went to extremes to make that happen. I personally do not get anything out of tandem nursing. It is hard on my body and I eat like I'm pregnant. Sometimes, I resent nursing my son who will be 3 in 5-6 weeks. My daughter is 10 months old and I really want to focus more on her needs. But I realize that in a family EVERYONE's needs must be met. I believe that this teaches BOTH my kids that. "Wait your turn." "Don't hog all the na-na, sissy needs it more." "Sissy first, then bubs."

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#16 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 09:02 AM
 
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I have friends who had a hard time but thought it was worth it.  I didn't.  NO chance I'd do it again.  Well, ok, I might do it again if I was to give birth when my next older baby was under 2... which is what happened the first time... but only because I think it's the "right thing to do".  But man, it was rough. 


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#17 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I have been tandem nursing for 4 months now, and it has gotten a lot easier than the first days.  I think I would do it again.  It has been hard, but I think worth it.  There are benefits to having a nursing toddler with a newborn...no engorgement, he takes care of my overactive letdown, and I dropped a lot of weight!

 

I didn't plan on doing it this way, I just knew he wasn't ready to wean and decided to take one day at a time.  I still am.  Good luck.

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#18 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here - thanks everyone for your thoughtful and honest replies.  It's given me a lot to think about, not that I haven't been thinking about this decision for months now, since before TTC (the books Adventures in Tandem Nursing, Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, and How Weaning Happens have been invaluable resources as well!).  Due to my history of having a 33 weeker preemie due to PPROM and threatened preterm labour, my decision is made slightly more complicated.  Thus far my pregnancy is not high risk, just at risk of becoming so.  I also happen to have very low PAPP-A this pregnancy which only increases my risk.  All that being said, I initially felt comfortable taking a wait-and-see approach paired with a decision to nightwean my DD followed by daytime weaning, leaving only nursing to sleep in place, in case my pregnancy suddenly dictated that I needed to suddenly wean her completely.  Surprisingly, once my milk supply was dramatically reduced, she went along with all the changes without much complaint, and happily sought cuddles and backrubs and other touch in place of the missing nursing sessions.  I think it also helped that I was committed to making the process as gentle as possible for her by allowing us until 20 weeks gestation to make all the changes (which ended up occurring by 15 weeks).

 

I love our nursing relationship and am very sad to see it potentially end (especially after our difficult NICU beginnings), however aside from my potential pregnancy complications possibly dictating my need to wean, I continue to question how natural it is to nurse through a pregnancy when most of us seem to experience signs that should prompt any mammal to wean.  As an example, I believe in the inherent knowledge our bodies have to go into labour and birth naturally; why should I not follow the cues my body is giving me in regards to weaning?  Obviously I know we're all intelligent women capable of making a decision to continue nursing and ignore our physical and/or mental discomfort but I guess I question how natural that is?

 

One PP brought up the point of focusing on my commitment level to CLW but I feel like my answer to that question isn't very straightforward.  If my DD were to be an only child or my lastborn child, I totally believe in CLW (well, perhaps my own definition of CLW since I believe that nursing is a relationship, with mama being the mature adult able to make more accommodations but who is nevertheless also a person who's needs must be respected).  However, I don't know that I have the same commitment to CLW when a subsequent pregnancy occurs, especially given the physical cues to wean (the most obvious of which is my milk completely drying up, not to mention the sore nipples).  I guess I feel like nature may override any intellectual decision I make about CLW, if I allow it to do so.  Does that make any sense?  I also wonder if I ignore these cues to wean now, that perhaps the aversion a lot of women feel once actually tandem nursing is meant to prompt weaning then so you can focus solely on nursing your newborn.

 

The issue would be even more complicated if my first babe were not yet 2yo since my commitment to nursing for a minimum of 2 years is steadfast; we purposefully chose not to TTC until that goal could be met (as an aside, your risk of having a preemie or IUGR or a variety of other pregnancy complications is greatly reduced if you allow a minimum of 18 months between pregnancies, which also greatly influenced our decision of when to TTC).  I think I would ultimately persevere to meet that nursing goal no matter what signals my pregnant body may be telling me.  If only my commitment to CLW despite pregnancy was as steadfast!

 

If you've actually read through my novel of a post (getting it all down in writing sure helps solidify my thought process!), I might as well share that I believe I've made the decision to fully wean.  I'm now 22 weeks along in this pregnancy which has become slightly more complicated by some soft markers and possible kidney issues that the baby may have.  My 26mo DD continues to ask out of habit to nurse before bed but readily accepts a reminder that the milk is all gone, and without even a pause, lays across my chest for backrubs and cuddles to sleep.  I've nursed her only every few days, and now on to once a week for a little while now, and plan to cease altogether by 24 weeks gestation.  My gut feeling is that I will likely experience an aversion to nursing her should I allow her to do so after this baby is born, and I ultimately feel that it's kinder of me to wean her now rather than risk weaning later when her interest will have picked back up significantly due to the return of milk.  I feel like we can find many other ways to stay attached and continue to foster intimacy, once of which is my commitment to long-term co-sleeping (child led 'weaning' from the family bed).  I can only hope my decision is the right one for DD and I... if only I had a crystal ball that could allow me to envision the future to see how tandem nursing would actually pan out for us and the new babe.  In lieu of that, I hope that the thought I've put into this decision will allow me to find peace with it.

 

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and best wishes to all.


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#19 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crystalcm View Post

OP here - thanks everyone for your thoughtful and honest replies.  It's given me a lot to think about, not that I haven't been thinking about this decision for months now, since before TTC (the books Adventures in Tandem Nursing, Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, and How Weaning Happens have been invaluable resources as well!).  Due to my history of having a 33 weeker preemie due to PPROM and threatened preterm labour, my decision is made slightly more complicated.  Thus far my pregnancy is not high risk, just at risk of becoming so.  I also happen to have very low PAPP-A this pregnancy which only increases my risk.  All that being said, I initially felt comfortable taking a wait-and-see approach paired with a decision to nightwean my DD followed by daytime weaning, leaving only nursing to sleep in place, in case my pregnancy suddenly dictated that I needed to suddenly wean her completely.  Surprisingly, once my milk supply was dramatically reduced, she went along with all the changes without much complaint, and happily sought cuddles and backrubs and other touch in place of the missing nursing sessions.  I think it also helped that I was committed to making the process as gentle as possible for her by allowing us until 20 weeks gestation to make all the changes (which ended up occurring by 15 weeks).

 

I love our nursing relationship and am very sad to see it potentially end (especially after our difficult NICU beginnings), however aside from my potential pregnancy complications possibly dictating my need to wean, I continue to question how natural it is to nurse through a pregnancy when most of us seem to experience signs that should prompt any mammal to wean.  As an example, I believe in the inherent knowledge our bodies have to go into labour and birth naturally; why should I not follow the cues my body is giving me in regards to weaning?  Obviously I know we're all intelligent women capable of making a decision to continue nursing and ignore our physical and/or mental discomfort but I guess I question how natural that is?

 

One PP brought up the point of focusing on my commitment level to CLW but I feel like my answer to that question isn't very straightforward.  If my DD were to be an only child or my lastborn child, I totally believe in CLW (well, perhaps my own definition of CLW since I believe that nursing is a relationship, with mama being the mature adult able to make more accommodations but who is nevertheless also a person who's needs must be respected).  However, I don't know that I have the same commitment to CLW when a subsequent pregnancy occurs, especially given the physical cues to wean (the most obvious of which is my milk completely drying up, not to mention the sore nipples).  I guess I feel like nature may override any intellectual decision I make about CLW, if I allow it to do so.  Does that make any sense?  I also wonder if I ignore these cues to wean now, that perhaps the aversion a lot of women feel once actually tandem nursing is meant to prompt weaning then so you can focus solely on nursing your newborn.

 

The issue would be even more complicated if my first babe were not yet 2yo since my commitment to nursing for a minimum of 2 years is steadfast; we purposefully chose not to TTC until that goal could be met (as an aside, your risk of having a preemie or IUGR or a variety of other pregnancy complications is greatly reduced if you allow a minimum of 18 months between pregnancies, which also greatly influenced our decision of when to TTC).  I think I would ultimately persevere to meet that nursing goal no matter what signals my pregnant body may be telling me.  If only my commitment to CLW despite pregnancy was as steadfast!

 

If you've actually read through my novel of a post (getting it all down in writing sure helps solidify my thought process!), I might as well share that I believe I've made the decision to fully wean.  I'm now 22 weeks along in this pregnancy which has become slightly more complicated by some soft markers and possible kidney issues that the baby may have.  My 26mo DD continues to ask out of habit to nurse before bed but readily accepts a reminder that the milk is all gone, and without even a pause, lays across my chest for backrubs and cuddles to sleep.  I've nursed her only every few days, and now on to once a week for a little while now, and plan to cease altogether by 24 weeks gestation.  My gut feeling is that I will likely experience an aversion to nursing her should I allow her to do so after this baby is born, and I ultimately feel that it's kinder of me to wean her now rather than risk weaning later when her interest will have picked back up significantly due to the return of milk.  I feel like we can find many other ways to stay attached and continue to foster intimacy, once of which is my commitment to long-term co-sleeping (child led 'weaning' from the family bed).  I can only hope my decision is the right one for DD and I... if only I had a crystal ball that could allow me to envision the future to see how tandem nursing would actually pan out for us and the new babe.  In lieu of that, I hope that the thought I've put into this decision will allow me to find peace with it.

 

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and best wishes to all.



it sounds like you've made what will be a good decision for you. my decision has been to try to tandem, because DD will only be 22 months when her brother is born, and I've always been committed to nursing to at least 2. and my milk hasn't dried up, just slowly switched to colostrum, though I have limited nursing because of nipple pain, I haven't felt like I needed to completely wean. so maybe not all moms have the same level of biological urge to wean while pregnant?


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#20 of 31 Old 12-01-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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It sounds like you've made the right decision for your family, which is the best thing any of us can do!

 

I would caution, though, against concluding that "so many women feel aversion" when tandeming based solely on these forums. Keep in mind that the nature of forums is for people to post only when they're having issues, not so much when they're having none. It's a rare person that would think to post, "I'm tandeming and it's going great!" unless the question was specifically asked. Certainly the great majority doesn't do so.

 

I tandemed my first two kids and while I felt aversion if I tried nursing them both together, it was fine as long as I nursed them one at a time. This was true up until the very end when my second began weaning herself and the oldest was still going strong. At that point I started to feel a strong aversion to the older one's nursing and ended up weaning him within days of when my second stopped.

 

To answer your question: Although I don't plan on having any more kids, my 3 yr-old is still nursing and if I were to get pregnant before he weans I would definitely tandem again.


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#21 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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Porcelina,

 

I wanted to answer your question. Sometimes dc1 willingly waits his turn. Sometimes he doesn't. If he doesn't I really try distraction and daddy. It's hard for me to tell him no because we have been trying weaning off and on for about a year. Since this post, he has gone from 2/night to 1/night. And approximately 1/day. My dc2 (dd) nurses only slightly more than him, but she is more interested in food than he was at 10 months.

 

I also agree that a happy mom is a good mom. My son seems to know this intuitively. If I get upset, he comes up and whispers "don't yell" or shhes me. It's great. I calm down. Anyway, I digress.

 

I should add that it was REALLY hard in the beginning. My dd was hospitalized for RSV and my son went 8 days w/o. (Both kids had it...) The first few days I was so engorged. With dd not feeling well, she wasn't nursing as often, and with a new baby, ds was marathon nursing, so I was engorged. Break out the hospital pump......  When we returned home, ds needed me so bad. I just set him on one side and her on the other, layed his legs on my lap and hers on his. Nursed away. When one fell asleep, dad picked that child up. I laid the other down. Now, ds sits beside me and dd lays sorta on both our laps. When she's older, she'll sit beside me.

 

I started out planning to nurse ds to 18 months. I got pregnant and we moved at about that time, so I decided not to stress him too much more. The baby was born and a few months later potty training. I figured 30 mo. Didn't happen. I HOPE for 3 yrs. We talk about when he will stop the nanas. I think he might think that if he stops, he won't speed as much time with me. So, I try to spend alot of other time with him. He co-sleeps with me and dd (one on each side). We have our own games and songs. So, I really hope he does wean soon. Any thoughts? I'm not sure if I would tandem again. But I don't regret it with this child. He has really needed that time with me. I do feel like I am shorting my dd but I think I would feel that way no matter the nursing relationship.

 

It's just how our family works for now. Most days I love it. Some days not so much.

 

Oh, and one more thing, my dd cries with my dh too. If she needs mommy she gets me. My ds can understand that. So, if dd needs my undivided attention, ds goes to daddy if he needs attention. Or, sometimes ds tries to help with dd.

 

Our first few months were hard because of the hospitalization and other people telling me I needed to stop and threatening me with CPS and other issues that were going on. The only thing I found comfort in was knowing that my kids were connected to me and each other. There have been tears shed by all 3 of us but I think more would have been shed if ds had been weaned too early.

 

PS I hope I didn't ramble too much. lol
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by porcelina View Post


I do find it remarkable that your children are so well-connected. So far (and it's only been 10 weeks!) DS1 is very connected to DS2 as well. He asks to hold him, shows him toys, and shows him off to his friends and family as "my baby." I do believe this relationship will continue. The jealousy has to do with my attention being diverted away from him, like when he wants to play but the baby is crying. That's when I hear, "I don't want you to hold the baby." Are you able to easily convince your DC1 to put off his needs for DC2? For us, he definitely feels the diversion of attention. It doesn't help that all baby does with DH is cry, so I am the only one who can soothe him (and yes, he often cries with him for an hour at a time, but we keep trying).

 

Anyway, Treece, I truly admire that you are able to continue tandem nursing for your children. I know it's not easy!! I'm glad it's working well for your family.
 


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#22 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I tandem nursed my children for 19 months.  If confronted with the same situation again (a frequent nursling and a pregnancy) I would definately tandem nurse again.  I would, first, though attempt to avoid that situation in the first place.  I just didn't feel it was *fair* for me to remove something that DD still so clearly needed because DP  & I had made a choice that made it difficult. My only regret I deal with regarding my nursing while pg/tandem nursing is that I was not *more* accepting of DD's needs.


 

 

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#23 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 04:56 AM
 
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When I was pregnant with my second I figured I would just take it one day at a time.  Sometimes it was a little trying, when I was exhausted and he was having difficulty latching right (he had some oral issues), but there was nothing about the situation screaming at me to stop.  As far as I could tell, he still needed to nurse (needed, not wanted).  DD was born when DS was 2 years, 9 months.  She had some serious complications and was in the NICU.  I could not nurse her and had to pump.  I was VERY grateful at that point because DS helped bring my milk in and also took over the middle of the night pumping session so I didn't have to get out of bed.  He nursed about 4 times a day (and was *thrilled* there was milk...he thought christmas came early I think LOL) and I pumped 4-5 times a day.  My milk supply was so great that I got 30+ ounces in those 4-5 sessions.

 

When DD came home from the NICU 2 months later, I was still pumping because she couldn't nurse and was tube-fed.  I was already struggling with supply and DS was no longer nursing efficiently enough to keep it up (popping off after just a minute).  I started the process of weaning him.  He nursed just one time a day for the next 7 or 8 months when I weaned him completely.  It was not much of an issue at all.  He definitely would have nursed longer, and sometimes I felt sad about weaning him, but I'm glad I was able to give him the time that I did.

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#24 of 31 Old 12-13-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I tandem nursed my kids from DD1 19 months old and DD2 newborn until DD1 was 33 months old and DD2 was 14 months old (although the last 3 months DD2 only nursed a total of about 5 times).  And not only would I do it again, I wish I had continued longer.  Their relationship was much better when they were both nursing.


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#25 of 31 Old 12-13-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I don't exactly enjoy tandem nursing where both kids are nursing at the same time but I would do it again because it provided a safe place and moment to connect with each child as my older DD was not ready to wean when my younger DD arrived. When I have had to nurse both simultaneously (and grit my teeth at the same time), the girls actually enjoy being with each other and holding hands so it's a bonding thing between them and everyone is calm all at once and no one can get into trouble or make a mess at that moment as they are attached to me.


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#26 of 31 Old 12-13-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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My last two were 25 months apart and I tandem nursed for a year.  I would have gone longer if I hadn't gotten sick and been hospitalized.  Anyhow, Yes, I would absolutely do it again.  Sure, it sucked at times - and I wondered why I was doing it.  But the time of infants and toddlers goes so fast - looking back, it really does and it's worth all we endure.  Including tandem nursing when the older child is not ready to wean when the younger one is born.  I agree that it helps to keep the older child happy and occupied.  It's like an instant way to soothe - and when you have more than one little one and feel torn, it's helpful to have something that almost always works.  So, yeah, I'd do it again... even the constant night time tandem nursing.  Both of my boys were nursing every two hours or less at night for that whole year.  Maybe I would have night weaned the older one ahead of time if I felt he was ready - but we co-slept so I'm not sure how possible that would have been.


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#27 of 31 Old 12-16-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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I have tandemed twice before and am hoping to be a tandem nursing mama again come next June/July:)  So yes, I would absolutely do it again and find it preferable to not tandeming.  My 1st dc weaned during 2nd dc's pregnancy and one regret that I will always have is that I encouraged the weaning.  I have loved seeing the bond that it fosters between siblings, and the older child is never left feeling like the baby came and took away mom's attention.  The older child is still recieving the immulogical (sp?) benefits of bm and it makes for a healthier toddler and baby.  It isn't always easy and great, I think that most tandem mama's have the touched out feeling sometimes, but overall it has been a wonderful thing for our family.

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#28 of 31 Old 12-21-2010, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for the continued feedback on your experiences with tandem nursing.  I thought I had made the decision to fully wean by 24 weeks and did in fact go a week and a half, maybe two weeks without nursing DD, but now at 25 weeks pregnant we're back to nursing due to my prompting/offering.  DD seemed to have accepted that milk was all gone and wasn't asking for it more than once a day before bed, likely out of habit due to our long time routine, but her behaviour had changed throughout the day and I was feeling a loss of connection.  So, on a gut instinct kind of whim, I asked her if she'd like some mama milk the other night and have made the decision to allow her to nurse when she needs it (although I'm still trying to keep her night weaned).  We're averaging 2-3 times a day now, often only lasting a couple of minutes due to her choice, but I feel like even those few minutes really makes a difference to her so I'm committed to continued nursing during this pregnancy unless I end up developing complications that contraindicate it.  So, after all these weeks of stressing over the decision to tandem or not, I feel that ultimately the decision has been made in response to my DD's needs, and not my intellectual pondering, and that just feels right.  I only hope that my dreaded fear of feelings of aversion don't occur too strongly after baby arrives!

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#29 of 31 Old 12-22-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalcm View Post  I only hope that my dreaded fear of feelings of aversion don't occur too strongly after baby arrives!

 

I just wanted to add, that I was so scared of having aversions while I was pregnant.  The descriptions I heard were awful!  But when I did experience it, it was, for me, more like extra crankiness.  Don't worry too much about it. 

 

I think you are doing a great job following your instincts... It is the best any of us can do!

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#30 of 31 Old 12-23-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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This is sort of off topic, but not really.

 

I am 5 weeks pregnant. 36 days ago I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant. ( http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/201270 )  I wasn't aware I was pregnant right away last month. My milk supply began to decrease, I realized my period was late and tested. To help my milk supply I drank a few cups of Mother's Milk tea. Got a very faint positive pregnancy test result. Then a week later had a miscarriage.

 

I am wondering if the Mother's Milk tea or the fish oil I was taking could have caused the miscarriage... This pregnancy my milk supply seems to be decreasing again but I am not drinking any tea or taking anything other than my prenatal now. I don't want to cause a miscarriage. Are my worries silly? This whole trying to keep nursing my 18mo old and maintaining pregnancy is new and unfamiliar to me. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated!

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