By way of reassurance: My BeanBean nursed throughout my second pregnancy. He was miserable when the milk dried up and he was forced to eat other foods, which he did not [physically] tolerate well. It sucked, but when the milk came back in, he was happy as a clam. I assumed that both children would nurse through my third pregnancy, but it didn't work that way. About 14 weeks in, BeanBean informed me in a solemn and serious voice that there was no milk in my nursies. He still wanted to nurse, but there was nothing there. We talked about it, I explained that the milk would be back after the new baby came, and he could nurse then.
BooBah slowed down her nursing substantially. I thought that it had to do with my milk production and I was upset and disappointed; I continued to offer her the nursies frequently, but she just seemed to lose interest. The last week she nursed twice, both times at my request, both times for less than a minute before popping off. I started calling her, "BooBah! Nursies!" and she'd come running and then just stand there looking around with a funny experession, like she'd forgotten what she was there for.
For a while, she would ask for the nursie and just rest her cheek against it and put her thumb in her mouth (that was *hilarious*
). I thought that it was because I wasn't making enough milk for her, that she'd weaned becuase of the pregnancy, and like i said it was upsetting... until the following week, when she started to have problems with diarrhea. As it happened, BooBah had developed lactose intolerance-- the primary physiological cause of weaning in the animal kingdom and in people around the world. She didn't stop nursing because I was pregnant; she stopped nursing because her body didn't need my milk anymore.
BooBah self-weaned at 15 months because her body was ready. When Bella was born, BeanBean was excited to nurse again-- he saw my boob all huge with milk and his eyes got like dinner plates-- "Ooh! Can I have a nursie?!"
BooBah walked up to me, laughing, and asked, "Can I bite it?"
: She got mad points for honesty and a resounding "Hell no!" which was met with more laughter-- she still had no desire to nurse. BeanBean wasn't ready to wean-- he still nurses. Bella is more like her brother-- her body isn't ready to digest food entirely, and her immune system is not quite finished-- I'm confident that she'll nurse through this pregnancy. Every baby is unique, though. Look at a few other things:
Does your baby show any signs of lactose intolerance? Does your baby digest the solid food they are given? (Or can a perfect stranger tell what you had for dinner by looking at the kid's diaper?) Does the baby nurse for nutrition, or primarily for comfort? Even before I got pregnant, BooBah was down to nursing first thing in the morning (out of my laziness), last thing at night (comfort/bedtime routine) and for severe booboos. BeanBean was still nursing at random, because he felt like it.
During my second pregnancy, BeanBean was still nursing as his primary source of nutrition; i'd say that up to 80% of his calories were coming from breastmilk at that time. That wasn't the case for BooBah.