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Encouraging toddler breastfeeding during pregnancy

462 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  stafl
We are trying for #2 now and I want to keep dd, 20 months, encouraged to breastfeed for as long as possible. She still depends on my milk for about 80% of her nutrition and comfort nurses all the time (or so it seems
), so I don't know how much of a problem I will even have. Still, I worry that she will wean when I become pregnant.

Are there any things that I can do to encourage her to keep nursing if I notice a decrease after I conceive our next baby? I know this may not even become an issue for us, but I like to have all my information on hand and my strategies planned out before I get to the point where I need them, so any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated.

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Hi Carrie

Congratulations on TTC no 2.

I could have been you 2 years ago. I conceived ds when dd was 22 months old and a big time nurser (the longest she had ever gone without nursing was 7 hours and that was a huge one time exception). She also got most of her nutrition from me. She's 3 1/2 now and down to 2-3 times per day now and I'm feeling the need to encourage child led weaning with her soon. Ds is one now so I've been doing the tandem thing for a year.

My best piece of advice would be to join your local La Leche League group if you haven't already. You'll probably get to see pregnant mums nursing and maybe even mums who are nursing two. Also, I would suggest reading 'Mothering your nursing toddler' and 'Adventures in Tandem Nursing'. Both might be available from the local group's library or I'm sure you could find them on the internet. The LLL leader should also be able to give you some pamphlets/flyers and answer your questions.

I had a naturopath tell me I shoudln't be nursing while pregnant (and she specialised in pregnant women) and if I hadn't been to LLL and seen my friends nursing through pregnancy I would have beleived her.

Nursing through pregnancy was very hard for me. I wouldn't do it again (well, don't plan to anyway). It got very painful sometimes. I found tandem nursing hard at the beginning too. I only nursed them together a couple times - I just hated it. DD wanted to nurse lots and lots after dd was born. I ended up with them each having their own side - worked just fine (think twins). Only had a problem when dd started cutting back and by that stage ds was old enough that whoever nursed just got whichever side felt fuller.

If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would have waited another 6 months to a year to conceive ds. It just took so much out of me having them both need me so much (including pregnancy). I might have had an easier time emotionally and physically. But, we don't get do-overs and I love my babes and I'm so happy to now have a 1 year old and a 3 1/2 year old.

Carrie - I just read your original post and realised you are worried about her decreasing nursing. I'm tired and ready for bed and I hope I have helped you but maybe I ignored your question??

Best wishes for TTC

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Actually, you did help me a lot. Thanks.

I am a member of LLL, have been for about a year now. No plans of quitting, either.
I am in charge of the Library, too, so I will go get the books out that you mentioned. I know we have one of those, for sure. I had planned on asking them at the next meeting, too.

TTC #2 now is pretty much or only time unless I want to wait about 2 years. Dh is up for some very intense schooling that lasts 18 months next fall and will not be able to help me much. So we decided now was best.....

DD is very needy, right now, and I worry about having children this close. But then I wonder how much 6 months would change that and if she will have outgrown a lot of the neediness in a year anyway. I also wonder if nursing would be a big help to meet her need for closeness and relieve her insecurities after the next baby would arrive. I guess there are pros and cons either way you look at it.

Another question I thought of for anyone who knows-- if my milk supply diminishes during pregnancy, is there anthing I can take to boost it?
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I didn't do anything to encourage or discourage nursing through my pregnancy.
Yes, my milk supply dropped to where I couldn't express even the tiniest of drops, but that didn't stop DD1 from nursing every day. The first time she ever went longer than 30 hours without nursing was the night her baby sister was born.

My attitude was to just let things happen as they would and not worry too much about it either way. I figured that if DD needed to nurse, she would regardless of whether she was getting any milk or not, and if she were still needing milk that either it would be there or I wouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place. And after two and a half years of nursing, I figured if she weaned herself during my pregnancy, it would be the right time for it anyway.
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