Mothering Forum banner

Trying to conceive in 40s while still BF toddler - should I wean?

923 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  LROM
After some very preliminary research, it seems like all I can gather re: "Common wisdom" is that all women are different and there's no generalizations about whether still nursing at 45 with a 2 1/2 yr old is interefering with my ability to get pg. DH and I have been pregnant 4 times since I was 39, always on the first try. Now it's been months with no luck, and I do realize that my age alone means it's likely a lot less possible (or already impossible), but I still ovulate, got a good AMH reading, regular periods, and I was pg last year (but m/c at 17 months).

I saw a different OB on my last visit cuz regular OB was out of town, and during a fertility conversation when I mentioned I was still nursing she said "Oh, you should stop that immediately." That was the 1st time anyone said that, so I've looked into it a little but it's so hard to see a trend to base my decision on?

So I'm trying to figure out how to figure out if weaning is really something I should do, since clearly my time to conceive is running out, but I just can't find enough info on how likely it is that it's affecting me. Don't wanna wean if it's not gonna change anything!

Totally confused... any thoughts?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Hi LROM, sorry for your loss last year.

I think if your periods are regular and you are ovulating then you shouldn't need to stop nursing. I thought the problem with nursing and prolactin was that you wouldn't ovulate. How have you determined you are ovulating? How often are you nursing?
I'd see if you can get your prolactin level checked. If your LO is 2 1/2, it's probably normal, and nursing isn't interfering at all. The only thing that might alter that would be if you're still doing a lot of night nursing. They do say that rare women can't get pregnant while nursing, but my thought is that you'd also be experiencing issues with ovulation, etc. I've never found anything that specifies that, though, so it's just my guess. I think a lot of OB's don't have up-to-date info on ttc and nursing, though.

I'm 43, and got pg while nursing my then- 23 month old 6 or so times a day, and still night-nursing. I was planning to cut back a lot when DD turned 2, but got my bfp about 5 weeks prior. I do have a theory, though, that at our ahem...maturity's harder for our bodies to recover from pregnancy/baby-rearing/night nursing, etc. I found when I started really focusing on getting enough sleep, eating my optimum diet, and also increasing my fat intake, it happened. I also read The Infertility Cure, and started doing the acu-pressure that she recommends in there about 2 months before I conceived.

I guess, for me, weaning was something that was on the horizon as a possibility, while ttc, but, I always felt like there were other things I could try first. I also felt like, if weaning didn't work, then I'd have a weaned-early (for her) toddler, and no baby, anyways, so it was my last-ditch thing, if that makes sense....But, everyone comes to their own decision with that, and it just has to be right for your family.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you get a nice healthy pregnancy started soon!
See less See more
Have you tried charting? A lot of things can be determined from your chart. Breastfeeding can sometimes shorten the luteal phase. If you chart and your luteal phase is fine, then I would think that any fertility issues you have are not caused by the nursing.

Another thing, if you do wean for the sole purpose of trying to get pregnant, and then can't get pregnant again, how will you feel about the weaning? I'd hate for you to do something you might regret later.
If your toddler is 2 1/2 I doubt that the nursing is the issue. I wouldn't wean just to get pg. I think charting is a good idea.

BTW- I am 37 with infertility issues- my previous children were concieved via IVF. I am currently 13 weeks pg- surprise pg, and my toddler is 20 months and nurses a ton.
Thanks everyone for the great responses!

Buzzer Beater: I've been charting temps and also doing over the counter ovulation tests, and gotten positive tests along with the temp dip when I've been good about charting and testing. Right now we're nursing upon wake up, then usually at pick up from daycare, and maybe a couple of little "sips" until bedtime. She's nightweaned now for about 7 or 8 months.

Sundaya: Can I get a big AMEN on it being harder for our bodies to recover from pregnancy/nursing/sleep deprivation! I felt the worst I've ever felt in any pregnancy in the last one and that was what led to nightweaning. Now I think I'm still not paying as careful attention to sleep (always seems like night is only time to get important things done since I work all day) but I probably do have to give that up even more to give this the best shot I can. So how do I test prolactin, and can I do it or a regular OB do it, or does it have to be an RE?

Dejagrw: I have been charting and it *does* seem like my luteal phase is shorter now than it was pre-pregnancy. I wasn't sure if that was my age, nursing, something else, all the above... Do you know any good websites that simply explain what a "healthy luteal phase" or "normal luteal phase" is? I also notice my period comes every 26 or 27 days now, where it was iron-clad 28-30 for my whole life until pregant with DD. Are those bad signs, anyone know? And yes, I would be a bit sad to wean and then not get pregnant, but more because I just think DD will not react well to weaning and I hate to put her and I through that. But for me personally, I'd be fine with weaning, I feel like we had a great run and it would actually help my relationship with my DH a bit if I did wean. But that's another thread... :)

Kittykorat, congrats on the suprise pregnancy and thanks for the hope! That's great news, and good to know you were nursing the whole time!
See less See more
How long is your luteal phase? I believe it needs to be at least 10 days to sustain a pregnancy. You could try taking some supplements to lengthen your LF. Optivite is a good one. However, I'd also take folic acid with the Optivite in case you do get pregnant. (The Optivite doesn't have enough folic acid).
Thanks, I've never heard of Optivite but I'll check it out. Already taking folic acid so I'll just keep taking it. Thanks!

ETA: Well dip me in honey and stick me in an anthill! I have been calling the wrong phase the luteal phase! Have been reading up a little more - I gotta go home and check my charts but I'm pretty sure my luteal phase is well within the 12-16 day range since it's the days AFTER ovulation. I thought it was the days between my period and ovulation, got it turned around.

So maybe this isn't the issue after all?

I'm gonna check the chart to make sure. Thanks!
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.