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Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
I would like to be pregnant again soon, and my son is one year
old. My OB has told me that I will have to stop nursing him in
the first trimester to avoid pre-term labor (my son was almost
4 weeks early.) I would like to nurse him for at least another
year, but don't want to wait that long before becoming pregnant
again. Has anyone else heard that nursing could cause pre-term
Want to nurse and be pregnant, too!
I nursed my son until he was 15 mo old. At that time, I was 5 mo
pregnant. I had planned on nursing all the way through the
pregnancy (with my midwife's blessing by the way) but he
self-weaned due, I think, to the change in taste of my milk.
Apparently that happens a lot. He went cold turkey and kept
pushing my breast away - sure made weaning much easier than I
Frankly, I was glad that my son weaned before my new baby arrived
just in terms of jealousy issues (claiming the breasts as his),
etc. As it turned out, it was long enough for him to forget
about nursing before the new baby started.
But that doesn't answer your question about inducing labor.
Well, I know that nipple stimulation can lead to labor at the
very end of your pregnancy, so it seems that nursing could do it
as well. However, many people nurse all the way through their
pregnancies so it must not be that bad for you!
Congrats on your pregnancy!
I researched this while continuing to nurse during my second
pregnancy. I forget the source, but I read that breastfeeding can
hinder successful implantation, but once implanted, it does not
affect the pregnancy. However, it does cause contractions, as
does sex, which could cause preterm labor. The author said as
long as your Dr. permits you to have sex, breastfeeding is also
permitted. If your Dr. says no sex after the 1st trimester
(whichwould be highly unusual) then breastfeeding is also out.
You may want to read ''Adventures in Tandem Nursing'' which
addresses this topic.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP NURSING. I did so much research on this
after becoming accidentally pregnant at six months postpartum.
The La Leche League has really accurate and up-to-date
information on this topic, and there are tons of women who nurse
all through pregnancy and then tandem nurse.
Your doctor's view is extremely outdated and unfounded, it turns
out, but I will not say that this is a breezy endeavor. You can
simply find out what all of your factors of concern are, and then
make your choices in an educated fashion. My personal factors
were that my nipples were painful during my pregnancy, that it is
possible but unlikely that your milk will completely dry up after
the halfway point of your pregnancy, that my daughter was due
when my son would be at a peak of natural separation anxiety, and
that tandem nursing is certainly a big commitment.
The nipple pain, I meditated on, and decided I could handle it
better than I could handle weaning my baby just yet. To address
the threat of milk disappearing, I got my son used to bottles so
that there would be no shocking cold turkey switch if it
happened. I did decide that I was willing to tandem nurse, but
in the end chose to wean him when I was six months pregnant,
because I knew I wanted him either to not remember nursing at
all, or to have full access. I was told (incorrectly) that he
would be unable to nurse for the colostrum days, and was afraid
that would be traumatic for him, so I weaned him. Sorta wish I
hadn't, but I can't say how it would have been the other way around.
La Leche League. They've been a great ally of mine.
Breastfeeding can trigger uterine contractions and this may be
what your OB is warning about. The contractions are good after childbirth -
your uterus get back to normal. But if you don't want to take
any chances at all with your pregnancy, then maybe you also
don't want contractions. I was warned against having orgasms in
early pregnancy because I have a history of miscarriage, and orgasms
also trigger uterine contractions.
Unfortunately I "forgot" and had an orgasm early in my
pregnancy and actually did miscarry. (But maybe I would have
Trying to remember next time
I nursed while pregnant with my second and continued to nurse
my first born until my second was just over three months. I
honestly believe that we had fewer issues of sibling rivalry in
that first year or so because whenever they nursed together, my
older one would stroke the baby and feel close to him, sharing
a bonding experience with the baby and mom at the same time.
We also got to snuggle around my burgeoning belly and know that
his little brother was there and got to feel close to him that
way. I did have a little bit of pre-term contractions, but my
OB encouraged me to continue nursing (and never mentioned a
connection), but it never really led to anything. I took it
easy and carried some pills with me to stop contractions if
they ever amounted to anything, but I never had to take any.
Good luck, I hope everything works out exactly as you'd like!
been there and it all worked out
I don't want to cut out my 1 1/2-yr-old's nursing times but
would like to make them less frequent both because he will be
attending all-day childcare in a month and because we are
trying to conceive again. Does anyone know how frequently a
toddler nurses to actually prevent ovulation? I know all women
are different, but what is the general rule? I remember La
Leche suggested any time period over 4 hours between nursing
could lead to ovulation--but they also tell you when you go
home from childbirth at the hospital that you could conceive
that night! I have looked in past newsletters and found other
comments about the two events (nursing+trying to conceive) not
being mutually exclusive, but then there are people saying
things like, ''We are trying to get pregnant again so our
toddler has stopped nursing as much,'' so I'm not sure what to
make of this. Any experience/anecdotes are appreciated. Thanks!
--Anonymous mom of toddler
I'm not sure there is a ''general rule'' for how much nursing is
required to prevent ovulation. But I can tell you what happened
My period resumed when my son was between 13 and 14 months old,
even though I continued to nurse him on demand, including one or
two night-time nursings. He simply stopped nursing so much all
on his own. He nursed an average of 109 minutes per day at 12
months, and then there was a drop-off -- he nursed an average of
87 minutes per day at 13, 14, and 15 months. (I can look this up
thanks to the baby-tracking software at trixietracker.com!)
My mom is a genealogist, and she says many of our traditional
Catholic ancestors had kids *exactly* two years apart -- and
since I resumed ovulation when my first child was 13 months old,
that could have happened to me too! (Luckily it didn't, though.)
you'll hate to hear this, but it's really mama specific.
ex: my friend (22 if that makes a difference) got her period back
at ?5mos postpartum, nursed round the clock (cosleeps) and got
''accidentally'' pregnant (withdrawal method...) when her son was
13 mos and still latched on (which releases prolactin, the
fertility suppressing hormone) 20-40 times in a day/night
(toddler ''fly by'' nursing, on/off/on/off/on/off...). after that
child was born, she tandem nursed, and still got pregnant with #3
when #2 was 17mos nursing round the clock and #1 (3.5) was
nursing several times/day.
then there's me (39 at the time). my cycles were short (21-25
days), with a short (7-10 days) luteal phase (=days between
ovulation and onset of menses, you need 10-14 to allow a
fertilized egg/zygote to implant). i had to nightwean, and
progressively daywean my older dtr (this took 9 mos, with a break
of 2 mos when we went to india and i let her day nurse ad lib to
cope with the stress), until we were down to 2-3 times/day . i
then had one 28 day cycle, and was pregnant the next. my older
dtr went on to continue nursing til i weaned her completely when
my younger dtr was 15mos.
if you do get pregnant while still nursing, ''Adventures in Tandem
Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond by Hilary
Flower'' is great for info on continuing.
this article from la leche league's magazine ''new beginings'' can
give more insight:
Breastfeeding and Fertility, by Christine Foster
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 5, September-October 2006, pp.
it mentions supplements (certain minerals/vitamins) as being
useful for lengthening luteal phase (which i didn't know at the
time i was trying to conceive).
also try reading ''your fertility signals,'' by Merryl Winstein to
learn more about temping and fertile mucus so you can see what
your cycle is like.
good luck, have fun trying! ;)
signed: been there done that
I am a little late on responding to this, but I just wanted to
chime in that I got pregnant when my first was 15 months while
nursing on demand, so apparently no problem conceiving, and he
continued to nurse until his brother was born. Shortly
thereafter, he told me he was ''too big'' to nurse and that he was
giving the ''num-nums'' to his brother to use now. Fascinating turn
of events! Nursing through pregnancy was no problem for me, and I
have to admit was sort of a life-saver. I was so sick for 7
months that nursing him was the charm to get him to lie down with
me when my body could not be upright. So, I'd say give it a go,
and then cut down if you are having trouble getting preggers again.
My daughter is 14 months old and I'm 6 months pregnant. She
was a terrible nurser in the first few months of her life,
suffered horrible weight loss, etc. Lots and lots of money was
spent to make breastfeeding work because I was adamant to
breastfeed my child.
Since I've been pregnant, not only have I been exhausted beyond
belief (I was NEVER tired in my first pregnancy), have hardly
gained any weight (34 pounds total last pregnancy, 6 months in
only 13 pounds right now), but breastfeeding has become
incredibly painful, to the point of pushing me near
depression. I feel horribly guilty because I don't want to
wean my daughter, but I don't know if I'm in pain due to
hormones or if she's genuinely biting me. It often feels like
both. All I know is the pain is getting worse and worse.
She's only been a morning and night nurser for a while, though
on week-ends she will breastfeed all day if I let her. I have
managed to narrow it now to 2-3x/day, but she also nurses for
such little time I highly doubt it's for any nutritional
purposes at this point as opposed to comfort.
I know deep down I have to wean, but I'm not sure how, or how
to get through it. Sometimes I just tell myself to suck it up
and do it. Just looking for some current advice. I have read
the archives which were very helpful. Thanks.
When I got pregnant with number 2, my son was 12 months and my
nipples really hurt too. I think it must have been hormones.
Fortunately for me he lost interest soon after - not sure if it
was the loss of milk or my gasps of pain that convinced him. So
you are not alone in that.
Good luck weaning but be [prepared for your14 month old to
renew her interest in nursing. there's nothing wrong with
nursing them both if you are willing. I'm just saying she is
most likely going to want it even if you wean now and she weans
I empathize, b/c my son had a hard time nursing at first but
became an avid nurser. I'm 5 months pregnant and he's 18 months
old and has been completely weaned for a month. As soon as I
found out I was pregnant, and had a lot of nipple soreness, I
tried to be strict about nursing only 2X/day, first thing in the
morning and right before bedtime. That was the hardest step b/c
he had been nursing anytime he felt like it. It was emotional and
hard, but cutting down gradually to just first thing in the
morning, that's it, worked pretty well, and as long as I started
distracting him in the morning right away with a cuddle and cup
of milk, he was OK. He still very occasionally asks to nurse, but
very rarely, and I'm happy that I weaned to give my body a break
for a few months.
I personally found that being somewhat strict about things, just
morning and night, made things clearer for him than if I had
tried to just limit it to my perception of when it seemed OK or
needed. And you may get differing advice on this, but don't feel
guilty about weaning since going to the 1.5 yr mark is an
accomplishment. Although I loved nursing, I now appreciate the
hugs I get and cuddling through a lullaby before bedtime (though
I don't wear a low-cut shirt), sans nursing. Good luck to you!
you can do it
I resist weaning every time I get pregnant and put it off until
about 5-7 months but am always very relieved when it's over. I
have no milk left by then and it's all comfort nursing and very,
very painful. I think it's nature's way of saying ''It's time to
move on.'' Unless you plan on tandem nursing, you both will need
the transition time you have left. My three kids have all
responded differently to weaning -- mostly the falling asleep
without nursing challenge -- in ways that pretty much
corresponded with their temperaments. I appreciate your early
challenges -- my first baby's nursing experience was almost a
four month comedy of errors, but he finally got it. Unless your
baby is allergic to dairy, she'll be fine, nutritionally, and
you and your new baby will be better off. You need all the
sleep and nutrition you can get, and it won't get easier to get
either once your baby is born. You did everything you could for
your daughter and it's wonderful that you were so dedicated and
were able to nurse her, but you're right that it's time to
stop. If she's otherwise healthy, she doesn't need to nurse as
much as you and the new baby need her to stop. Good Luck!
I weaned my daughter when she was about 15 months because I was pregnant with
#2. I was determined to nurse through pregnancy even though the first trimester
was agony -- ultra-sore nipples and exhaustion -- I was in tears daily. Once I got
midway through the pregnancy I realized that I didn't want to tandem nurse when
#2 arrived. My daughter was such a clingy kid that I knew I would go absolutely nuts
with two babes competing for the boob. So I slowly weaned her. She was mostly a
first-thing-in-the-morning and bedtime nurser at that point. So I started limiting
the night nursing. I would nurse for a set amount of time, like 10 minutes, and then
take her off the breast and just rub her back or stroke her face. She cried a bunch in
the beginning, but the crying didn't last for very long. I eventually nursed for only
five minutes, etc. And then some nights my husband would put her to bed without
me nursing her at all. She cried quite a bit at those times, but it was all pretty short-
lived. She nursed less and less in the mornings too and the trick for me was just
keeping each session brief. I still remember the very last time she nursed. I had
debated with myself whether or not to nurse her that morning when she asked for it
because she hadn't nursed at all for a couple days, but I let her and I'm glad because
it really sticks in my mind as a time when I knew it was probably the last time. It was
a little bit sad for me, but once she was fully weaned I felt amazingly free. Now that
#2 is 8 months old, I'm soooo thankful I did it (and also thankful that I didn't allow
#1 to begin nursing again when the baby arrived -- she definitely wanted to). Good
luck. It's not easy, but it's easier than weaning #1 after the baby has arrived, I think.
mama of 2
i've been there! your feelings are quite normal, and it may help
to know that even among LLL members, of those mamas still nursing
when they got pregnant, 65% did wean before the baby arrived. LLL
puts out 2 good books that might help (available in the local
chapter's library, or purchase online). ''adventures in tandsem
nursing'' by hilary flower,
and ''how weaning happens'' by diane bengson.
i managed not to wean, but it was pretty uncomfortable, and i
felt ''agitated'' with each session. 14mos is pretty young, so if
you want to be able to offer your daughter milk again when the
baby is born (you'll have plenty then!) it can be worth it to
continue. and having a toddler nursing can help you avoid
problems with supply, since they'll nurse well, and keep your
supply up, or take off the ''extra'' milk if you have oversupply.
I just found out I am pregnant with our second child, I am
still nursing my 1st child who will be 3 in December. We are a
co-sleeping, attachment parenting-style family. I had planned
on child-led weaning for both nursing as well as sleeping. I
am dreading going to see my OBGYN, because she has been trying
to convince me to wean since my daughter was 12 mos. I was
hoping to get some referrals to an OBGYN familiar with the
attachment parenting style that is not going to try and
convince me to wean. I would also love to connect with other
moms on their experience with sharing the family bed with a new
born as well as an older toddler. Thanks! Sarah
I too am pregant and am still nursing my 2 1/2 year old daughter. She also sleeps
in our bed. I was told by my dr. that maybe it was time to wean her, but she has
never told me I must. She just made it sound like it would be so tiring. Her
pediatrician actually told me to wean her. So I'm working on it even though I
really, really wanted her to self wean. I had initially planned on eliminating the
night nursing since that was what I could never imagine doing with a baby and a
I told her after a certain holiday she could no longer nurse at night. Then I
decided to ask her which of the nursings she wanted to give up, which ended up
being the middle of the day one. We haven't eliminated any more because I want to
go about it slowly and I figure I have 5 month (even though I can see still
letting her nurse right before bed). She will still sometimes ask to nurse during
the day, but I remind her that she decided that that was the one she'd give up and
then I offer milk and cuddle time. It has worked. There is a book called
''Adventures in Tandem Nursing'' put out by La Leche League if you are interested
in that. Anyway, you aren't alone and I hope this helps Laura
I breastfed my older child thru pregnancy with the younger one (now 4 and 1
respectively)-- and still continue to breastfeed both of them (although the older
one just at bedtime and early in the morning). I found breastfeeding during
pregnancy REALLY painful (hormonal effects on nipples), but it just seemed still
too important to my son to ask him to give it up. So we sort of accommodated each
other in various ways-- nursing shorter periods, only when really necessary, etc.
I would be delighted to wean any time (and have tried a few times), but again, it
just seems too important to him. Sometimes I do get really tired of being touched,
which is sort of a drag for my husband.
We also slept all together for awhile, but we couldn't really decide if we wanted
to commit to it, so we didn't get a bigger bed. A queen size bed is really too
small for 2 adults, a preschooler, and a baby-- eventually my son preferred his
own bed in the nearby room and we have just put the baby on a crib mattress on the
floor (about half the time-- she still sleeps with us much of the time). I love
sleeping with the kids for purposes of cuddling and nursing, but the down side is
it's really hard to wean when the time comes, and often, at least in my
experience, hard to sleep. (no doubt a bigger bed would
help!) Everyone does seem to sleep better, with less disruption and wakefulness,
in separate beds. I think I am the biggest beneficiary, as when we all sleep
together, everyone seems to want to attach themselves to me in some way and
sometimes it is quite a struggle to get up to go to the bathroom. Anyway, this is
perhaps more info than you requested. I will just add that I found my doctor Hank
Streitfeld to be completely supportive and nonjudgmental regarding my nursing
decision during pregnancy.
Congratulations on your pregnancy.
another attachment mama
We have been seriously trying to get pregnant with our second
child for about six months now, and casually trying a few
months before that. My son is 2 years and 7 months, and we are
breastfeeding 3 times a day. My period came back when he was
16 months old. I have been taking my temperature first thing
in the morning for the past 4 months, and it goes up each month
a few degrees, 9 days before the next period. My question is:
Does that temperature increase mean I am definitely ovulating
and therefore don't need to worry about breastfeeding affecting
my fertility? I recently had a conversation with a woman whose
doctor told her it's possible to have the temp. increase
without ovulation. I'll be 36 years old next month, and have
been hoping for 3 year child spacing. My son and I love our
special breastfeeding relationship dearly, and so far I've
blown off any weaning hints or suggestions as groundless. I
may seriously consider it now though... UNLESS these
temperature changes mean breastfeeding is definitely not the
problem. Also, we've been trying every other night for the
week before ovulation, except last month when we tried every
night for that week. I've seen both every night and every
other night suggested. Are my chances better trying each night
for that week? I conceived quickly with my first- two months
of temp. charting and I was pregnant the third month. Any
advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!
-Trying for Another
Have you tried to confirm ovulation with LH sticks?
i would say, time to wean the breastfeeding to maximize your fertility Sophia
You might try using ovulation stick kits that test for the presence of certain horomones in
urine to indicate if you are ovulating ($10-15 for 3 sticks), which is more direct evidence
than temperature change. If you don't mind spending the money, the best evidence would be
an ultrasound at a doctor's office anon
At age 38-39 I was also breastfeeding my first child and trying to get pregnant. I actually
did get pregnant when she was about
22 months old. I was breastfeeding 2-3 times a day at that time.
I had gotten my periods back when she was about 13 months old.
We had been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months. I ended up miscarrying that child
due to a blighted ovum (asked the doc if it had anything to do with breastfeeding...he said
no...probably to due with my age...eggs getting old). Anyway, I quickly got pregnant again
2 months later and now have 2 beautiful children.
I would suggest you get a good book on ''Natural Family Planning''
or Ovulation...I only used it to understand how things worked (had been using it before
children, not to get pregnant since I didn't want to be on the pill). There are a lot of
other signals your body gives which indicate whether you are ovulating (mucus, cervix
position etc). Also, my understanding is that you typically ovulate 12-14 days before the
start of your period.
Your temp goes up after ovulation. If you are only trying the week before your temp goes
up, you may be missing the mark. The book I had showed you how to calculate your most likely
fertile period (for my 32 day cycle, that was something like day 9 to day 20 where the start
of your period is day 1). I don't remember it all anymore. I know that when my husband and
I tried to ''make a boy'' by waiting until the last minute...we never got pregnant.
But when we just tried every other day during this 2 week period...we got pregnant.
This is a question for a ob/gyn. Do you not have one you like/trust? Dr. Richard
Kochenburger in Alameda is very no-nonsense and a great Dr. He'll tell you everything you
need to know about how to get pregnant Andrea
If I understand temping correctly, it's not the rise in temperature before your period that
shows ovulation, but the dip you're supposed to see about 14 days before your period that
does. If you are not seeing a dip in temperature 14 days before your period followed by a
stable 2 weeks before a rise when you get your period, then you're probably not ovulating.
I know you can nurse and get pregnant, but what a drain on your body. The fact that you've
gotten your period already means that a lot of vital nutrients are not being passed on
through your milk, and with a pregnancy and changing hormones, even less nutrients will be
passed on. Good luck!
from the Swedish medical Center:
Giving Up the Breast, Not the Bond
Breastfeeding for up to two years may help with child spacing since conception is less
likely during breastfeeding than afterwards. This is an important policy consideration for a
poor developing country, but many American women will choose a more effective means of
contraception than breastfeeding can guarantee. However, if you choose to rely on this
important benefit of breastfeeding, do continue to breastfeed your baby for at least two
years-or until you are ready to have another child.
By two years of age the majority of children should probably be in the weaning process. A
good guide is to use the second year of life as a target for weaning anon
Im not sure about how breast feeding factors in to all this, but one point of your post
struck me. If your temp is going up 9 days before your period, you are either temping
incorrectly, not ovulating at all or might have issues with a short luteal phase.
Typically ovulation occurs 14 days before your period, if you're doing everything right and
your luteal phase is short, 9 days would not be enough time for successful implantation.
I'd invest in the ovulation predictor pee sticks and learn to recognize changes in your
cervical mucous both of which are a ton more effective than simply temping.
And ask your OB to test your progesterone level 7 days after you think you ovulated.
(She might suggest 21 days into your cycle, which is based on a typical 28 day cycle.
if your cycles are long/short or irregular, the test wont be accurate.)
I am not sure about the ovulation/temperature question, but I can say from experience that
fertility issues are not that well understood medically, so take any advice you get with a
grain of salt. I had doctors tell me that my exercise habits (quite extensive at the time)
and body fat (quite low) were not the causes of my infertility (2+ years) because I always
had periods and was not emaciated. Well, I finally found a for-profit fertility center
website that said it was possible for exercise to affect fertility even with regular
periods. This site claimed that excessive exercise can lower hormonal levels enough in some
women so that fertilized eggs are prevented from implanting. I dramatically lowered my
workout program, gained a little fat, and got pregnant right away. I suspect that
breastfeeding, a different kind of stress on your system, might be similar in that it may
impact fertility to varying degrees in ways doctors don't fully understand. As hard as it
is, weaning might be worth a try. You are not going to be able to get a definitive answer
in advance (if
you do, don't trust it) so, unfortunately, trial and error may be your best hope...
Even if one "can" get pregnant while breastfeeding, it doesn't help fertility. Yes, women
get pregnant while nursing - they also get pregnant while using condoms. Doesn't mean that
if you want get pregnant, it's a good idea to keep using condoms. I think if you want to
maximize your chances of getting pregnant, you should probably stop nursing.
I've always heard not to count on breastfeeding as a form of birth control, so I don't think
it's holding you back from getting pregnant especially if you have your period. I've heard
of plenty of cases of women breastfeeding way more times a day than you are and getting
pregnant as they don't even know their 1st post-partum period is coming.
You say you are 36. Even if you had an easy time getting pregnant with your first, you are
over 35 and therefore there is a dramatic decline in fertility. I know this first hand as I
got pregnant with my first in 5 months and tried for over a year for the second when I was
in my late 30's. We finally had to turn to hormonal treatments and have had success. It is
worth talking to your doctor asap and and getting some tests done. Some simple blood tests
will show where your hormone levels are at and that will indicate if your fertility has
decreased. Don't wait any longer to see a fertility specialist as it only gets worse as you
get older anon
In a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine, they were discussing the opposition to
various forms of birth control, which is urging the question of what is considered an
''abortion''; one of the most interesting aspects of the hormones that are used in some
pills is that they block implantation, not conception. This, apparently, is the case with
the hormones released during breastfeeding. So, according to the article's information, you
may be concieving effectively, but not successfully implanting. I don't know how this would
effect your temperature, etc.
I have a 17 month old daughter and would (ideally) like to have
another child in the next year or two. I still nurse my daughter
3 times a day and a bit more on the weekends, and have not gotten
my period back yet. She and I both enjoy it and I feel reluctant
to wean her just yet. I would like for her to wean herself, but
she has given no indication of doing this anytime soon.
My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the last 5
months or so without any success. I had hoped that maybe I was
ovulating occasionally even though I haven't had a period, but I
knew the chances of me getting pregnant under these circumstances
were slim. I know we could keep trying while I'm still nursing,
but I have the feeling the only way I'm going to substantially
increase my chances of getting pregnant is to stop nursing. I
feel very conflicted and guilty about this course of action, and
wanted to know if any of you have been in this situation. If so,
how did you deal with it? Did you keep nursing and eventually get
pregnant? Did you keep nursing, not get pregnant, then stop
nursing and get pregnant? Stop nursing, get pregnant right away?
Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks,
Reluctant to wean
check if you are ovulating by doing the basal temperature method. check your
at the same time every AM. see if you have the ovulation change in temperature.
confirm with an ovulation kit.
if ovulating, no worries. but I would suspect that you are not if you are not
I weaned my child at 15 months because 1) I still hadn't gotten my period, and
had needed medication to ovulate and get pregnant the first time, so I
might again. I weaned over a month, gradually shortening the time of one
at a time, then dropping it and moving to the next. I was certainly sad to be
initiating it. Even though it went very smoothly in our case, no tears or
frustration on either side, I regretted having to ''force'' the weaning by
rather than letting it happen naturally, and I felt a little bit of guilt over
In my case, it was well worth it. I did get my period just over two months
then got pregnant the next month. So our second child was born about exactly
year after I finished weaning. I felt a little wistful watching friends nurse
toddlers while I was pregnant, even though I felt quite sure that I would not
gotten pregnant without weaning! But weaning at that point certainly didn't
child, and again, it can be done gently and sensitively so that it doesn't
have to be a big issue.
Perhaps since you're unusure, you could try to shorten a feeding and see how
daughter responds. We used a new treat (mango juice/milk/yogurt) in a sippy
to distract and ease the transition in our bedtime/naptime routine. (Then
routine was established without nursing, we went back to milk in the cup so we
wouldn't have trouble weaning off the special drink!) If it stresses her out,
you'll choose to back off or move more slowly. On the other hand, fewer
alone may enable your body to get going again.
Best of luck!
mom of 2
Hi. My babies #2 and #3 were conceived while I was nursing (more
than six time per 24 hour period). And I've known enough other
moms who got pregnant while nursing that I'm doubtful of how
much it really affects fertility - at least after the first year
of nursing. Have you tried to chart and test for ovulation with
those kits? If you're not ovulating that's one thing. But if
you are, I'd look at some the other possible factors involved
like diet, excercise, stress, etc. I had a lot of trouble
getting pregnant the first time (when I was a busy grad
student). However, getting regular light excercise seems to
have jump started my fertility. I walk 3 miles up/down hills
daily and it's great for my stress levels as well as my physical
condition. Also, I drank a lot of coffee for years before my
first pregnancy and I went off of coffee and stayed off since.
I nursed babies one and two as long as they wanted (two years
and 19 months respectively) and have never regretted it. Number
3 is 20 months and shows no signs of letting up. I cherish this
time with her. And if nursing is affecting your fertility,
spacing out the kids more is not a bad idea. I have envied my
friends who've had older more independent kids before they had
the next one.
good luck and don't stress!
I got pregnant while nursing 3 times so it can be done it is dependent on the
individual. I used an ovulation predictor - the kind you pee on - and that
pinpoint when I was ovulating. I would suggest trying this before you stop
breastfeeding. Just because you are not having your period does not mean you
not ovulating. Also, realize you may want to stop breastfeeding once you
pregnant as your breasts may become super sensitive. Good luck.
I conceived my son when I was still nursing my 28-month old daughter. I
had probably cut back more than you -- I think I was nursing 2 times a
day, and occasionally 3. Plenty of women conceive accidentally when
nursing infants (thinking they are protected), so I doubt that the nursing
is hindering you. Good luck!
My husband and I decided to wean our little girl at a year. At
38 years old I wanted to get pregnant and I hadn't even gotten my
period back yet. Well, it came 6 weeks after I stopped nursing,
and I got pregnant with the following cycle. I thought it would
be harder to wean, but my little girl didn't seem to miss it a bit.
Due in 3 weeks with baby #2
I felt the same way. Being older, I was afraid that if I cut my
baby's nursing time to have another baby, then couldn't have
another baby, I would really regret it. So, I let him nurse
until he was 2 & 1/2 years old. He didn't want to stop! By
then, I really did.
I did get pregnant right away. When the 2nd baby was born, he
wanted to nurse again! He was 3 & 1/3rd! It felt very weird,
but, I let him try it and he said he didn't want to anymore.
Whheeeew!!! Fortunately, that worked out and it was his idea/
choise, so he wasn't jealous of the baby.
As he was my last, I let #2 nurse until he was 3 & 1/2. I do
know, actually 2 mothers, of 7 year olds who haven't been able
to say no and still nurse a bit! (Last babies) So, I think that
when they wean themselves, that is great. But when they don't
want to ever stop.....It is all so personal......remember the
movie The Last Emperor? About Pu Yi? He had a wet nurse at
dry at last
I've done a lot of reading on this topic, but I'm still
unclear. What are the chances that I can get pregnant now,
while still breastfeeding my 7 month old? I have not had a
period yet, but wonder...am I ovulating even though I don't get
a period? I've tried basal temperatures, and am now checking my
urine with ovulation predictor strips. Any advice would be
I am no expert, but I don't think it's likely that you are ovulating if you are not getting a period. I got my periods back when my baby was 13 months. I started trying to get pregnant when my baby was about 18 months and I was able to get pregnant twice while breastfeeding. The first time, when my baby was about 22 months, however, I miscarried that preganancy due to a blighted ovum at 12 weeks. I got pregnant again 2 months later and continued to breastfeed my first child for about 4 months...by then, my child was 27 months, my milk dried up and she was ready to stop.
I don't know why it did take so long to get pregnant the first time (i.e the time I miscarried), but I think it was more related to my age (38) than the breastfeeding. Also, after the miscarriage I talked to the doctor about it because I was worried that the breastfeeding had something to do with the miscarriage, but he said that it was not a problem. The miscarriage had more to do with my age...at 38 more of my eggs were unviable.
Anyway, my second is now 2 1/2 and she is still breastfeeding once a day.
One piece of advice for you however, ...be sure you have a OB/GYN who is supportive of breastfeeding through pregnancy. I did meet some who had some negative ideas about it (one quoted a study done in a 3rd world country where the babies had lower birthweight if the mother breastfed through pregnancy...however, I hardly live in a 3rd world country). I did a lot reading and most of what I read said it was fine and just make sure you are getting plenty of liquids, rest and nutrition.
Yes it's possible to get pregnant while still breastfeeding even if you have not started bleeding again, especially if your baby is more than 6 months old. The rule for using breastfeeding as a form of birth control is that you must be feeding on demand and with no more than 6 hours ever between feedings, and exclusively breastfeeding (giving NO other foods or drinks). While it's possible that you may not be at risk of getting pregnant for some more weeks, you cannot count on it.
In my case, the answer is: there was 100% chance of getting pregnant while still nursing and not having a period. :) Elizabeth
It's possible, definitely. I know several people who were breastfeeding exclusively and got pregnant. Some people say that breastfeeding exclusively is effective as birth control only for the first 6 months - and others say it is not reliable ever.
However, don't be too disappointed if you don't get pregnant right away. I didn't ovulate for 11 months, and I know other people who took a while to ovulate as well.
My midwife spoke to me about this issue. You can get pregnant while breast feeding. You can even ovulate while breastfeeding and not get your period. I think it depends on whether you are ready for another baby.
Yep. You can. My kids are 16 months apart, to prove it.
proud but surprised mama
I haven't done any reading on the topic but my best friend was quite surprised when she became pregnant only five months after giving birth to her first child. She was breastfeeding, had not had a period, and had no obvious signs of ovulating. She discontinued breastfeeding and had her second baby just fourteen months after the first.
You absolutely CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding. In fact, the likeliness of getting pregnant are quite high after pregnancy.
Just because you period has not happened yet does not interfere with ovulation.
There is a fine tuned relationship between several female hormones that effect a menstrual period. During breast-feeding there is a fine- tuned relationship with the same hormones and more that causes lactation this affects your period. Keep in mind that your body is trying to find a new balance post-pregnancy, due to all the hormonal changes.
Anyway, just because a woman is not bleeding does not mean that she is not ovulating. You are indeed ovulating. In fact, due to all the hormonal changes your ovulation cycle may be a bit erratic due to the pregnancy and all the hormonal changes.
FYI: Some athletes skip a period occasionally. Also, health and nutrition can affect your menstrual period.
Ask your OB/GYN for more information if you'd like to more about the nitty-gritty of your reproductive cycle.
Nanny in the know
You asked for your chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding--- I can't give you a statistic, but I can give you some hope! I became pregnant with my first child at 39, and while breastfeeding during her second year, got pregnant again as soon as we tried. I continued to nurse her during the pregnancy, and in tandem with the new baby for 2 more years. Then I weaned her and continued with my son up until age 4 years. My ob-gyn always assured me it would be fine, and it was.
Keep up your spirit!
You absolutely can. My close friend, who probably doesn't want to be listed here, has 2 girls one year apart. She was nursing and didn't realize her cycle was in full swing because her periods hadn't reallly started. I'm sure others will respond with more detail...
Hi there. This past weekend we celebrated the second birthday of our lovely daughter who was conceived while I was still breastfeeding. My (now) older daughter was about 8 months old or so, and had started to lose a little interest in breastfeeding. I was still breastfeeding a couple times a day and at night, but she was also taking formula and because she was small for her age had started a little bit with soft solids. Anyhoo, I got a period, and then waited about twelve months for the next one, during which time I conceived, gestated and delivered another child. Once THAT one was about seven months old I got my second period. I promise you, my husband and I had LITERALLY had sex ONCE that whole month, and it was right before when I expected the next period. I didn't even consider contraception. When my pregnancy was confirmed the doctor told me that for several months after you start getting your periods again (and for several weeks or so before the very first one) you ovulate.
What are the chances you'd get pregant while nursing a 7-month- old, given that you have not had a period yet? Pretty low.
Especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding (no formula, no solids yet) and you nurse at night. You can ovulate before your first post partum period, but it isn't terribly likely at only 7 months. However, if you're counting on it as birth control, don't -- after 6 months the chance of a pregnancy does go up past what is considered ''safe'', and once solid foods are introduced and/or the baby ceases to nurse in the wee hours, it increases further. If you WANT to get pregnant again quickly, well, it's still pretty early to do anything much about that; I'd suggest waiting until your baby is at least a year old, for the health of all concerned (you, the baby you already have and the hypothetical second baby!). Your period may have returned by then -- the average for breastfeeding mothers is about 14 months -- and once that happens you most certainly can get pregnant while still breastfeeding. (I did with no trouble, though not until my first was 2.5 years old and only
nursing once a day.)
I just found out I am pregnant for my second child and I am
still breastfeeding my first, who is 12 months old. We are a co-
sleeping, attachment parenting-style family. I have absolutely
no support from my family, pediatrician, etc. Everyone offers
advice, but none I want to hear: ''You'll have to wean her
immediately.'' or ''Get her in a crib right away or you'll be
sorry when #2 is here.'' I would be very interested in hearing
from similar-minded attachment parents who have successfully
continued co-sleeping and breastfeeding the first child, when
the second one comes around. I would very much like to continue
what we are doing, but fear it might be too much for me to
handle in terms of stress to my body, lack of sleep, lack of
support, etc. I am desperately searching for some positive role
models and success stories - I know you're out there!
Yeah, we're out here. :-) My #1 is quite a bit older and not
nearly so dependent on nursing, so maybe that explains why I
haven't gotten any negative comments -- or maybe it's just
the ''don't go there'' vibes I give off! Anyway, of course you
don't have to wean your toddler nor kick her out of the family
bed if you don't want to, and of course co-sleeping with two and
nursing through pregnancy and beyond presents some special
challenges for which you could use some support and advice. I
heartily recommend the book _Adventures in Tandem Nursing_ by
Hilary Flower. In fact, I'll loan it to you if you want to come
pick it up.
My 2nd pregnancy came even earlier than yours - my daughter was
8 months old. I, too, insisited I could and should continue with
family bed, etc. My daugher actually weaned herself (and began
again after her brother was born) because my milk changed. I see
that now as my body trying to take care of me to whatever degree
it could, but I still was overtired and gained too much weight
in that second pregnancy! It's hard on a mother to have kids so
close together, and although I wouldn't change it for the world,
I would also consider how to take better care of myself. We tend
to think that by putting all of our energy into what is just
right for our little beings, that we give too little to
ourselves. And when we aren't nourished, rested, and taken care
of, we are unable to take care of the kids, whether we recognize
it or not.
So whatever you decide, trust that it's just like the oxygen
mask on the airplane -- take care of your self before assisting
your child. As a parent who has come more fully into that
practice, I can tell you that it is not only better for me, it
is way better for my kids as well!
My first was ten months old when I got pregnant with my second.
We were still nursing strong. My milk supply dropped almost
immediately (for me it was one of the tip offs that I was preg)
and I found I was very, very sleepy--and prone to being an
extremely cranky mommy. Because I'd already learned I am more
able to be the parent I want to be (patient, engaged, playful)
when I am more rested and less depleted, I gradually weened my
daughter over the next several months--the last time she nursed
was some time in her 13th month. When and how to ween is a
deeply personal choice, but this worked for me. I'd be happy to
communicate more about this choice if you'd like; two that close
in age is a lot of work...but now, almost three years after the
birth of my youngest, life is getting a lot easier, and they do,
as people told me they would and I couldn't quite believe, play
together all the time. Good luck with however you decide to do
My first was 7 months old when I became pregnant with our
second. I was still breast-feeding our first and was determined
to make it to 12 months with her. Doctors, family members and
others kept telling me to immediately wean my first, but I
managed to make it to 11 months with her (breast-feeding). My
advice is to listen to your own body. Although it was very
challenging to continue to breastfeed my first while pregnant
with the second, you should do whatever you feel you can handle.
I strongly believe your body will tell you when/if it's time to
stop breast-feeding/co-sleeping, etc. Hope that helps!
I breastfed my first child through 2 pregnancies (the first
pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 3 months due to a blighted
ovum)...the 2nd pregnancy, we nursed for about 3-4 months until
my milk dried up (she was only nursing once a day by then).
I was also co-sleeping with my first child (she would go down in
crib at beginning of night...I brought her to bed when she woke
in middle of night).
My OB was okay with my breastfeeding...just be sure you are
getting PLENTY of water and are eating enough. The only study
done on breastfeeding pregnant moms was done in a 3rd world
country and showed lower birth weights for 2nd children. But
this is not a 3rd world country and I do not think it's an
appropriate study mothers in this country. NOTE: I planned on
breastfeeding through pregnancy and sought out a doctor who would
be okay with this...I had to interview several before I found one
which was okay with this, and supportive of natural childbirth.
My first child was older than yours...she was almost 3 when our
2nd child was born. I did move her from her crib into her own
big girl bed about 4 months before the baby came and then instead
of bringing her to bed with us when she woke...I would go lie
down with her in her bed for a while until she went back to
sleep. Now, we have a blanket and mat on the floor in our
room...if she wakes, she is allowed to come sleep there and this
is okay with her. She goes right back to sleep on our floor.
There is a lot of good info on the web about nursing through
pregnancy and tandem nursing. Checkout www.parentsplace.com and
It is amazing to me how much other people think they know
us better, or know our children better, or our family better
than we do ourselves... and how upsetting it can be for
recipients of this kind of advice. I think the whole idea of
advice is that we can consider it, but if it doesn't fit, it can be
discarded. So ... don't worry too much about what other
people want you to do. Good for you to find support for the
kind of parenting you want to do. This said, I too have had
plenty of ''advice'' from my family about my parenting. Now I
am more careful about what I share (if possible), and have
chosen a group of friends who have similar values, so I can
get the support if I need it. That said: I too have tandem
nursed my children, that's the term for breastfeeding two
children of different ages. Mine was older than yours (3.5 at
the birth of the younger one), but not yet ready to wean, and I
co-slept. I'm a single mom. I was convinced that weaning
would not be good for the older one, and I stuck with it. I am
glad I did. I think it helped a lot with the sibling rivalry. I did
limit her, as she was so much older and had times when
she could nurse, and most when she couldn't. I'm not sure
how that would go in your situation as your child is so much
younger. La Leche has a new book out on Tandem Nursing,
called ''Adventures in tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding during
Pregnancy and Beyond'' by Hilary Flower. This might be
useful. I know several people in La Leche who have tandem
nursed and I'm sure would be very willing to discuss ideas.
You could contact a local leader if you were interested. Also
the Neighborhood Parents Network has a playgroup for
attachment parenting parents, and you might find similar
minded people there as well who could share thoughts.
Just wanted to encourage you to do what you believe in, and
don't worry too much about what other people say. Best of
Hi! Well, you are lucky you live in the Bay Area and have access
to so many folks with similar styles! I find wonderful support
through my Attachment Parenting group -
see http://www.motherstuff.com/html/parent-attach.htm or look for a
home schooling play group. I had the same question when I was
pregnant with my second child and was relieved that I could talk
to six or seven moms who had been through it.
We conceived our second child when our first was a 21-month-old
nursling and co-sleeper. All my non-AP friends and family
commented about this - I heard the same words you did - even
from my homebirth midwives!!! In retrospect, considering that I
was hearing this from my midwives, I think we must realize that
folks are very concerned about OUR well-being (with good
reason). My second pregnancy was EXHAUSTING (just my experience)
and any extra rest I could get was welcome.
I nursed & coslept my first throughout the pregnancy - this was
very painful (nipple soreness) for the first trimester, no
problem in the second trimester, and then mentally challenging
in the third trimester. If you search for tandem nursing at the
links folks already gave, you'll see that many tandem nursing
moms experience strong feelings of anger, resentment, and
a ''just get OFF me!'' feeling with their nursing toddler as the
pregnancy progresses and after the new baby comes. I toughed it
out through this feeling for a while and then I started
thinking P if we honor our childrensU needs as biologically
based, why donUt we honor our own feelings as biologically
based? It seemed to me that my body/mind was telling me to stop
nursing my toddler. I started limiting my now 2-year-oldUs
nursing in length and frequency P mostly through distraction.
After baby came, I nearly eliminated the toddlerUs nursing for
the first couple of weeks (to ensure baby got all the
colostrum). Baby is now 5 months old and my toddler now nurses
upon waking in the morning and that is about it.
Regarding co-sleeping, I couldnUt imagine tossing my toddler out
of my bed, but amazingly, sheUs sleeping by herself now. As my
belly grew, I was less and less comfortable in bed and started
sleeping on the sofa. So around my eighth month, I realized my
toddler was sleeping in the queen-sized bed by herself and my
husband and I were on the sofas!! At this point, I accepted an
offer of a bunk bed and instead of nursing my toddler down in
the big bed, we put her in the bunk bed. We still cuddle her to
sleep and go to her at night when she awakes, but she largely
sleeps in the bunk bed in a different room than the baby. This
was the other big worry for me P what would I do when I had both
kids in bed waking each other up in the middle of the night P
and my husband gone at work?? Eeek! So it was a real blessing
when the toddler moved to a different room and I didnUt have to
deal with the two waking each other up at night. Okay, sometimes
it happened, but not every time. Now with the baby at 5 months,
my husband is on nighttime toddler duty on nights that heUs home
and on nights heUs gone, I still bounce between the beds P but I
get much more sleep.
So SORRY for the long post P but I wanted to give you another
data point P I think the main thing IUve learned is that I need
to LISTEN to and RESPECT my own needs as well as my childrenUs
needs. If I donUt get enough sleep, IUm not as good a mom as I
can be. If mamaUs not happy, nobodyUs happy.
My adivce is to continue breastfeeding--as long as it feels
good and right. I planned to breastfeed my first child while I
was pregnant. But about 2 months into the pregnancy it just
didn't feel right. I was too tired, my breasts were
uncomfortable, and I wasn't enjoying it anymore. I cut back
and stopped within a 2 weeks period. The following week I
found out I was carrying twins. I had sensed that it was too
much for my body and it was. My La Leche League book
about mulitples reccomends stopping breastfeeding
immediatly if you are carrying twins--of course you might not
know until your 20 week ultrasound. So do what feels right
and eat a lot!
I nursed my oldest through a miscarriage, and then the pregnancy
that gave us her little brother when she was a month shy of
three years old. In fact, she just weaned herself (with a
little encouragement) a few weeks ago, a month after her fifth
Tandem nursing was a disaster at first, but I would probably do
it again. Before my son was born, about half the nights my
daughter slept through the night, and the other nights, she woke
up and nursed briefly before going back to sleep. She had just
moved into her own bed, and if she woke up, she would come crawl
in with us. (She moved back into our bed when Kyle was born.)
But I had no milk, and hadn't had any for a while. Right before
the baby came I would ask her if the milk was yummy or yucky.
She would look up at me, give me a sly smile, and say yummy. It
had to be just tiny amounts of colostrum; she just liked to
Then...my milk came in after the birth. When she nursed at
night, there was so much milk she would nurse and nurse, and
then pee and pee, and then nurse and nurse again. She gained 5
pounds in a few weeks, and I'm sure a lot of that caloric intake
was happening while nursing at night. I ended up nursing one or
both of them from midnight to 4 every morning, and I went nuts.
(Although I sure enjoyed eating during that period!)
So I weaned her at night. She was pretty darn good about it. I
love the fact that she was old enough to talk about it with.
She's a nice kid, and she did her best to make our family life
work. I also gave her an extremely detailed account of what had
happened the night before. That helped a lot. She didn't want
to miss anything that was happening at night.
Nursing them both at the same time doesn't work very well at
first, because you need two hands for the baby, and there just
isn't a comfortable position for the big kid to be in and. And
although I occasionally tandem nursed in public, I didnUt love
Fortunately, I got some encouragement from a lovely mom I knew,
who was loving tandem nursing because every night she sat up in
bed, and nursed both of her kids to sleep at the same time in
ten minutes. I never quite got there, but eventually nursing
them both at the same time was really fun. We would all snuggle
in the mornings or when I got home from work and nurse and it
was delicious. My kids would make faces at each other and play
around, and swap boobs, or I could read to the older one while
nursing the babe down for a nap.
Overall, I think that having a second kid was going to be hard
for me, tandem nursing or not. I had a hard time giving up the
old, three person family, when the new four person family
arrived, and nursing was just the arena my angst got acted out
still nurse my 2 1/2 year old about 3 times a day, when he gets
up, when he naps (and then he nurses to sleep--haven't been able
to get him to nap any other way from the beginning), and before
bedtime. I'm pregnant and the nipple soreness from hormone
changes is making me seriously think about weaning. The only
thing is that he is so emotionally attached to nursing. He will
get so desperate right beforehand and then the palpable relief as
he latches on is huge. And if he thinks I am going to try to
sidetrack him into just cuddling, he gets fairly upset. He eats
well and drinks both milk and water easily, but the emotional
attachment to nursing just doesn't seem to be going to fade easily.
I guess my questions for you are:
1) Did you have a nursing 2-3 year old who was very attached and
2)Did you have a nursling who self-weaned when the milk changed
during pregnancy? Do you remember when your milk changed
3) Is there any difference between weaning a kid who is 2 1/2 vs.
2 yr 9 months vs 3 years?
4) Any opinions/experience on how close to birth to wean? (I can
imagine it might not be a good idea to do it the week before, but
what about 2 months before? 3 months?)
5) Have you had a kid who nursed to sleep for nap and then were
able to get them to nap just with cuddling? (He can fall asleep
on his own for bedtime fine, but has never been able to do it for
6) Any ideas for weaning a kid who is so attached to nursing? I'd
rather not tandem nurse but I would if I had to. But if I'd just
have to go through the same thing at 4 1/2, then I'd rather just
do it now.
sore breasted mama
I was still nursing my almost 2 year old daughter twice a day
(morning and night) when I got pregnant with my second. I just
suffered through the painful nipples. I had a miscarriage at 3
months and stopped nursing her in the morning (she forgot a
couple of days, so I just didn't remind her). When she asked for
it in the morning a few days later, I just told her we'll just
nurse at night now and she was okay with that.
I continued to nurse at night and got pregnant again 2 months
later. I didn't have much milk and my docter wanted my daughter
to drink more cow's milk (which she didn't like), so we had
started offering her a bottle of chocolate milk (with just a tiny
amount of chocolate...I let her help put the chocolate syrup in)
at night several months before. I would nurse her first and then
offer her the chocolate milk bottle. As there was less and less
milk, she would nurse for a shorter and shorter time. By 2 years
and 4 months she stopped asking to nurse and just drank the
bottle. Over the next few months, she would ask to nurse once in
a while but would barely latch on before saying ''No more''.
I was worried that once the baby came, she would want to start
again, but decided that would be okay. But she didn't want to
start again...she wanted to try it once or twice but didn't
really have any interest (especially, since I only let her do it
after the baby nursed and nothing really was left for her to taste).
I probably can't help a whole lot because I'm not ahead of you
in this process, I'm at the same place! But I have no
particular qualms about tandem nursing, which it begins to look
as though I am going to wind up doing. So far (I'm still in my
first trimester), my nipples aren't particularly sore, and if my
milk has changed or lessened, my son hasn't commented.
I do know people whose older child self-weaned mid-pregnancy --
one claims that as soon as she told her son that it hurt her, he
stopped nursing and never looked back! I also one who *wanted*
to wean the older child because the sore nipples were driving
her mad, but she wasn't able to do it and by later in her
pregnancy it wasn't bothering her any more; then, her baby was
born with a severe cleft palate, so she had to exclusively pump,
and she was very glad her toddler was still nursing, which
helped bring her milk in faster and keep her milk supply up!
For what it's worth, of the moms I know who have tandem nursed
or are tandem nursing, none of them love the experience, but
none of them seriously regret not having weaned the older child;
several say that they really believe the siblings have a better
relationship because there was no resentment or jealousy from
the older one over mama's milk.
I was in a similar situation, though there were no routine
nursing times except before bedtime. Whenever my daughter wanted
and it was ok I nursed her (she also drank milk).
It seemed as she might wean herself, but then I got pregnant I
guess the milk started flowing rapidly, and she actually started
to nurse much more than before. Because of the reasons you gave
(pain and preferance not to tandem) my husband and I decided
that at 21/2 I would wean her. We gave her almost 2 months
notice, we talked a lot about her becoming 21/2, that kids that
age don't nurse, they eat and drink other things. We told her
she would get a tricicle when she's that age.
We did a count down, first by weeks, then by days. When the day
came, she knew she was 21/2, and never asked to nurse again.
We did it almost 6 months before the birth.
She did ask a few times: ''When will I stop being 21/2?'' but she
stopped after a week or two.
She uses the pacifier much more now.
She asks to feel my nipples, and I allow her (unless it really
hurts). This is her new way of soothing.
I hope it helps in any way.
Another pregnant mom
My daughter was very attached to nursing at that age; she self weaned at age 5
when I was entering the third trimester of my twin pregnancy. Yes, I was sore,
so I gently encouraged her by tellinh her I was sore and asking her to be
or I;'d say ''just a little bit'' and she'd pretty much respect that. And I
sore after the first trimester. Of course, she was a lot older than yours and I
was prepared to tandem nurse if it came to that, so it might be different.
My goal was to wean my now 25 month old by Thanksgiving (my
second child is due in January) and it actually happened the
day before his second birthday. It was so painful to nurse him
that when I was trying to nurse him to sleep for naps I had to
detach him before he was asleep which caused lots of turmoil
and lots of missed naps. Like you, I was convinced that
weaning would be hellish and I hoped he would wean himself when
my milk changed/decreased (I think that occurred around five
months into my pregnancy). He didn't care what the taste was
or how much milk I had though. The experience was difficult
for both of us but it wasn't nearly as hard as I had
When I had him down to three nursings a day, I decided that I
would drop the night time nursing first. My husband and I
talked to him about it all day and that night my husband put
him to sleep. It went much more smoothly than I expected.
About a month later he stopped asking for his morning nurse as
often. When he did ask to nurse in the morning, I would
quickly give him milk or yogurt and he wouldn't ask again. He
still asks in the morning periodically but it turns out he's
usually hungry. The last one to drop was the nap nursing which
was difficult but I just couldn't continue with the pain and
frustration we were both experiencing. I explained to him that
I was going to put to sleep without nursing. I still have more
trouble getting him to sleep than my husband but I'm so
relieved to have a break from nursing before my second child is
born! I^Rm also hoping that this will make it easier for him
when he sees his brother nursing. We talk to him a lot about
the fact that babies need to nurse and that he doesn^Rt need to
anymore. The other day he told my husband that he would eat a
sandwich while his brother nursed! I recommend getting things
started as soon as possible so you don't have to rush through
this very sensitive time for your son. Lots of luck to you!
An excellent book that just came out is ''Adventures in Tandem
Nursing''. It is published by La Leche league and is a great
resource for all the issues you mentioned.
I just found out I am pregnant and I need to hear from moms who
nurse into toddlerhood about what to do. My 2 1/2 year old
nurses to sleep for nap and bedtime and a few night wakings. I
am so concerned about him continuing to nurse this much when the
baby is born just after my son turns 3 years old.
I gave my son a ''bye-bye nursing party'' and he loved it and when
it came time to go to bed without nursing he cried hysterically
for 30 minutes, even while I held him. I gave in because I
thought it would never end. I'm weak when it comes to him
crying. He looked as if something in him was dying.
I wonder if anyone has continued to nurse their toddler while
having another child. Is it OK to nurse while pregnant? Does it
help to keep nursing the other child so they don't feel left out?
OR, how have people cut the nursings off, especially falling to
sleep nursings. Realistically, what should I expect him to go
I am losing sleep over this. DOn't know how to approach it.
Any help from moms who have been through simialr situations
I am a P/T stay at home mom. Working only 2 days a week.
pregnant and panicked
I became pregnant when my son turned two. He was still nursing
a lot (to sleep at naptime and bedtime, during the night and
often during the day.) I night-weaned him when I was two months
along because I was so tired, but didn't try to wean at other
times. I did, however, start to limit the lenght of time that
he nursed each time.
Once the baby came, I cut back the older son's nursings to
three times a day (morning wake-up, to sleep at nap, and
bedtime.) For two months this worked, then he started to ask
all of the time. I let him nurse more for about one month, and
then felt to tired. I cut back to three times again, but was
very firm about. When my younger son was three months, I cut
out the naptime nursing and then a month later, the bedtime
nursing. Right now, my younger son is six months old and my
older son is three and nurses only once in the early morning.
These are only some details, so if you want more info on how I
felt, how my son reacted, or how we made these changes, please
feel free to email me directly. I'd be happy to share more.Also
there is a La Leche League toddler meeting that meets every
other month in Berkeley that helped me a lot with these issues.
If you email me, I'll send the details.
I became pregnant while still nursing my first child. Although
my nipples were a bit sore at first, it worked out fine. My
older child slowed down the nursing during the pregnancy as I
think the taste of my milk changed. But then after the second
child was born, she renewed nursing with vigor! I was able to
nurse them both at the same time by positioning the baby first
and then letting the older child latch on. I think it helped
alleviate jealousy as my older one saw that the baby wasn't
displacing her. Also, I lost my pregancy weight very fast -- it
I continued to nurse through my pregnancy, but my milk gradually
disappeared by about the 7th month. My son told me it was salty
and getting less, and he was sad when it stopped. At least it
was gradual, and he knew I didn't choose to stop it. He nursed
a little when the baby came, but she quickly learned to push his
nose away, which is now a funny story they both enjoy. It all
worked out. It's hard to find information on this, so I
recommend contacting Pam at the La Leche League.
This link may be of use to you. It's from the La Leche League.
YES, you can continue to nurse your toddler while you are
pregnant and after your new baby is born! I haven't had this
experience myself (yet) but I know many moms who have.
The only exception would be if you are at special risk of pre-
term labor, in which case you should avoid nursing the toddler
in the last trimester or so, because the stimulation to your
nipples could bring on contractions. And some moms wean the
older child in mid-pregnancy because it just gets painful, due
to senstitive nipples and a shrinking lap, or the child weans
because of the changes in the breastmilk itself (lower supply,
changes to colostrum).
But if you make it through the pregnancy without weaning, having
the older child nursing helps bring your milk in earlier and
boosts your milk supply for the baby and is an immense help in
avoiding sibling rivalry problems. Tandem nursing can be
awkward and time-consuming, but the moms I know who've done it
(or are doing it) report that overall they're glad they did (do).
I recommend you subscribe to the Usenet newsgroup
misc.kids.breastfeeding. There are quite a few tandem nursing
moms there who can offer all kids of good advice and support to
I nursed my daughter while I was pregnant with twins until seven months,
at which point she self-weaned. This is apparently quite common, as the taste
and supply of your milk is affected. My midwife and OB said that as long as
you're gaining weight and no problems develop, it's fine to nurse a toddler/
older child through pregnancy. You'll certainly want to prepare your toddler
that baby's needs come first. I've seen plenty of moms tandem nurse a baby
and older child; you might want to look to La Leche League for advice and
My 20 month-old son and I have a wonderful nursing relationship
and I am really torn about whether or not to try to wean him now
that I am pregnant again. On the one hand, I am seriously
concerned that nursing while pregnant will make me feel even more
tired than I have been during my previous two pregnancies. I am
41 years old (I don't know if age makes one more prone to
tiredness during pregnancy) and I have a lot of responsibilities
to tend to over the next nine months. I need all the energy I
can muster. On the other hand, the idea of weaning my son before
he wants to is really gut-wrenching. I really don't want to stop
nursing, and he certainly doesn't want to either. He nurses
approximately three times a day: mid-afternoon when he gets home
from childcare, nighttime before bed, and 5 a.m. in bed (we
co-sleep) before falling back to sleep again. One thing I have
noticed since the pregnancy began (which was just recently, LMP
12/28/01) is that my milk supply has gone down of its own accord.
So I've been offering him more water and milk in his sippy cup,
as an alternative to my breast. It would be wonderful if my milk
supply would just gradually decline of its own accord; he could
gradually get used to cuddling and drinking from a bottle; and I
could avoid having to willfully cut him off. But that seems like
too good a scenario to be true. I would love to hear from other
parents who have faced these dilemmas. --Anonymous
Dear Torn: My children are 17 months apart. My first was a "no bottle" girl
and breast fed until just after her first birthday when she "mysteriously"
asked for a bottle. We had the bottles around to see if they would become
attracktive (hoping, actually). Then, about a month later, I found out I was
23 weeks pregnant! I had nursed our first for the first 5 months of my
second pregnancy without ever knowing I was pregnant. No period, no
pregnancy symptoms, except weight and fatige! So, my experience is
different, but I do think my milk supply changed. I even think the taste was
different and certainly the supply dwindled. Letting go of nursing was very
hard for me. We loved it together and when our daughter "weaned herself"
so suddenly it was a loss. The loss was not without reason or explaination, or
even in the natural flow of our family forming, but it was nonetheless a loss.
Talk to your friends and partner. It is a big transition. Best.
It sounds like you are ready to wean, and that you've thought about how to
gradually switch over to sippy cup and cuddling. I got pregnant with my
second when my first was 11 months old. I was nursing several times a day
at that point, but over the next two months, she switched over to other
fluids/sources of comfort. It was perhaps earlier than was best for her, but it
was necessary for me. My milk supply had already dropped and I was
incredibly fatigued. I needed my energy. And I also did not want to tandem
My first baby was 10 months old when I found out I was pregnant with my
second. At the time I was 36 years old and both nursing and pumping (at
work). My pediatrician advised me to stop nursing and pumping as soon as
possible because she believes your body's nutrients go to the breasts first,
and are therefore potentially taking them away from the new baby. I took
her advice, and it took me about 10 days to wean my daughter.
I know it's different for everyone, but for me it was the perfect advice. I was
relieved to know that I could focus my body entirely on the new baby, and
give my breasts a break between children. I never felt like I lost any
intimacy with my first baby, even after my second was born. We still had
all of our snuggle time, and she didn't seem to notice any difference (she was
already used to bottles from my pumping).
My second daughter is now 11 months old, and I just finished weaning her
from the breast as well. It's such a relief. For the first time after being
continuously pregnant or nursing for over 3 years, I now have my body
back again. My girls are both strong, healthy and happy.
I've read a lot of posts on here from women who have happily continued
nursing through subsequent pregnancies, and like I said, everyone is
different. But for me, it was the right thing to do, and it worked out fine.
To the mom torn about weaning during pregnancy, I understand your
emotions because I went through the same thing with my 12mo daughter
while pregnant with my son. I finally *knew* when it was time to wean
because the actual sucking was really starting to annoy me. Before then, I
had thought my child would never wean well, and it seemed so
overwhelming for me. I kept wondering how she would fall asleep at night.
It was absolutlely no problem! Once I made the firm decision that I would
wean, it took only 2 weeks to complete the process, with only a few times
after that when she was sick and I felt she needed it to relax and sleep. I
was so surprised at how she accepted it. Not long after that I found out that
a friend had just weaned her 12 mo son, and it only took a week. I think
that the struggle can sometimes be tougher (mentally) on the parent than
the child. I think being firm about your decision can make a difference
because it forces you to find other alternatives. Rubbing my girl's
back while singing to her worked well for us. Good luck.
I, too, went through the same dilema. But the weaning was much easier
than I had ever imagined. My daughter was 17 months old and nursing
about 3-4 times a day. Gradually she started dropping the feedings on her
own, around the same time I had gotten pregnant (although I didn't know it
yet). By the time I was four months pregnant, we were down to one feeding
every other night or morning, my husband and I went away together alone
for two nights (something I highly encourage before the next one comes).
My mom and dad substituted a cow's milk bottle in the am and pm for those
two nights (she had had cow's milk bottles a handful of times before that).
When I came home, she never had an interest in nursing again. In fact she
had completely forgotten about it. I know you enjoy it, I did also. I also felt
that she would make the decision when to stop. I have heard that the milk
may taste different when you are pregnant, and I think this may have been
a factor in her weaning.
Also, she had developed her sense of independence about that time (almost
age 2) and was busy doing her new-found "me" activities. The bottle of milk
may also have been more satisfying/filling, and I could cuddle up with her
and read to her at night while she was drinking, and the transistion seemed
very natural. It's something I still enjoy doing every night with her, a little
cuddling, and reading, makes her feel safe and secure, even though her
world has been rocked by having a new baby around.
I have friends who have successfully nursed through their pregnancy and
continued nursing both children after the baby was born. The biggest thing
they said was they needed to eat well and rest often or the milk supply
would become low and then their energy would burn out.
Whatever your choice/decision is, make sure you have a little time every
day to put your feet up, close your eyes,relax and enjoy a little time to
yourself. Having a toddler and being pregnant is very tiring in itself. Good
I noticed that all the responses to your question so far are from moms
who weaned while pregnant. I continued nursing through my second
pregnancy (my kids are 20 months apart), and although there were no
complications as a result, I'm not sure I'd do it again. It is true
that the milk supply diminishes during the second trimester, and
becomes colostrum around the time of delivery, but my son was totally
unphased by this change and fought the weaning process. I wasn't sure
I was ready for it either, since I treasured our close time and liked
the convenient source of security. When I went into early labor, my
son sensed that something was amiss, and wanted to nurse frequently -
while the stimulation from breastfeeding is probably a positive thing
as far as getting labor going, having a child at the breast while
contracting is not one of my favorite memories!
After having my baby, I frequently found myself with both kids at the
breast, and totally exhausted (probably mostly emotionally) because of
it. My toddler initially wanted to nurse much more frequently than
normal, but eventually let up to the point of completely weaning at 2
years. I'm not sure how many women who tandem nurse experience this,
but after delivering, I found myself feeling slightly resentful (and
then, guilty) that my toddler wanted to nurse so often. It is because
those feelings were so difficult for me to accept that I would not do
the same thing again.
I nursed my first child throughout the pregnancy with my
second, and then tandem nursed them after the birth. It
worked out great! Although my nipples were a little sore
during pregnancy, and my milk supply dropped a little, my
daughter didn't mind. When the baby was born, I think
tandem nursing fostered closeness in the two of them --
my daughter could see that the baby wasn't displacing her
at the breast, so she wasn't as jealous. She would
even hold hands with the baby while they nursed -- it
was so cute! Even today, the two of them play together
wonderfully. It probably was a little more tiring for me,
but it was worth it giving them a good start (and it's a
lot less exhausting now when they can entertain each other).
Nursing 15-month-old when 6 weeks pregnant
Does anyone have any advice / personal experience to share about nursing
while pregnant? I still nurse my 15-month-old son 2-3 times per 24
hours, and am about 6 weeks pregnant. My doctor's generic advice is "if
you're breastfeeding and pregnant, stop breastfeeding." I would like to
gradually wean my son by the middle of the second trimester, but don't
want to go cold-turkey. On the other hand, I don't want to greatly
increase my chance of miscarriage. (My first pregnancy went very
smoothly, and I have no reason to believe I'm high-risk this time.)
There seems to be mixed opinion in the medical community about
this...Thanks for any thoughts.
Can anyone give me tips, stories, or advice about nursing
a toddler through a pregnancy, and then nursing them both
after the new baby is born? I am 2 months pregnant and
still nursing my 2 year old. We have just naturally reduced
the amount of nursing down to about 3 times a day (evening,
before bed, and in the early morning), and I want to continue
on this very slow road to weaning. I basically don't want
this pregnancy to be a reason for forced weaning, and I want
my toddler to feel in control of the weaning (if that doesn't
sound to weird). So far, the only problem has been my
incredibly sensitive nipples, but I can live with that. I
guess I am interested in other mothers' experience. How
common is this? Are there problems with jealousy after the
new baby is born? Not enough milk for two? Thank you in
From: a mom
I became pregnant a second time when I was still nursing my first child
(then 3 years old), and pregnant a third time when I was nursing my
second child, (when he was about 3.5 years old). Both times I was very
concerned about my children not feeling rejection from me in any
way--and yet nursing with my sore and sensitive breasts was increasingly
uncomfortable for me. In each case, we achieved a trauma-free weaning
sometime in my second trimester. I did work towards it, by making
myself more unavailable at key times, and increasing the amount of
snuggle time during which we read or
just talked. I also said "ouch" and communicated about soreness when it
occurred. When it was very sore, I explained that and said that we
couldn't nurse right then. But the weanings felt mutual--my children
both seemed to reciprocate my actions as nursing seemed less
comfortable. I also wondered if there was some change in taste in my
milk that occurred around the 2nd semester, that made things just work
I nursed my older daughter throughout my pregnancy and after
the baby was born. I found I could nurse them both at once
if I got the baby to latch on first and positioned myself in
bed with pillows on both sides. Then my daughter could lie
down beside me and find the nipple. (The baby was still
learning how to latch on correctly while my daughter could
nurse in practically any position.) Most of the time I would
nurse the baby first on one breast. It was actually very
sweet. They would hold hands while nursing and look at each
other. I think it helped avoid jealousy on my daughter's part.
She was actually very good with the baby, helpful and loving
and made only positive comments about him. She was also quite
helpful when I got engorged or had a plugged duct.
For support and advice about tandem nursing, free of charge,
I highly recommend La Leche League meetings. One group meets
in Albany on the first Friday of the month, and one on the 3rd
I once took a class on breast-feeding taught by my OB-Gyn's wife. The
best book she recommended is "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by
Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS. There are a couple of paragraphs on nursing
while breastfeeding. The author said it's not harmful, and even
recommends continuing if the baby is under 6 months old. She said
pregancy does decrease the milk supply, and when birth is near, and the
body reverts to producing colostrum. These changes cause some babies to
I continued to breastfeed my son throughout pregnancy (and still do, now
that the new baby is a month old). He was about 17 months when I became
pregnant and I continued to nurse "on demand" (including at night) until
he was about 18 months old, when I imposed a schedule- before bed, in
the morning before getting up, and before naptime when he is at home
(during the week he is at UC daycare for naptime). The first few days
of the "schedule" were a bit tough, but he stopped asking during the day
pretty quickly. Night was tougher, but after a while he would just go
back to sleep if he could lie next to me. I'm sure he didn't get much
milk, especially towards the end of the pregnancy (there is no
biological reason I'm aware of that you can't nurse- pregnancy lessens
the production by several different mechanisms, but as long as you are
well nourished it shouldn't be a problem- your body will take for the
embryo/fetus first, hence the name "Kwashiorkor" (a protein deficiency
ailment common in developing countries, usually of young children) which
translates into something like "the evil eye of the child in the womb on
the child already
born"). My doctor (Debra Levinsky) had also nursed her first while
pregnant with the second and hence had no problem with it. She did
suggest weaning about three months before birth, but not for medical
reasons- her first child would stand by and cry (without knowing why?)
while the new baby nursed. In our case, we have definitely had some
arguments because big brother (now 27 months) is jealous that baby
brother gets to nurse so often, but I try to stay firm about when the
older child is allowed to nurse (and I also try to let him nurse alone,
which doesn't always work), and he seems to be gradually adjusting
fairly well. I think the nursing is enough of a comfort/security issue
to him to be worth the hassles, and he definitely gets a lot more milk
From: a mom
I breastfed my 2+-year-old while pregnant, and only encountered two
1) First 10-15 seconds per nipple were *incredibly painful.*
2) I am on the thin side, and it was really quite difficult to gain the
proper amount of weight for a second pregnancy.
I think that if you're eating enough, there shouldn't be any danger of
The general rule of thumb about bfing while pregnant is that if it's
safe for you to have sex, it's safe for you to nurse. Nursing releases
oxytocin which causes uterine contractions that are not as strong as the
contractions you get with an orgasm. There's no evidence at all linking
bfing with miscarriages though this is an area where it's very difficult
to tell what caused what. The key issue is nutrition. The adage that
fetus will take first, then toddler, leaving mom the leftovers is not
true, it's a bit more complicated than that. If there are any risks for
the fetus or
the mom it would be in this area. I nursed througout pregnancy and my 3
1/2 year old is now in the process of weaning himself. The "baby" is
now one. Many kids wean during the second trimester when the milk is
sour and/or dries up. During pregnancy I "spot weaned", meaning I cut
my son down to two times a day. Lots of kids who wean during pregnancy
begin again after the baby is born and the milk comes
in. As long as mom's nutrition is fine there should be no problem and I
know many women who have done/are doing this.
1) For mothers who are "tandem nursing" (differing ages) or expecting
To subscribe go to:http://www.onelist.com/subscribe.cgi/tandem
2) Pregnancy Attachment Parenting List: mailto:pgap-request AT kjsl.com Put
"subscribe" in the body of the message.
A friend of mine almost miscarried (blood, hospital, etc) because she
was breastfeeding. I am no expert but from what I hear, breastfeeding
causes contractions. I know what you mean about gradual weaning though.
I just weaned my 13 month old, not because I wanted to, but because I
had to in order to take some medication that is necessary for my health.
It is the toughest thing I have done as a mother. I did it in 2 weeks
and it was very hard. I nursed her for the last time a few nights ago
and then I sobbed and haven't quite
recovered. I wish I had a few months to do it in, but I did not. She
will recover, I am sure.
To the mother who wanted to get pregnant but her baby was still nursing
strong at 17 months: I don't think you need to deliberately cut back.
My daughter was still nursing quite a bit at this time, but at 18 months
my period came back anyway. From what I hear, your body's fertility
reasserts itself at around this time no matter what you do!
There's a mailing list for mother's who are tandem nursing
or planning to tandem nurse on egroups/onelist that I was
on for a while. If you want to read about people's experiences
I'd suggest signing up. Also see if there's a msg board on
parentsplace. I'm guessing that I addressed this question
before and am on the ucb website. I'd recommend reading the
section on this in _Mothering Your Nursing Toddler_. Like you,
I "spot weaned" my older child and when the baby was born kept
him to the two nursings a day.
Some who've done it say that the tandem nursing did a lot to
decrease sibling jealousy because the older child could "share"
this with the younger. I think that in my case it was an added
source of jealousy partly because I found early on that I couldn't
physically nurse them at the same time. But, though my older
child was jealous with a capital "J" when his younger brother
was born, now, 2 1/2 years later they get along wonderfully.
Don't worry about not having enough milk. For most women
supply = demand. I didn't have any method but I also nursed
the baby completely on demand, which sometimes meant every
20mins. Sometimes he'd have to work a little harder if I'd
just nursed the older child but it always worked itself out.
My baby is just turning one, and my husband and I have been trying
for about 4 months to have another. I know that's not a long time,
but I wonder if the fact that I'm still nursing has anything to do
with our lack of success. I'm only nursing two or three times a day,
since I'm working fulltime now, and I really don't want to give it
up, since I see my baby so little. My questions are: will I have to
make a choice between continuing nursing and getting pregnant again?
Or should I wait a couple more months before I worry about it, and
see if we can wean gradually (my preference)? How long should I wait
before considering this a problem? I have gotten my period but it's
pretty irregular - how can I tell if and when I ovulate since my
cycles seem so off?
I'm almost 39 - I don't want to wait too long!
I am no expert, but when my son had just turned two, I got pregnant
the first time we had unprotected sex. I was still nursing him
several times a day and at night, and I was producing a lot of milk.
So, there is one data point that says that by two years, it may be no
problem. My periods were very regular by then. I am 38- similar to
you. BTW, my son is now just two and a half, and has weaned
himself!! It was very natural, and I felt very good about it. I
also did not want to stop nursing because of a pregnancy. My milk,
while abundant in the first trimester (I even started to leak again),
completely dried up in the second trimester. I hear this is pretty
common. Good luck.
In reply to your last question which was how to tell when/whether you are
ovulating. I would recommend getting the book "Taking Charge of Your
Fertility" by Toni Wechsler and looking at the signs of ovulation she
describes. By charting your basal temperature and cervical mucus you can
tell if you are ovulating. You can also use Ovulation Predictor Kits but if
your cycle is irregular it can get expensive. Good Luck!!!!
To find out whether you are ovulating, you can purchase ovulation predictor
(the tests work much like pregnacy tests, except that when you take them, they
you whether you will ovulate within the next 24-48 hours).
These are relatively inexpensive and are sold over the counter at most drug
My husband and I used them successfully with our second child.
They are very accurate and much more reliable than the basal body
kits, which are also available in drugstores.
Though nursing can make it harder to conceive, if you are indeed ovulating,
shouldn't have any problems conceiving. I've known people who thought
was a form of birth control and were surprised with new pregnancies. I would
discuss the issue with your doctor and make sure you are taking a multivitamin
complete with folic acid while you are trying to conceive.
Good luck. I hope you can continue with the nursing.
I know of many people who became pregnant while nursing (myself included),
and since you prefer to keep nursing your child (and your child would
probably much prefer this too!), I would give it a little more time. Since
your cycle is still irregular it is probably hard to know exactly when (and
if) you are ovulating each month. Because you are concerned about the
biological clock, if you haven't become pregnant in a few more months, you
could reduce to one or two nursings per day or wean altogether. But don't
worry yet! Best of luck!
I think that getting pregnant while nursing must vary with every woman,
and that there probably isn't a formula to follow. The reason I think
this is because after two periods, I became pregnant during a time when
I was nursing my 7 month-old pretty exclusively (I had just barely
started feeding her some baby jar fruit). I think nursing must affect
each woman's body in a different way, as I know a woman who wants to get
pregnant, still nurses her 10 month-old, and hasn't had much success
yet. If you live in the East Bay, there are a group of doctors from the
OBGYN Fertility Specialists who are wonderful. Good luck!
I nursed my first baby for six months, all the time not using birth
control. I got pregnant during the seventh month, and never got a
period. In fact, the doctor told me it would take two or three
months to get a period, but that the chances of getting pregnant
still exist in this time. Sure enough, it happened! I'm turning 42,
so don't worry!
Have you talked to your OBG doc yet? I am no doctor myself, but I would
think you do not have to make a choice between nursing and getting
pregnant. Four months is not that long. I would keep trying for another
three months, at least. Maybe try one of those ovulaion predictor kits
(over the counter at drug stores) to help pinpoint the ovulation time. You
are probably ovulating irregularly, as you suspect.
I conceived my second child while nursing my first baby 3-4 times a day. I
was very good about charting my cycles and determining the best days to
conceive based on the days of my cycle. If you don't know the basic
natural family planning method you could easily find it from the internet,
I bet. You might find it helpful if you are not already doing it.
The other thing to consider is that as we get older our cycles change on
their own anyway and ovulation can become irregular, regardless of whether
or not you are nursing. Again, best to ask your OBG. I am not an expert!
I wish you the best of luck!! I know how you feel because I, too, was in
your shoes and did not want to give up nursing my nine month old at the
time when I got my period back and started trying to conceive again. I
think it will work out for you.
When our daughter turned three we decided to try and have another child.
Our three year old was still an avid nurser. I got pregnant within three
months ( first month for first pregnancy) at age 38. I was able to keep
nursing my three year old until the fifth month of my second pregnancy.
After a month of her totally weaning we had a big weaning party to
celebrate her milestone. I had to stop the morning nursings first- then
the afternoon nursings and finally the evenings were the last to go- it
simply hurt too much to nurse. I know lots of women all ages who have
gotten pregnant and nursed all the way through the pregnancy and even
tandem nursed after.
Good luck- Margot
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