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Thread: Help: Pregnant, Low Supply, Avid Nurser

  1. #1

    Default Help: Pregnant, Low Supply, Avid Nurser

    Hi! This is my first post! I am 20 weeks pregnant and my son is 15 months old. I pumped at work (two days / week) until I was about 8 weeks pregnant, right after his first birthday. It became way too painful, so I stopped. I continued nursing at home, though (5 days / week). Since becoming pregnant, my supply has plummeted. I'm pretty sure I am not producing ANYTHING at this point. Yet my son still nurses...sometimes for awhile! (persistent, I guess!)

    Has anyone ever experienced this? I'm wondering if my son will just keep on nursing until my second is born and then my supply comes back. Is it possible to increase my supply now? I'm sad because I really miss being able to nurse him for "for real." Right now, I feel it is comforting to him 75% of the time (great!) but frustrating for both of us 25% of the time (not great!) I'm wondering if I should try to wean him but I have really struggled with doing that as I love to nurse him and I just don't think of us is really ready for this...but at the same time, what are we getting out of it??

    Also, he didn't gain any weight between his 12 month and 15 month birthday. He grew and inch and never stopped moving. He eats lots of solids and drinks whole milk, but I'm wondering if the time / energy he puts into trying to get a drop of milk is contributing to his low weight gain.

    Sorry this is a little all over the place - any support you could offer would be great appreciated!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help: Pregnant, Low Supply, Avid Nurser

    Hi mama! Welcome to the forum. This all sounds pretty typical of a pregnancy. I know it's maybe not great news to you, but there is not a way to bring your supply up during pregnancy, since the drop is due to hormonal changes. It is possible that your son will continue 'dry nursing' through your pregnancy and you can tandem nurse once your milk comes in after you have the baby. Lots of moms do this. It's also possible your son will self-wean at some point, now that your supply has dried up totally. And it's also an option for you to gently encourage weaning if that's what you want to do.

    As for what you're getting out of it- there is still the emotional connection and the 'magic' aspect of offering to nurse when he's hurt or wakes at night or whatever. And it can help with the transition from only child to big brother, for sure. It all comes down to what you (and your son, to a degree) want to do.

    It sounds to me like you don't want to wean and that's totally fine. What you can do is start setting boundaries and getting him used to the idea that nursing is a cooperative activity that you both have a say in. This is important for any toddler nursing, but particularly if you're going to tandem nurse. If nursing is uncomfortable or inconvenient for you at the moment, he can wait. I tried to avoid ever saying no you can't nurse. Instead I'd say things like, "yes, you can nurse after I'm done making dinner/when we get home/whatever." Mainly I did that to avoid power struggles and meltdowns, but it worked pretty well for us. And for me, nursing during pregnancy was sometimes painful or uncomfortable, so I'd tell her she could nurse for a set amount of time and then no more (I used 3 repetitions of twinkle twinkle little star...did this one at bedtime a lot). Anyway, my point being you have time to find what works for you guys and get him used to the idea before the baby comes along.

    I'd bet the weight plateau has more to do with being a busy toddler than anything else, but definitely keep an eye on his solids intake and make sure he's getting a well-rounded diet, since you can't rely on breast milk to make up for deficiencies any longer. In the grand scheme of things, there is relatively little energy spent on a toddler nursing (compared to his other daily activities) so I wouldn't worry about that one little bit.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help: Pregnant, Low Supply, Avid Nurser

    Thank you for your prompt reply!! This is very comforting...always helpful to hear "typical" instead of "Oh boy - what are you doing!?"

    I think I need to communicate more than I am about when he can nurse and for how long. It really does become uncomfortable. We sing songs at bedtime, so I like the idea of using that as a benchmark. I really am so sad about the change in our nursing relationship. I now can see how my mom nursed my younger sister - her "baby" - for 2 plus years!!

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help: Pregnant, Low Supply, Avid Nurser

    My daughter did very much respond and understand when I told her nursing hurt sometimes. She was a bit older than your son, about 19 mos when I first got pregnant, but she'd pat my breast and say comforting things when I told her it was hurting and I needed to stop. I also struggled at night, it didn't hurt but I'd get a really uncomfortable creepy crawly type of feeling, like I wanted to push her off and get her away. All of those are in the range of normal and nothing to be concerned about, but you should take them into account in your decision. We ended up weaning during pregnancy because it got so bad for me, but lots of moms are able to get through it and go on to tandem. Here's some more info if you need it:

    Lots of links about nursing during pregnancy


    Lots of links about tandem nursing
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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