Re: Relactation during pregnancy
:/ Hmm, the reason you were given for weaning seems odd. Women routinely nurse through pregnancy, producing high levels of endogenous estrogen and progesterone, and no-one says that they need to wean in order to protect their babies from those home-brewed hormones. Why would estrogen/progesterone that comes via pill or syringe be so different? Unless the levels that they intend to use are extremely high. I would ask your care providers for some clarification on what levels of hormones you'll be dealing with- are they really going to be crazy high? Or are they shooting for something close to the norm for a pregnant woman?
Now, if there's some reason that breastfeeding would be a risk for the pregnancy, I can see the point in weaning. High prolactin can result in lower estrogen, and maybe that would present some sort of risk. Again, this seems like a question to ask your caregivers, as does your question about unweaning in the second trimester. If nursing presents a risk in the first trimester, what makes the second different?
If you decide to wean, I would start by dropping the workday pumping sessions. Most moms pump wean at around 12 months. A decrease in milk supply might de-incentivize nursing for your toddler, encouraging her to seek other forms of nutrition and comfort. Some more things that may help:
- Enlist alternate caregivers, especially for those times of day when your child is most eager to nurse.
- Wear restrictive clothing, including pajamas- if your baby can't easily get her hands on your goodies, she may be less inclined to want to nurse
- Offer lots of snacks and sippy cups throughout the day- the less hungry/thirsty she is, the less likely she is to want to nurse
- Keep a sippy or bottle of water available at night- night-waking toddlers may be genuinely thirsty
- Abandon co-sleeping (temporarily)- have someone else share sleep with your daughter and deal with nighttime wake-ups
- Set limits on nursing- e.g. nurse only for a 10-count, or nurse only in the house, or nurse only until you finish singing a song
- Communicate- explain that you're not going to nurse overnight, or not right now. Even preverbal kids can often grasp the essentials.
- Avoid your customary nursing locations. Babies are often cued to nurse by seeing you in your favorite nursing spot.
- Be consistent. If you decide to wean, just power through any drama. It will go faster than if you vacillate.
Regardless of what you choose WRT weaning now, there's good reason to think that you'll have better supply when your new baby arrives. A second pregnancy means your breasts get a second round of pregnancy hormones preparing them to lactate. Many moms notice increased supply with their second, third, fourth, etc., babies.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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