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Thread: Pregnant and nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Washington DC
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    Default Pregnant and nursing

    I just found out I'm pregnant with number 2. My son is 18 months, and still loves nursing (and so do I!). While we're excited, this wasn't planned, and I'm a little worried that being pregnant will hurt my son's nursing relationship with me. I've heard of a lot of people say their child self-weaned when they became pregnant. I really don't want this to happen. I love nursing, and he seems to love it too. I don't think he's nearly ready to stop. Is there anything I can do to encourage him to keep nursing while I'm pregnant?

    Also, one of my biggest fears is that my son still co-sleeps and nurses at night. It's not much anymore, maybe 1-3 times a night. I'm so worried about what's going to happen when I go into labor and he can't be with me overnight at the hospital. I know I'm probably worrying prematurely, and who knows what will happen in 9 months. But it's the one thing that keeps giving me major anxiety. I hate the thought of him waking up and being scared or upset because I'm not there. Can anyone share their experience or what they did?
    Jessi, working mom to Pete, born 12/26/12. My little Christmas gift.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,152

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    The best way to encourage your LO to nurse into simply remain open to nursing, and hope he maintains his interest and enjoyment even if/when your supply dwindles (many, maybe even most, mothers lose some or all supply due to hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy). There are no guarantees, especially with an older toddler who has his own mind and does not actually require your milk in order to survive.

    I completely understand your concern about your baby being alone when you go to give birth. I had the same fears, and I was so affected by them that they became part of my decision to have a homebirth the second time around. But I don't think that homebirth is the only way to deal with those fears! First, your toddler will probably be fine without you around- it's just a short period and most toddlers do surprisingly well when it comes to accepting mom's absence. Second, there's a 50% probability that you will give birth during the daytime, and if you feel well enough you can come home that day and sleep with your toddler that same night. Though you might be surprised how rapidly your feelings of maternal protectiveness switch from toddler to newborn- you might suddenly decide that one nursling in bed is enough.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,614

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    First, congratulations! I strongly suggest the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" which also covers nursing while pregnant. My older son had just turned two when I got pregnant with his brother, and he nursed right through my pregnancy and beyond. So nursing certainly can continue during pregnancy, if both you and your child wish.

    I had the same anxiety about what to do with my co-sleeping, still nursing son when I had his brother. I remember how very stressed out I got about that! We have no family around us, and I wanted my husband to be with me in the hospital at least one night (I knew I would probably have another Cesarian birth, which I did) so I lined up a couple like-minded friends who I knew would understand that my son was probably not going to just crawl into a strange bed and sleep the night away, one as my main person for the night(s) and one as emergency backup for nights, and one for daytime in case the night was really challenging and that "night mom" needed a break. I made a (probably overly exhaustive) list of my sons likes and dislikes, what comforts him typically, etc. etc. for these sitters. He ended up staying overnight with my friend who was still nursing and co-sleeping with her son who was the same age, and they all slept together, then spent the next day with another friend he knew pretty well until my husband picked him up. It was not easy for any of us, but ultimately it was fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    I am one of the folks whose LO weaned herself while I was pregnant (she was about 2 years, 3 months) and it was actually quite a relief the way she did it. I encouraged her to keep with it, but when she started losing interest I decided to roll with it. She had been gradually cutting back and one day she just said, "I don't want to nurse," and decided to lie down next to me in the bed and go to sleep. I had cried worrying that there would be tears and that I was depriving my daughter of nursing, but she decided on her own. Not to say she won't pick it up again! But lots of kids keep nursing, so yours may stick with it!

    I'm in the same boat with not having anyone to watch my LO in the area. I am due today, actually! We did convince family to come stay, but we only have coverage for a little less than a week more. I'm actually giving birth at a birth center (I can give you the info if you're interested, but it's in NOVA and there are closer ones in DC). They are fine with me bringing my LO if necessary, and I'll only be there about 4 hours after giving birth. So we figure that's our emergency backup plan, if necessary. They have a DVD player and a couch for her to sleep on, if needed. We hope it doesn't come to that, though. It would keep either my DH or doula busy to help with her, and it might be scary for her. I think it's a little tougher in a hospital because they don't allow kids overnight, though.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  5. #5
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    Washington DC
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    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    I'm actually giving birth at a birth center (I can give you the info if you're interested, but it's in NOVA and there are closer ones in DC). They are fine with me bringing my LO if necessary, and I'll only be there about 4 hours after giving birth. So we figure that's our emergency backup plan, if necessary. .
    YES! Please give me your birth center information. I'd love to have an option where I can bring him.
    Jessi, working mom to Pete, born 12/26/12. My little Christmas gift.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Washington DC
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    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    Thanks for all your help! I'm sure everything will work out and I should stop worrying. I will certainly encourage him to keep nursing and hopefully he'll stick with it. He's very attached to "nursies" so I don't see him giving it up.

    As for the hospital I'm sure we'll get through it. A birth center where he can come too would be ideal. Worst case scenario my husband will have to come back home with my son at night and I'll stay at the hospital. My parents live 5 hours away, so I'd probably only need to find someone to watch him for 5-7 hours until they got here. I know they would figure out a way to keep him happy. I guess I would just prefer to be the one with him, but that might not be possible.
    Jessi, working mom to Pete, born 12/26/12. My little Christmas gift.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    I'll PM you the info!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing

    Just a thought--and probably an OT one--if VBAC applies to you. (If not, then stop here with my saying: CONGRATULATIONS!)

    If I were giving birth again, given my last experience with an emergency c-section and the prospect of either VBAC or cesarean next time around, I'd want DH there with me to advocate and do kangaroo care in the event that I was under general anaesthetic again when my child was born. I don't wish to alarm or force decisions that will come later--this is just my reality after having one high-risk birth.

    Please disregard this if you aren't a VBAC case.

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