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Thread: To wean or not to wean?

  1. #1

    Default To wean or not to wean?

    Hi ladies,

    Hoping to get some help here. I am 19 weeks pregnant and also have a 2 year old who still loves his "milk time". We nurse in the morning, before and after nap (and somewhat to sleep) and at bedtime (again, somewhat to help sleep). I have always had a low milk supply and I am quite certain there really is no milk at this stage but he still wants to chomp away - I say that because it is getting really painful. I know he really isn't ready but I'm facing a couple problems:

    1) Like I said it's getting quite painful and I am also getting frustrated with his need for nursing to sleep - he used to fall asleep quite well on his own but due to an overseas trip for most of the summer and my not wanting him to cry he's sort of reverted back to needing a lot of cuddling/nursing time to fall asleep or fall mostly asleep. When we nurse before nap/bedtime he spends a lot of time squirming around, sometimes hitting a bit too much on my pregnant belly and digging in my belly button which I imagine will also be more painful quite soon. I do'nt mind the morning or bedtime (pre-story) nursing or even another session during the day - I'm mostly getting frustrated with being a punching bag of sorts at naptime.

    2) Because of my low milk supply I had to take herbs with my son for the first few months (he gained a LOT of weight that way). I am nervous that with this next child I may have to do the same and I want to make sure the baby gets what he/she needs and not worry about what is going to baby v. toddler. I also don't want my toddler to get too much milk and therefore disrupt his really good eating habits in general or allow him to gain too much weight. I know people say to nurse the baby first but I would still be worried about this scenario. Also, if I do wean my toddler before next baby comes (in January) will he want to go back to it if he sees me nursing the newborn?

    Sorry to go on so long - just thinking about these 2 problems. I really planned on letting my son wean whenever he was ready but I'm really just worried about how it will impact child #2.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: To wean or not to wean?

    Hi. I totally get the concern about the pain, and in many cases this certainly does cause a mom to wean during pregnancy. Also, some kids do "naturally" wean when mom is pregnant but, certainly not always!

    As far as the concern about your infant getting enough milk due to the toddler nursing-, here are my thoughts. Do you know why your milk production was low to begin with? It sounds as if milk production got off track somewhere and yet, you ultimately were able to have a normal milk production where your child gained very well! This proves you have the capacity for a normal milk production. Typically, milk production is higher with subsequent children, and of course having a toddler who nurses will only tend to increase your milk production more. Given all that, I do not see a major reason to be concerned there will not be enough milk for two, but of course it is simply unknowable at this point.

    As far as being concerned your toddler will get too much milk for their own health, well, I don't know what to say about that. Good eating habits, to me, means a child eats when they are hungry, stops when they are full, and eats enough healthy things to be...well, healthy. Breastmilk is probably the single most healthy & nutritionally complete food your toddler can eat or indeed will ever eat. So if the healthy calories from breastmilk causes your child to eat other foods less, I don't really see a concern. I also have never heard of a healthy toddler who gained "too much weight" unless the child was unnaturally inactive and/or eating a very poor diet high in unhealthy, high calorie but low nutrition foods. That is not breastmilk.

    Personally, while nursing was painful to me during pregnancy, I am very glad my oldest nursed through my pregnancy and I tandem nursed him and his brother. For me, being able to comfort my child this way during pregnancy (I always have awful pregnancies) meant I got more rest. Yes we ran into issues with "taking turns" etc. once baby was born, but nothing major. And I believe that being able to nurse eased the transition into big brotherhood for my older son, set the stage for a healthier sibling relationship, and certainly did no harm to my younger son.

    But that is only my experience. The experience of nursing when pregnant and tandem nursing truly runs the gamut. I would suggest the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing for a very definitive discussion of the concerns and issues and the variety of experiences.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,465

    Default Re: To wean or not to wean?

    Plus, toddler will help with initial engorgement, and it will really help him feel attached to you at a time when...really it otherwise will feel like someone stole his mother. If you can work it out very minimally without too much distress I would. I am always against taking away this very important thing that is so very important to toddlers before they have the language to understand it. But especially when there is the issue of a new baby. If you can hold out, I would.

    Way too lazy for formula

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