While preggo, how much is your toddler nursing?

Merry - posted on 09/27/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Eric asks to nurse 7 or so times a day/ night. Probably goes like this

7am upon waking up

11am to go for nap

2ish after nap

4 or 5pm after dinner

8pm to go to bed

2 or 3am ish when wakes up to nurse

4 or 5am ish wakes again

Wakes around 7



He eats breakfast with me, as much as he wants until he says all done

He eats when he get up from nap with me until done

He eats dinner with me too as much as he wants

Also any time I snack he eats some of my food.



I'm practicing " don't offer don't refuse" because my obgyn wants me to have him cut back to 2 times a day as I am 9 weeks pregnant. I'm skeptic if this is necessary and I can not imagine getting him down that far anytime soon. But she's my dr and I trusted her a lot......

I need to know if he is nursing too much for my pregnancy to be healthy.



I know that don't offer don't refuse is a weaning method and i'm NOT trying to wean but I don't know how I am supposed to get him to ask less. When he asks I offer to get food for him instead but often he says no. So my question is, is he nursing too much? And if so, how the heck am I supposed to cut him back.



So how much is your toddler nursing while you rare pregnant? Eric is almost 1 1/2 years old now.

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Tanya - posted on 10/04/2010

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I am 4.5 months pregnant. Until a month ago, my son was nursing 4-6 times a day. A month ago I went back to work (teaching) and now he is nursing twice a day and getting half frozen bm and half cow's milk when I am at work. On the weekends, he nurses 4 times a day. I don't think your son is nursing too much, but it might be a lot if he nurses that much through the whole pregnancy and you end up tandem nursing. With 7 feeds for him and 12 or more for the baby, you'll just be wiped. You've got quite a ways to go, though, and he may reduce his intake on his own. It could also be that he doesn't take a lot in or just likes the comfort for some of the feeds (especially after meals).

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Merry - posted on 10/09/2010

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I've never heard of a woman getting deprived of anything due to lactation.......it's a normal part of womanhood and many women have nursed continuously one child to another for ten+ years!
Breastfeeding doesn't really take anything out of a woman unless she is severely malnourished.
I see some toddlersonlynursing once or twice but this isn't natural to our species. Normally a human would nurse very frequently until three years or so.
You can look at kellymom.com and find about breastfeeding during pregnancy and tandem nursing. Also when you get pregnant your milk changes to colostrum in the 5th month or so and then when baby is born it changes back into milk. Toddler is going along for the ride so to speak and just eats what mom makes as it changes.

So as long asi keep eating normally there isn't risk to my health, the concern is with nursing causing contractions prematurely, but it seems like that's not a valid reason to cut back or wean.

Ania - posted on 10/09/2010

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I'm pretty new at being a mom, but I thought that toddlers should only nurse once or tops twice a day and definately nothing at night....it might be dangerous for you more than your pregnancy, fetus will take whatever it needs, but you are going to be deprived of vitamins and minerals and that can be serious. Then...I always had this question how will milk adjust when the secind baby is born? is it going to be newborn rich milk or the one your toddler is sucking... You should probably consult some good LC

[deleted account]

I wasn't couting how often, but my 20 month old self-weaned when I was 5 months pg. He just flat out refused his evening nurse one evening, and every offer thereafter. I figured it was the change in milk. Nature has a great way of sorting things out. Plus around that time I think I was starting to experience more tenderness and was naturally cutting feedings a little shorter each time.

Merry - posted on 10/09/2010

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Thankyou Amanda, that helps a lot! I'm not stressing about it as much anymore it seems it's just my dr who isn't up to speed so I won't worry about it. I haven't felt contractions yet but I'm only 11 weeks so I will be prepared if I do later on!
Thanks

[deleted account]

When I was pregnant with my second my oldest was only 11 months old and eating very few solids so she nursed all the time still. She continued to nurse as often as she wanted for the first couple of months. The only risk of nursing while pregnant is inducing preterm labor...much like nipple stimulation to induce labor. My oldest weaned at 17 months and i was about 7 months pregnant. I too did the don't offer, don't refuse with her and it seemed to work out well.

Now...that having been said. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and nursing a 2 year old. Completely different story! I attempted to go the don't offer, don't refuse route, but he was already 2 and was still nursing 7-8 times a day before I got pregnant. The moment I got pregnant my milk supply dropped and so his nursing sessions increased in both time and number. I must say that I don't think I would have survived the past 6 months without nursing him. It is such a comfort thing to him and he really doesn't seem to care that now I have almost zero milk. There is colostrum already and he has had a little bit softer stools, but other wise no problems here. I told my OB I was nursing when I got pregnant and he hasn't said another word about it. I do feel contractions occasionally while he is nursing and I usually stop at that point just for my comfort and tell him that he can have more later. The opportunity to "use" the boob to stop the tantrum has been, for me, a lifesaver! I am glad that I am not doing the don't offer don't refuse method this time around. It calms both (all three including my oldest) of us down to stop sit down and nurse through whatever crisis is happening for him at the time. I really think that if I had done that with my oldest that she would have continued to nurse beyond age 2. I didn't make it available for her enough in my mind. So I have done both and I really enjoy the latter. My son is currently 29 months old and nurses frequently throughout the day and a couple of times at night. Everything is fixed in his mind with a little nursing, He doesn't stay on very long unless he is really tired or crabby, but it revs him up to run off and play again. Congrats on your new addition! Two under or around 2 yrs are definitely a running pace!

Amy - posted on 10/08/2010

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Thank you Emily Spearly! So, the toddler nurses on one side and the newborn on the other? Kind of like having twins then? Interesting.....it's a new concept for me!

JOSIE - posted on 10/08/2010

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Hi I am 26 weeks pregnant and my 21/2 year old nurses 3-5 times day. My milk supply has diminished significantly. I haven't been able to squeeze any out for like 3 months now and when I ask my toddler if anything is coming out she says "no". I'm pretty sure she is just there for the comfort. i was just wondering if she is getting any milk too.

Merry - posted on 10/05/2010

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Carrie, I'm trying to open Eric up to the idea of tandem nursing by holding a doll while nursing him sometimes, or dad will put his hand on the other side while he eats to show that he can share. It's working I think cuz if dad is home but in another room while he nurses he won't let me put my shirt down until dad comes to see, it's cute that he wants to make sure dad knows it's out because he wants to share! Maybe get him used to the idea by having dad share sometimes. Or a doll too.
But consider this, if you try to wean him and then he sees you nurse the baby it might be even worse then if you let him continue but share. I think any boob access will be better then watching the baby tskehis place. I've heard moms say that tandem nursing siblings bond tighter then other siblings because it's such a deeply emotional thing to breatsfeed that the new baby gets a special place in their heart :)
Amanda, I know the feelings about weaning, it's like I would be roping out a piece of Eric to wean him now. I know the baby needs nutrition too so I make sure to eat as much as I can and I have to trust my body will care for the baby too. I drink ensure shakes that are for weight gain so I bet that helps and after that I know I just can't do anything that mean to Eric, after all the baby inside me will take nutrition from me before starving so I'm mostly just making sure I stay healthy. 3-4 times a day really shouldn't be too bad I think, and just watch your weight gain and that will tell you if it's going ok or if you need to eat more!

Amanda - posted on 10/05/2010

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I'm having the same issue now, but I'm 14 weeks with twins, and my son is 2 1/2 years old. My midwife actually advised me to wean him as soon as I found out it was twins, because I get so sick when I'm pregnant and end up losing a lot of weight. I tried to cut him back to just bedtime and morning (he was nursing 3-4 times a day) for 2 days, but he was SOOOO upset! He wold scream and cry and gag himself and not do anything until I nursed him. Those 2 days he nursed 10-12 times day, probably just to make sure i wasn't really going to steal his boobs! And finally I figured it's better to nurse him when he wants 2-3 times a day than try to force him to stop before he's ready and traumatize him and make him nurse more! I just hope the babies inside can do ok with this.

Carrie - posted on 10/05/2010

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hey!
yeah, I'm due in May '11!! Myles was a March '09 baby ♥
I am still torn about the tandem nursing....I always wanted to nurse Myles until he was at least two, and in theory I have no problems with the idea of tandem nursing, but I don't know if it will be right for our situation, as Myles is VERY possessive of my breasts. I am thinking it might lead to some major jeaslousy issues...guess I better make up my mind soon, though....
congrats on your new little one!! it sounds like you are doing great :)

Merry - posted on 10/04/2010

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wow we are in the same place! is your son an april 09 baby? are you due in May 11? how cool we are so close in situation too, im doing distraction too, it works sometimes, but also i will put him on the same breast for as many times as he will take it, idk if this is better for the baby but i figure if he needs more comfort that this way he isnt getting as much milk, but still the comfort. but lots of times hes in it for the milk :) im not too worried yet, i have only lost 2 lbs and with eric by now was down like 10 so im thinking positively now, but i need to start gaining now, im not nausea anymore but i still dont feel like pigging out, never do, but i eat small meals often so heres hoping!
are you aiming on nursing the whole pregnancy? and tandem nursing too? what has your dr said about him nursing during pregnancy...

Carrie - posted on 10/04/2010

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Hi!
I've been having mixed feelings about this as well! My son Myles is now 18 months and still nurses 5-7x per day, plus I am 10 weeks pregnant. I wouldn't think anything of it, except it is hard for me to keep food and drink down most days (I always get really bad morning sickness when pregnant). So, I just have been trying distraction, as I am afraid that the growing baby might not be getting enough nutrients since so few are going in! It seems to be going well...Instead of just offering the breast right away, I give him a BIG drink of water or diluted juice first and that seems to have cut him back on a couple of feeds. :) Good luck to you :)

Merry - posted on 10/03/2010

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Amy, yes I will be breastfeeding both, since Eric will only be two when the baby is born he won't be old enough to wean so I will nurse them both! Your body can typically make enough milk for triplets so a baby and a toddler isn't too much for it. I will likely nurse Eric at the same time as the baby so it won't be all the time, but even if it was I can think of so many worse things to do then to feed my babies while relaxing on the couch! It's a wonderful way to connect to them. As for weight, yes I see how she is concerned but I feel like I gained perfectly with Eric for his development and my body type and age. I was only 20 at delivery and have always had a very very high metabolism. I have never really watched what I eat and never have gained weight. But just out of high school it's not that common to be heavy anyways.

So I think I will be fine, and I will watch my weight and eat more and healthier if I feel I need more weight.

And considering I lost 15 lbs then gained 32 in my last pregnancy I know I can gain the weight, I just can't lose that much this time. And at 10 weeks I'm still at my pre pregnancy weight so I think it should be all uphill from now :)

Emily - posted on 10/02/2010

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My son was 2 when I got pregnant, and he usually nursed anywhere from 1-3 times a day, but there were days when it was much more. I would definitely take your doctor's advice with a grain of salt. Most OBs just don't know a lot about breastfeeding while pregnant simply because not many women do it and it's seen as taboo. Unless you're having problems with the pregnancy, I wouldn't change a thing about what you're doing.



@Amy, it's called tandem nursing. I did it when my second was born, and I wasn't nursing all day long. My toddler only nursed when the baby was nursing as well, so really I was nursing the same amount of time as if it was just me and the newborn. Plus I didn't have to worry about chasing after a 2-year-old. ;). Our bodies are amazing to be able to produce exactly as much milk as our kids need.

Amy - posted on 10/02/2010

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Also, I just saw your other post on the losing the baby weight question. If you have a hard time gaining during pregnancy and your doctor is concerned with the low weight gain, then I am sure that is why your doctor wants you to reduce your feedings. I can see why your doctor would be concerned about the fetus right now......

Amy - posted on 10/02/2010

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so, not really understanding what you do when the new baby comes? Do you nurse both kids? If so, isn't that all you would do all day??? Sorry, just don't understand this concept......i'd like to know....

Heather - posted on 10/02/2010

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My baby is about to be one and for the past three months she eats and nurses breakfast (around 9am), lunch (around 1pm), dinner (around 5pm) and sometimes a feeding right before bed. It is working out great and sometimes she sleeps in untill 10am. She barely ever wakes up in the middle of the night unless she's sick or teething. I was really lucky because she starting sleeping through the night at about two months.

Merry - posted on 09/27/2010

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thanks you 2, I hope its all fine, i just realize that now i have to care for both of my kids equally and i dont know what this new baby needs from me. I know eric needs to nurse, thats obvious, but i need to know the little baby is getting enough too. I think i just need to take my drs words with a grain of salt as it seems she isnt reading up on the latest advise. but i really trust her and i should trust her if she is going to deliver my baby so its hard to not believe her word as fact.

Ashleigh - posted on 09/27/2010

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First,Let me say CONGRATULATIONS!Thats great!Now,Levi nursed CONSTANTLY while I was pregant with Noah.5 or 6 times a day and then to go to sleep at night.He didn't wean until I was 71/2 months and that was because my milk was changing to clostrum.I never tried to wean him off.And you know now, of course that hes come back to the breast,funny kid.I don't think you should cut him back.Its going to be traumatic for him if you start telling him "No" and then here comes this baby that you let have it all the time.As long as you're eating well,drinking enough and taking your vitamins both Eric and your pregnancy should do fine.Do some reaseach on the subject and share it with your Dr.Let her know how you feel about it.This is your body and your children.Your Dr should be in partnership with you.I hope this helps you,Sweetie.

Jennifer - posted on 09/27/2010

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My son is 18 months old and I'm 6 months pregnant now. It really depends on the day to how much he nurses. During the week, he only nurses in the morning, in the evening, and at night (cause I work outside the home). On the weekends, especially if we're at home, he'll ask for it much more sometimes. He'll breastfeed in the morning when he wakes up around 7, around 11, around 2, around 5-6, and then at bedtime. So probably about 5 or 6 times. I just make sure I eat protein and calcium and drink lots of water and I've been getting extra calories since the beginning of pregnancy. And take my prenatal vitamins. I haven't been intentionally cutting back on nursing, it's whatever my son wants. My midwife has not told I need to cut back at all, just take care of myself. Good luck!

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