Best tips for nursing one baby while pregnant with another?
Nursing and pregnancy can both be taxing on a mom's body, so much so when you're doing both at once! What are your best tips for how to handle nursing one baby while anticipating the next?
Do your research on breastfeeding and being pregnant. I'm currently pregnant and my 19 month old son is still nursing, several times throughout the day and occasionally through the night. For me, what has really helped is remembering why I'm nursing my child. My doctor has not been very supportive, even before I got pregnant, so I had to do the research myself. For me, I have days when it is easier to nurse and days when it isn't. The days that are harder are the days when I have extreme morning sickness. But I just keep telling myself that I am providing my son with the best start possible in life. He is so happy and secure because of nursing. It is such a comfort for him and really helps him through his day. He also won't drink cow's milk, so I take comfort in knowing that I am also providing him with the additional nutrition that he needs.
I also look forward to the moments he nurses because it gives me a chance to rest. It is so nice to be able to sit and snuggle with him. It also helps because then it relaxes me and when I'm stressed, it's much harder to produce milk.
The final tips that everyone seems to offer is to stay hydrated and healthy. You need a lot of extra water and calories to produce milk and grow a baby. Keeping up on both with help with your supply but should also help to fend off morning sickness. And take your vitamins. I personally do a 3-a-day prenatal along with additional calcium, folic acid, and a prenatal DHA. Sounds like a lot, but I'm still producing lots of milk and my baby is getting bigger every day.
Anyone looking for more info on nursing should read "Nursing Your Toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner. It's been very helpful for me in terms of being able to nurse an older baby but also has information on nursing during pregnancy and what to expect.
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I just do the usual looking after myself that I do at any other time. For me it's about being in tune with myself, and listening to my body. If I'm tired I rest. If I'm feeling a bit low on things I add colloidal minerals, flaxseed oil and other high nutrient things to my diet. I'm currently in my second pregnancy while breastfeeding my older child, and as long as I'm sensible and stay healthy I really don't think it's a big deal for me. The fact that babied need breastfeeding well beyond thier first year (up to 6 years or so) and that fertility returns WAY before that suggests to me that tandem nursing is an ancient and normal practice for humans :)
If you can get tested for vitamin D levels along with all the regular stuff it helps with the being able to sleep at night and also peace of mind you are getting enough of everything to go around. Try to wean the night feedings unless the almost 2 yr old is medically fragile they should be OK to go thru the night try to go and cuddle walk about and manybe even sing soothing music and put them back to bed it just may work over time to wean out one night feed at a time (or maybe its all comfort and they won't miss the feedings at all) getting a full ammount of sleep is very important if at all possible esp if you have a few other kids to chase during the day.
I found that nursing and pregnancy went along fine, right until my nipples got super tender and it started to be very painful. My daughter was nursing only once a day at the time and one day I realized that she was as affected as me about the pain and wasn't really getting much milk anyway. By this time she was 19 months old. So the next night, I offered her some cows milk, which she usually drank at other times during the day, before bedtime, and she gladly took it. My goal was to breastfeed her until she turned 2, but it was no longer pleasant for either of us. I know the WHO recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years old, but I also understand that recommendation is to try to guarantee that children in third world countries get as good a nutrition for as long as possible. Being a biologist, I know that evolution has made those things that preserve the species pleasant (sex, eating, sleeping, breastfeeding, etc), therefore if breastfeeding becomes unpleasant, then it's no longer essential. Of course, this is just my opinion and I am in no way telling anyone to stop breastfeeding because you are pregnant, just that it's ok if you decide to.
Stay very well-hydrated! Be sure your nutrition is about as sound as you can stand it given whatever food-aversions you have. Take your prenatals! Use the nursing time as a rest or relaxation time, if at all possible...sometimes it's not :P Know that your nipples will probably be very sensitive, and the whole process may feel super annoying at times. But if you choose to go forth, patience and calm are key :)