Nursing while pregnant and Tandem Nursing

Emily - posted on 01/27/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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How many in this group have nursed while pregnant or tandem nursed?

I nursed my first to only 4 1/2 months, because I got pregnant again and didn't have enough support or information to continue.

My second was nursed until 32 months, right through pregnancy #3 and through nearly 13 months of tandem nursing.

My third is currently 13 months and still nursing strong. We're expecting #4 in September, and plan to continue nursing through this next pregnancy and tandem nurse again for at least 4 months (until #3 is 2 years old).

I'm just wondering if there are any others on this group who've been there with me. :)

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Nancy - posted on 02/17/2009

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I have nursed through 2 pregnancies and tandem nursed twice.



 



I nursed my oldest through my second pregnancy and she tandem nursed with my second until about 1/3 of the way through my third pregnancy when she weaned at almost 4 years old.  My second tandem nursed with my first from the time she was born until 1/3 of the way through my third pregnancy when she nursed alone for 6 months before the third arrived and continued nursing for another 2 1/2 years until she was 4 1/2 years old.  My third tandem nursed from the day she was born until she was 2+ and is still nursing now at 3 1/2 years old.



I did have less milk supply, but mine never went away.  I did have very painful nipples/latch, but it would usually pass after a few moments and as long as the nursling was still it would not be so painful.  The pain was gone immediately upon giving birth both times.



Both times the older nursling went back to almost full time nursing for the first weeks with the new baby, but did go back to their normal nursing pattern eventually (it felt like forever was not more than a few weeks each time).



Tandem nursing was a blessing for me both times and I am glad my girls were able to do it!



I am now wondering how long my youngest will nurse...as I have nursed constantly for almost 8 years and would not mind stopping at this point, but don't want to force the youngest to wean before she is ready since my older girls were older when they weaned...



 

[deleted account]

I recently found out I was pregnant, 5 weeks along, and am still nursing my now 14 month old. I've been having some supply issues, but hope that I don't loose it completely. I also have very sensative nipples which are aggravated by DS enthusiastic suckle. The one thing I really love about nursing while pregnant is that it has helped tremendously with "morning sickness". I find if I'm starting to feel nauseated, I nurse and poof no more nausea.

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Emily - posted on 08/07/2009

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Since we've had a few more comments on this thread, I thought I'd give a little update. :) In April we discovered that #4 is actually #4 and #5... we're expecting twin boys sometime in the next 2-8 weeks!

My midwife has shown some concern about me nursing through pregnancy, but has left the decision up to me. Since I have had ZERO contractions during nursing, and my milk supply never did drop the way it did during my last pregnancy, I have continued to nurse my #3 (now 19 months) at least 2-3 times per day. She mostly nurses for naps and bedtime, plus a few other times during the day, usually when I'm trying to focus on something and can't give her my undivided attention right at that moment.

As I mentioned in the original post, I'm still planning to nurse #3 until at least her second birthday, which now means that I'll be nursing three at the same time for at least 4 months. :) My only concern right now is that #3 can be a bit demanding when she really wants her "mommy milk" and I'm not sure how she'll handle waiting her turn while I nurse her little brothers.

Jennifer - posted on 08/07/2009

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Quoting Emily:

My milk did dry up nearly completely when I was around 16 weeks pregnant with #3. My second just continued to dry-nurse for comfort and I encouraged her. She dropped to only 2-3 nursings a day, usually to fall asleep. My colostrum came in near the end of the second trimester and #2 picked up nursing sessions and was nursing 4-5 times a day. Then, after #3 was born and after my milk came in #2 suddenly started nursing more often than the new baby, and dropped all of her solid food meals. :)

I'm hoping this time around will be a bit easier, and I hope I don't completely lose my supply, because I don't know how #3 will handle that. She seems less interested in comfort nursing, and I'm a bit nervous that she'll try to self-wean. I would really like to continue to nurse her until she's at least 2, so I'll be doing my best to keep her going.



My milk also dried up somewhere in my pregnancy but my lil guy dry nursed until #2 came along and now we are tandem nursing!

Jennifer - posted on 08/07/2009

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My 1st was 10 months old when I got pregnant with #2. My 1st nursed right through my pregnany and is still nursing today (27 months) along with my 8 month old!

Marie - posted on 06/20/2009

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Also - I can't say I've ever comfort nursed... he nurses before naps and before bed, as well as when he first gets up in the morning.

Marie - posted on 06/20/2009

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I've been wondering both about long term nursing (and milk supply) and about nursing while pregnant. I'm taking domperidone for milk supply (since the beginning of May just before Alex turned 1). I'm hoping to nurse until he's at least 3 years old, and we're planning to try for our 2nd baby after he turns 2 (May 2010).



I'm curious as to how this all works esp since I'm on meds for milk supply when fenugreek stopped working for me. Alex nurses sometimes for only a couple of minutes, and doesn't empty the breast so much anymore. My supply dropped to a point that he was fussing at the breast and I was only able to pump 1 or 2 oz when I was at work.

Emily - posted on 05/06/2009

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i nursed my daughter right through my pregnancy with my son, and i'm now tandem nursing them both. my daughter is almost 23 months old, and my son almost 4 months. i don't have any plans to wean, and i have to admit that tandem nursing has a huge advantage when you have a newborn. it definitely helps with any engorgement and supply issues you might have, plus just watching the two of them nurse together and my daughter holding my son's hand is too priceless for words! (should also mention that he usually has a fistful of her hair in his other hand, but she doesn't seem to notice, lol)

Crystal - posted on 02/13/2009

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I'm hoping to continue nursing Steven through this pregnancy. I lost my milk with James and switched him to formula, then Jade self-weaned herself while I was pregnant with Steven. Steven is still nursing though about 4-5 times a day, unlike Jade who was down to 2 nursings a day, so I want to keep it up. I usually start losing my milk around 8 weeks of pregnancy though so I guess I'll find out what's going to happen in about 4 weeks.

Anonymous - posted on 02/13/2009

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Sorry if I am repeating anyone above, as I didn;t have time to read the previous posts, but wanted to reply here.



I nursed my now 3.5 year old daughter (who is still nursing 3-6 times a day) all throughout my pregnancy.



I was very lucky that my milk never dried up competely (although, there were days when I was so tired of nursing that I wished it had). And, I had little to no pain during our nursing sessions.



It was a HUGE benefit to have a nursing toddler (she was 2 years,9 months when dd2 was born) as she helped with my foremilk/hindmilk balance for my new baby. Whenever baby would sleep too long, etc, my dd1 was always happy to help me out and take some milk for my own relief! :)))))

Emily - posted on 02/09/2009

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My husband has been similarly not overly supportive. :) We made a decision together that I would nurse our kids until at least age 2, for immune benefits, because we also chose not to vaccinate. Since DH was really pushing the no-vax, he completely understands my desire to nurse until 2 and is accepting of that. But he had commented several times since #2's second birthday that it was probably time to wean her. So, I continued to nurse for an extra 8 months with him only mildly supportive... then again, now that she's weaned he feels really bad for her when we tell her that she's too big for "mommy milk". :)

Since you really don't want to re-wean her, and your husband doesn't really want you to nurse her again... you should be able to get some good support from him while he's around. My husband has taken over stories and bedtime cuddles with our older girls while I am nursing a baby to sleep at night. He's been wonderful spending some extra time with them when they would otherwise be begging to nurse.

Dana - posted on 02/09/2009

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I really don't want to have to re-wean her, it wasn't pleasant the first time. She's very stubborn :) I know my husband wouldn't be supportive of letting her nurse again, I saw a post about it awhile back and mentioned it to him just to see what his reaction would be and he said 'gross, you're not doing that.' I wouldn't say he's typically 'un-supportive' but not overly supportive either. He's still uncomfortable when I nurse in public, which is just ridiculous to me, but he's sure glad I can quiet them down when they're screaming... :) A while back, she had pulled down my shirt when we were in bed and my husband thought we should just 'see what she would do' Well, she poked my nipple and laughed, then looked at us, put her mouth on it and laughed, then looked at us, then put her mouth back and started sucking. I don't know if she was just playing a game, or what, but I really think she would just take right back to it.

Emily - posted on 02/09/2009

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I was extremely grateful that #2 was still nursing when #3 was born because she was the best relief for engorgement. Once my milk was in and regulating so that I wasn't horribly engorged all the time, I had no problems nursing #2... it just still felt so natural. The "nails on chalkboard" feeling was totally gone. So, I continued to nurse #2 until she was 32 months old... by that point she had all 20 baby teeth, she had potty trained, and she just seemed so big... I started getting weirded out by her asking for milk... so I knew it was time for us to be done.

A lot of my friends would recommend letting her nurse after the new baby comes just to see if she still remembers how and if she still likes it. A lot of toddlers don't like the taste of the new milk when it comes in again. But, if you really don't want to nurse her, you might want to avoid that.. if she does end up liking it, it'll be much harder to re-wean her. Instead, you could offer breastmilk in a sippy cup (since she's such a big girl now), or just make sure you give her plenty of cuddles & stories while you're nursing the new baby. And have her "help" the new baby lots. She can bring you water bottles, diapers, nursing pads, blankets, burp rags, etc... my kids always loved helping with the new babies and we've never had any jealousy issues. :)

Dana - posted on 02/09/2009

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I was really glad to click on this group and see this question because I've been wanting to ask it myself. I was about 11 weeks pregnant with #2 when I weaned #1 and 23 weeks pregnant with #3 when I weaned #2. I really hated to wean #2 but I was having that exact 'nails on a chalkboard' feeling, and really did just want to fling her off me when she was nursing. It's very strange. My supply didn't seem to drop at all when I was pregnant either time, but I seem to make enough milk to feed multiple babies. My main concern is that when #3 is born, any time now, that #2 will want to start nursing again. I've been leaking colostrum for over a month now and she's been obsessed with my breasts since then. She constantly has her hands in my bra and nuzzles in and makes smacking noises when she's falling asleep. I really don't want to start nursing her again when the new baby comes, although I probably still would be at her age if I hadn't been pregnant again, or pregnant so soon. But it's going to be hard for me if she want's to or is crying for it when I'm nursing the new baby. That is the only thing I'm nervous about...

[deleted account]

I've noticed that the pain with nursing is beginning to ease up.  Maybe because I'm getting closer to my 2nd tri.  It definitely hurts when he first latches on, but it isn't as painful for the duration of the session.  I hope we all can hang in there.  I'm definitely worried about my supply.  I made a big batch of oatmeal cookies on Thursday and ate an obscene amount of them. 

Emily - posted on 02/08/2009

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The weight gain issue is exactly what happened with my first when I got pregnant with #2 also... she didn't gain any weight from her 2 month to her 4 month check-up... so we ended up switching to formula... which broke my heart. I still wish I had continued to nurse her while supplementing with formula... just so we could have had that bond... but I didn't have the information or support for that at the time.

Personally... I don't get super sore nursing while pregnant. Breast tenderness is definitely normal... I just don't experience it. I get super sore about a week after a new baby is born... while I'm hugely engorged. #2 still hadn't learned how to nurse while holding still when #3 came along and I almost weaned her when my milk came in because it felt like she was going to rip my nipple off every time she nursed. But she was my best relief for engorgement... so I just gritted my teeth for it.

I know a few women IRL who have nursed through pregnancy with sore nipples... They've all said that the initial tenderness goes away around the end of the first trimester... but then they get a weird "nails on chalkboard" type feeling when their toddler nurses. I have also had this sensation and it's quite a weird feeling to want to throw your nursing toddler against a wall. We all dealt with it by setting limits with our nurslings... allowing them to nurse while we counted to 10... or only nurse lying down, etc.

Even though my supply did drop when I was pregnant with #3 (and it's already dropped again this pregnancy) there's a slightly bigger spacing there, and my nurslings were eating enough solids to compensate. My second was 11 months when my milk supply cut out.. and my third is now 13 months. They both have done just fine with strictly solids... but I do believe that if I were to have two closer together again (so a baby less than 8 months when I got pregnant) I would most likely have to supplement with formula again... though, knowing what I know now, I'd try to continue to comfort nurse at least.

Crissy - posted on 02/07/2009

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I haven't been able to nurse past a year yet. I had planned to nurse my son for at least a year, but I got pregnant again when he was 6 months old (which I had planned, because I wanted the babies to be close in age). I still wanted to nurse him, planned on nursing through the pregnancy and tried to continue with it, but my nipples would be so tender which made it hard to stay motivated. We made it to about 9 months and that was when I made the decision to stop. I had been nursing him whenever he wanted, along with feeding him solids, but when I took him in for his 9month check-up he hadn't gained any weight since his 6 month visit. I guess I hadn't realized my milk supply had gone down---though I was still producing a small amount. I was really bummed about stopping, I loved nursing him so much, but I didn't know what else to do.
Now I am exclusively nursing my daughter and I plan to nurse until she is at least a year, and preferably beyond. But there is a possibility that I could become pregnant again within the year (though if it were to happen it wouldn't be planned :S ) And I don't want it to interrupt nursing my daughter. Is the breast tenderness normal when nursing while pregnant? How did you work through it? I also don't want to have my daughter struggle to gain weight like my son did after I conceived #2. He wouldn't take a bottle or a sippy cup for the longest time, and he wasn't getting enough nourishment from what little milk he got from me plus his solid foods. I just want to be prepared in case I should find myself expecting again before I'm ready to wean my girly...
Thanks :)

Emily - posted on 02/06/2009

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Myranda - I'm sorry you've had complications that force you to wean before you wanted to... but 20 months and 13 months are still awesome lengths of nursing! In my experience, the easiest way to wean my toddler was to offer substitutes. She didn't need the milk or the sucking anymore, but she did need food, drink and cuddles. Basically, when she would ask for "mommy milk" I'd ask if she wanted a drink of water, something to eat, or a story. Even though your #3 may be fine nutritionally if you wean now, he still still need the closeness that usually comes with nursing.

I do have to admit, weaning to be on bedrest seems odd to me... it was much easier for me to stay laying down if I could continue to nurse my toddlers. Even now, I'm super nauseous with my current pregnancy and the easiest way for me to care for my kids is just to stay on the couch and watch them. #3 comes up to nurse any time she needs to, and my other girls are old enough to get themselves simple snacks like grapes or yogurt from the fridge. They also know how to get the crackers and cereal down, so I don't have to get up a whole lot.

When I weaned my first due to pregnancy, it was a pain to have to get up and fix bottles and such for my daughter when I really just wanted to sleep.

Anyway, congrats on making it so far with each of yours!

Myranda - posted on 02/06/2009

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I wish I could have done that. My second was my first breastfeeder and I had complications with my pregnancy of #3 and had to wean him at 20 months so that I could be on strict bedrest. Now due to medical conditions I am being forced to stop with #3 at 13 months. :( But I don't know how to wean him. I sent #2 to stay with my sis for a week until my husband came home.

[deleted account]

Quoting Emily:

My milk did dry up nearly completely when I was around 16 weeks pregnant with #3. My second just continued to dry-nurse for comfort and I encouraged her. She dropped to only 2-3 nursings a day, usually to fall asleep. My colostrum came in near the end of the second trimester and #2 picked up nursing sessions and was nursing 4-5 times a day.



This almost exactly what happened with me.  My milk dried up when I was about 6 weeks preg with DD (DS was only 10 months old) but he still comfort nursed.  A few months before delivery my milk came back in and he picke dup nursing again, when DD was born I loved nursing them together.  DS would always make sure 'his baby' was good & latched, then slowly creep over to the free breast and nurse, always stroking his sister's face or holding her hand and smiling with a mouth full of nipple.  When he turned 18 months he dropped to only 1 or 2 sessions a day, and then only every once & while after he turned 2.  Right before his 3rd birthday he asked if he could nurse again (he hadn't nursed for a couple weeks) and I told him yes.  He nursed, gave me a big hug and told me he was going to let DD have all the boobie now and that he wasn't going to nurse again.  I smiled, hugged him back (while choking down tears) and he never asked to nurse again.

Emily - posted on 01/28/2009

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My milk did dry up nearly completely when I was around 16 weeks pregnant with #3. My second just continued to dry-nurse for comfort and I encouraged her. She dropped to only 2-3 nursings a day, usually to fall asleep. My colostrum came in near the end of the second trimester and #2 picked up nursing sessions and was nursing 4-5 times a day. Then, after #3 was born and after my milk came in #2 suddenly started nursing more often than the new baby, and dropped all of her solid food meals. :)

I'm hoping this time around will be a bit easier, and I hope I don't completely lose my supply, because I don't know how #3 will handle that. She seems less interested in comfort nursing, and I'm a bit nervous that she'll try to self-wean. I would really like to continue to nurse her until she's at least 2, so I'll be doing my best to keep her going.

[deleted account]

I'm pregnant too, due Sept 1 and we're still nursing.  I hope to tandem nurse for at least a little while.  I want my son to decide when to stop nursing and I expect that to happen between 2 and 3.  I really hope the pregnancy and/or new baby doesn't prompt him to wean too soon. 



I'm glad to know there is someone on here with experience.  I'm sure I'll be full of questions. 

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