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mercy589 08-20-2006 03:56 PM

TTC - Tandem Nursing
Okay, I'm sure this issue has been discussed here, so I'm probably repeating the same old stuff for some of you, but please, if you have any insight I'd like to hear it. Here's the deal, DD is 14 months old, nurses 8-10 times a day, nurses to sleep at night and for naps. I dont have AF back yet at all. DH and I are thinking about TTC another, or not even TTC, just stopping TTA. (TMI we use condoms right now so we would just not use them anymore) We would like to have another baby and want to be laid back about it and not TTC actively or anything right away.

I'm just worried that if I get pregnant and my milk supply dries up whether or not my DD will be ready for that or not. I could just see, I get pg and the milk dries up and she is just screaming trying to nurse and getting nothing and she doesn't know why and is upset! Ok, thats worse case scenario, but really, she still takes in alot of milk and depends on nursing to put herself to sleep. I dont want to take that away from her before she's ready.

Then again we DO want another, they would already be at least 2 years apart... my period is not returned yet, so I kind of think that maybe my period will return when Lucy weans herself a bit more and by then she would be okay with not being so dependant on the milk anyway. ? I dont know.

I would LOVE to tandem nurse and have no problems with that, best case scenario, if there were a way to be sure that Lucy would nurse through the pregnancy I would definitely go for it. I know that it really depends on the individual child whether they will nurse through or just wean. Is there any way to keep them nursing or to determine whether or not they will? I really want to nurse Lucy until she's two, and wanted to let her self-wean, and I dont want to "take it away" in a sense by becoming pregnant before she is ready to give it up.

Ack, now I'm getting upset about this. I really really dont want to force her to wean before she is ready and that could be a long time, she is so attached to nursing. Is that a sign she might tandem? We do want more kids not more than three years apart, so I know there's time yet before I "have to" get pregnant again. I just wondering if we should stop preventing and see what happens.... I just dont want to end up with a very upset baby and no milk.

Sorry this is long, I've been thinking about this for a long time now and trying to figure it out. If anyone has some advice please chime in! Thanks so much.


small_wonders_wipes 08-22-2006 10:47 AM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
Hi Christy,

My husband and I are kind of in a similar situation. My daughter is 19 months and we were hoping to get pregnant so that our next child would only be about 2-3 years younger than our daughter. My daughter is very attached to nursing also. I have gradually tapered it on over the past few weeks, but she still nurses at night and first thing in the morning. She doesn't normally ask for it before then. I don't know when she will decide to completely wean, but I would like to leave it up to her. My period has returned, but has been kind of weird. I might actually be pregnant now, but I have been spotting for 2 weeks, so probably not a good sign. I have heard that a lot of doctors don't want you to nurse your toddler while you are pregnant, but I think it all depends upon the individual mom. I have heard that sometimes if you get pregnant while nursing, your milk will dry up around the 2nd trimester, but some moms have a good supply throughout their entire pregnancy.

I would say my best advice would be to gradually reduce the number of times she nurses- if she doesn't ask for it. I have heard the philosophy of "If they ask, then feed them, but don't offer" as a way to gradually wean. This is my first, so I guess we will see. :) I wanted to nurse her until she was 2 years old also, but I am also getting pressure from my husband because he keeps making comments about how "big" she is to be nursing.

Hang in there!


turtle2who 08-23-2006 08:31 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
My son is 15 months and still nursing. I just found out I am pregnant. One day he started to nurse and popped off and made a face and a noise of displeasure. Then he looked at my boob and started nursing again. It was funny at the time. Now i realize it probably tasted different and he was complaining. Wasn't bad enough to stop him from nursing! He seems to be getting more lately- his gulping is louder- but i know that can change toward the end. I am fine with tandem nursing or with him weaning if he decides he doesn't like it.

I would suggest you do like the pp and maybe start to cut down by just asking her to wait or trying to distract her with something else- snack, drink, special activity that you know she likes to do. If she can be distracted then at that time it was probably not really important to her. If she can't be distracted then let her nurse. If we are out now I will often tell my son that we will have it in the car or when we get home and he usually forgets by the time we get there. Or if we are home and he asks for it at a time he doesn't normally, then I will see if he wants a drink or a snack or I will say, but don't you want to go out and play in your sandbox- let's go out and play. And he is thrilled to be going out to play! You don't want to wean her but to maybe make it less central to her day. If you decide you do want to ttc right now that is. She may nurse through the pregnancy fine anyway- especially if she really loves her "milky."

A friend's son nursed right through her pregnancy until the end when there was no milk. But he staarted right back up once the baby came and he saw his brother nursing!

~stacy~ 08-24-2006 04:49 AM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
Sounds like good advice other mamas have already given.

I just wanted to add that I too am pregnant and just starting my 2nd trimester.
My son is just going on 16 months now and is still very much into his nursing times. He only nurses 4 times a day - upon waking, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and before bed. But it is obvious it means a lot to him. I am also willing to tandem nurse as long as he makes it through any dry spells. I was really worried it would be too rough on him. But now that we are are pregnant and going through it, he is doing just fine. No signs of self weaning yet. And not even terribly frustrated on days my milk seems reduced. He stilll nurses at his regular times (he'll ask for it if we don't automatically do it), but just fills up more on table foods on those days. I'm pretty sure he will stick it out just for his love of the nursing (it's definitely not all about the milk for him). It sounds like your DD has a similar love. Good luck! :goodvibes:

BTW - CONGRATS turtle2who!!!!

mercy589 08-27-2006 05:06 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
Thanks for the replies! I am still trying to think it over... I just dont want to have to wean my baby! :( If I knew she would nurse through the pregnancy and be okay I would go for it... *sigh* I guess I just love my little nursling and dont want her to grow up! Okay there's more to it than just that, I want her to be ready to give up nursing on her own without me pushing her or causing her to have to wean. I guess we'll just keep nursing strong and if I get pregnant deal with that when it comes and try to make it through. I'm glad to hear other mamas are dealing with this too!

Andrea 08-27-2006 10:42 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
you won't have to wean. The milk flavor changes and some will wean but if your dd is attached to her milkies then it is likely she won't. Just keep offering. My breasts change one at a time. The right side turned salty when I got pregnant, then the left later. She would only nurse on the one side until it turned salty, then she didn't care anymore. MAN does she love the milk now. She will be 4 in two months and this week I decided she just has to wean. She is like a woman possessed when she sees my milk... her eyes get all glazed over and really big, it's quite comical actually. I think I will miss nursing her, but it really is time.
I am sure all will be fine. Don't let fear of weaning keep you from moving forward. Trust me, she will be more happy in the long run with a sibling than with the knowledge that she nursed til she was 4.;)

heamae 08-30-2006 09:25 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
I have an 18mo old still nursing A LOT and I am 36.5 weeks pregnant. My supply dropped and she wasnt happy but she still continues to nurse. The taste has changed too but she could care less. I cant wait for this baby to be born and have my milk back to normal and see the look on her face when she realizes her milky is back. She has been through a lot but stuck or rather sucked on!!

rds989 08-30-2006 10:10 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
I haven't tandem nursed, but from what I understand when a toddler is nursing it's much more for the love of it than the food, KWIM? In that case, a change in taste or a decrease in supply won't be a big huge deal, because it's the availability of Mommy that she's looking for, not an actual meal.

Having a second child is a really emotional thing, because it inevitably changes your relationship w/dc#1. You may be putting some anxiety about that onto the nursing issue. Getting pregnant will not make her wean unless she chooses to. But that's not to underplay your feelings; change is hard - on Mommies and on babies. Someday, you'll love dc#2 and you won't see how anyone in your family could have done without him/her. But embarking on that journey is hard (certainly was very difficult for me.) :hugs: :hugs:

jennyofthemoon 08-31-2006 04:06 AM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
When Lena was born, BOTH of my other children were still nursing :) I was tandem nursing 3 kids for a brief time.

You milk suply may or may not decrease, but I wouldn't be so concerned with that. Obviously, the nutritional/health benefits of bm are great at any age, but *most* kids are nursing at this age because they like to, and deal just fine with a taste/quantity change. I agree with the pp about your anxiety over it making a big difference...

As for the weaning issue, studies have been done about toddlers wenaing while mama is pregnant, but there is no way of knowing how many of them would have weaned anyways....My suggestion would be to try to stay calm. If it feels right to you to add to your family right now, go for it! Just try to stay calm and let things play out as they will...

mercy589 08-31-2006 02:36 PM

Re: TTC - Tandem Nursing
Thanks for the reassurance mamas!! We are officially TTC! Kate, you are right, I think I was anxious about the nursing issue, but about the whole relationship change too. I'm so excited now that I've thought about it more and lots of mamas have reassured me we will do fine tandeming if thats in the picture for us. Lucy will love having a sibling close in age and DH is ready and at peace with it too, so I'm excited.

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