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Old 05-29-2006, 11:51 PM   #7
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Re: pregnant and nursing

Check out:
and as well as the book the pp mentioned called "Adventures in Tandem Nursing".

Nursing during pregnancy and tandem nursing is a very personal decision and a very complicated one, especially given your little one's age. It is *in most cases* safe although many people will tell you that it's not. I believe kellymom has some myth vs. fact articles that address various studies that have been done on mothers who nurse during pregnancy. It is true that nursing/pumping releases oxytocin which causes uterine contractions, but the human body is an amazing thing. Since you've been nursing all along, your body is used to the oxytocin and has a certain tolerance to it. It wouldn't be a good idea to start nursing/pumping at this stage of the game, but there shouldn't be any problems with continuing what you've been doing. Does that make sense?

You do need to read up on the issue and be aware of warning signs to watch for in your own body and your baby, but there's no reason to wean "just because" you're pregnant. You also need to be aware of the implications of continuing to breastfeed right now. Pregnancy causes changes in your own body and will more than likely change how you handle nursing. When I got pregnant, nursing became excruciatingly painful and by 4 months, that had not subsided at all...honestly, even now at 31 weeks, my breasts and nipples are still EXTREMELY tender and sore...much moreso than with either of my previous pregnancies. Some women have complained of nursing causing nausea. There are emotional issues too...during my first trimester, I got to the point where I had so much anxiety (or something) that it was almost painful for my toddler to even touch me...I just *NEEDED* my space. Call me selfish but I would literally shake and almost hyperventilate when he tried to cuddle sometimes. I was frequenting another discussion board at the time and I felt a LOT of pressure to continue nursing and even tandem after the new baby was born and that pressure led to guilt because I wasn't loving it, etc. After I read some of the articles and stories in the resources I listed above, I really began to feel like I had a choice in whether to wean or continue. I know that sounds silly, but it was liberating. Once I felt that I did have a choice, I really felt better about continuing. DJ was 15 months when I found out I was pregnant again so my situation was a little different from yours, but I still decided that I was not ready to "force" him to wean yet. I decided that the best approach for us was a compromise where I encouraged him to reduce the frequency and duration of his nursing to a level that we could both live with. That got me through the first trimester. My milk did dry up and by the time I was about 4 months (DJ was 19 months at the time), he slowly stopped asking to nurse at all and he hasn't done it since January. I'm a little worried about what will happen when the new baby gets here and starts getting "his" boobies, but I am a lot more confident that up until this point, we've rolled with the punches and did what came naturally for both of us, so hopefully that mentality will continue to work for us after the baby is born.

I don't *plan* on getting pregnant again right away after this baby is born, but if I do, I will have to look at the big picture and consider all the different factors and decide what is best for all of us regarding continuing or weaning. Like I said, it's a very personal, very complicated decision. Just know that you DO have a choice and whether you continue to exclusively breastfeed, begin supplementing, or wean altogether, there are pros and cons for all three of you and you have to do what YOU feel is right. Good luck with whatever you decide...this is one of those questions where there is no right or wrong!
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