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Old 05-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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To wean or not to wean...sigh...

I'm really struggling with this. My eldest nursed until this past January, and weaned completely on his own at about age 3.5yrs...I was really hoping to let my second do the same (tandem nurse then self-wean when ready) but now I'm really struggling.

With surprise twins on the way, I really don't know if I want THREE nurslings...it's somewhat overwhelming to think about. But I'm a real believer in the benefits of extended breastfeeding, and I am hesitant to remove something that is a comfort/reassurance for my toddler when he'll be dealing with not just one new sibling but two...and I'm sure less of mommy.

He's not as vehemently attached to nursing as my firstborn was...Bryan is a month from his second birthday now, and he only nurses around naptime, before bedtime, and once in the early morning. BUT, he really enjoys it.

I, on the other hand, am finding it very uncomfortable while pregnant...not the end of the world, but something to consider...I just don't know. On one hand, I see value in being able to focus on nursing the twins (sure to be interesting) and on the other hand, I see value in allowing Bryan to continue nursing to help ease the displacement for him.

Thoughts, anybody?

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Old 05-22-2006, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

wow bethany. i don't know. i guess you just have to do what feels right for you...

i totally haven't been there so i may be talking out of my you know what, but i'm assuming if you were going to wean that you'd start by cutting back on one of his existing nursings....maybe try that (if you're leaning toward weaning) and if it's just horrible for both of you then back off weaning for awhile. i'm not sure (short of just completely refusing) that there's anything you can do that's not undoable, kwim.

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Old 05-22-2006, 04:21 PM   #3
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

I would probably wean, but only because I can't imagine nursing 3 at once. I've done two, and that's hard enough
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

I don't know what I would do. I think you will just have to go with what feel right to you. I do think its good to think ahead a bit so that if you do wean him it will be well before the babies arrive so he doesn't resent them for it.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:51 PM   #5
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

That's what I'm thinking...I definitely wouldn't do it right before the babies come, kwim?

I think I'll probably just continue gently decreasing our nursing sessions...he's already learned the "countdown" (when I get to three, nahnah's done...) and we're working on not having him fall asleep at the breast (even for nighttime feeds) so I think he's well on the way to a gentle weaning.

I struggle with guilt over depriving him of this -- I'm so worried he'll be a real "middle child", being only about 2.5 when the twins are born -- but on the other hand...I just don't know if I could handle having three people asking to nurse. Two is a challenge enough, I remember from TN...when I'm juggling two newborns, teaching latch and such, it's going to be time-consuming...I'm picturing twins nursing on different schedules and the toddler popping on and off in between and OMG...I just don't know if I have that in me! LOL

I'm wondering if for the sake of the babies and my sanity I should pursue the weaning...yet I don't want to deprive Bryan either.

AGH!!!!
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:56 PM   #6
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

Bethany,
I don't have any advice really....as I've never even nursed 2 at once (big span between my kiddos)! But I just wanted to offer you and hope that you are able to come to a decision that you are comfortable with. It's such hard work this parenting stuff - LOL!

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Old 05-22-2006, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

I do know one woman who nursed 3 at a time, but they were 5, 3 and infant, but her infant is 8 months now and I am pretty sure she is still nursing. She also has an older one and before the youngest was born, she was triandem nursing the older 3. I have also heard of nursing a toddler with twin babies, but it is definitely not for everyone!!

If it were me, I would wean. I have never tandem nursed myself but I can definitely see where you are coming from. If you are considering nursing all 3, I would suggest finding mamas who have been there to talk to, either VIA LLL or internet, and doing research. I would probably email LLL and ask for advice or email a Dr Newman or another pro-breastfeeding doctor like him and ask for some advice.

Good luck with whatever decision you choose! Bryan has definitely benefitted from you nursing this long and you said he is not as attached to it as your first. Perhaps it will be harder on you than on him? My first self-weaned at 13 months and that broke my heart but he was done.
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:16 PM   #8
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Re: To wean or not to wean...sigh...

I am afrad I might some mommies made without wanting to, but sometimes I think moms nurse as much for themselves as for their baby, toddler, kindergartner, etc? I think that you have provided what your son needed in the way of nourishment while he needed it, and I know nutritional needs aren't the only ones that exist...emotional are important too. However the new babies are going to NEED the milk, whereas your son CAN drink elsewhere. I don't mean this mean to anyone who nursed longer or more little ones at a time. I am thinking about the good of the family as a whole, such as a little rest for your body, some time to share with your husband, some time to share with your first who isn't nursing, having enough energy to nurse the twins...etc. (I am not saying that it couldn't be done) I'm just thinking that nobody should be upset with your family decision if you chose not to. Of course your second is going to feel displaced a little, and weaning before the twins arrive might help him feel less put out of his place but I have never heard of an older sibling yet whose life didn't change with the newest arrival. And so is the life
best of luck
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