A.G. asks from Minneapolis, MN on August 02, 2008
Nursing Through Pregnancy
I have decided to nurse my 14 month old through my pregnancy and I am wondering if other mothers have done the same, and what their expierence was like? I also would like to know why the medical community is so insisten that I quit nursing because it can cause contractions?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I did attend a La Leche League meeting and learned that as long as I have no history of preterm labor, its fine to nurse through your pregnancy. I guess 70% of babies wean themselves because 1) the flavor of the milk changes due to your hormones 2) Your supply dwindles as the baby in your belly needs more nutrients. I'm so happy that I found other moms who have done this and were successful! Thanks for your support!
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2008
See if you can find a LA Leche League meeting, and look up tandem nursing on kellymom.com and llli.com. There is tons of good info on both sites, and if you visit www.mothering.com (mothering magazine) there is a whole board set up for nursing with alot of tandem moms.
Congratulations on nursing, and continuing to nurse!
1 mom found this helpful
S.P. answers from Minneapolis on August 03, 2008
I nursed through 2 pregnancies. I nursed my 3 year old son while pregnant with my daughter with no problems. I experienced the Braxton Hicks contractions (quite strongly at the end of the pregnancy), but it was not a concern. My daughter was born on her exact due date in a very speedy two hour delivery (at home with midwives) so I guess all of those Braxton Hicks really did get my uterine muscles strong! I did go into labor right after I had nursed my older child to sleep, so I guess the nursing did stimulate labor, but I had contractions every day before that and no labor until it was time. The body knows. I tandem nursed afterwards for 6 months.
I nursed my daughter (age 2) through my third pregnancy. I got pretty sore (nipples) and then my milk stopped. My daughter still wanted to "nurse" for comfort, and I let her for the last 2 months of the pregnancy although it was rather uncomfortable for me. A toddler cuddles right around a pregnant belly, not a problem. When my third baby was born and the milk came in - oh the delight on my 2 year olds face as she got real milk again! Priceless. IT was a beautiful 4 hour labor and a water birth (can't rave enough about that!) I tandem nursed for almost a year after that.
I say to go for it. Generally speaking, the medical community is not familiar with the traditional ways of childbirthing and childrearing, and they do not feel confident in encouraging it. Just make sure you get lots of fluids and good nutrition and prenatal supplement. Trust your instincts - good luck:)
P.S. I had to add this after reading some of the answers. There is a lot of fear in some of these responses, and I disagree with some of the "medical" responses. The baby is well protected in the amniotic fluid and is not getting "compressed" by contractions. There is a general lack of trust in the wisdom of the body which has people doing crazy things out of fear. Mothers have nursed through pregnancies for thousands of years - it is a natural and healthy thing.
1 mom found this helpful
E.B. answers from Duluth on August 03, 2008
I lived in a very pro-nursing community when I had my first, and there was a very active La Leche League there as well. LOTS of the women there nursed not only through pregnancy but through the birth of their second as well. The reason your doctor might be encouraging you to stop is that nipple stimulation can bring on labor, but usually that is IF your body is ready for it. (If you've had a history of preterm labor or something, I'd ignore all this!) Anyway--lots of those women said nursing through pregnancy helped tremendously with morning sickness, and if you search the internet, you can even find information on tandem nursing (nursing your two children--not twins--together). If this is something you feel strongly about, you can definitely find a community that will support you. You might have to search, but there is definitely a faction of folks that supports nursing as long as you want to.
M.C. answers from Iowa City on August 04, 2008
I nursed my 3rd child through my pregnancy with the 4th. then I tandum nursed them for a year. You and the babies will be fine. Make sure your calorie intake is high. The baby (inside) will take what it needs first. The baby nursing with get what it needs second and you and your body will get what's left.
Don't let them tell you the birth weight will be low either. My 4th son weighed 10 1/2 pounds. I had no premature labor/contractions. My labor was really fast though.
It gets interesting in the end when your beely is big but my son could always find a way to the breast. Then after my other son's birth I would nurse them together; it created a strong bond between them.
I would do it again in a heart.
Feel free to email me if you have more questions.
Good luck, and if this is what you want to do then do it and don't let anyone, not even the doctors, change your mind.
E.I. answers from Duluth on August 04, 2008
www.askdrsears.com will have lots of information on this for you. also, find your local le leche league.. www.llli.org. they will be able to help you a LOT also. it is completely possible to tandem nurse and nurse while pregnant! :D and its beautiful. my son weaned himself almost 2 weeks ago at almost 20 months old... and we arent pregnant, so i havent done it, but ive heard a lot about it and im glad you have decided to do it! good luck!
A.L. answers from Minneapolis on August 03, 2008
I nursed my baby through the first two trimesters of my pregnancy with no problems. My doctor was very supportive of this, but did want me to stop once I entered trimester #3 so as not to cause preterm labor. Plus, how many people can your body be feeding at that point? I know nursing is wonderful for both mom and baby and I would definitely say go for it for the first 6 mos or so, but the health of your new little one becomes a bigger concern after that. (Besides, I imagine it would be quite difficult to nurse a one and a half year old when that belly starts protruding!) :)
K.V. answers from Des Moines on August 04, 2008
Does you doctor suggest nursing after your baby turned 1 ? Babies normally switch to whole milk and eat regular food...and should also be introduced to a sippy cup rather then breast milk and/or bottle ?? Just curious...
A.H. answers from Rochester on August 03, 2008
Nipple stimulation at the end of a pregnancy can cause contractions. It is one of the ways doctors reccomend to help you go into labor. But it does not always help. If you had factors for preterm labor then nursing could aggrivate that. I would assume as long as your pregnancy is healthy and there is not a chance of preterm labor then you could continue to nurse. Just make sure you are getting extra nutrients needed. Which I am sure you are doing. But please stop if there is any reason to think it would end your pregnancy early. Which I again I am sure you would do.