9 Month Old Still Nursing and I'm Pregnant!!

Updated on July 21, 2008
S.E. asks from Downers Grove, IL
29 answers

I have a 9 month old who's had nothing but breastmilk her entire life. Within the last couple months we've started solids and that's going well. I just found out I was pregnant last week and I feel like she's not nursing as long as she used to. She nursing 5 times during the day and 1-2 times at night. I do NOT want to give her formula and would like to continue to nurse her at least until she's 1 (in Oct) and even do tandum nursing after the baby's born. I had it in my mind that I would nurse each of my children for the first two years of their life but now I feel like my first baby is getting cheated?! Can I continue to nurse her throughout the pregnancy without harming my unborn baby? Will there be enough milk for both in the future?

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K.R.

answers from Chicago on

I understand you want to continue nursing. I nursed both of my children for 2 years. You need to ask your doctor if its okay to continue nursing because nursing cause your uterus to contract. You don't want that to cause an early delivery for the new baby. Also, the baby could have slowed down on nursing due to the new baby.I do think they sense with something has change. Good Luck. I do hope that you will be able to continue nursing both of them because there are great advantages to nursing.

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

You should be fine. You can nurse both babies no problem. The first one will likely want to nurse more after the next one come too (as they will see the new one nursing).

When my child was younger, he used to nurse for a long time (sometimes up to 40 min). Then he gradually nursed less- like 20 min and then eventually 10 min or less (but sometimes more frequently). Anyway, the point is they do adjust (especially when you are introducing solids). If you are worried about it don't go crazy with the solids.

The important thing is that your child is still getting breast milk which is very healthy (and so much less expensive than formula).

Another thing is that I really didn't give my child much juice or any thing because they get the water/ liquids from the breast milk- so just be aware of that too. They will still come to you for the liquids.

It is a bit scary when things change.

Also please know that as they get older they get better at "suckling" and may be able to get more with less time/ effort too.

Plus your child will go through phases when she will nurse more (if she is not getting enough milk especially) and this will help build up your milk supply (the child can help you make more milk if she is not getting enough by doing a day or two or more of more frequent nursing- just fyi).

As far as nursing two you are fine. Just make sure you are eating healthy. Also make sure you find a Dr that gives helpful advice and doesn't just tell you to stop nursing.

One of my friends was told to stop nursing when she was pregnant, but this is not necessarily correct. When I went to the Dr's she was very happy that I was still nursing while pregnant. Please keep in mind this is not an uncommon thing (ok it is less common just because not as many women are nursing as long these days).

I would encourage you to make some friends or get support to help guide you to (at least so you can ask questions and get more information). Like LLLI (La Leche League). Even if you don't agree with every thing they say, they can be a good resource for you. They have helped me immensely. Also attachment parenting has helped me (not sure what your parenting beliefs are- but they are a more nurturing kind of group. And I do not believe in everything the group prescribes to- but it is helpful to have other women who are nursing longer than just 6 months.

I highly recommend joining the La Leche Roselle online- it is mostly for chat and you can e-mail your questions as you have them for nursing. They are a GREAT help for any nursing questions and can help you better than anyone. VERY helpful resource. I joined a few years ago- you can put it on a daily digest so it doesn't e-mail you much. You will get updates as to meetings (I no longer attend and that is ok). But it is good to have other nursing moms to help you and guide you through this.

La Leche Roselle (you can just chat on line with any questions you have- but must join online group first).
Send e-mail to: [email protected]____.com

Attachment Parenting (and this may or may not fit your beliefs but the online help is great):
Send e-mail to: [email protected]____.com

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L.P.

answers from Chicago on

S.,
I nursed my son exclusively until he self-weaned at 13 months. I became pregnant when he was 10 months old. I did notice that he cut down on nursing after the first few weeks of my pregnancy. I did not wean him - I had intended on nursing him as long as he wanted. I read both the books that were recommended and felt comfortable with nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you follow your daughter's cues and nurse as long as she desires. She may continue to nurse throughout pregnancy, or she may wean herself. God has made your body be able to sustain both children at once. The only word of caution is to make sure you are taking a calcium supplement - nursing and being pregnant at the same time can really zap your body of calcium. Your body gives priority to your pregnancy, then your nursling, and then you. Good luck to you!

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

There are tons of women out there who tandem nurse. I got pregnant with my second child when my first was 14 months and I weaned my firstborn in a week. He was fine and he was ready, and of course he was also over a year.

I weaned him because I had had a miscarriage before and had heard that nursing (the action of the baby sucking) can cause uterine contractions and I didn't want anything to hurt baby #2. I know and knew then that many people do tandem nurse I just was too freaked out, and honestly I felt like my body would not keep up.

Tandem nursing confuses me with the physiological aspects...I do not understand how the body knows which milk to make, KWIM? Or do you just end up nursing them both and the older child gets the fattier newborn breastmilk?

If I were you I think I would do two things. First of all, *I* would nurse number 1 until she turns one in October, and then I'd wean her. You have blessed her with the gift of breastmilk for the first year of her life, and you're allowing your body to prepare to give #2 the same gift at the same quality. However, if you do want to pursue tandem nursing I would contact La Leche League and get education and support through them. They will certainly be able to help you.

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!

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B.C.

answers from Chicago on

Yes, youcan continue nursing! my son was 9 mos. when i became pregnant w/number 2. He stopped nursing after he was 12 months. A friend of mine continues to nurse her 19 month old and she is nearly halfway through her 2nd pregnancy.
Congrats on you pregnancy, btw!!

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E.B.

answers from Chicago on

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Yes, you can still nurse when you are pregnant, if you don't have any risks for pre-term labor. I did it twice. My first girl just turned 1, and I found out I was pg with my second child. I had nursed thru 1st trimester, until she weaned herself. Then, when my 2nd girl was 15 months (and still nursing), I got pg wih #3. I had nursed until I was about 7-8 month pregnant, without adverse effect to the new baby. I had to wean her because she started biting.

My OB-GYN mentioned that she would like me to stop nursing when I hit 20 weeks, since there are studies that show higher risk of pre-term birth when nursing, but even she questionned the validity of these studies and didn't push too much.

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P.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, I am a grandma who breastfed four children, one until nearly the age of 2. I recieved a lot of help from La Leche League.
I do remember reading that it was possiable to nurse two-just as in the case of twins. The key is having excellant nutrition and rest for yourself. Please check out this site
http://www.llli.org/nb.html or type in La Leche League at google. there is a wealth of info there.

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,

Fear not - your little one in utero can be perfectly healthy even if you're still breastfeeding your 9 month old. I just delivered my 2nd one at the beginning of July and her older brother (who's 2) had been nursing throughout the pregnancy; she was even slightly bigger than her brother had been at birth. They're tandem nursing now. As for your supply, you'll be even more impressed at your body - it produces what it needs to (although get used to feeling really full breasts! I feel like I'm always about to explode! :) )

The one thing you have to be careful of with nursing an older child while pregnant is that you take care of yourself, nutrition-wise - your body will be at the bottem of the totem pole - after unborn child and then your daughter, in that order - in terms of getting nutrients it needs. While I was reading up on nursing while pregnant, I came across something that says the baby in utero is like the perfect parasite - getting what it needs to from your body, sometimes even at your expense! lol hard to think of a baby as a parasite, that's for sure.... :)

I've heard of some people who experience nipple tenderness while pregnant & still nursing, but it gets better. Also, some people have had a diminished milk supply, and the older child eventually self-weaned. I hadn't experience any of those things, though.

If you know of a La Leche League group in your area, you might be able to borrow the same book from their "library" that I did from my group - "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" - I found that to be helpful as well.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or need support, ok?

best wishes!
M.

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

Keep pumping ur breast put a couple of ounces and regular milk.increase the regular milk until they don't realize it anymore.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

Some people find that nursing induces contractions late in pregnancy and so they stop then. By that stage your little one will be well passed 1 and so she won't be on formula as an alternative, she will be on whole milk and the benefits from a purely health perspective will be pretty minimal. You may want to get her used to drinking from a sippy cup by the time she is one so that the transition goes smoothly.

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D.P.

answers from Chicago on

She is weaning herself because she doesn't like the milk of the new baby that is coming in. When you become pregnant your body starts to produce new milk for the new baby. Look at this way she had 9 months of good breastfeeding.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't say that she's weaning herself yet - it seems like she's still nursing plenty. After you start solids, whether pregnant or not, your baby will gradually start nursing less and less. My son nursed for 16 months (he weaned himself) and after he turned one he was down to nursing just twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) because his diet was supplemented with lots of solids and water. The flavor of the milk will most likely change as your pregnancy progresses, but you can still nurse. I wouldn't worry about her weaning herself until she is really only taking the breast a couple times a day. For her age and being on solids, it sounds like she is still nursing plenty. Also, as they get older they get more efficient and nurse more quickly (my son got to where he would finish off in about 10 minutes and be totally full). I wouldn't worry yet. Good for you for continuing to nurse! And congrats on the pregnancy!

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E.H.

answers from Chicago on

Yes, you can nurse while you are pregnant!! I got pregnant when my son was 10 mos old and nursing. I felt very strongly that I should nurse until he was at least a year. It is very important that you take in enough calories to sustain yourself, the baby you are carrying and the milk production. You need at least 500 calories on top of what your OB tells you to add for the baby inside (I think that is 300 calories...you need more to nurse than make a baby...funny how that works.) Your milk might also change in taste throughout the pregnancy and this causes some children to wean themselves or go on nursing strikes.
I found that with our lifestyle (moving and stress at the time) I could not continue nursing my son after he turned one and I started into my second trimester. It was hard on me physically. I don't think I was eating enough calories and stress decreases supply as well.
I know some women who did tandum nursing. I applaud you for wanting to take that on and wish you all the best. Le Leche League is a great resourse and support and have lots of info about tandum nursing.

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C.D.

answers from Springfield on

I too had planned on nursing my daughter until she self weaned (sometime before 2 or so) but shortly after her first birthday we were surprised with baby #3. I continued to nurse her but as the weeks went on (I'm now 8 weeks pregnant) she has self weaned. I do know that in the 2nd trimester most women's milk supply will drop to prepare colustrum (sp?) for the new baby. But it is completely safe to nurse your daughter until the baby is born and even afterwards. You should check out www.kellymom.com specifically this section, it will answer many of your questions... http://kellymom.com/bf/tandem/index.html

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K.

answers from Chicago on

I just posted about this in another related thread. In a nutshell... YES you can nurse while you're pregnant and it's FINE. Contrary to what you may have heard, it will NOT cause miscarriage or harm your growing baby. Lots of us do it. I got preg at 16 months and nursed my son until he was 21 months (at which point I wanted to wean him to give the girls a break before baby #2 made an appearance). As long as you continue to feed on demand and eat and drink plenty your milk should be ok. Some moms see a drop in supply during 2nd trimester right before their colostrum comes in, but if you continue to nurse through this your daughter and your body will figure it out.

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T.C.

answers from Bloomington on

Nursing is all about supply and demand. Your body will produce enough milk regardless of how many children you're nursing (think about the mothers of twins who nurse). Your baby is nursing less because of the introduction of solids and because she's more efficient at it now, so it takes her less time. It's gone that direction with my 8 month old who is now eating 2 solid meals/day. Ignore that comment about teeth, you can teach them not to bite. And it's possible to wean one child while the younger continues nursing. Try contacting your local La Leche League for advice regarding this and any other nursing issues you might have.
Good luck!

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S.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,

I nursed my first son 3 months into my pregnancy with my second. Stopped nursing when both sons were 21 months. My oldest brother and sister are 13 months apart and my mom nursed both of them. I would talk to your Dr.-you may need more calories to support nursing and pregancy at the same time. HTH

S. R.

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G.C.

answers from Chicago on

yes and yes! Don't let anyone tell you differently! I know many women who have. I did not, because I nurse for 3 years and then got pregnant, two weeks after weaning. The baby is old enough that he doesn't have to nurse constintly and when the new baby comes he won't need much at all, mostly what you decide is best. But you can be aware that as your hormanes shift you may have some nipple pain. If your not connected with LLL, you should get to a meeting. La Leche League that is! Sometimes they have meetings for tandum nursers.

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C.A.

answers from Chicago on

I personally have never done it, but know many people that have. Just keep offering the breast to her. I have heard/read that as your body is changing because of the preganancy so does your breast milk. It will change the flavor of it, sort of more of the colostrum flavor which is differnt from what she has been getting since your milk comes in. Try and make sure you are getting enough rest and drik planety of fluids to keep your supply up. The other thing I have heard/read was that sometimes there can start to be some sort of supply issues as well. If she is starting to east some solids hopefully that will help you as well. Remember to reast when you can haha, I know so not easy with a little one all the time and drink plenty of fluids and don;t loose sight of your goal and you will be able to do it. Good luck to you and congrats on your belly bean!!!!!

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

I just wanted to chime in with some support of your plan to nurse through pregnancy and tandem nurse. Go to your local La Leche League for nursing support. There will most likely be moms there who have done it. I know the Plainfield LLL has moms who have.

From my own experience, it can be really hard to nurse through pregnancy. My problem was that my son was such an avid nurser. As my milk diminished, he wanted to spend more time on the breast. So, it got to the point where he wanted to nurse non-stop all day long. My breasts were tender, I was hormonal and emotional. I felt terrible for trying to wean him before my 2 year goal. Any time I denied him the breast he cried. I weaned him for about 2 months before the baby was born. Then after she was born, I tandem nursed for about 3 months. I had to wean him after that because he would go crazy every time I nursed the baby -- pull her away from the breast and throw fits -- and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I still feel like he got cheated because I got pregnant while he was nursing. And I got pregnant on purpose -- I didn't think it would be so hard to nurse through pregnancy. My kids are almost exactly 2 years apart, so I pretty much did nurse him for 2 years with the exception of the 2 months before his sister was born that I tried to wean him.

BTW -- my son is now 3, my daughter is 15 mos. My son still regularly asks to nurse. My daughter is still nursing and I plan to keep it up as long as she's interested.

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

Check out this link,it's a great site for breastfeeding issues...
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/tandem/index.html

I nursed my first until she was two. Then I got pregnant and started to wean because the pregnancy was hard on my body. (ie: I lost 8 lbs in four weeks.)

I nursed the second baby until he was just over a year. When I got pregnant again and my milk supply started to decrease. He was exclusively breastfed and would not take a bottle (easily). One night he had trouble settling and I offered him a bottle of cow's milk (he was 12 months already). He guzzled it down. I started offering milk after nursing him, and eventually the milk was enough.

I know generally demand determines the supply, but I've heard when you are pregnant the hormones sometimes decrease supply and increasing nursing won't help. I'm not sure how true that is, but I wasn't willing to push it. Pregnacies are hard on my body.

Make sure you get the proper nutrition and take care of yourself!

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P.D.

answers from Chicago on

S.-

yes, you can nurse through this pregnancy and on to tandem nursing... there are some good books on tandem nursing... check on amazon.

there is no reason to use formula... if she needs fluids water is fine.

P.,RLC, IBCLC
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions

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G.K.

answers from Chicago on

Whoo Hoo! Congratulations on the pregnancy. I too nursed while I was pregnant. Although mine were even closer in age. I got pregnant with my second when my first was only 4 months old. He was a fertility baby so my doctor told us to "do it like bunnies" as soon as we were able. And lo and behold, my kiddies are only 13 months apart. I nursed my son, my first until he was 16 month old and that was obviously all through my pregancy with my daughter. She was perfectly fine and delivered more than healthy. The human body is amazing and both were more than adequately nourished. He weaned himself, just stopped one day...way before I wanted to stop. My daughter stopped about the same age. Neither one ever had one drop of formula and both are doing fine. Good luck to you and your family. Relax all will be great.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

S., Congratulations on your pregnancy! LLL's Adventures in Tandem Nursing was a helpful read when I was pregnant with no. 2. For most women, it's safe to BS throughout pregnancy. My older daughter is 4, but she's a nurse-a-holic and I'm glad I never cut her off completely. It's still useful to comfort her and give her mommy time when the baby takes up all the rest of the time.

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J.O.

answers from Chicago on

S.,

first congrats second it can be can done. My 7 1/2 and six year were nursed together for a long time. Our bodies are designed for it! Good luck.

J. O

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

From what I have read, for most women it is completely safe to nurse while pregnant, but if you have a history of any preterm labor...it may not be. Just talk to your dr. if you have had problems with that in the past. Your milk supply will drop at some point and the milk will change consistency....thicker, richer, more like colostrum and different tasting. It's completely fine for your older baby to have this milk, but she may not like it...working harder to get small amounts that don't taste like what she was used to. So it will probably take some work but completely do-able. I would look into some books on tandem nursing to get some more info...and of course, kellymom is always good.

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D.B.

answers from Chicago on

Yes! It is entirely do-able. It will not hurt your unborn baby to nurse and it can be a good experience tandem nursing. Your 9 month old may be going through a developmental growth spurt and may just be interested in doing other things. I suggest you contact your local La Leche League group, they are really helpful and can give you appropriate info on tandem nursing and bf in general (sometimes doctors aren't skilled when it comes to lactation.) Good luck!

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

I did it and I'm so glad that I did. My daugther was 14 months old when I got pregnant and I fully intended on tandem nursing if that's what she wanted and it's worked out that way. I know some babies wean themselves when the mom is pregnant but my daughter loved nursing too much to let low supply stop her! By the end she wasn't nursing very much at all but after my son was born she went at it like a newborn again. She's slowly getting back to normal 5 months later. Tandem nursing can be great in the sense that you can get both kids to calm down at the same time but if your older one is jealous, it may pose a problem. I guess you'll see how it goes. I read "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" and "Mothering your Nursing Toddler" to get a feel for what it was going to be like.
There is more than enough milk for two babies. My milk came in even faster than with my first. I didn't realize how much my supply had decreased until my milk came in again. Your OB may tell you not to nurse while pregnant but it's perfectly safe assuming you have a good safe and low risk pregnancy. My midwife told me that unless I was having contractions then it was perfectly fine. Good luck.

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L.T.

answers from Chicago on

Have you tried contacting your local La Leche League organization? There are several in your area and I know they can give you informed counsel on your situation. http://www.llli.org/Web/Illinois.html

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