Extended Breastfeeding and Trying to Concieve

Updated on May 30, 2010
H.H. asks from Milwaukee, WI
15 answers

I've decided to be an 'extended breastfeeder', Not only is my toddler extremely attached, but when I made my first attempt at weaning, I became super depressed and felt like I was grieving. So I've changed my 'plans' lol. I've also been trying for another baby. What I'm wondering, is, are there any other mom's out there who have successfully conceived while they were breastfeeding longer than 2 yrs? I've heard of clomid, but am nervous as I've heard it can cause some pretty intense mood swings, along with depression and anxiety.

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answers from Honolulu on

I got pregnant, while breastfeeding... meaning, my daughter was about 2.5 years old when she self-weaned. Before then, that is when I got pregnant.
I did extended breastfeeding with both my kids. And I let them self-wean.

You CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding.

I got pregnant naturally. And I was not 'young' when I did conceive.

all the best,

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answers from Madison on

I was (and am) an extended breastfeeder and conceived my second baby while still breastfeeding (although I did get my period a month before I got pregnant). I actually continued to breastfeed while pregnant for several months until it got too painful and tiring and I finally weaned ( she was 2 and 2 months old). My doctor told me it would be O.K. to continue breastfeeding throughout the entire pregnancy if I chose!

Good luck and happy breastfeeding!
P.S.- I wouldn't take any drugs if not neccessary-I didn't. But, it does help to cut down a little on some breastfeedings to get your period back(if you haven't already)

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answers from Augusta on

I've been pg 5 times when extended nusing - one of those times when extend nusing two children! (3 ended in miscarriage but that's unrelated to nursing. I had 2 losses while not nursing as well). I tandem nursed my first pair for 25 months. I'm 15 months into tandeming my second pair. My kids are spaced nearly 3 years apart for both spacings.

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answers from Minneapolis on

A really good resource is the book Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Matgen Kippley. Every women's return to fertility is different, but many people are able to conceive while nursing.

Good Luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I am a let them wean on their own type of mom and I breastfed my first, got pregnant with my second (when my first was 2 years old at the time of conception) and breastfed my first until he was about 4, although not nearly as often. All very naturally. I got pregnant with my third while breastfeeding my second (who was about 25 months old at the time of conception) and ended up weaning him when I was 6-7 weeks pregnant and he was about 27 months old. I regret weaning him and wish I never would have done it. It was so hard on us both. You can do it and you can do it natually. There are many moms out there that get pregnant while breastfeeding. I would also call a LaLache League leader in your area.......they are a wealth of information on this kind of stuff. Good luck and follow your instincts
I would also like to add......I got pregnant with my second on our very first try and the same with my third. They also were very frequent nursers at the time of conception so I really don't think that has all that much to do with your fertility. I think everybody's fertility is different whether you are nursing or not. If you have problems getting pregnant you will probably have problems again. I had babies at 36, 39 and age 42......so age has nothing to do with it either.

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answers from Seattle on

My period returned when my son was 19 months old, and it took 6 months to conceive after that. He was nursing many times day and night at that time. It is possible. Good luck!



answers from Milwaukee on

I was nursing at 16 months and conceived . My son nursed a lot ~ maybe 6 times a day. If you're curious, I would purchase an ovulation kit. Good luck:)



answers from Phoenix on

If you have gotten your period back, even if it is irregular, then you can conceive. My son was just over 2 and mainly night-nursing when we conceived our second. I had a total of maybe 6 periods between my son's birth and our second conception, so definitely very irregular. I was very surprised, as I thought I would have to wean completely and let my body get back to a regular cycle...but it only takes one egg, right? If you do not get a period at all, you may need to wait until your son is ready to wean. My advice- "practice" often! My date of ovulation had to have happened around 20 days after my last period, way later than "normal," so you really never know when you will be fertile. Best of luck to you, and let me know if you need advice about tandem breastfeeding!!



answers from Wausau on

Our oldest had just turned 1 when we decided to start 'trying' to give him a sibling-I was still nursing him, I worked 3 days/wk & pumped once while at work, nursed him right before we left home & usually as soon as I got to Gmas to pick him up. Well his brother was conceived that 1st month we tried. I was told by my doc not to be surprised if my body stopped producing milk during my pg-at month 4 it did just that. Our son suggled in to nurse & then, pulled back & looked at me, got up & walked away. Didn't even look twice at them for months, until on day in the tub a few weeks before baby#2 was born-my milk was coming back & he could smell it :)
Baby #3 is now 2.5 & still nursing once or twice a day. Good luck. I always took 50 mg of B6 prior to & during each pg, to regulate hormone levels to conceive & to keep morning sickness at bay. I took 1/2 of each pill in the morning, the other 1/2 at supper time & then my prenatal at bedtime (which has some B6) I have read that if you take B6 to get pg you should continue it during pg to avoid risk of miscarriage, but I haven't checked that with a doc. without B6 the last part of my cycle can be a little too short to implant an egg.



answers from Duluth on

ive heard that a lot of moms "tandem breastfeed" - look it up - mothering.com is probably a great resource for that. caution; they tend to have VERY natural mothering tendencies, which can sometimes seem offensive. but they are VERY informative!

anyway, it seems that it doesnt hurt to have a nursing sibling while getting pregnant, being pregnant, or even after baby is delivered! :) KUDOS to you for listening to your child and being willing to adjust your plans to baby's needs!! that is fantastic!

ive also heard that some moms feel that tandem breastfeeding decreased sibling rivalry. you wouldnt want your child to think that you took away their nursing to replace it with baby's nursing; so its a perfect way to prevent jealousy and give the older child some attention that they really need when a new baby comes! :) :)

www.llli.org is the la leche league website. they will have GOBS of information for you regarding breastfeeding 2 kids at a time. its more common than you think! :) :)

and way to go! ! congratulations for your excellent parenting!



answers from New York on

I was unable to conceive while breastfeeding. We needed help conceiving our first child so when we decided to have another I let my reproductive endocronolgist (fertility doctor) know that I was still breastfeeding. He told me that I needed to wean my son before we could begin treatment. I pointed out that I knew a couple of people who conceived while breastfeeding and he said that while that does sometimes happen it is not the norm and there was no point of me beginning fertility treatments while actively nursing my son.
We began an IUI cycle while I was still weaning my son. (I was really anxious to begin) He was getting the breast maybe 3-4 days a week. The IUI didn't work. I let the Dr. know that I was still in the process of weaning and he told me in no uncertain terms that that was most likely why the IUI failed. Your nursing body produces hormones that affects implantation.
Yes, some women will get pregnant while nursing, but they may just be much more fertile.
I decided to not begin another cycle until my son was weened. There was no point in putting my body and my brain, for that matter, through the hormone treatments if I was just going to sabatoge it.
I spent hours looking up information about nursing and conceiving. It was a tough search and I wish I had bookmarked some of the sites I found that explained things better than I am.
I wish you the best. Good luck.



answers from Duluth on

We lived in a hippie town in Washington state when I had my first, and the online mom's group I was part of actually had a whole section dedicated to tandem nursing--nursing your older toddler while nursing your newborn. So, yes, it's very possible. However...I saw one mom here say if your periods have returned, you can get pregnant, which is not entirely true. Both a good friend and I had to wean--entirely--before getting pregnant. Now, perhaps if we had been more persistent, we would have wound up pregnant, but they tried for over a year before weaning and we tried 8 months. We conceived the very first month of absolutely no breastfeeding (he was at 4x a day when we started trying...at 2 years old...after a couple months of no luck, we cut them in half, then down to one, and then we conceived). Anyway--it's probably worth considering whether you're ready to be done with nursing, but it's also probably worth a shot at trying to get pregnant while nursing, since it does seem to work for more people than it doesn't. Oh--and what the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding says--is that ANY time you're nursing, even once a day, your fertility is decreased. That, obviously, does not mean "you can't get pregnant," which is why they say so often not to use bf'ing as birth control--but they also say that ending night nursing and going at least 8 hours between feedings is a good start to resuming fertility.

Oh--and I had my period starting 6 weeks after delivery; I breastfed him exclusively for 6 months, and we nursed until 29 months.



answers from San Diego on

My son was 14 months when I conceived with number two and was a HUGE comfort nurser. I am still nursing him and baby #2, at 7 months and 31 months.

It can certainly affect your fertility, but breastfeeding and conceiving can occur simultaneously.

I couldn't tell from your post if your nurser is over two or will be over two when you wean?

You can do some accupuncture and herbs to assist your fertility that are safe while nursing. I took Pregnancy Prep both times and was pregnant really quickly.....did it work? Who knows, but it made me feel like I was doing something.

Good luck.



answers from Pittsburgh on

With all eight of my children, I got pregnant while breastfeeding. It was not while I was exclusively breastfeeding. It was after my babies started eating solids, which varied with each child. I even remember nursing two babies at a time.
Good luck with your next pregnancy.



answers from Omaha on

Congratulations! I too, was an extended nursing Mom. I just weaned my youngest last fall. I loved so many things about it and would do it again in a heartbeat. We had a hard time getting pregnant with the first one and ended up getting pregnant with the second earlier than "planned"! Go figure! I wanted to wean my almost 3 year old when baby number two was born and we ended up tandem nursing another year. Wouldn't change it for anything. Didn't really see that one happening and now after my sister had breast cancer, I am REALLY glad I did on yet another level. For every year you nurse, you reduce your cancer risk by about 30%. (Do you think I get bonus points for exclusive nursing and newborn and tandem nursing another?) I don't know about using clomid and the effects, but I do know there are very few OB/Gyns who know much about nursing. Try visiting with a lacatation specialist and a midwife. I have found them to be more informed.
Good luck and God Bless!

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