Pregnant and Breastfeeding

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Elysium's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/26/10
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Pregnant and Breastfeeding

I haven't seen any other posts on this topic on this site so I thought I'd add a little something. I am currently 14 weeks along with baby #2 and nursing my 11 1/2 months old little boy. I have always planned to allow all my children to self-wean and while TTC I never questioned that I would tandem nurse. I recently finished reading the book "Adventures In Tandem Nursing" and found it to be very balanced and informative - a recommended read for anyone but especially mothers thinking of tandem breastfeeding!! It really opened my eyes to the difficulties that may arise, the common misconceptions that other people may have, and the fact that tandem nursing doesn't always work out for all families.
My first clue that I was pregnant was actually nipple sensitivity and tenderness, which was most noticeable when DS was nursing. Occasionally I would cut our nursing sessions a little short and return a few minutes later to finish, which helped my greatly if the discomfort was getting to be a little much. For the most part, however, I found the nipple tenderness to be quite bearable, especially after I knew for sure what was causing it. The tenderness did not last very long and we have since moved on to our next little speed bump: supply.
I have definitely noticed a decrease in my milk production this past month. My breasts are softer and smaller (tear) and DS has noticed a difference as well, sometimes (usually during a comfort nurse) he will nurse for a bit and then just nuzzle and cuddle with the breast in his mouth. I guess at those times the cuddling and intimacy are more important then the effort it may take to get more milk. Even with diminished supply I feel I am still adequately meeting his nutritional needs. I was concerned about how much he might be getting and several times I counted his swallows - there were enough strong audible swallows that I was able to allay my worries. Plus, at his age I am able to give him other drinks and foods to meet his needs as well. In the run of a day he usually has a cup of water, one of 1/2 juice 1/2 water, and one of cow's milk, in addition to all the 'nukums' he wants.
I read in the 'Tandem Nursing' book about one mother who used a visualization technique to get better let-down during the drier months of pregnancy. She would picture a pyramid of boobs and as these fountains started to flow in her mind she would flow too. Well, I tried that image but all it induced for me was laughter, but I thought it was a good idea so I found an image that would work for me. I just think back to right after DS was born and I was engorged - we went to a store to buy some nursing bras and while I was trying them on I bent over to pick up the bra to try on and when I stood back up I saw my naked breasts in the mirror just pouring milk out onto the floor. That mental picture and the memory of that sensation works to get me going and then I focus on my little boy's face as he suckles and think about giving him my milk to nourish him in every way. Since using this visualization I actually think my supply has increased a little, and definitely DS does not have to work as hard to get at the good stuff!
The only challenge I'm really still working on is forcing myself to eat enough. Thankfully nausea is starting to subside now and that is helping. But I never did like to eat very much (I would routinely totally forget to eat entire meals before DS was concieved). Now I have to make a conscious effort to try to get as many calories in as I can (never thought I'd be on a diet like THAT!!). I've got snacks piled up in the cupboards, the fridge full of fruit and veggies, and a supply of 'liquid meals' to help get stuff in even if I am feeling really awful. I try to always have a snack and a big drink of water on the go. I don't think I'm quite at 2600+ calories/day but I'm doing pretty good. I think it likely that things will get easier as my appetite continues to increase.
With my belly starting to grow, and the sensation of "feeling pregnant" beginning, we are making more use of pillows to nurse and are trying some different positions.
I would say that breastfeeding is definitely going great for us and I hope to continue to breastfeed my son throughout the pregnancy and right up to and beyond the point where I introduce my firstborn to his new sibling and nurture them both together at my breast.

Starryblue702's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 04/06/11
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I have such a difficult time nursing (because I always have to go right back to work after baby is born) that I couldn't even imagine BF while I was pregnant, too! Very impressive, I hope it works out for you!