Monday, April 03, 2006

Nursing while pregnant

I have finally hit another bump in the road of my nursing relationship with Iris. The first was my "flat nipples" which was cured in a day. The second was hit-or-miss ability to pump enough milk for Iris when I was away from her working (I could often be seen feverishly pumping milk minutes before I had to be out the door in order for her to have enough to eat while I was away) and now it's becoming pregnancy-induced supply issues. Grumble grumble.

For a while I was sure my supply actually increased. My boobies grew, anyways, and Iris was nursing like a madwoman. It at least seemed like there was more than enough to go around. These days, the boobies seem to be telling a different story. Iris has taken to asking for "that one?" after nursing one side, so I will shift her to the other. I am beginning to think it's because she hasn't gotten enough. In the past few days I have tried to express milk by hand. I don't get the long gushing streams I used to get, but now, not even a drop. Not a single drop. Not even after Iris has just finished, when I could ALWAYS get some milk to express. I may be more in tune with it in the last 24 hours because I just got home and was extra freaked that I damaged our nursing relationship by being away from her for a day and a half. She seems fine, still wanting to nurse as normal.

I just wish I could A) tell if she was getting enough milk (meaning, enough to satisfy her) and B) if not, what can I do about it? I emailed my naturopath to see if she has suggestions for increasing supply while pregnant, I'll have to wait and see.

Has anyone else gone through this? Did you struggle to keep up your supply so as to not prematurely end the nursing relationship? I really don't feel like losing supply due to pregnancy translates to child-led weaning, which I am striving for. Anyone have any thoughts on that, as well?

2 comments:

  1. I obviously did not go through this, but my comment is that my friend, A. had flat nipples and it never got better. She finally gave up after a couple months cause her baby never could latch on. So, you're lucky it resolved itself!

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  2. I am 18 weeks pregnant with my second child and going through the same thing right now with my almost 3 year old son. My husband and I made a conscious decision to become pregnant again, but my biggest concern was my milk drying up during pregnancy and "forcing" Jack to wean before he was ready. Before I became pregnant, he was nursing very often (8-10 times a day and at night) so I knew he'd never wean within 4 months on his own if I wasn't pregnant. But the timing was right for becming pregnant otherwise and we didn't want to wait too long, so we went ahead and were successsful right away. For the first 2 months all was as normal, except my nipples were really sore. But I stuck with it, knowing that it would pass in time, and it has. But little by little, Jack began asking for "gee" less and less and went down to about 2-3 times a day, and also began sleeping through the night. I could tell my milk was drying up by his sucking and also by the lack of a let-down tingling that I'd always felt at each nursing prior to that. I was determined for him to self-wean, so I followed the "don't offer, don't refuse" attitude (I really wanted him to continue through my pregnancy and afterwards) because I didn't want my desire for him to continue to affect his decision either. At this point, he rarely asks to nurse anymore at all, and if anything it's once a day, usually at bedtime or when he first wakes up in the morning. I'm very comfortable with his weaning (even though I thought I'd be heartbroken!) for 2 reasons...he hasn't shown any distress in weaning, and I feel like I have my body back to myself for the first time in 3 years! I'm prepared for his wanting to try nursing again once he sees the new baby nursing and will welcome him to whenever he wants...but I'm also ok with the other option, which is he's totally weaned and I will have only one child to nurse. I guess I'm just going to go with the flow! I'm sorry this was so long, but I hope it helped you in some way! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

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