Monday, August 6, 2012

Breastfeeding while Pregnant

This post is two parts.  
1. How it's been breastfeeding a 21 month old and 2. what It's like nursing while pregnant.


Part 1.
These past few months have flown by! I checked in with our breastfeeding status at 10 months and was aiming for at least 10 more.  I am please to say that we're still milking it, and I had planned on continuing on for quite a while longer and we'll see how long my body is into that.  I hope it lasts a while longer since Sonja Cake still drinks quite a bit of milk.

It wasn't until our recent staycation, though, that I realized how much milk she actually drinks.  I thought one baby free night would be easy on everyone.  She'd have fun with her aunt and uncle and we'd sleep in and enjoy a baby free bed.  And, while all of those things did happen; it wasn't until I woke up at 6:45 in the morning, that I realized something {slightly} unexpected.  Engorgement.  I thought I wasn't even making that much milk. I thought she was comfort nursing most of the time.  I thought I had a low milk supply and she was nursing out of convenience/shyness/closeness.  I was wrong.  The cup in the photo above, is my milk, which I hand expressed {I don't own a pump} when I woke up on our staycation.

My milk was full and I had to express it right away.  I couldn't bear to toss it down the drain.  So, I grabbed a cup, collected it all, and saved it.

I jokingly told skylar, he should add whiskey to it and make it an "Irish Car Mom." 
I'm so clever.

He didn't.  

I ended up saving it in a water bottle and giving it to Cupcake when we got home.  Thankfully, our hotel had a mini fridge, so, it was chilled until we headed home.  She drank from me right away and then later in the day, this milk, from her cup.  We never had much success with bottles early on.  When I was gone for a few hours to teach; so, I wan't sure if she'd even drink milk from a cup. She didn't seem to mind that it was cold, but did prefer the real deal.  

Her aunt Gretchen mentioned to me that she was asking for milk "Chi Chi" {Spanish (Mexico) for boobs} the night before.  When Gretchen explained to her that mommy and daddy were on vacation, Sonja replied "Chi Chis on vacation, too."  Which is about the cutest thing I've ever heard.

Girl loves her milk, and I don't want her to give it up anytime soon, but with a new baby growing, the likeliness of my milk drying up is sadly greater than not.  

Part 2.
At 4 or 5 weeks of this pregnancy I started noticing discomfort while Sonja nursed.  At first it was mild and I was still comfortable once she latched.  Unfortunately, it's gotten much more uncomfortable when she latches.  It hurts.  I don't mind though, once she's on because it's so calming for her.  I know my pain isn't being wasted and as long as she's still getting milk I feel like I owe it to her {and me} to give her what is best.  I know my nipples were sore during the last pregnancy, but I do think I either adjusted or stopped noticing and maybe that will happen again this time.  I have heard that the milk does dry up though after the first trimester, but I've also heard of women nursing through their pregnancies.  I know there are some risks of preterm labor when nursing an older sibling during the pregnancy, but those risks are low and I don't fall into any of the other high risks for preterm labor.  So, as long as the midwife consents to continuing nursing, I'll endure the pain for what's best for Sonja.  It's really a small inconvenience to experience the sensation when she latches, and sometimes after a while it comes back, but I know it's one of our few sacred bonds and I'm not quite ready to break it.  Especially, since it's probably only going to get more interesting if I choose to tandem nurse with this next baby.

So, here we are at 21 months.  And I'll update you all again, closer to the 2 year mark {when I'm about 15 weeks pregnant}.  Since the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 2 years of breastfeeding, it's my goal to make it that long.  And if desired by Sonja {and me}, as long as I can handle the inconvenience of breastfeeding as toddler and the pain of nursing while pregnant, and there after.

Wish me luck!

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1 comment:

  1. Good luck!! I'm really glad to have found another extended breastfeeder in the blog world. My daughter is almost 15 months, and still sucking strong with absolutely no signs of weaning. I feel like there aren't many of us out here, and it's hard to find support (especially in the USA) since it's so rare here.

    Good Luck! I can't wait to continue to read about your nursing through pregnancy. Congratulations too!!!