Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pregnant and breastfeeding

So - I'm 32 weeks pregnant and 'still' breastfeeding my 21 month old daughter.

How did that happen?

I'm not sure really.

When I had E, I planned to breastfeed for 6 months...because I thought it was the 'done thing' (thanks to all the formula advertising perpetuating that particular myth). We ended up breastfeeding until just shy of his first birthday. At this point, he was only feeding once or twice a day and after a long weekend away, during which he quite happily had cow's milk in the morning and at bedtime, we kind of just stopped. It was stress-free for both of us.

This time round, B was nowhere near stopping at a year, so we carried on. I was lucky enough to catch first time and got pregnant when she was around 14 months. I read up on breastfeeding while pregnant and assumed that she would self-wean as my supply changed and dropped through the pregnancy.

Indeed, during the second trimester she would go for a couple of days and at one point 10 days without wanting to feed, so I figured we'd ended our breastfeeding relationship in a smooth and lovely way. But then, she got slapped cheek disease and was unwell for a couple of weeks. The feeds picked up again and now we're still feeding more than ever.

I think now I'm past 30 weeks the colostrum is now in and she's thoroughly enjoying the taste as well as the comfort breastfeeding provides.

I've been very lucky - lots of pregnant women face issues such as nipple sensitivity, soreness and nursing aversion. I've not really had to deal with any of that. In fact, the only issues I'm facing are those of people around me. Comments like 'she's only doing it for comfort' and 'you'll have to stop that soon' and 'she's getting too old, she doesn't need it anymore' are quite frankly, unhelpful.

At 21 months, she obviously still does need the comfort it provides and I'm still helping her developing immune system.

Other comments, such as 'you'll run yourself into the ground' and 'you're just being a martry' are also unhelpful. Yes, I'm tired, but no more so than any other woman in their 3rd trimester.

I'm now preparing myself for tandem nursing. Yes, it will be hard work. But why will it be more hard work than forcing a child to wean when she's not ready. And, given that little B has already shown signs that she might be jealous of a new arrival, I'll be glad to have an extra weapon in my armoury to show I can still offer her the comfort and nutrition she requires.

Apparently, tandem nursing can help reduce sibling rivalry.

It's going to be a tough, but ultimately rewarding journey. And I'm actually quite looking forward to all the snuggles I'll be getting.
B still gets a lot of comfort from breastfeeding and it's great for getting an overtired toddler to drop off

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally rubbish, but will try to give you a call next week. Hope all is going well.