Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

I came across this article about Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and thought it might be interesting to talk about. Have I already discussed this? Am I already starting to repeat myself?

Anyway..... I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after my son's 1st birthday (long story REAL short? Literally, my husband had returned from India the day of Arun's birthday. Happy Birthday, Arun!! Mama and Daddy know how to celebrate in STYLE.".... Um, yeah. ) I did not want to wean Arun right away and my doctor was very much of the opinion that I didn't have to. I did find out from a variety of folks' reaction (some subtle, some NOT so subtle) that there seems to be some sort of taboo about breastfeeding during pregnancy. That's fine, WHATEVER. I simply didn't want to yank Arun away from breastfeeding if I didn't need to. I have to be honest, though - nursing was VERY painful with the whole "breast tenderness" thing that goes in the early months of pregnancy. And I did have to be careful to eat healthy so that all three of us weren't deprived of anything. Eating healthy was a little more difficult than you'd think because when you are in throes of morning sickness, sometimes a big honkin' glass of milk isn't what you want to see. Know what I mean? But it was worth it. Arun weaned on a time schedule that worked for him and we had no issues with it.

I had planned on weaning Arun around 18 months - in April. For a variety of reasons, I didn't want to tandem nurse - I know many gals who have nursed 2 children at once successfully, but I knew it wasn't for me. Therefore, I wanted Arun to be weaned at least a few months before the baby was born so there wouldn't be any resentments when the baby took his place at the dinner table. When Arun was around 13 months, I began mixing up the nursing sessions and I started to break routines. We no longer used breastfeeding as a way of going to sleep or waking up. We went to Boston when he was 15 months and I think the trip threw both of us out of sync. I forgot to offer breastfeeding, he forgot to ask. On the flight home, I realized that this may be a better time to wean, if he was ready for it. So I nursed him one last time on that final flight to equalize his ear pressure. When we returned from the trip, I didn't offer it and gauged his reaction. He didn't ask for it. At all. I think I would have been more sad if I hadn't already known that I would be jumping right back on the Boobie Train this July. I should note that my doctor did say that one of her children she nursed during a pregnancy flat out complained about the "salty" taste. Your milk changes during pregnancy and if you do decide to nurse while pregnant, be prepared for disappointed reactions.

Okay - now the article. I am not confident that this is the best article I've ever seen on the topic of breastfeeding during pregnancy. I really, really didn't like the author's repeated use of "resort", as if you should only do it if given no other choice. I did want to point out the article, though because breastfeeding during pregnancy IS possible. I am very much of the opinion that no mother should feel forced to wean her child solely because she is pregnant. Weaning is difficult enough for mother and child, why make it harder?

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