Nursing a toddler (a 2-year-old) while pregnant

I said a long time ago that I wanted to write about my experiences nursing a toddler – not only for my own record, but in hopes that it might provide some insight to someone else out there. I figure I need to tackle this topic soon (and actually started this entry a couple weeks ago), while I still have time to reflect on it and blog about it before baby boy gets here, so here goes…

I always knew that I would nurse my children, but I never thought about the length of time I would do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has their recommendations, as does the World Health Organization. Both seem to agree that breastfeeding should continue “as long as mutually desired by mother and child.” I figured I would play it by ear with Ava, allowing her to self-wean if possible, but not commit to anything one way or the other.

She celebrated her second birthday in June 2006 and nursing continued. By this time, Ava was only nursing a few times a day and had night-weaned as of 22 months. I’m not sure if the drop in nursing came as a result of her age or as a result of my milk drying up with my pregnancy. I had become pregnant with our second child in February 2006, and my milk dried up somewhere around 15 weeks pregnant.

While nursing a toddler was not something that bothered me, nursing a toddler while pregnant (with all the lovely pregnancy hormones coursing through my system) and without any milk coming out was less than appealing to me. I kept at it despite the fact that it wasn’t always easy, partially because I felt like it was easier to grin and bear it rather than wean. I know that may not have been the best way to respond and others chose different paths (which I can totally understand), but that’s how I handled it.

There was a time, several weeks ago, when I was seriously contemplating weaning Ava before baby boy is born. I was having such a hard time and feeling very overwhelmed with nursing (even though it wasn’t that often) and life in general. But after talking with several other moms who are either nursing now while pregnant or have nursed while pregnant, and reading the chapter about nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing in “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler,” I was reassured that all of the feelings I was having were completely normal. Such a relief! That didn’t make nursing any easier, but it did reassure me that there was nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I did.

Here we are now – me at 37+ weeks pregnant and Ava at 28 months old. She is still nursing 1 to 2 times per day – which consists of always before bedtime (though she doesn’t nurse to sleep) and sometimes once in the middle of the day. I managed to cut out the morning nursing session fairly easily by way of distraction. When she does nurse now, I place restrictions on it and it’s only for 2 to 3 minutes at most, which is really all I can handle. There have been times when nursing is just too much for me at the time and I tell her that mommy is feeling frustrated, etc. She understands and has been fine with me placing restrictions, so it works for us.

I’m hoping that by continuing to nurse her, it will make her transition from being an only child to an older sister a bit easier, since we will still have that special connecting time together each day. I know that moms who wean are still able to connect with their older child, but maybe by sharing something as sacred to her as mommy’s milk with baby brother, it will help calm her uneasiness with the changes of having to share mommy with someone else. Time will tell.

I never expected nursing while pregnant to be as difficult as it has been. Hormones can do crazy things to a person. I can totally understand why women wean while they are pregnant and I wouldn’t have been too upset if Ava had decided to wean on her own. Of course, that didn’t happen. πŸ˜‰

I’m still not making any promises as to how long nursing will continue. We will take it day by day, even after baby boy comes. No matter what happens, I feel good about the nursing relationship Ava and I have had and know that we both have shared some precious memories together over the years.

I welcome any tales from mamas who have nursed while pregnant or tandem nursed. It’s always nice to know I’m not alone. Thank you. πŸ™‚

By the way, I did some searches for nursing a toddler and found this info on LLL’s site with “Toddler Tips”, as well as info about nursing while pregnant. Also found this with “Toddler Nursing Testimonials.”

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82 thoughts on “Nursing a toddler (a 2-year-old) while pregnant”

  1. I think you are being very realistic to take it one day at a time. I was told by everyone to wean before baby sister came, even my LLL leader but I think that weaning down to 1-2 times a day made it easier than weaning completely. There have been days when I really feel like a bad mama for not paying enough attention or being so “short fused” that it is such a nice way for Mason and I to have quiet, cuddle time. I am not sure how long I’ll make it but hopefully Mason will still be able to decide when he is completely done.

  2. i think i told you before that i nursed while pregnant and tandem nursed. i don’t recall!?

    anyways, i did, and it was both *wonderful* and *frustrating* LOL. but i’d do it again in a heartbeat. those pregnancy hormones can make nursing painful at times, and if your child is getting less milk than they hoped for, it can be frustrating.

    i also had to set some limitations at times, and my son was also as understanding as Ava is. i do think that it helped smooth the transition, my son still felt very attached because we still had our special nursing time together. he ended up weaning about 4-5 months after his sister’s birth (at 2 years, 4 months old).

    i never did master nursing them both at the same time.. they both sucked so differently, it was irritating to have them both on at the same time, but i know other women who have handled that better than me πŸ™‚

    my daughter weaned at 2 years, 6 months old, so i guess i won’t have another opportunity to tandem nurse, and i am so happy that i did it while i could!

    i wish you and ava and baby brother a happy nursing relationship!

  3. I haven’t had any children of my own, but my parents have photos of my mother nursing both myself, and my sister B-, while pregnant with my sister A-. I was four, B- was 3. I hope when I do have kids, my milk is as plentiful as hers was (and how weird did it just feel to write that?).

    Best of luck to you

  4. I guess I am thinking along the same lines as Caroline… if your milk has dried up, how are you still nursing Ava? and WHY if there’s no milk? lol Maybe that’s why you feel the way you do sometimes, because you know there’s not a nutritional reason for it at this point??
    Good luck with your upcoming home birth. I look forward to reading about it.

  5. Caroline and Tonja – It’s fairly common for a woman’s milk to “dry up” while she is pregnant. However, it’s also fairly common that her nursling will still want to continue nursing – despite the fact that they aren’t getting any milk. This is a bit of a generalization based on children I’ve known over the past few years, but it seems that children who are over the age of 15 – 18 months or so when the milk dries up have such an emotional attachment to nursing that they want to continue to do it even though there’s no more milk for them. Whereas children who are a bit younger are just nursing primarily for the milk/nutrition and they self-wean when there’s no more milk to be had.
    So anyway, the short answer is – I continue to nurse Ava because she still wants to nurse. πŸ™‚ She is getting other benefits from nursing besides comfort and security though, since my colostrum (which contains immune factors and growth factors) came in many weeks ago. And of course, a few days after baby boy is born, my milk will “come in” again and she’ll get the benefits of that again as well. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the good luck wishes. πŸ™‚

    Annie – Thanks for your encouragement. I’m surprised your LLL leader even advised you to wean. I would think she’d tell you that it might be hard, etc., but leave the decision up to you and not try to tell you what you should do. Glad that you are still enjoying some special time with Mason each day. πŸ™‚

    Michelle – Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m not sure how I feel about nursing them at the same time either since I know a newborn’s suck is totally different from a toddler’s – like you said. I think I would find it uncomfortable too, but we’ll see what happens. Also glad to hear you’d do it all again.
    Thanks for the well-wishes. πŸ™‚

    Erica – Welcome to my blog and thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚
    Wow – how amazing that your mother did that! I don’t think I could nurse two kids while pregnant with a third. It was hard enough with just one. πŸ˜‰ Very cool that you have pictures to remember such a special time in all of your lives. πŸ™‚

  6. I really admire you for continuing to feed Ava at this point.

    I’d have been happy to still be feeding Lana now, but she self weaned at 14 months. I was really quite sad when she did, but looking back, I think 14 months was an ok time. She still got plenty of benefit from it. I just wasn’t ready for her to not be my baby anymore.. (I’m still not!)Sigh.

    Kaya self weaned at 15 months when I was pregnant with Lana. I thought it was because of the milk drying up. But since Lana did it at about the same age I’ve started to question that theory.

    I’m looking forward to hearing how tandem feeding works out for you. I’ve always though that’s a precious way to bond and help older children accept a new sibling.

  7. Denise – Thank you. πŸ™‚ Interesting that both girls weaned around the same age but with different circumstances. I think it’s awesome that they were able to wean when they were ready though, even though it may have been hard for you to have your babies “grow up.”
    I think it will be bittersweet for me when Ava weans (whenever that day comes). And I’m sure I’ll be posting about my tandem nursing adventures in the weeks/months to come.

    Nelly – *nod* Thanks for the good luck wishes.

  8. Not having a child, i still find this subject very interesting, and also the comments people have made, Amy… If i ever do get pregnant, i know at least one place i can look toward for insight… right here. I appreciate you sharing all of the information and your feelings, Amy.

  9. Avery was 3 months when we started feeding her baby cereal, she took to eating so good. by four months my milk started drying up and I realize that my milk supply was not enough to support her appetite. She weened herself by 5 months and it hurt emotionally for me that I was no longer needed for nursing but discovered at 6 months that I was already 3 months pregnant. I felt a small relief knowing that it was the new baby hormones causing me to dry up and not anything I had done. Though my parents tried to give me a guilt trip over not nursing avery long enough and thats why i got pregnant so quickly (not true but parents have their oppions)

  10. Avery was 3 months when we started feeding her baby cereal, she took to eating so good. by four months my milk started drying up and I realize that my milk supply was not enough to support her appetite. She weened herself by 5 months and it hurt emotionally for me that I was no longer needed for nursing but discovered at 6 months that I was already 3 months pregnant. I felt a small relief knowing that it was the new baby hormones causing me to dry up and not anything I had done. Though my parents tried to give me a guilt trip over not nursing avery long enough and thats why i got pregnant so quickly (not true but parents have their oppions)

  11. Avery was 3 months when we started feeding her baby cereal, she took to eating so good. by four months my milk started drying up and I realize that my milk supply was not enough to support her appetite. She weened herself by 5 months and it hurt emotionally for me that I was no longer needed for nursing but discovered at 6 months that I was already 3 months pregnant. I felt a small relief knowing that it was the new baby hormones causing me to dry up and not anything I had done. Though my parents tried to give me a guilt trip over not nursing avery long enough and thats why i got pregnant so quickly (not true but parents have their oppions)

  12. also, How does it work out when your milk comes in again with the new baby and Ava starts stealing from her brother?
    just curious how that works out. I know when i’ve tried to pump, it messes up my supply and demand cycle. I much prefer to have the baby attached then to use the bottle. havent even tried it with benjamin this time around.

  13. also, How does it work out when your milk comes in again with the new baby and Ava starts stealing from her brother?
    just curious how that works out. I know when i’ve tried to pump, it messes up my supply and demand cycle. I much prefer to have the baby attached then to use the bottle. havent even tried it with benjamin this time around.

  14. also, How does it work out when your milk comes in again with the new baby and Ava starts stealing from her brother?
    just curious how that works out. I know when i’ve tried to pump, it messes up my supply and demand cycle. I much prefer to have the baby attached then to use the bottle. havent even tried it with benjamin this time around.

  15. Kleopatra – Thanks for your appreciation, sweetie.
    It is a sensitive (and personal) topic and I wasn’t sure I wanted to open myself up for criticism by posting about it, but I do feel like it’s good for mamas to share about things like this and to support one another. πŸ™‚

    Avery’s mom – It’s too bad your parents tried to guilt trip you. That had to be rough. I have a friend who breastfed exclusively for nearly 9 months before starting her son on solids and she STILL got her period back at 6 wks postpartum. I, on the other hand, didn’t get mine until I was 15 months postpartum. So ya just never know.

    As for tandem nursing (nursing two or more children), first of all, I know you didn’t mean this in a bad way, but Ava will not be “stealing” from her brother. The female body is an amazing thing and capable of producing enough milk for both. πŸ™‚ It’s supply and demand, just like it would be for nursing one baby or twins, etc. The important thing is for baby boy to get the full breast each time he nurses and he will get plenty. πŸ™‚
    You can learn more about tandem nursing here –

  16. Wow, I just love reading about the fact that you are still nursing!! I love nursing my son most of the time. But in June when we went to visit family in another state, I didn’t want things to be weird with them. So I decided to wean. Plus my son was nursing very acrobatically. So it was usually uncomfortable. At the time my son was 34 months old. He turned 3 in August.

    The funny thing is that he hasn’t forgotten it. And he asks to nurse all the time when it is bed time or when he is hurt or upset. There have even been a couple of times that I let him. But there isn’t any milk left and it feels weird now. Just kind of uncomfortable again.

    So I can understand all of the strange and unusual feelings you might have while pregnant. I hope you are able to tandem nurse. It would just give me a sense of pride knowing that women out there can do that. But of course do what is best for you and your family.

    I am proud and amazed at a woman like you. I wish I would have had more friends like you when I was nursing my son. But even though I didn’t I was still able to give him almost 3 years. So that was an accomplishment for me. Plus I hope that when my son grows up that he will be supportive of his wife nursing his child.

    Good luck and be well.

  17. Blue Goddess – Thank you for sharing your experience. I think it’s awesome that you were able to nurse your son for as long as you did and that you have such fond memories of it (and obviously, he does too).
    A friend of mine has two boys and has mentioned before how she hopes that by them witnessing extended bfing and homebirth, etc., first-hand that they will encourage those kinds of things in their future spouses. And I think she is right on. Of course it’s important to empower our daughters, but it is also important to empower our sons. πŸ™‚
    I don’t know if you are interested, but there is an API chapter that meets regularly in Boulder. Email me ( if you want info or just want to join the group’s yahoo group to see what it’s all about. πŸ™‚

  18. My oldest was 6 months old when I got pregnant with my second.

    Nursing was never easy for me, and being pregnant and nursing was extremely difficult for me. I did it for almost 6 months, and I hope never to do it again.

    Of course, I have other health issues that may have made it more draining for me than it would be for most people.

    Anyway, I wrote a long post on this topic not too long ago. Let me know if you’d like the link.

  19. I love hearing extending breastfeeding stories. Congrats to you onyour decision. I vividly recall the vast range of emotions I went through during pregnancy.
    Aiyana is three years old and still nurses at bedtime. I occasionally ask her what the milk tastes like and I get a kick out of her answers. Can you believe I still have milk in there? πŸ™‚

  20. I’ve tandem nursed three times, and while my experience was a little different from yours, it was also similar.

    I was really sick and tired for my pregnancies, and nursing the toddler was the one time s/he would be still and quiet and out of trouble, lol!

    Getting more rest helped the sickness too. My milk never completely dried up, but when it got really low the discomfort was there, but it wasn’t as uncomfortable to me as the sensation of the older child’s knees touching my large belly.

    Sometimes I would have contractions while nursing during late pregnancy but I considered that a good thing, practice sessions! Overall it was a good experience.

    What’s funny are the individual kid’s reactions to the change in supply (or no reaction at all), and how they react when the milk fairy comes back after the baby’s birth!

  21. Interesting for me to revisit this now…although it did not become an issue for us. About two weeks ago, she just started pushing me away. A bittersweet milestone. She had started to cut down on her own, even before the pregnancy. And I know that I still have milk, although I also know that the taste changes and that may have contributed. But it was really gradual and her call.

  22. All of my kids stopped nursing when I was about 3 months pregnant with the other. I guess they did not like the taste of the milk at that point. (This is what I was told.)

    My last one stopped nursing just shy of 4 years. I thought I would have to get pregnant again to wean him!

  23. I just read all these comments with a type of relief/sadness. I recently ‘weaned’ my 26 month old daughter from the breast, after a couple of months down to twice a day and then a 7-night business trip. I thought weaning would be easy when I returned but she was devastated. It’s been another week, and we are still not happy with it. I have not decided what to do, if I should re-instate the one before bed or leave it – would it confuse her? She still asks but only just once in a while, and not demanding. She has been sad in the mornings, though when asked, says she doesn’t know why. I have been trying very hard to give her extra love and cuddles but it’s definitely been hard on me too. I have been mourning the loss of our special bond. Should I have stopped? I do plan to get pregnant again soon, but once I got rid of her night feeding, I really didn’t mind nursing.

    Aggh! Advice anyone?

  24. Hello I am new to your blog and have found it very helpful I just have a few questions for you and anyone else. I currently have a 17 month old Girl who still nurses and we both enjoy it very much. I am very much looking forward to nurse her until she self weans. My question is my husband and I are trying to get pregnate again and are having a hard time. has anyone eles been through that while nursing, and did anything work for you. My OB says there is nothing he can do to help because I am still nursing. Any and all help would be greatly apprechated. Thanks so much

  25. I am new to your blog, I am currently breastfeeding my 17 month old daughter and would very much like to continue until she self weans. I was just wondering if any one out there had problems becomming pregnant again while nursing. We have been trying with no sucess and my Ob said he will not help with anything until I stop breastfeeding, which I really do not want to do but also want to become pregnant very badly. Has any one else gone though something simmilar to this. Any and all help would be appreciated.

  26. Wow, are we the same person? LOL. I am 28 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 19 month old, Gwendolyn. I was hesitant about nursing while pregnant, because I won’t do anything to harm my unborn child, but once I read the information online and spoke to some midwifes, I realize that it should be o.k., as long as my pregnancy remains normal. From what I’ve heard, the oxytocin that is release while nursing and during orgasm is not nearly enough to induce labor. Being pregnant has made nursing a bit uncomfortable, but I only do it now twice a day for only 5-10 minutes at the most, for naps and bedtime. Besides being uncomfortable, I have felt slight contraction pain while doing it, but from what I heard this is normal. I will just continue to “grin and bear it”, as you said, for the sake of my child, as long as my pregnancy continues normally. If it becomes too much, I will stop, but will definetly continue as long as I can take it and my unborn child remains unharmed. I think the best thing to do while nursing during pregnancy is to use you instincts/intuition and trust your body to tell you if something isn’t right. If it doesn’t feel right, look into it right away, but if it’s not harming anything and it’s just a little uncomfortable and hard to do, but it’s better for your child and yourself, then I would continue to do it for as long as you need to. Best of luck to all of you! Remember – trust your body to tell you what is right. πŸ˜‰

  27. This thread of comments has comforted me -just knowing other moms are out there doing similar things. I am here reading because I have a 24 month old nursling and am 6 months pregnant – and have been dry-nursing for at least 2 months now. I have loved nursing our 24 month old and it has not bothered me at all that while she nurses, she plays with the other nipple – UNTIL NOW!! We always nurse to sleep, but I find that hours after we lie down,(Daddy and our 4 year old snoring away) she and I are still at it. She takes breaks and gets a drink of water, but continues to nurse. I feel so frustrated by her hand and gently try to redirect it, or at times press my own hand against my nipple so she can’t get at it. She fights me for it though and I just wake her up all the more. My first daughter nursed through my pregnancy (dry-nursed for 5 months) and loved the return of milk so much that she continued until she was 33 months old. At that point I started having guilty feelings that baby #2 and I had never had an exclusive nursing relationship, so I initiated weaning with the 33 month old. “Nursing” became a word for tickling and she loved that. It was very gentle and took about a month to come to a complete end. So, I tandem nursed for 9 months total. I wish I could do it again, but this time I don’t feel patient and bedtime has become somewhat dreaded – the nipple flicking and pinching is somewhat like Chinese water torture – not necessarily painful, just driving me crazy. Anyone have any advice? I want her to wean by herself and I don’t feel like she’s ready to be done.

  28. We nursed until I was three months pregnant, and DD was 28 months old. It was so painful, I was literally crying every time we nursed. It was so sad to wean, and yet it was best for the family. She sometimes asks about nursing after baby comes, and I am actually considering allowing her to nurse again once our son is born, in the next few weeks here. I am not going to suggest it, but if she asks, I will consider giving it a try! Good for you nursing while pregnant!

  29. What a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing your experience with nursing while pregnant. It definitely gives me hope! I know this is a pretty old blog but I was hoping to get some advice on conceiving while nursing. My husband & I will be trying in July and I’m reluctant to give up nursing before my son is ready but I’ve heard it’s really hard to conceive while nursing. Was it hard for you and did you do anything special to help conceive? Thank you again for sharing!

  30. I am nursing my 21 month old and 3.5 months pregnant with baby #2. I felt like nursing was really painful in the beginning of pregnancy, but it seems better now. I can also tell there was a big drop in my supply early in pregnancy, which did seem to frustrate my daughter, but supply seems to have built up again, also. While my daughter and I have had an amazing nursing relationship (despite the fact that many friends and family thought it was a little weird to nurse beyond 6 months…and a lot weird to nurse beyond a year) I do find, like some people mentioned, that if my daughter nurses too long now it just gets sort of irritating. It doesn’t hurt as much as it did, but I sort of get antsy and am just not enjoying it as much. It is still very important to my daughter, though, so I am hanging in there. We have set limits on nursing (no more than a few minutes per side) and have weaned down to once before bed and once @ 6am (it’s the only way to get her to sleep another hour or so, she would be perfectly happy to wake up then and I prefer not!). We’ll see how it goes, but I do find everyone’s stories here interesting!

    About conceiving while nursing…we did not have a problem but I think it is because we got pregnant shortly after we dropped our night feedings — they say that if you nurse esp between midnight to five am that is the time your body is most likely to build up your supply and produce hormones that would keep you from getting pregnant. Any significant drop in nursing, even though you still nurse, can affect your hormones enough to help you start ovulating again…so hopefully you have a night feeding or just a few extra feedings you can drop and that may help!

  31. I have a 17mth old, nursing, and 38 days preggo.
    Wondering how i’m going to wean her before the baby comes.
    She nurses a couple of times during the day and before bedtime.

  32. I have a 34 month old daughter and I am 8 weeks pregnanat. I am still nursing my daughter 3-4 times 2 day 2 night and I am very worried about what is going to happen later when baby #2 comes along. Also right now I am so exhausted is it because I am nursing while pregnant?

  33. This has been a very interesting read. I am currently breast feeding my 28 month old daughter 3 times a day (no night feeds). I am going away for 4 nights to a conference in 3 months time leaving my partner/her Dad to look after her. I don’t actually feel ready to wean her nor do I think she is but feel like I should before I go away. I don’t want the 4 days to be hard for her or for her Dad and I also don’t want to have to express while I’m away to keep my milk supply up (it never really worked for me that well).
    At the same time we are ready to get pregnant now but it had never occurred to me that prolonged feeding may prevent it. I’d never heard that before as I know ladies who have got pregnant while breast feeding but in saying that they weren’t feeding for as long as I have been.
    Have many of you struggled to get pregnant till after you weaned? And how long after you weaned did you get pregnant?
    I feel like everything is pointing to weaning her but deep down I’m just not ready.

  34. I’m just reading this blog for the first time, and finding it quite interesting. I am currently trying to figure out how to cope with my 27 month old daughter’s nursing having recently become pregnant again. My daughter has been a breast feeding ‘fiend’ since day one. For the first 9 months of her life I rarely was able to go for more than an hour between feeding, and for the first 5 months had one to two sessions per day where she would nurse continuously for about 4 hours. She was (is) so strong willed that I never felt like I had any say in the matter. As a toddler she doesn’t nurse as frequently but still LOVES it and nurses more than other nursing 2 year olds that I know. When she turned 2 I tried to night wean her which led to 2 months of even worse sleep that before, before I finally decided to go back to letting her nurse. The idea of only allowing a few minutes each time is very appealing, yet seems impossible.

    I am now pregnant and nursing has become painful. My milk supply has always been plentiful, and I find myself desperately wishing it would dry up. While I agree with self-weaning, I don’t feel like I can make it through the pregnancy while nursing, and can’t imagine tandem nursing, especially if #2 is anything like #1. I guess I would like to wean, but don’t think that it’s the best thing for my daughter.

    I would love to hear anybody’s thoughts… I’m so worn out, and feel my pregnancy will suffer if I don’t at least get some sleep.

  35. My daughter was very keen on her night feeds but eventually I had to put my foot down so we could all get some sleep. I wasn’t into just letting her cry it out so when she would come into our room in the night my partner would take her straight back to bed and would lay with her for a few minutes till she’d get sleepy again (some nights he’d have to stay in there a little longer). He kept doing this every night and eventually she just stopped waking up because I suppose she realized she wasn’t going to get any milk out of me so what’s the point of waking up.
    Good luck, keep us posted πŸ™‚

  36. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing! I have a 2 year old that I have had trouble weaning. I am a co-sleeping parent and she likes to nurse before her nap as well as at night. I am now 15 weeks pregnant and my family isn’t all that supportive of my continuing to nurse. I thought there was something wrong with me or my daughter but I feel so much better now. Most of my family has weaned at a year, but my daughter was never very interested in food, it has only been the last few months where she has really started to eat instead of just nursing. She hated all baby food, even homemade. Hated rice cereal and oatmeal, so it has been really hard on me having a “different” child than the rest of my family, but I now feel reassured and have hope that it is ok to continue to nurse. Thank you!

  37. If Ava is getting the colostrum now and your milk will come in after the new baby is born how will the new baby get the immune factors he needs from the colostrumm e wont be getting I thought all babies should get the colostrum even if you cant produceenough milk to brest feed them which happend in my case. I was lucky to be able to best feed my son for a full month before I had problems with my milk supply not being enough to feed him.

  38. If Ava is getting the colostrum now and your milk will come in after the new baby is born how will the new baby get the immune factors he needs from the colostrum he won’t be getting? I thought all babies were suposed to get the colostrum even if you can’t produce enouhgh milk to brest feed them which happend in my case. As long as they got the colostrum the immunity was there. I was only able to brest feed successfuly for a month before I had problems with my milk supply not being enough to feed him.

  39. I came across this web-page looking at natural ways to dye Easter eggs and was intrigued by this post so I thought I would read it. It looks like the original post is several years old but there are some newer comments so I thought I would chime in. I have an 18 month old and 6.5 month old. I was exclusively breastfeeding my first daughter when I became pregnant with my second. So for the questions about needing to wean, it just depends on your body. For those of you who happen upon this post while nursing and pregnant I wish you good luck. Because my first was so young when I got pregnant (3 months old) I was adamant that I would nurse through the pregnancy. I did but it was hard. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing also. Your toddler can take a break and then return to nursing when your milk comes in (as it is far less painful with abundant milk and no more pregnancy hormones) if that is something you are comfortable with. I’ve now been tandem nursing for 6 and a half months, I don’t love it but my older daughter still ask to nurse regularly. I guess I really just wanted to share because when I as pregnant and looking for information/support I could find much.

  40. Great post and great comments too! I’m 16 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 13 month old. He would much rather nurse than eat food and getting him to gain wait and eat often has been a battle. I have also had a problem with weight gain. I actually haven’t gained any yet, which is weird because my stomach is bigger. I think the weight has shifted around. I decided to stop night feedings about a week ago. He would feed at least 3 times a night and I was just to exhausted to do it during the 1st trimester. Plus nipple sensitiviy made it hard. He still protests at night but we cosleep so hopefully he’ll get used to the idea soon. I think it’s worth it to stick it out as long as it doesn’t get to painful and you can keep energy up. Seeing your child’s cute little face so happy when they nurse is encouragement enough. for now … haha

  41. I love reading this chain, though am not done yet – bookmarked for later! I discovered I am preggers a few days ago and am still nursing my 13 month old. We both enjoy it, and I was doing some research to see how long it was recommended to continue in pregnancy when I came across your blog. My mom said nursing could ‘take away from the baby’, but I figured that was way off and am glad to see my instincts were correct.

    Anyway, thank you all for sharing – even though I’m in Portland where nursing is common, there is still a lot of flack from the ‘aunties’ as I call them… and also men, women who haven’t nursed, and society in general…. Yay, ladies!

  42. Thanks to all for these wonderful comments. I am nursing my 24-month-old, and just recently began menstruating again (I agree with the earlier posting that whether you need to wean in order to get pregnant depends a great deal on your body, but according to my midwife friend, if you are having normal periods, weaning probably will not make much of a difference). Ever since then, my breasts are incredibly painful. I thought at first that I was getting mastitis, but this has been going on for weeks, and its a different feeling–basically the milk let-down feeling but sharply painful, even worse than when I first started nursing. I’m wondering if anyone has felt something similar?

  43. Nancy- I have been experiencing the same thing on one side for the past few days. I was beginning to wonder if it was mastitis as well. Seemed unlikely though since I’ve never had it in the 13 months I’ve been nursing. Wonder what’ causing it?

  44. Amy- I’m 18 weeks pregnant and nursing my 22 month old daughter. I find myself more short tempered and less welcoming when it cones to nursing too. Not all the time of course, but sometimes it’s just so sore/dry/empty ;0) makes me wanna pull my hair out! Other times it’s calming, restful, and quiet. My daughter does nurse to sleep, which is why she isn’t weaned yet. She’s a great eater, vegetarian as well. She nurses about one to two times a day. It is a great family tool, but there are days I feel like it is time to stop. We will see how long this all last. It will be sad to let go, but my daughter is very cuddly anyway.

  45. I am 11 weeks pregnant and continue to nurse my 17 month old son….I have always loved nursing but it is very painful now…..I dont know if I’m drying up or what…but my son seems to want to nurse all the time now….Once again I dont know if that is because I am low on milk….but he sleeps with me and basically uses me as a pacifier throughout the night….In a way I would like to stop because of the pain….but in a way I dont want to because I love spending that time with him……I work over 40 hours a weeks so that time is quality time……not to mention I dont think I could take the stress that comes with the weaning process at this time..I am just soo tired….any suggestions?

  46. Thank you for posting this. I just recently found out that I am pregnant with #5 and am still nursing my 15 month old daughter Addison. Even though I have nursed all of my children for 2 1/2 years each, I have never had them still nursing when I was pregnant. This is new to me. I don’t have any interest in weaning Addison, as I feel she is still too little. She still nurses 5-6 times a day. I am enjoying it still at this point so we shall see how this goes.

  47. First daughter is over three-years-old and still nursing; not as much of course, but seems to need to. Second daughter is just seven-months. I think they’ll wean themselves when they’re ready. It is already happening slowly and naturally with my three-year-old. In my opinion,if the baby or toddler or very young child has the desire to nurse, then that is nature’s way of saying that they NEED to nurse. Each littleone is an individual with their own unique physical and emotional need from MOM. It’s mom’s duty to supply the needs. Should be a duty and desire. It’s really a short period of time in life. A small sacrifice from mom that effects an entire life!

  48. I too always knew I wanted to breastfeed & thankfully it has come easily to me & my children. I breastfed Ruby ( my first) until she was about 3 &1/4 years old, this included all the way through my second pregnancy (18 mnths between them) & then I tandem fed ruby from 18 mnths with my newborn until she self weened sometime after 3rd bday. I am now pregnant with bub #3 & still currently breastfeeding my second little girl who is now 26 mnths.

    I still love breastfeeding her, & she doesn’t want to give up milk, but I just don’t know if I’m capable of breastfeeding through another pregnancy, & I don’t think I have it in me to tandem feed again. I find it extremely difficult to deny milk though to my little ones, & am not sure how to cease feeding her. I have been breastfeeding now for over 3 & 1/2 years continuously & looking after these toddlers whilst pregnant, I’m just tired.

    I feel a very strong emotional bond with feeding, it’s hard to break. Thanks for the forum x

  49. Thanks for sharing you story! I am very interested in tandem nursing. I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m nursing my almost 11 month old. My question is, I already don’t feel like I have enough milk in the evening to hold him throughout the night till the morning. But I’m ready to not feed him in the middle of the night! I guess I don’t know if I should try to nurse him, and (once he turns a year) also give him some cow milk to help him feel full before bed, or how to handle this. I would like to continue nursing him but I’m not sure how much he actually gets.

    Did you give your daughter cow’s milk in addition to nursing her?

  50. Okay, I think if you are still breast feeding your child when it’s old enough to eat the same food you do, it should be treated the same as abuse. Honestly. As far as I know all other mammals wean their off-spring, none of this self-weaning shit. The purpose of breastfeeding is to provide your baby with nutrients, if your child can eat regular food, they no longer need those nutrients so why are you still doing it? It’s sick. Why is this legal?

  51. Wow, what a sad perspective, I feel really sorry for you that you would see breast feeding that way. There is so much more to breast feeding than nutrients, apart from the closeness & bonding, primarily the undeniable & proven health benefits to both the mother & child. It should be illegal NOT to breast feed for as long as possible! Your attitude reflects how warped most western societies view of Breastfeeding has actually become, & this is the real tragedy. Get educated.


  52. I am 8 months pregnant and still nursing my 35 month old. They have the exact same due date to the day. My daughter says there is still milk in there and will sometimes stop nursing and say the she is saving some for her little sister. She says she is going to stop nursing when her sister comes. I don’t know that I believe her. My 35 month old usually nurses before bed, once at night, and once in the morning.

    I never offer milk to my 35 month old. I think that prolonged nursing has help my daughter to develop good sleeping habits. She says when she is ready for bed or a nap (although she doesn’t nap anymore) and goes to sleep. We have never had any bed or nap time battles. She usually sleeps about 11 hours a night and wakes up happy and refreshed.

  53. I think when your milk has dried up that it is probably more of a comfort for the baby. Your body really knows what is best, sometimes it is a fine line between nursing for the health of the baby and for the ease of the child going to bed.

  54. I wonder how many critics of breast feeding know the first human action a baby takes after breathing is to nurse. And when they nurse for the first time, their gall bladder must release.

    That is why natural healing always includes the liver and more importantly the gall bladder.

    Love is felt through the heard but is given through the gall bladder.

    This may sound a bit different the first time you read it but take the time to talk to an experienced Reiki healer.

    I say, nurse for a healthy life!

  55. I am 8 1/2 months pregnant with my 3rd child. I am still nursing my 2 year old, he only nurses at night before before he falls asleep, and when he wakes up in the early morning. He has always been a terrible night sleeper. Most times he only sleeps 2-3 hours then wakes and is brought into to bed with us. I understand that it is our fault for holding and loving him to sleep, but what do I do now? My nipples are so sensitive and his teeth almost feel like razors. But I feel so sad the next day when I realize I have been frustrated and standoffish with him. He just wants to be close to mommy. I’m not worried about tandem breastfeeding, I’m all for it. But how do I get him to not want to nurse at difficult hours?

  56. When my second was born the infants cluster feeding time ended up being at bed time. I told my older child, who was still nursing that I was worried about there being enough milk. She literally takes one sip on each side or doesn’t nurse at all. We talked and read books about babies only drinking milk before the baby was born. The current situation works well for us.

  57. I find this website very helpful, and inspiring. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and nursing my 23 month old. Tried several times to wean her though I’ve nursed when she wants to during the day. At night, she co-sleeps and wakes sometimes 6 times, screaming if I ask her to go back to sleep and have boobah next time. It’s emotional for me because I really believe in positive parenting and I thought weaning would be different, easy on Eiliyah. So, is it not the right time? Now I’m pregnant, I definitely plan on nursing her until she wants to stop. I believe it’s better for her development and she will feel equal to baby.
    Thank for Having this blog, very helpful knowing there’s support out there in cyber world!

  58. Thanks for sharing! I am 11 weeks pregnant and nursing my almost 15 month old. I am frustrated and short fused but feel our nursing relationship is important to keep until he is ready to wean. Which, I am sure many know, is difficult when you have little family support. I know he is nursing for more emotional and attachment reasons, but I think that is just as important as nutritional. Good luck nursing and tandem nursing!

  59. Hi, I am 38 weeks pregnant and breastfeeding our 23 month old son. I never thought, that I would nurse this long. I did not have a bad opinion about mothers who nursed for long time, but I thought that I will be done by 12 months… Well our son didn’t think so ;)… He nursed exclusively and constantly until 8 months old, at this stage he would start accepting some baby food ( mind u, he was allways in the 95% of weight). My periods returned shortly after he started with solids. Firstly, everyone was super supportive of my breastfeeding, however, with his age, slowly but surely, lots of people started to have far to many suggestions and tips as of for when to wean him off. This would maybe work with other kids, but not with him.. He loved it so much, that I just kept going whenever wherever and did tons of research about the benefits etc. mainly I trusted my gut, secondly, I would break his world if I would take his ‘cica’. When I got pregnant again, I was firstly worried if this can cause any complications. Not much info on this subject, and some people can be pretty nasty and rude..!!! Well, we decided to let things go as they want to, and he:a. Will wean himself or b. we will breastfeed throughout and tandem later… Here we are.. Still nursing… It has been super difficult . I experienced extreme pain when nursing- it actually went up until flashes of anger on the never ending sucking litlle thing ;)… When I got to week 30 or so, he at least self weaned for the night feeds… – lovely shocking surprise- mind you, whenever there is a bad dream or cutting teeth, he is back on… πŸ˜‰ we nurse throughout the day, a lot.. And my nipples do still hurt.. But I feel that I am doing the best for him that I can and I am hoping he will self wean eventually.. This is where we are at this stage, next stop Tandem? πŸ˜‰

  60. I have literally been nursing a child for almost 4 years!!! I did have a few week break between my son weaning and the birth of my daughter. I have very significant family history of breast cancer and I know that I NURSED as long as possible and did my very best.

    But I digress…

    Nursing is such a gift. Luckily my son was born and nursing came easily to us. I decided to stay home and bottles were not really necessary. So we didn’t even try till he was several months old…of course, by then that ship had sailed. I attempted pumping, but that really was pointless since he was my sidekick 24/7 anyways. So mostly I pumped for comfort as I was a huge milk producer in the beginning.

    I feel grateful that I never had to warm a bottle, wash a bottle, sterilize a bottle — nursing is pretty darn convenient. I am not really a girl with a plan. I am pretty loosey-goosey and accept challenges and successes as they come. So I didn’t have any sort of “plan” in regards to breastfeeding. I still don’t. ;-p

    I guess I am pretty crunchy. I practice attachment parenting unknowingly. Our kids are nursed forEVER, slung in the ergo, and with one of us 24/7. We have cut back MASSIVELY in an effort for me (once the primary breadwinner and highest educated one in the family) to raise our kids at home. At this point, I would give up my car, my house, and every luxury I have in order to keep this arrangement going.

    So, I nursed and nursed and nursed. My son suffered many health issues (chronic ear infections/sleep apnea due to enlarged adenoids) and he NEVER has drank milk. After he turned one, I didn’t have a choice but to continue nursing him as he would drink nothing but water. I felt that I had no choice.

    I became pregnant when he was around 17 mo old and still nursing 24/7. I kept thinking that my milk supply would dry up or change or do something that would encourage him to self-wean. He didn’t. We just kept on nursing and nursing. Finally, my hubs took over the night-time routine altogether and I tried to become invisible to eliminate the night-time feed. That was successful for a while, but it was clear he still needed his Momma. So, we continued to nurse and nurse and nurse.

    Toward the end of my pregnancy I was huge, but we continued nursing in the am/pm for little periods. Thankfully, we was completely night weaned by this point.

    Nursing was painful and like the commenter above, I often felt HUGE surges of anger at times. I felt like I was giving children EVERYTHING I had. My patience was lessening, but because he didn’t drink milk I was at a loss. I couldn’t MAKE him stop, but I really didn’t want to continue. At about 33 weeks pregnant I started to make peace with the fact that I might tandem nurse. The thought seemed crazy at one point, but not so much any longer…

    And then one day he just stopped. I stopped offering and he stopped asking and we were done. I had a few weeks to myself and then my daughter was born and we started all up again. Nursing her was a BREEZE and still is (she is 17 mo now). My son stopped nursing at 25 mo and fully potty-trained at 27!!! lol Still seems pretty funny.

    My son is now 3 1/2 and massively confident, independent, and very outgoing. Nature vs. Nurture – we will never know how he would have been had we chosen a different path. And yes, I respect all the paths. This one just happened to be the best choice for our family.

    What I have learned is to take it as it comes. A stage is a stage. When you are in the thick of it it seems to last forever. But these sweet babies turn into kids so fast, so I try to just live in the day and even the moment to get by. To just enjoy. Because as I type this I now MISS nursing my son – seems like so long ago.

    Good luck, Mommas. It too shall pass and you will be on to worrying about something else.

  61. How old are/were all of you when you tandem nursed if you don’t mind my asking? I am 37, nursing 16 month old son and think I may be pregnant, don’t want to wean, but have heard nursing can cause miscarraige in women over 35.

  62. I was 36 when I got pregnant with #4. I nursed her for 17 months, 5 of which while I was pregnant with #5 whom I delivered within the month of turning 39. I never had a problem. I would have continued except I was so sick that I couldn’t lift my head up for months and ended up being sick the whole pregnancy with #5. My husband had to take over nighttime routines and for a few weeks daytime as well which resulted on her weaning. I was very sad as all my children have self weaned between 2 1/2-3 years. when #5 was born, #4 wanted to start nursing again and i tried to let her but ot was as if she forgot how to πŸ™ 5 is 13 months and still nurses 6-8 times a day.

  63. Even though this is an older blog, and not sure if the author even still reads it, it had been a source of comfort and infortation to many, as evidenced by all the comments. ( Minus the uninformed nay sayer) I myself feel MUCH better after reading what everyone posted. My lil man is 14 mos and will be a big bro in 8 months, but this doesn’t mean we have to necessarily have a weaning plan in our future. I just want to say I am proud of all the moms who made it so far. So many mothers don’t even attempt to BF, which I think is incredibly selfish! Good luck to all!

  64. Thanks for everyone’s input on this blog…. Made me feel more normal, most people frown on todlers still breastfeeding….. I find it very frustrating and painfull at times to bf while pregnant and hoped he would self ween with pregnancy hormones making it taste different – instead it’s almost as if he wants it more lately! I will just let nature take its cause and see what happens! We all just want happy and healthy children.

  65. Thanks for everyone’s input on this blog…. Made me feel more normal, most people frown on todlers still breastfeeding….. I find it very frustrating and painfull at times to bf while pregnant and hoped he would self ween with pregnancy hormones making it taste different – instead it’s almost as if he wants it more lately! I will just let nature take its cause and see what happens! We all just want happy and healthy children.

  66. I know this post is so old, but I am so relieved to read it. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and nursing my 27mo old daughter. Only 2 times a day but sometimes I get so tense and frustrated….. I’ve been limiting the feeds to short times when I can’t handle it, but I felt so guilty. I glad to know I’m not crazy and its totally normal to feel this way

  67. This is an old post but I have so enjoyed reading it! I have a 15 month old daughter who still nurses 4-8 times a day. I always thought it seemed “gross” to hear of toddlers nursing, but I knew very little of it and feel terrible for ever thinking anything like that! My thoughts were a product of society, I guess. Then my daughter was born. I had planned to nurse her for a year, but instincts took over! I actually feel lucky that I didn’t get much “advice” about what to do with my baby. My mom passed away when I was eighteen, my grandmother lives out of state, I’m not close with my mother-in-law, and I was the first in my social circle to get pregnant. I was “in the dark.” Therefore, I did everything by instinct and I am SO glad of this. We co-sleep, I have never sleep-trained or put my baby on a schedule, I nurse on demand instead of using pacifiers, and I have listened to my heart when it comes to parenting my VERY spirited, energetic, strong-willed little girl. She is so happy, confident, and smart that everywhere I go I get comments on how advanced she seems for her age. I fully attribute this to the fact that she always has her physical and emotional needs met and enjoys a very close, special bond with her daddy and I. She has set her own schedule and I plan my day accordingly. She goes everywhere with me as my little buddy and no one understands why I don’t want them to watch her for awhile so I can have a “break.” I truly don’t want one! She does wear me out quite frequently, but I love and enjoy her being with me so much that it’s worth any sacrifice. She was become very compassionate with me and I feel like it’s because I have been compassionate with her since she was born. When she was has cried for me I have always comforted her, regardless of anything else I wanted to do. Now, when I am having a hard day, she climbs up in my lap and gives me hugs and kisses. When I don’t feel well, she will cuddle up with me even when I know she has lots of energy and would rather play.

    Even though I have always nursed on demand, I got my period back six weeks postpartum (dang it!) and my husband and I are getting pretty tired of having to “be careful” so I don’t get pregnant again. Not to mention, we’re also getting pretty baby hungry for another! I’ve been concerned about getting pregnant because my daughter is definitely not ready to wean and I want to nurse her as long as I can! I’ve always had plenty of milk but I’m concerned about not being able to take in enough calories to support both a nursing toddler and a developing baby. I struggled to gain weight when pregnant, and went below my pre-pregnancy weight within a two months of her being born. I have struggled to maintain my weight since then, despite eating A LOT. I’m 5’6″ and weigh 106 pounds. Is getting enough calories a legitimate concern or will my body just do what it needs to? Any advice would be very appreciated!

  68. Some people’s comments are so ignorant. Anyway, I am 17 weeks pregnant and nursing our 25 month old as well. I feel like there is nothing there anymore for him but he nurses for comfort. Usually he will only latch for a minute or two. I also do not offer or refuse. I on the other hand really really miss our nursing time and I hope that he continues to remember to latch so we can continue our nursing relationship together with babe too.

  69. I’m 5 months pregnant and I feel like I’m losing my patience when nursing my 22 month-old. I would bite my pillow to release my impatience then feel guilty the next morning. Thanks for this post. It’s just normal. Hormones are killing me.

  70. I just nursed my 2 year old for the last time tonight. She nursed through my pregnancy. My milk never dried up! I had a TON of colostrum did the baby when she was born. But I’m just done nursing both. The baby is just over 4 months. My toddler is just over 2. I cried when I nursed her. But i feel happy to be done and proud that were did what works for us. I know the next few days will be rough. I will miss this time. But I’m so blessed to have had it!

  71. The person who says nursing a toddler should be illegal is either a man or a women who has no children of their own… In any case, I am currently nursing a 34 month old and 6 weeks pregnant!! I literally just found out! πŸ™‚ yay me! I have been trying to wean for sometime now with no luck as my little guy isn’t up for it! I never planned on nursing this long and normally don’t tell people because of what society thinks! I really want my lo to self wean soon as I have been having a hard time distracting him with unfortunately not alot of help! (Everyone goes omg just nurse him) I want every mamma to know it is not abuse to nurse your lo and ithe takes a crazy person to say it is… or someone who didn’t feel their mothers love. Good luck ladies πŸ™‚

  72. I nursed my son until I got pregnant when he was 36mos. I was ok with tandem nursing but after a few weeks of pregnancy he self weaned saying it didn’t taste yummy anymore. I was ok with that too, figuring that if he hadn’t been ready he’d have kept on despite the change in taste and I was sore. He still snuggles and co sleeps. He’s really excited about being a big brother. I didn’t explain to him that the baby made the milk taste different, but after not nursing for several weeks he wanted to one time when he wasnt feeling well and was sad it was all gone. I told him there would be more when the baby comes. We raise goats so he knows how it all works. If he wants to try to nurse again after the baby comes it’s fine with me, but my guess is he won’t and that’s fine too. I always say no one ever still nursed when they went to college so who cares when they decide to stop.

  73. Wow, the first comment is absurd, rude, ignorant and clearly from a complete idiot!

    I am 39 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 26 month old. It has been difficult but has already created a bond between the two. I can handle a little sacrifice to create a bond with my girls that will last a lifetime. These young years build their foundation and we are creating a closeness that most won’t get.

  74. My baby is currently 6 months old and I am considering nursing him until he is 2 years old. Which means hopefully nursing through a pregnancy. But I am struggling with the judgement of others as well as my spouse. For me I love connecting with him, cuddling with him and all of the nutritional value that he can receive from it. I believe that each mom and baby should have the choice as to how long they nurse for. It is such a special time and no one should judge.

  75. Wow, although an older post, this is great!! No one in my family ever nursed or nurses, my mother finally tried with my youngest brother for about three months, so I was very nervous I wouldn’t be able to do it when my daughter was born, but I didn’t let that doubt stop me. I was convinced it was something I HAD to do, I had 14 masses most likely fibro adenoma in my breasts, 8 in one breast 6 in the other. I read and was told, often times they would go away on their own while nursing. Which sounded like a dream to me cause I had 2 of them removed surgically years earlier, only to have them come back with a vengence!! I honestly hadn’t given nursing a thought until I was told about this, and I sincerely thank the woman who had mentioned it to me, because if not for her I wouldn’t have looked into it nor would I have ever considered nursing my baby girl. Well, I’m happy to say 2 1/2 years later I’m still nursing my sweet little girl and I have 0 out of 14 of those masses that I had in my breasts! It hasn’t always been easy, the first two weeks my breasts swelled up so much they looked like two NFL sized footballs, it was painful and it was sad for me because I knew they’d never be the same again, covered in a million tiny little stretch marks and sagging but I quickly realized I wasn’t at a loss πŸ™‚ I had gained so much more!!! All the masses were gone, I was able to nourish my daughter through my own body, I didn’t have to make or warm or clean a bottle, and I experienced such a closeness with my daughter that I would gladly give up those cute perky breasts and do it all over again. Well I’m 28 weeks pregnant with my son and my little girl still nursing, says the other boob is for her baby brother. I’m confident she’ll transition nicely to being a big sister and having to share what’s been hers for so long. People will talk and they will criticize, and I will let them meanwhile I’ll still be nursing my toddler and my newborn, happy as fuck ;D

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