Nursing Through Pregnancy: An Unexpected Bonus

We are running a series on tandem nursing this month on our blog and have recruited stories from great moms across the globe! You will hear stories about nursing while pregnant, challenges of tandem nursing and the joys of nurturing your babies. Our third story comes from Carla Molina Martins. Read on to share in her story of breastfeeding while pregnant.

by Carla Molina Martins

My husband and I are one of those couples who knew immediately after our first born arrived that another baby was in our near future. Dessa arrived in the summer of 2007 and we decided in all fairness to her, we’d wait a year to try and get pregnant again. We reasoned it would give us a good year and then some to devote solely to her, to really get to know her. When we got pregnant with our second baby, I was surprised at how many of my emotions centered around Dessa and not the new baby in my belly.

Pregnancy Is BeautifulOne of my biggest concerns when I got pregnant again was if Dessa would continue to breastfeed. When I got pregnant, she was over a year old and still nursing a lot, mainly in the evenings. I’ve loved breastfeeding since the beginning and it broke my heart to think our decision to get pregnant so soon was going to rob her of such special bonding. I did research and spoke with my midwife; everything told me one of four things might happen – a. the change in my hormones would alter the taste of my milk to a flavor my daughter might not like and, as a result, gradually wean herself off or b. her natural instinct to wean would just happen to coincide with my pregnancy or c. the change in hormones in my body might cause me to stop producing milk or d. if I were really lucky, my daughter would just keep at it like nothing.

As optimisitc as I am, I was sure my pregnancy would lead to an abrupt, unnatural end to Dessa’s breastfeeding days. Despite my instincts, I kept on nursing on demand. We hit the 14 week mark – still breastfeeding. We hit 24 weeks – still going strong; 30 weeks – still loving the boob. Don’t ask me why but I still didn’t believe I’d make it all the way to the end of my pregnancy successfully breastfeeding. Now I’m 39 weeks and still nursing our first born. She doesn’t nurse quite as often or for quite as long but we still have our quiet, snuggly moments together.

The key to my lasting breastfeeding relationship with Dessa is based on three components – faith, mutual desire and a great support system.

I had complete faith in what my body could do and faith that Dessa would let me know if she still wanted to nurse. Even though I had anticipated not going all the way, I stayed positive; I’m a firm believer that your attitude towards breastfeeding makes a world of difference. Mutual desire was also a key factor because we both want to keep doing it. If at any moment Dessa or I didn’t want to nurse anymore, then we’d stop.

A solid support system is essential at any stage of breastfeeding – if you’ve got one little one, twins or one in arms and one in your belly – having folks who support you is priceless.

I have my husband, our families and amazing friends who all believe in the value of what I’m doing. For every weird look I get for mentioning I’m still nursing a 22 month old, I know I’ve got at least 3 people who think what I’m doing is awesome.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant with your next child and are still nursing your first, keep my story in mind. I’m just one example of what’s possible. I know not everyone wants to nurse through a pregnancy so if you don’t want to, be sure to look for resources on how and when to best wean your first child. If you’ve been able to nurse your first child, then you’ve already given them a great gift. Nursing through a pregnancy is just a nice bonus for mom and baby.

Carla Molina Martins is a mom to one with one on the way! She blogs at Mama Hearts Baby and The Mami Diaries.

Have you nursed while pregnant? Do you have questions that Carla or our other guest bloggers can answer?? Please share your experiences and post your questions here!

9 comments to Nursing Through Pregnancy: An Unexpected Bonus

  • Nursing Through Pregnancy: An Unexpected Bonus : Mommy News Blog…

    Pregnancy Is Beautiful One of my biggest concerns when I got pregnant again was if Dessa would continue to breastfeed. When I got pregnant, she was over a year old and still nursing a lot, mainly in the evenings. ……

  • I have four kids and breastfed through three pregnancies. Two self-weaned very close to my delivery date and one kept nursing through until the next babe was about 6 months old.

    I did find tandem nursing draining; many days I felt like all I did was sit on the couch and breastfeed! But, my toddler just wasn’t ready to give it up. I can’t say that I loved the experience of tandem nursing, and it wasn’t always easy juggling the needs of the two but I would never, ever change a thing. I’m glad I did it.

    FamilyNature’s last blog post..Friends, Favours and Learning to Say Yes

  • Thanks so much for sharing your store FamilyNature! What an inspiring story. It is true that tandem nursing can be very draining – so glad that you shared with us. — Judy

  • I love this series and I’m so glad to be a part of it. I just welcomed our second daughter last week and Dessa has now gone back to feeding almost all day whenever the baby nurses. It is more exhausting than I expected but I know it’s part of how Dessa is coping with the changes going on in her home. I’d say I’m exhausted from it but really who isn’t exhausted with a one week old?

    @FamilyNature Thank you for sharing your story. Your kids are very lucky to have a mom like you =) It’s such a great experience despite the exhaustion and the draining feeling, they’re only small once and it’s a great gift to give them.

    Carla’s last blog post..Hypnobabies and Community: My Lifesavers

  • Hannah

    We found out 4 weeks ago that I am pregnant with number two. Breastfeeding my now one year old… she was 11 months at the time of finding out we are expecting and I was 4 weeks and 3 days upon finding out. I had six miscarriages beofre my daughter Abigail due to low preogesterone. We almost lost her. At the time of finding out I had a progesterone test done. It came back and a much better number. With Abigail at 5 weeks it was a 3.2 and I was bleeding about to miscarry. With this baby it was 18.5… the OB said there are studies to support that breastfeeding during the first trimester can raise progesterone levels. I will be nine weeks tomorrow with baby two…. I will continue to breastfeed as long as she wants. (OK personal choice would be no longer than age two).

  • roze

    I have been wondering for quite some time now just what breastfeeding while being pregnant is like and all ive heard is horror stories, thank you for making me realize that its doable and it can go well :)

  • Erika Schick

    I continued to breastfeed for about five months into my second pregnancy. It was fine in the beginning, thankfully since I became pregnant when my first was 9 months, but by the time he was about 13 months I started to dry up and he started to lose interest so by 14 months I had weaned him. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • If we end up having our 2nd babe in time for me to still be nursing my first, you will be the first person I turn to for inspiration. I’ve heard so many rough stories about it and this story is great!

    desiree fawn’s last blog post..zoo time.

  • It’s so beautiful to hear a positive take on breastfeeding through pregnancy. I actually am not planning on another baby until my first is weaned (just our personal child-spacing preference), but I had a pregnancy scare awhile back…and I got very sad thinking that my toddler, who still very much needs to nurse, might have to do without, perhaps abruptly. Thank you for sharing your story and showing what is possible.

    Lauren @ HoboMama’s last blog post.."Hello, nipple!" and other toddler breastfeeding stories, plus a breastfeeding carnival

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