I am currently 30 weeks pregnant. My nursing toddler is 17 months. We found out I was expecting right around the time he turned a year old, and I didn’t want to wean that early. There are so many benefits to extended breastfeeding, but that’s a whole different post. Suffice to say the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years.
It’s been difficult. For starters, a toddler nurses differently than an infant. He might go 6 hours without nursing, or nurse for 1 minute every half hour. Toddlers are just so active and distractible that they don’t really nurse on any set schedule. Then there’s the fact that a common pregnancy side effect is sore nipples. Nursing does not help this. During the first trimester it was frequently uncomfortable, and sometimes painful to nurse. But that’s where a toddlers distractibility comes in handy. I was able to stop the nursing or skip it entirely if I needed to, and just read him a book or play with blocks instead. Mind you this didn’t always work, but it worked often enough. Then there’s the dreaded drop in supply. Some mothers are able to nurse all the way through without a hitch, but most suffer at least some drop in their milk supply. I really started noticing it around 16 weeks or so. And my son noticed too. He would nurse on one side, switch to the other, then sit up in my lap and go “more, more”. That was hard. But we increased the amount of whole milk and food he was getting, and I kept nursing as much as possible. I am now 30 weeks, and I don’t think there is much milk left if any. He’s stopped waking up for his 4am nursing. He doesn’t ask for “nummies” as much any more, and when he does he usually only nurses for a minute if that. At this point I don’t think we’ll make it all the way to the new baby being born.
I may be able to tandem nurse anyway. Some toddlers want to nurse again once they see the new infant doing it. I hope he does just so I can get him to at least two years old nursing. I’ve also been told by mothers who’ve successfully tandem nursed that the siblings tend to have less jealousy issues. But if we’re done, then I guess we’re done. We’ve made it farther than I thought we would.