Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tandem Nursing...a MUST read

Since I'm new at pregnant nursing I decided it might be good to read up on the subject. My Bradley teacher ( let me borrow this book from her. So far is it right on and awesome. I'm learning a lot, especially that there are tons of other moms who tandem nurse while pregnant and beyond. There are different things that are very interesting too such as; right now my milk is salty tasting to Emily which is why she hasn't been nursing as much. The books gives you a heads up too; in our third trimester if Emily doesn't mind the sour tasting colostrum she'll probably get the runs pretty good because colostrum is a natural laxative (I would aurgue the most natural of all of them...hehe). It's a fun, fact filled read that has the cutest cartoons that hit right on with different issues we've run into. My favorite so far is a toddler sitting on her mom's lap hitting her mom's chest with the caption, "Can we turn of the volume please?". I intend to invest in this one eventually and suggest any mom even considering the idea read this first, at the very least it has good ideas for weaning and lists pros and cons for both options so you can decide what's best for you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pregnant nursing

Today we are officially 12 weeks pregnant...yay! I thought I had experienced all the nursing difficulties, but being pregnant and nursing has introduced some new challenges to our nursing relationship. One, I am exhausted...well, not so much now, but at first I was exhausted and nursing once a night just robbed that sleep I so desperately craved. Two, I am very hormonal and my poor husband and daughter now get the brunt of that. Settling an upset two year old just isn't as easy when your patience got up and left the building months ago.

All in all, nursing while pregnant isn't bad. In fact it has actually started helping me sleep a little more and gives me some one-on-one time while my daughter while just sitting (more like laying) there doing nothing but looking at her and tell her how wonderful she is and how much I love her. Plus there is the added benefit of a little extra time with her. My husband and I very much want her to be a part of the pregnancy (she is after all a member of the family too) so she comes to all our prenatal appointments and we are even taking a private birth class (Bradley method childbirth) so she can come and be involved...although she plays more than she pays attention to the teacher. So anyways all in all, I completely recommend breastfeeding while pregnant, but be prepared for new challenges and remember sometimes it's ok to distract your toddler or offer a cup of apple juice instead when you are just so exhausted the thought of making even a little milk drains what energy your growing baby didn't already suck away...hehe

Here's the best information I've found on breastfeeding while pregnant (let's face it, there isn't really that much out there). If you come upon a time when you are facing a pregnancy and still nursing at least give it the first trimester, now that we're onto our 12th week my energy and most of my appetite has returned so I'm glad I stuck it out. Although I still find myself limiting my night nursing now, for the emotional well being of the entire family...a tired & hormonal mom is not usually a happy mom...hehe

Friday, September 18, 2009

I just Want to Nurse All Night...

I saw this little poem in a reader's note to Mothering Magazine ( one of my favorite magazines and really other than the La Leche League one the only parenting magazine I take serriously.

Iene Miene Minie Moe
I want the one with the best flow
I don't care, left or right
I just want to nurse all night!

This made me chuckle because just a few days earlier we were dealing with this in real life (which at the time was NOT funny).

Anyways, our daughter uses a pacifier (gasp...I know!) and has since she started day care, something I sincerely regret. This Monday we tried to take it away cold turkey and it completely backfired on us. I think she just couldn't deal with loosing it completely, she needed sometime to say goodbye and part with her friend on her own terms. Monday night after we took it away it wasn't too bad, but Tuesday and Wednesday I became the pacifier back-up. Now there was a time when she was about 3-9 months old that nursing to sleep was the only way I could get to sleep too, those wonderful hormones were running through my blood and it was so relaxing. Now that she is almost 3 years old her suck is much stronger and more than enough to keep me up for as long as she is nursing, which for two days in a row was pretty much ALL NIGHT LOOOOONG. Final in the wee hours of Wednesday morning I told my husband I couldn't do it any more, we needed to purchase a new pacifier and find a more gentle approach to weaning her off it. What a difference that made. She doesn't use it at all during the day and will take a nap without it, but after dinner she still requests it and we allow that (no pacifier until after dinner is the rule) and then about bed time she asks to nurse once and then falls asleep without it. I'm pleased with this progress and can see a time soon when she will be giving it up altogether, but we know it has to be on more of her own timeline. Dr. Sears talks about how to tell if a change is too much for a toddler and she was showing all the symptoms; clingy, whinny, iritable, just a very unhappy child; so we knew something needed to give and we feel it's important to acknowledge our daughters needs so we comprimised.

I think the lesson we both had to be reminded of is that she has her needs too and while they are different from ours (and we may not feel they are important) they are VERY important to her and we need to recognize those needs and work to accomidate them when it's reasonable.

One change we have made successfully is moving her to her own bed. We followed the Dr. Sears baby sleep book very closely and this transition has been a good one, she actually prefers her own bed now (except for when she needs a night time nurse).

Tips for easy change:
- Start slow - we first talked about getting her a "big girl bed" then we went out and bought one with her, she got to try it out and everything
- Expect two steps forward and one back - the first week it was hard for us all to sleep, we missed our daughter in our bed and she missed our bed, so we tried different tactics - laying with her in her bed, letting her fall asleep in our bed and then moving her
- Listen to your child - we recognized her need and desire to be close to us and would take breaks from trying the new bed when she seemed to need it, now she wants her own bed and sleeps much better in it
- Be patient - change takes time for everyone, eventually things will work out, remember there aren't any students in college sucking on pacifiers, nursing, sleeping in their parents bed, or still wearing diapers (at least eventually you can use peer pressure if nothing else works...hehe)