Weaning During Pregnancy
By Stephanie Chacon
Rochester NY USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 17 No. 4, July-August 2000, pg. 125
We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time
I had my first child at age 35 despite the fact that I had decided years earlier in genetics class to have all my children before 30. But my husband and I didn't have our first date until my 30th birthday. What could I do?
My menstrual cycle resumed when my daughter was around 20 months old, and I was anxious to complete my desired two-child family. The problem was that my daughter was still nursing frequently and seemed to need it very much.
I had friends in La Leche League who had or were nursing while pregnant and there were even tales of tandem nursing. It seemed as if I could do it and besides, does a 20-month-old really need to nurse? I became pregnant quickly and to my surprise found that I couldn't tolerate nursing any more. It hurt, but it wasn't only that. It had become annoying, like fingernails on a chalk board. My daughter was not ready to wean and we went through a very difficult time. Even though I know I was at the end of my tolerance at the time, I still regret her early weaning and wonder if some of her difficult behaviors might not have been so persistent if she had been able to nurse longer.
I think that if I had to do it over I would tell myself that the child that I already had was more important than ideas about desired child spacing or age limitations. I couldn't know ahead of time how I would respond to nursing while pregnant or how my child would respond to weaning. I will always wonder whether things would have worked out more smoothly if we had waited a few more months to attempt a pregnancy. The years of nursing pass by very quickly. My second child weaned himself at around two-and-a-half years. It was a joy to watch him do it himself.