Feeding and family size/spacing (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Feeding and family size/spacing (m)
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 8:22pm
I've been giving a bit of thought to when (and if) I want to try for baby #2 and have realised that my decision to BF and especially to EN plays a big part in theway I want to space my family out. I know it's quite common for kids to wean while their mother is pregnant or for a mother to initiate weaning during pregnancy becasue of exhaution or sensitive nipples. For this reason I don't want to get pregnant again until I won't feel that I've sold my son short if my pregnancy causes weaning. This means that I really don't want to be pregnant before my son is two. Of course there are lots of other things I am considering wrt having another baby but the nursing/weaning issue is certainly a big factor. I know that some kids do nurse happily through a pregnancy and I certainly have no qualms abuot tandem nursing I just don't want to risk DS weaning too soon.

So, have your feeding methods or experiences or beliefs influenced how many children you have or how they are spaced?

Isabel and Crispin (18 months)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 9:33pm
Totally. Just like you, I wanted to nurse a minimum of 2-2.5 yrs. I planned on getting pg when DD1 was around 2, so that by the time she actually self-weaned *if* she did that during pgcy, she'd be almost closer to 2.5 (2.25 probably). I got pg when she was 23 mos, and she did not wean and still nurses, but I felt comfy that if she weaned and never went back to nursing, that she would not be too badly off.

I do know one person who got pg on purpose with a child when an older child was 3 mos old. In her case, she had already nursed through 3 other pgcies IIRC and was sure she would anyhow, though I'm not sure she could have known if her DD would wean or not (and a 7 mos old weaning would be much more drastic than a 2-yo). But I do think it is wise to "try it out" for a first time at LEAST on a child who is at an age you don't feel will be too severely deprived if they have to be weaned or end up weaning during pgcy.

As it was, my nipples were SORE...to the point where it felt like someone was rubbing sandpaper across them when DD latched on, for about 2 minutes into the nursing session. Then they were fine until about 15-20 min later. So I had to cut back on the length of the sessions sometimes, but it wasn't unbearable. Ctx. were worse. ;-) I don't mean braxton-hicks, I mean the real birth ctx. I didn't get a lot of suckling-related ctx that I noticed. I also developped a trick that helped enormously with the sore nipples, which was to GENTLY tug at my nipple myself, slowly pulling it out, extracting it out further and further, to MY point of pain tolerance/threshold, before latching Miss Vacuum-Suction on. By the time I latched her on, it was much more tolerable and only mildly unpleasant for maybe 15-30 seconds. I did this from about 4.5-7.5 mos along or so, and found it helped a lot. I usually gently tugged as if hand-extracting milk, until I saw a drop or 2 of colostrum/clear fluid. Then I knew it'd feel not so bad. DD learned to be patient a bit, though it was harder for her to begin with.


Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 9:43am
Ugh! I wish my feeding method helped me with child spacing. I want my children farther apart just because I think it is easier. Since I bf, it seems like I should be able to rely on that to help. Well, my period just returned and my ds is only 3 months old. The same happened with my first. My mom said the same happened with all 3 of hers and she co-slept, nursed on demand, didn't use pacis, etc. So, maybe its genetic.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 10:48pm
I definately think it's genetic. I've known people from all across the board. I know one who has 4 kids and PP from 3 of them AF has comes back at 14 mos. With #4 she's only not quite at 11 mos so still waiting...and I'm sure it'll be 14 as well.

I've heard of some people having it unreliable from one kid to the next despite EBF too, but some are very regular from one kid to the next. Dunno how I'll be, but I was able to use the MAMA, but got AF back w/o ovulation at 7.5 mos, and started ovulation at 12 mos. after 3 anovulatory cycles that were extra-long.

I know some who get AF back like a bottle-feeding mom 1 mos after delivery, and others who only get it back after weaning...even if the kid is 4 and nurses once a week AF doesn't come back...and they're chomping at the bit to get pg again, LOL.