What it's Like to Breastfeed While Pregnant

September 13, 2016

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I'm just going to come right out and say it. Breastfeeding while pregnant sucks. It sucks a big one. Literally.

Maybe you saw this post and thought, oh, Julie's going to write about how much she loves breastfeeding again. And don't get me wrong. I do love breastfeeding. It's been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. But I do NOT love breastfeeding while pregnant. I just don't. All the praise hands to those of you who managed to do it. It just wasn't for me. I never envisioned myself breastfeeding a tiny baby AND a toddler. No thank you! And I am BEYOND THRILLED to report to you that as of this weekend Sadie is officially weaned at 15 months old. Yay! MY BOOBS ARE FREE!

Well...they are free for about another six months before I start the process all over again. Dang, I'm exhausted. 

I breastfed Hudson for almost 16 months....which was amazing. And weaning him was a non-issue. I worked full time so he was used to taking a bottle of pumped milk. He preferred the boob, but he would take a bottle if offered to him. We slowly cut down on feedings and then just one night, he didn't ask to breastfeed, and I just rocked him. While I cried. But we were both ready, and it felt right.

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Sadie, was a different story. I mentioned in the post about baby #3 that I had a panic attack over Sadie being so little still and me being pregnant again. Part of this was guilt. I felt a HUGE amount of guilt over things changing for Sadie before she was ready....mainly breastfeeding. Girlfriend LOVES HER SOME BOOBS and does not like to take a bottle. She pretty much would rather starve than have a bottle anywhere near her. She will drink out of a sippy cup during the day but during nap time and bed time she just wants mama. 

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The day I found out I was pregnant I noticed a big drop in my milk supply. I didn't have that normal let down feel when I was feeding Sadie, and she seemed to suck and suck but never be fully satisfied....know what I mean? Hence the panic attack. But, after about a week of painful nursing my milk seemed to re-adjust. Or maybe Sadie did. But things got better. They weren't back to normal, but breastfeeding was....tolerable. My midwife said my milk would taste different and Sadie would just wean herself. But after several weeks of some uncomfortable nursing sessions for me, Sadie showed zero signs of wanting to stop. But I knew my body just couldn't keep up with her. My boobs were sore, I was exhausted, and super nauseous. And oh my word, the amount of water I had to consume to take care of myself, the baby, AND breastfeeding was crazy town. So I knew we had to stop. Insert huge mommy guilt here. 

We left Sadie with my mom for two nights while we took Hudson to Chicago for his birthday...and I had my fingers crossed that me being away at bedtime would finally help Sadie wean. Spoiler alert: it didn't. While away I tried pumping and got less than an ounce....so I knew she wasn't getting much milk. It was really just comfort she wanted. And that broke my heart. My mom warned me that bedtime had been a major struggle while we were gone. And sure enough, as soon we got home and Sadie saw me she stuck her hand down my shirt to find my boobs. And at bedtime she screamed "MAMA MAMA MAMA!" at me while I tried to rock her. So I gave in and gave her some boob. I'm not sure she got anything but it made her happy. 

And I cried. I feel really guilty about it, but I was just ready to be done. 

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The next night it was more of the same. But over the weekend I put my foot down. I rocked Sadie to sleep while she clutched her kitty in one hand and and my left boob in the other. She cried and was mad for a few minutes, but to my surprise she finally gave in and just let me rock her. Same thing for her nap the next day, and bedtime the next night. We still have a bit of a battle at bedtime, but it's been a lot better than I thought it would be. And I'm SO happy to have a little bit of my body back!

Can I get an amen?

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16 Responses to “What it's Like to Breastfeed While Pregnant”

  1. I love that you are honest. I nursed my first until she was 26 ish months, through an entire pregnancy and then tandem nursed for several months. I gritted my teeth EVERY single time. I totally had the aversion going on but didn't know it at the time, hindsight right. That mom guilt and her attachment to nursing and me kept me going. Our bond was super strong and it totally helped ease the transition from one to two but it was hard on my body. I told myself I wouldn't do it again, ha come to find out I nursed my third pregnancy from start until 2 months before I gave birth. This time my second daughter weaned herself - It was so easy and right. I had two glorious months of FREE time at lunchtime, no pumping. Not to mention I was horribly sick at the end of this last pregnancy (double lung pneumonia). Now my third baby - I hope he nurses until he's 18! I don't want him to grow up... Emotions man, they are so odd :) Congrats on weaning AND your third blessing:)

  2. Way to go! That is hard on you both. You did amazing, no guilt! Breastfeeding for that long is wonderful.

  3. Oh my gosh I can't even imagine trying to BF while pregnant!!! I'm so glad she seems to be dealing better now! Hugs mama!

  4. You're amazing for letting Sadie ease into it. After Liam weaned during my pregnancy, he still put his hand in my shirt to fall asleep. And it's still a comfort to him now, ha!

  5. You are amazing! My son is a huge boob fan too. It'll be interesting weaning him for sure.

  6. Loved this post and your honesty! This is a random question... Are hose maternity jeans? If so, where are they from? I am trying to find a pair of maternity skinny jeans and am not having any luck.

    1. Thank you! They are not maternity jeans...I had to squeeze in to them! If you find a good skinny pair let me know!

    2. I'm at the other end of the breast feeding spectrum but, great post Julie & I love your raw honesty - I always have! But, while pregnant I lived my Jessica Simpson skinny jeans! Bought them from Motherhood Maternity

    3. I was going to say the same thing! Jessica Simpson makes amazing skinny jeans for Motherhood Maternity! I loooved mine.

  7. You are amazing, Julie! Mom guilt is a nasty thing but don't let it rob your joy. Now I'm totally d-o-n-e with nursing too but Brielana still has yet to fully give it up, sigh. One day my body will be my own again ;)

  8. Hi! New reader :) Congrats on being pregnant with baby #3!! I am also pregnant with baby #3 and due in October! My first two are 4 and 3 - 16 months apart. Unfortunately I never was pregnant while breastfeeding. Your story is encouraging, though, as with my older girls I only BF about 4 months. This time around, I am actually taking a maternity leave and am mentally prepared to make this work for us. Thanks for sharing your story and best of luck to you during this pregnancy!!!!

    -Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  9. I'm pregnant with baby #2 and I was really really really sad when my OB said I needed to stop breastfeeding baby #1 by the end of my first trimester. Stopping breastfeeding has made me gain weight (BOO! I'M NOT THAT PREGNANT YET!) and I really hate that I don't have that soothing technique to pull out of my sleeve anymore. I would seriously breastfeed forever if I could. It definitely is more painful now and my supply has dropped since we're down to one feeding a day, but I wish my OB was more open to tandem nursing. Know that you're in good company in dealing with little girls who do not want to stop nursing!!! Lilly still reaches all the way down my shirt and grabs my boobs (OW!!!) when she's unhappy throughout the day. Maybe one day I'll get a groove!

    1. Oh Mama! It makes me sad to see when a woman is advised to stop nursing during pregnancy (unless due to a specific medical condition ... which is a whole different story) - but if that's not your story.. take charge! Hook up with your local La Leche League or find a Lactation Consultant to discuss this with further! Your OB doesn't need to be open to tandem nursing if it's something YOU want to do!

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