The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #24

October 1st, 2010 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy

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Today I am happy to host a guest post by Becky. Becky Saenz has spent over 9 of the last 14 years nursing her four babies. She also works part-time as a Breastfeeding Medicine physician in Madison, Mississippi. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:
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I love watching how babies grow into toddlers and then continue to mature emotionally, and I love how breastfeeding facilitates the whole process.

I’ve nursed all four of my kids well beyond their first birthday, but I haven’t had the opportunity to tandem nurse until the boys came along.  My boys were IVF babies, conceived at the same time, in the same petri dish.  So that makes them “twins” of a sort, although they were born 28 months apart.

When the younger one was born, I had to explain to then 2year old brother that the baby needed to “get dibs,” but there would be plenty for him, too.  Since baby brother was a preemie, I sometimes let them nurse simultaneously in the early days so that big brother could get the milk flowing for his younger brother.

As they’ve gotten older, we’ve had to change nursing positions to accommodate all the growing arms and legs.  And their “nursing cues” have become verbal:  Jacob has learned to ask politely for “Mommie-milk, please” and Samuel’s first sentence was, “Want that side!” Sometimes they ask as a way to touch base or regroup in the middle of all the busy-ness of a large family.

Now, 19 months later, I still often nurse them simultaneously for the sheer convenience of it, and the way it soothes sibling rivalry.  They often do things that I’ve heard that twins do – hold hands, tickle each other’s ears, and mumble a conversation back and forth.

Someday, I need to teach them not talk with their mouths full.  But not today.
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Breastfeeding past infancy is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship. But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a child who is older than one year, please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire. (This series was formerly called “The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” I changed the name to reflect the fact that we are celebrating women who breastfeed past infancy, regardless of the age of the nursling.)

6 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #24"

  1. That was beautifully touching.

  2. M   FreedomsPursuit

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m curious though, how did you continue nursing through the frozen transfer? I was told by my doc that I had to discontinue nursing both due to the meds being unsafe for my daughter and the nursing causing a greater chance of failure with the uterine cramping it can cause. I weaned my daughter at 16 months to do a FET. After two failed attempts, we did one more fresh IVF cycle that resulted in our son. We still have four babies on ice for another attempt.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower has some excellent information about bf’ing during pregnancy. Here is a little bit about Flower’s research (from this review: http://www.kellymom.com/nursingtwo/resources/pregnancynursing-faq.pdf)
      This is a common worry, but it does not appear to have a strong foundation. Hilary Flower’s review of research on the pregnant uterus reveals that there is actually no theoretical basis for the common concern that breastfeeding can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor in healthy pregnancies. Instead the uterus has many safeguards preventing a strong reaction to the oxytocin that breastfeeding releases. Although uterine contractions are experienced during breastfeeding, they are a normal part of pregnancy. Similar contractions often occur during sexual intercourse, which
      many couples continue throughout pregnancy.

  3. M   FreedomsPursuit

    True about the cramps being similar to other activities like intercourse… But directly after an embryo transfer the patient is under strict orders to limit or eliminate activities that could potentially inhibit implantation. I know I was on pelvic rest for several weeks until the heartbeat was strong. I’m curious what the author’s experience was during that time of high precautions.

  4. Becky

    In reply to M:

    Since we adopted frozen embryos, I didn’t have to go through the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval part of the process. Some of the meds involved in that can dry up milk production and/or be harmful. I only had to do the uterine prep, involving basically the same hormones/levels as a normal pregnancy.

    As for the effects of breastfeeding on implantation, I did take a 3-day break from from nursing for the weekend I was on actual bed rest after the second FET. At that point, he was only nursing once-twice daily anyway, and not to sleep, so it wasn’t a huge deal for him. On the following Monday, after I was not “sick” anymore, he asked to nurse, and I made a conscious decision to let him, and to continue. Having read the research that Ms. Flowers cites in her book, I realized that alot of things can cause low “rises” in levels of oxytocin, even a pleasant dinner with friends. The levels caused by nursing are much lower than those caused by orgasm. (I did remain on pelvic rest, as ordered.)

    For the record, I never had any contractions related to nursing during pregnancy. The reason for second son’s early delivery was premature rupture of membranes- during sleep, actually, but without going into labor.

  5. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    Wonderful story! I am so glad to hear BF success stories like this!

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