Pregnant - Nursing - Ebf mamas- Q on child spacing?




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livb528
01-24-2011, 01:22 PM
I hope it's okay to ask this question here... I am currently losing weight to ttc at some point this year. I'm hoping to lose 30-40 lbs to get to my wedding weight before another pregnancy. DD is currently 8 months old.

We were thinking of starting ttc in June after DD turns 1 in May. My dilemma (which has been weighing so heavily on my mind lately) is that it's really important to me to bf her for at least 2 years and then let her self wean after that... but I've always wanted my kids close together. My siblings and I were all 3-4 years apart and didn't have a lot in common growing up. But I know it can be difficult to nurse through a pregnancy and I would be devastated if she weaned early because of it. But I know plenty of people who have nursed through pregnancies just fine and then went on to tandem nurse.

Idk... I guess I am just still feeling like she's a baby (Bc she is!) and that maybe 22-24 months apart is not enough time with just her... but then there's this part of me that wants another baby and wants DD to have a sibling sooner rather than later.

*Of course, this is all assuming hypothetically that I've lost at least 30 lbs (but it's going well) and that we get pg right away again like we did with DD.*

Thoughts? If you ebf, how far apart are your kids? I'm SO back and forth on this and just want to hear what other moms think :dizzy:


sept15lija
01-24-2011, 03:45 PM
I was nursing my son when we decided to TTC for #2...I got pregnant pretty much immediately. He was 15 months when I got pregnant and by the time he was 18 months, he had weaned. I don't know if my supply dried up, or the taste changed, or he was just done. I was sad that perhaps I ended it early...but it is what it is. I had intended to continue, and tandem. I don't know anybody IRL who has tandem nursed, I wanted to be the first! lol Anyways in terms of spacing, I'm really happy with the way things have gone so far....DD will be 1 on Friday...I just think having them closer is really nice. Now we just need to figure out if we're having one more or not! :)

Gale02
01-24-2011, 05:49 PM
My boys are 21 months apart. I weaned my 1st at about 1 year, and then got pregnant almost immediately. I'll nurse this one until he's a year old, and then wean him too (he's almost 5 months now). So, I guess I'm no help at all since I haven't nursed while pregnant, LOL!

I will say that I love this age gap. There are things about it that are really hard, but so much that is just a blast. We are planning on having our next one within 2 years of our second just because we like the age gap. I also have a lot of space between my siblings (I'm 3 of 6 and there's 5 years from my older sib and 8 years from my younger.) OTOH, my DH and his sister are only 10.5 months apart... his mom only had 2, lol!

I think there must be benefits and drawbacks to any age gap. You just need to do what's right for your family.


usam
01-24-2011, 06:05 PM
Well, my sister and I are two years apart and we are super close. For that reason I chose to have my two children two years apart, and I am so glad I did. My daughter is 5 and my son is 3 and they play so well, seriously they play together for hours. My little guy can't wait till she gets home from pre-K so they can play.
As for breastfeeding I think its a personal thing. I could not breastfeed for more than three months which broke my heart. I presonally feel though that as long as you can do it why not. Generally most doctors say up to 1 year is great so just the fact that you can still breastfeed is wonderful, just let it play out as it should. She may wean herself you never know. Good Luck! Such an exciting time!

Latchkey Princess
01-24-2011, 09:46 PM
There are 22 months between my first and second and there will be 18 months between my second and my third. And I'm still breastfeeding both of the older ones.

My first is very attatched to nursing, she likes it a lot and was always a great nurser, she weaned herself down to one or two 10 minute nursing sessions when I was pg with my second. After that she picked right back up, tho now that she's 3 years old she's weaned herself down to 1 nursing session before bed unless she's sick.

My second was never as interested in nursing, and by the time I got pg with my third when she was about 9 months old she had weaned herself down to about three sessions a day.

I find that my supply decreases dramatically during my second trimester, and occasionally during that time both of my kids can go for a couple of days without nursing. But just when I'm sure they've weaned themselves for good my older one will ask to nurse or my younger one will pull at my shirt and ask for help (her way of asking to nurse). Now that I'm getting closer to my third trimester my supply is on the way back up (tho it's generally colostrum now instead of actual milk) and they are asking to nurse more frequently again. The supply issue is the only thing I've found that makes nursing during pregnancy more difficult, but I figure I'll just offer it if they give me cues that they want to nurse and so far that's worked for us. Also, my milk for my second came in and my supply regulated much faster since my first was still nursing, which was nice.

Anyway, I love the spacing of 22 months, it's wonderful. My daughters are best friends, even at this young age. And I feel like I'm getting the diaper years over without having a big pause in between where I get used to not having an infant around. I'm not sure how the 18 month spacing is going to be, but that's more because my second is a total attention wanting diva than because of the actual age difference...

Good luck to you!

runningfromfat
01-25-2011, 06:45 AM
My kids will be 2years8months apart when #2 is born. I'm currently 2 months pregnant and DD has been nursing a lot still (she's just over 2 years old). We're hoping to wean her sometime soon but I know she really wants to continue (and I don't have any supply issues) so we'll see what happens.

My pregnancy wasn't planned, it was a happy surprise, but a surprise nevertheless. We were hoping to wait until DD was weaned and sleeping through the night first and I got to 155lbs, which would put me at a healthy weight. We're still very happy about it but I wonder still if things wouldn't have been easier on me if we could've waited (then again maybe it'll be better for the kids to be closer together in age, I can't really say yet?).

I guess, my advice is work on you weight loss in the meantime and evaluate how you feel when your son turns one. You could always decide to wait until 1.5 and your kids would just be over 2 years apart. Then you'd be more likely to be able to nurse your son until two and you'd also have a close spacing. Plus you'd have more time for weight loss.

I have to admit that I was no where remotely ready to have a second when DD was 1 but then again she was a pretty demanding kid. ;)

livb528
01-27-2011, 03:18 PM
Thank you everyone for the detailed responses. I think that a lot of what I'm feeling are just fears and that everything will work itself out the way it is supposed to. And I will re-evaluate when DD turns 1 and see where I am with my weight loss as well. So far, this month I'm not losing as fast as I'd hoped. It always seems like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. But I will get there.

I'm glad that those of you who have kids closer together feel like it has worked out well. I know so much of child spacing depends on the individual family, but I really appreciate all your thoughts! I guess a part of me was feeling guilty for possibly taking away some of DD's babyhood and nursing that she enjoys, but I think a sibling will eventually outweigh any negatives! And hopefully we will make it through the pregnancy with nursing too ;)

So don't feel like if your kids are years apart that they wont have anything in common, and don't be led to believe that kids who are close in age don't fight endlessly.

That is very true that just because 2 kids are spaced closer together doesn't automatically mean they'll be close. Thanks for offering that perspective!

I was nursing my son when we decided to TTC for #2...I got pregnant pretty much immediately. He was 15 months when I got pregnant and by the time he was 18 months, he had weaned. I don't know if my supply dried up, or the taste changed, or he was just done. I was sad that perhaps I ended it early...but it is what it is. I had intended to continue, and tandem. I don't know anybody IRL who has tandem nursed, I wanted to be the first! lol Anyways in terms of spacing, I'm really happy with the way things have gone so far....DD will be 1 on Friday...I just think having them closer is really nice. Now we just need to figure out if we're having one more or not! :)

I know a couple of people IRL who are tandem nursing right now... and I'm *hoping* I can join them. I know that DD is very attached to nursing and so I hope that that will get us over any kind of low supply hump during pregnancy. I'm glad you like the spacing!

Anyway, I love the spacing of 22 months, it's wonderful. My daughters are best friends, even at this young age. And I feel like I'm getting the diaper years over without having a big pause in between where I get used to not having an infant around.

This is what I'm hoping for! And I agree that (for me) it would be really hard to start getting a lot of sleep and then have to transition back again.

I have to admit that I was no where remotely ready to have a second when DD was 1 but then again she was a pretty demanding kid. ;)

This is how my DD is too. I like to call her my "high needs child", lol. But I'm still getting that "itch" as she is getting older and "slightly" easier. Plus, I feel like she would be happier with a sibling. Even now at 8 months, I can tell she gets kind of bored. I play with her as much as I can, but I still need to cook and clean, etc. And she goes nuts with excitement whenever she sees other kids, even little babies. It's like she's fascinated. :D

Quail
02-04-2011, 02:50 AM
I was hoping my children would be a year apart, but it didn't work out that way. My son and my next child will be 4.5 years apart. I'm totally okay with it becuase my niece and nephew are 5 years apart and are very, very close and loving. As far as breastfeeding goes, I intended to nurse DS for a year and then wean him. Then a year turned into two years and I decided to let him self-wean. Now he's three years old and I plan on weaning him in May.

walking2lose
02-04-2011, 07:41 AM
I have no idea what ebf is, nor do I have kids.

I clicked on the thread because of the child spacing thing. I heard a news report just the other day about a new study that shows a high link/correlation between closely spaced children and autism. I found the story very interesting, partly because I teach and have lots of experience with autistic students, and also because I have quite a few friends who waited until late thirties to have kids and then tried to have their 2 or 3 as close together as possible. Yes, a few of those kids have problems - severe ADHD, developmental delays, possible autism. My own sister's youngest two have learning disabilities - they are less than 18 months apart.

Now, there is probably nothing to this - many studies' results are totally skewed when presented. So, while this study might be pure BUNK but I just thought you might want to research it. My brother, sister, and I were all 2 years apart - we, like most siblings born close, got along great and had no issues.

Jonesie
02-04-2011, 07:45 AM
I nursed my daughter until 2 years 2ish months. My son is 4 years 6 days younger than her and he nursed about 20 months. (No matter HOW MUCH I wanted him to nurse until 2. it just didnt happen.) So, I ebf and they are 4 years apart.

livb528
02-05-2011, 10:10 PM
I have no idea what ebf is, nor do I have kids.

I clicked on the thread because of the child spacing thing. I heard a news report just the other day about a new study that shows a high link/correlation between closely spaced children and autism. I found the story very interesting, partly because I teach and have lots of experience with autistic students, and also because I have quite a few friends who waited until late thirties to have kids and then tried to have their 2 or 3 as close together as possible. Yes, a few of those kids have problems - severe ADHD, developmental delays, possible autism. My own sister's youngest two have learning disabilities - they are less than 18 months apart.

Now, there is probably nothing to this - many studies' results are totally skewed when presented. So, while this study might be pure BUNK but I just thought you might want to research it. My brother, sister, and I were all 2 years apart - we, like most siblings born close, got along great and had no issues.

I read this study too and found it very interesting. What's funny is that all of the autistic kids I know (3 different families) are either the oldest in their families or were a 2nd born but 4 years after the first. I know that doesn't mean anything scientifically but it is interesting to think about. Also, I like to think about all those big catholic families 40 years ago where the kids were all 1-2 years apart and how autism wasn't really known about back then and all the kids were just normal. Who knows all the different factors that contribute to Autism. I personally wonder if it doesn't have something more to do with our lack of whole food nutrition in favor of the processed Standard American Diet :shrug:

Oh, yeah, and EBF stands for extended breast feeding ;)

walking2lose
02-15-2011, 12:18 PM
I read this study too and found it very interesting. What's funny is that all of the autistic kids I know (3 different families) are either the oldest in their families or were a 2nd born but 4 years after the first. I know that doesn't mean anything scientifically but it is interesting to think about. Also, I like to think about all those big catholic families 40 years ago where the kids were all 1-2 years apart and how autism wasn't really known about back then and all the kids were just normal. Who knows all the different factors that contribute to Autism. I personally wonder if it doesn't have something more to do with our lack of whole food nutrition in favor of the processed Standard American Diet :shrug:

Oh, yeah, and EBF stands for extended breast feeding ;)

Umm... I never checked back on this thread.

Liv, that is interesting and lends credence to the idea that it's the interpretation of a studies' results that is usually presented to us... and there are also just unreliable studies! I wonder, too, if the SAD plays a role. Autism has certainly had a rapid rise in the last 15 years or so - it's kind of mysterious.

mom4life
02-15-2011, 12:33 PM
my ds1, dd2, and ds2 are all 2.2 yrs apart. All were naturally spaced. I nursed them all till they weaned on their own. I nursed ds1 and dd2 through pregnancies and they both self weaned around 2 yrs old. It can be done.
All the feelings you mentioned are completely normal.

SunnyMathChick
02-17-2011, 01:30 AM
Interesting, because whenever I read EBF I think exclusively- breastfed.

I was a crazy nursing woman- loved it so much. My period returned at 4.5 months postpartum. For my daughter's first 11 months of life, I was completely convinced that we would be nursing until she was at least 2.

Then at a year our relationship changed. It wasn't bad at all, our nursing relationship was just different. At 15 months she weaned herself. I thought I would be sad when that day came, but honestly, it was just time for us. Now we're doing different things together. :)

She's 20 months now and I think she'll be at least 3 before she has a sibling- I always thought about 3 years apart is the perfect age gap.

So, I think it's awesome if you nurse that long, but just thought I would share my story. :)

peasandcarrots
03-08-2011, 03:28 AM
Don't worry about the weaning issue. Yeah, it is hard to nurse while pregnant, I've done it through two plus pregnancies. I thought for sure DS2 would be weaned before DD came along at 21 months, but no such luck.

I'm really only posting to warn you, there may come a time that you will be so done with nursing. I'm there.
If I had it to do over again, I think I would have spaced them out enough to wean in between.

luciddepths
03-13-2011, 07:14 PM
I dont have kids yet... but im curious why people want to nurse their babies so long?

2 years apart is a great # thats what my brother and myself are :)

Gale02
03-13-2011, 07:20 PM
I dont have kids yet... but im curious why people want to nurse their babies so long?



LOL, I have 2 kids and I still wonder this! :)

luciddepths
03-13-2011, 08:04 PM
LOL im glad i'm not the only one!!!

side note: i found a video one day on youtube of a woman who wanted her kids to wean themselves from BFD and yeah... 10 years later, BOTH kids are still doing it.

Latchkey Princess
03-13-2011, 08:14 PM
I dont have kids yet... but im curious why people want to nurse their babies so long?

Well, to start with the basics, breast milk never loses it's nutritional value and is always exactly what your child needs it to be at whatever point they are at in their life. It also continuously provides babies/children with mom's antibodies to help supplement their immune system and keep them healthy. It is also a form of comfort, but contrary to what some people believe does not cause a child to be clingy or needy. In fact, in my experience just the opposite, both of my girls are pretty independent and socialize amazingly with others and I think maybe they can be that way partly since they feel so secure in their relationship with mommy.

A few other reasons are that nature designed babies to nurse until between the ages of 4 and 7 (that of course varies by child like everything else), but children naturally lose their ability to properly latch onto the breast around those ages. This is usually when they begin to lose their baby teeth since the spacing between adult teeth does not allow for a proper latch, and a kid who can't latch won't get milk and will eventually lose interest and self wean. Breastfeeding was also designed to give mom a break every now and then, it makes you sit down and relax while your child nurses (especially important during the first few months of baby's life, but still nice when they're older).

Not breastfeeding children to an older age is actually a fairly modern development. And in many other countries extended breastfeeding is the norm (tho a lack of stigma about breastfeeding helps that, and that's something we just don't have in a lot of western culture). Of course everyone makes the choice as to what is best for their child, but some people do it for no other reason than the AAP recommends breastfeeding to at least year and then as long as mother and child both feel comfortable and the WHO recommends a minimum of 2 years.

Sorry for the long answer. :)

eclipse
03-13-2011, 08:28 PM
To the OP-

My cycle returned after my first child when I was 18 months postpartum. I think I had two cycles before I conceived #2 (they are 2 years 5 months apart). DS1 cut back on nursing a lot towards the end of the pregnancy, but continued all the way through. After #2, my period returned at about 17 months, though I'm pretty sure this was actually a very early miscarriage. I was pregnant before I had another cycle. #2 and #3 are 2 years, 3 months apart. DS1 was still nursing when I got pregnant with #3. He quit right after he found out he was having a new sibling, at 4 years 6 weeks old, saying, "You need that milk for the new baby!" :lol: DD nursed until around my third trimester, just after her 2nd birthday. She told me she wasn't a baby anymore now that she was two :lol: My period returned at about 15 months with #3, but we were done baby making, barring a surprise. He stopped at around 3.5 years old.

As to why people nurse their kids until they are "older" - well, for me it was about a lot of things. It's healthy, it's better for them than cow milk, my oldest son had a lot of feeding issues (still barely eats) and getting nutrition into him any way I could was important to me, there's no good reason I could think of to stop, and because it reduces the chance of breast cancer and ovarian cancer by leaps and bounds for the nursing mom (and I have a family history of both). DS2 also had a ton of health issues early on (he was a premie, had RSV at 14 weeks, has breathing issues if he even catches a cold, etc) and anything I could do to boost his immune system was vitally important to me.

The biggest reason, though, is that weaning an infant or toddler just doesn't make sense to me. All three of mine stopped when they were ready and there was zero drama involved. Barring a good reason (like a health issue for me or the child, or me really hating it and being resentful of it), I don't see any reason to take away a source of comfort and nutrition from my child.

luciddepths
03-13-2011, 08:37 PM
interesting...

Why doesnt weaning make sense to you? Its a natural with ALL mammals, the mother forces the baby to wean...humans seem to be the only species to allow this to be an option.


interesting :)


i was just curious the SO and i have been talking about having a baby next year.

Gale02
03-13-2011, 09:06 PM
I think I should interject here that I've never been a comfort nurser with either of my kids. I don't nurse them unless it's time to eat (I'm also a schedule nurser), I find other ways to comfort them. I don't mind nursing and I'm so blessed to be able to do it, but I don't love having a kid attached at all times.

I'm also one of those mean moms who gets them down to 2 feedings a day and weans them cold turkey. So, take my opinion for what it's worth. :)

luciddepths
03-13-2011, 10:00 PM
LOL Gale, thats how i imagine my self to be when we have babies.

eclipse
03-14-2011, 12:25 AM
Other mammals wean their children when they no longer need milk. Modern humans in western culture tend to wean their children to the milk of other animals because they still need it for nutrition. That's a big part of what doesn't make sense to me about weaning a child when they are still a baby. Aside from that, I don't get stopping something positive for no reason other than a child reaching an arbitrary age. I certainly think that if a mother really doesn't like breastfeeding such that it interferes with her relationship with her children that weaning is a reasonable consideration (One example would be breastfeeding while pregnant. Some women can do this easily, some children wean naturally during a new pregnancy, some mothers find it painful or otherwise uncomfortable to continue). I think most women who wean early do it because they are told that it's "weird" or "wrong" or "enabling" or "insert other negative stereotype of your choice" to breastfeed past X age - and X age seems to be an ever changing thing.

sept15lija
03-14-2011, 12:34 PM
Yes we're one of the only species (the only probably) who weans their young early to drink the milk of another species. Humans aren't really meant to drink the milk of cows, which is perhaps shown by the fact that so many of us have a hard time digesting it. Cow milk is meant for baby cows. I drink milk, as do my children, but it is an interesting thing to think about. I didn't actively wean my son, he chose to stop around 18 months as my supply had gone down a lot during pregnancy, and with my daughter I have no intention of stopping until she's ready. Breastfeeding provides a lot of nutritional benefits which are fairly obvious, but there are also many emotional benefits too. I had no idea how I would feel about breastfeeding until I actually got to do it (and actually, I hated it for the first while!!), so you never know unti you are there. Some women can't wait for it to be over, some do it until a certain age, some choose to let their children wean themselves, some help along with the weaning process but don't force it. It's an individual thing, as to how you and your child feel. I do feel it's a relationship though, and both parties (or all parties, in the case of tandem nursing) should be considered in decisions. Just my 2 cents! :)

Latchkey Princess
03-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Why doesnt weaning make sense to you? Its a natural with ALL mammals, the mother forces the baby to wean...humans seem to be the only species to allow this to be an option.

As the other women already stated, other mammals wean their children when they no longer need the milk for nutrition. After that, their children do not drink milk of any kind. Humans wean babies off of breast milk just to put them on cow's milk since they still need the fats and nutrition that milk provide. So why wean them off the milk that was made for them onto milk made for another species? Why not just continue to give them the milk that nature intended for them until such time as they no longer need/want it? That's the part of forced weaning that doesn't make sense to me.

Gale02
03-15-2011, 06:49 PM
I think that the bottom line about EBF or not is that you end up doing what works for you and for baby. I weaned my first son at 1 and he's no worse for the wear. I will do the same with son #2. There are people here that let baby self wean and it's no skin off anyone's nose. There are arguments on both sides, you just have to decide what's going to be best for your particular situation. :)

zenor77
03-28-2011, 01:08 AM
The World Health Organization recommends nursing, at least, until 2 years of age and longer if Mom and baby are willing.

I know it doesn't always work out that way, but I'm assuming that is why some women aim for the 2 years. That's my goal.

XenaGlamRocker
04-13-2011, 10:08 PM
There's 22 months between DD and DS1, and 25 months between DS1 and DS2.

My DD I only nursed until she was 3 months old, so that didn't effect getting pregnant with DS1.

However DS1 I nursed until he was 19 months old. It was when he was 16 months that I got pregnant with DS2. He slowly self weaned after that, and I do think that it may have been because hormone levels in my milk effected the taste of it.

DS2 is currently 18 months old and still nursing once a day just before bed.

As for the age gaps, I LOVE the age gaps my kids have. They love to play with each other, and yes okay sometimes they squabble, but on the whole the three of them are best friends. I love that they are growing together, and doing things together. Some days it can test my patience a little when they're all being pains, but that can happen with kids of ANY age gap.

These are my three monkeys :

Lydia aged 5 and a half (September 2005)
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/196745_941638723269_197812287_54223352_2519848_n.j pg

Alex aged 3 and a half (August 2007)
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/188579_941206878689_197812287_54216237_1315338_n.j pg

Jason aged 18 months (September 2009)
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/200599_941206918609_197812287_54216238_7552171_n.j pg

livb528
05-08-2011, 06:43 PM
After all my worrying over this subject, Dh and I decided that because DD is more of a high needs baby, that we would just take some time off and have babies more 2 1/2 years apart. We figured there was no rush and no "perfect" spacing and it would give me more time to lose weight. Well... Surprise! I am pregnant again! ... and the babies will be 18-19 months apart. :dizzy: We are not sure of the exact due date yet as my 1st appt is next week. Freaking out a little bit over them being that close together and I was slightly disappointed that I only got to 5 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight before getting pregnant again. All that being said, we are still very excited to be having #2. Everything I've read/talked to said that the first year was hard and then after that the kids had a built in play mate and were generally very close. Thank you to everyone with positive stories of your kids close in age- it's a big help!

As for nursing, DD still nurses like a newborn sometimes (cutting teeth right now) so I'm really hoping she nurses right through pregnancy. Even if she doesn't, I have a feeling once she sees the new baby nursing I think she'll want to join in ;) She's very attached to nursing. And the reason why I wanted to make it to 2 years is because of the World Health Organization's recommendation. I've also traveled to a foreign country where the weaning age is much higher than ours, so I guess to me it's just "normal" that children still have a need to nurse beyond a certain age. I hope that clears up any questions pp's may have had. Plus, right now DD has sensitivities to any kind of dairy, so weaning her to cow's milk is out of the equation.

And Xena: Your children are SO cute!! Thank you for posting pictures! I hope that DD and the new baby will be best friends someday.

jennylou
05-16-2011, 10:15 AM
I just wanted to post and say that we didn't use any birth control. My DD nursed until she was 31 months, my DS (32 months) and youngest DD (3 months) are still nursing.

Spacing between oldest DD and DS = 25 months, spacing between DS and youngest DD 29 months.