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Pregnant and Breastfeeding
By Jane Squires, RN, IBCLC

Janes SquiresQ. I have a 10 month old and just found out that we are expecting again. I had planned to nurse at least until my daughter was a year old and probably would have let her nurse up to two years. However, now baby #2 is on the way. When should I start weaning baby #1, and how do I go about it?

A. Some people continue to nurse throughout a pregnancy and then tandem nurse both children after the baby is born. However when you nurse, your uterus does contract because of the oxytocin, and if you are at all high-risk for miscarriage, or complicated pregnancies you would probably be advised not to breastfeed. Since I do not know the answer to those questions you must ask your health care provider.

When you are pregnant, the maturemilk changes and becomes more like colostrum, and starts to taste different. Your little one may decide to self wean for that reason.

There is cold turkey weaning, where you abruptly stop, and switch to formula. That will most likely cause you to become engorged.

There is gradual weaning, where you replace a nursing for a formula feeding, lets say one feeding is dropped every day and replaced.

Also when baby wants to nurse, and you have decided to wean you need to use distraction techniques. Read a story to her, go for a walk.

Sudden weaning is difficult for you the mother. If the baby is less than a year old, she may never notice the change in your milk.

Your baby is old enough to drink out of a cup, so you can even dispense with the bottle, and go straight to a cup if you want, a sippy cup, that when tipped over, leaks minimally.

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