I have been curious how nursing would go during pregnany. It seems, from what I read, that nature would have the child wean during pregnancy, and I have been wondering about the mechanisms set in place to bring this about. Assuming your child is an avid nurser before you get pregnant, will weaning simply occur if you don't push either way? I"ve heard that the changes the milk will undergo in the second trimester mimic the changes that happen during weaning: lower protein content, less sweet, less volume.
I have been curious about how this will affect Naomi's nursing, since she's as avid a nurser as any kid. Will she taste the second trimester milk and spit it out, never to go back? Will she nurse up through early labor and immediatly after the baby's born?
I started the weaning process about a year ago, when I began to refuse every once in a while. I was getting burnt out; there was no other way for me. Several times I've gotten fed up and cut back drastically to something I felt was more sustainable for the long term. Now she typically nurses in the morning and to go to sleep at night, usualy after her nap, and sometimes before her nap. Occasionally she nurses once at night, and occasionally she'll ask to nurse at other times when she's hurt, feeling sick, or overtired. This is quite bearable, in fact, mostly enjoyable to me.
I'm starting to get nature's first push toward weaning. I'm getting insanely sore nipples when she nurses. I thought I could prevent this by keeping my supply up, but NOOOO. The only tyhing that helps is that I know it's just a first trimester thing, and it's temporary. I'm getting a little bit of the nursing agitation too (which I also think is a built-in signal that it's time to cut back) but nowhere near as bad as I was before I stopped nursing on demand.
I really want to continue nursing her. I am looking forward to the time when we'll sit down on the couch after a long day and she'll latch on and the baby will start to squirm and bump, and she'll have the feeling of the baby long before she meets him*. I also think that having her port in the storm still be available will help to smooth the rockiness of getting a sibling. I think that nursing will help me not to gain too much weight, I think it will help progress my labor in the early stages, it will help bring my milk in after the baby's born.
The only thing I can do is remain watchful and relaxed. I don't want to interfere too much with her process of weaning, I want to nurse her as long as she wants to nurse. But if it seems like she's ready to let it go, I want to help her with that. Chances are, if she's anything like me, she'll know she wants to stop but will have no idea how. I have to have faith that this will all work itself out for the best, these things take time to unfold and I need to accept that things may not turn out the way I envision, but things will be "right", regardless.
*I had a dream last night about a boy named Milo. So until I start to have girl feelings again, I'm using the masculine pronouns.