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I breastfed my baby 3 years and beyond


Yes, I breastfed my baby 3+ years. I couldn't believe it. I started off giving myself a timeline of six months. Then, six months became one year. By 18 months, he was still pretty much a boob monster, so I stopped setting a deadline and changed my approach to toddler-led weaning. I believe one day, he will wean off nursing completely.

So, here we are, still breastfeeding at 38 months plus, i.e. three years and two months plus. Our journey started off pretty rocky. In fact, as natural as breastfeeding was supposed to be and I did attend breastfeeding classes, I was so taken aback by the challenges that I had to face. Never in my dear life would I imagine that I had to deal with tongue-tie, prolonged jaundice (with highest bilirubin reading at 395.2), and mastitis. If you want to know about the details, you can read the blog post here.

 When he was about 28 months, I was pregnant but it ended with an early miscarriage. It was breastfeeding that saved me from prolonged grief. Quoting myself: "As I'm still breastfeeding my 28-month toddler, I find myself healing emotionally as he breastfeeds. I have a renewed sense of gratitude and love for my little toddler. Luckily I didn't force him to wean off when I found out I was pregnant. If not, I'd have lost both my new baby and my good breastfeeding relationship with my firstborn."

To date, we have weaned off day-time nursing. But what I really want to share is how do I manage to breastfeed a toddler while being pregnant. Is it yay or nay? :D

Before I continue with that, let's take a look at my cute three-year old. Hahaha!


Kid-friendly cafes/restaurants with a generous play-area for kids are the best gift for us parents! This is at Goodness Greens Cafe @ Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, TTDI, KL.


Bedtime routine includes story-telling.....


.....and playing with his Lego pieces. He looks up to his father a lot and he always say, "Papa, you are my hero. You are my best friend in the whole wide world." So cute!

Okay, let's get back to the main topic: Breastfeeding while being pregnant - yay or nay?

Here are five tips that I have done up based on my experience of handling this matter at hand which will last for nine months.

#1 - Check with your healthcare provider

Generally speaking, breastfeeding during pregnancy is not an issue. However, in certain situations, e.g. carrying multiples, history of premature births caused by early cervix dilation, signs of preterm labor or unusual bleeding and the likes, weaning might be necessary. Always seek professional opinion. [Source]

#2 - Ask yourself what do you want

In one study of La Leche League mothers breastfeeding during pregnancy, 26% of children self-weaned, 28% of the mothers led weaning, and the other 46% went on to tandem nurse. [Source]

So, the question is, what do you want? I know some mothers prefer to have individual breastfeeding relationship with each of her child, so tandem nursing is out of the equation. Some mothers are okay with tandem nursing. For myself, I'm looking forward to tandem nursing. So, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I didn't wean off my toddler intentionally.

#3 - Know your body

Some mothers have very bad morning sickness that might be aggravated by nursing to the extent that they need to stop completely. I was one of the lucky ones who didn't have morning sickness, so I could continue nursing my toddler with no issue.

However, having sore nipples (due to hormonal changes during pregnancy) was very challenging for me. I kept nursing sessions shorter than usual to minimize agitation (I felt extremely bothered) when he wanted to nurse for comfort and to sleep. It was particularly challenging during the fourth and fifth month because my milk supply decreased (normal part of pregnancy) and his nursing pattern seemed to regress to that of a younger toddler's.

Tiredness was quite an issue as well because I wanted to rest/sleep and he wanted to nurse. I couldn't remember how, but we managed to continue nursing till now. Haha.

#4 - Talk to your toddler

Talking to my three-year old about current challenges and upcoming changes is pretty easy. He understands very well as long as I explain to him in a calm and collected manner. Sometimes when I lost it and got angry with him for nursing a tad too long, he would throw a tantrum too. That wasn't nice for both us.

When my belly starts to grow bigger, my toddler will sit or kneel or even stand beside me to nurse. At night, side-lying is his preferred position to nurse to sleep.

#5 - Manage expectations from yourself and your toddler

To be honest, I don't know what to expect yet. Quoting kellymom.com: "Your older child may experience a range of emotions, from fear of displacement to anger at you to delight in the new baby. And remember that sibling relationships tend to have their own rhythms of bonding and fighting, and both can happen at your breast! Realistic expectations, lots of mama love, open communication, and a sense of humor will help you move through any challenges that arise."

From todaysparent.com: "Remember most toddlers feel some jealousy towards the new baby and may regress in behavior (acting like babies themselves) or show anger by acting up, complaining or being aggressive to the new baby. So if your toddler is doing this (or worse!), it's not because he's still nursing — it's because having a new sibling is stressful."

I know the benefits of tandem nursing. With my firstborn, I had unfavorable milk supply and that's exactly why I want to tandem nurse. I believe my toddler will be a great helper if there's issue with breastfeeding the new baby.

If I face overactive letdown or too much milk, my toddler can drink up that fast flow first so that it becomes easier for the baby to latch. A toddler's sucking reflex is much stronger than a baby's so when my milk kicks in and my breasts are engorged or if I have blocked ducts, he can help to suck to get the milk flowing again.

Most importantly, I believe by allowing him to nurse, it gives me an extra tool to calm and reassure him that he's forever my baby!

Wish me luck!


2 comments

  1. A nice sharing. You and your kid have been through a lot and breastfeeding is a great bonding too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good luck! That was something I didn't realise about tandem nursing. :o

    (and congrats on the baby!)

    ReplyDelete