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A difficult decision
keep breastfeeding or try for second child?


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#1 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

I swore I'd NEVER be one of those women lamenting being unable to have a second child. I knew I'd just be so grateful to have one. And I am grateful, but here I am...

Our DD (15 months old) was quite a few IVF cycles in the making. Now we'd like to go back to have another crack. If we do so, it will have to be very soon because of my age and for financial reasons. We can't wait long.

I am booked in to see our FS in a month's time but in the meantime I've been consulting Dr Google, who has informed me that I will almost definitely have to wean my DD before doing IVF again. DD breastfeeds all night long (we cosleep) and several times a day. She is dependent on the boob to get to sleep for her naps and to get back to sleep when she wakes halfway through a nap. Weaning - I imagine - will be a nightmare. And I really don't want to do it - I love breastfeeding her, and she may very well be the only child I get to breastfeed.

At the same time though, I really want a second child. (I have become greedy  sad.gif ).

IF we return to IVF we will only be able to do a limited number of cycles (for financial reasons, emotional reasons, time...) - probably the three frozen embryos we have, plus one fresh cycle (and associated frozen transfers). There is NO guarantee of a second child.

I feel really torn over this. I had no idea it would be this hard.

Can anyone give me any words of wisdom?

#2 TillyTake2

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

How old are you?

And if you don't mind saying, what was the reason for needing ivf (if known).

Edited by TillyTake2, 31 January 2013 - 06:20 PM.


#3 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

QUOTE (TillyTake2 @ 31/01/2013, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How old are you?

And if you don't mind saying, what was the reason for needing ivf (if known).


I'm nearly 39 and unexplained infertility (in four years we never conceived even once, naturally). It's not just my age though, that's putting us under pressure. If we have two kids we want them to be close in age for financial reasons, and also my DH is older than I am and does not want to leave it too much longer if we're going to have a second.

#4 TillyTake2

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

It is a difficult call but I think I would probably ttc naturally for 3-6 months & then wean to do ivf. I would first find out about whether you definately need to wean. You may find the drugs dry up your milk/change the taste in which case your daughter might self wean anyway during the process. I would also not eliminate the possibility of conceiving naturally as this is not unheard of, particuarly in cases of unexplained infertility. Sometimes pregnancy just "fixes" something! I'd probably think about charting & opk's.

FWIW my son was very similiar at 15month but then randomly weaned himself around 17 months (mostly I think because I went off motillium). A lot can change in a few months original.gif

#5 AryaStar

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

...

Edited by AryaStar, 04 February 2013 - 05:53 PM.


#6 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

Ok, I am a bit cold and dispassionate about bfing.  I did it for 9 months with dd (she weaned herself when I fell pregnant with ds) and 15 months with ds until he weaned himself too.  I missed it desperately with both, for a month or two.  But the world moved on, and now that they are 7 and 8, it is a fond memory.  

Had I continued until they were both 2, or 3, it would also still just be a fond memory.

I love having two children.  Would I give up my ds, or the chance of having him, to enjoy breast feeding dd longer? Not on your life.

You will find other ways to be close to your dd.  and the wonder of watching a child grow and change is always amazing.  Breast feeding is a part of it.  A small part of it.

For me, it would be an easier decision, maybe.  But the opportunity or chance of another child would easily outweigh the additional few months of breast feeding, as painful as the initial weaning may be - for both of you. sad.gif

Good luck!


#7 PatG

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

In ten years time you are unlikely to have a huge amount of regret for having weaned your first baby a few (or more) months earlier than you wanted  (even if you only have the one) but you would probably have regret if you put off trying for the second and then couldn't....

#8 KACM

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

OP, are you ovulating? You might find that your Dr will want you to try naturally for six months or so before going back to IVF. Use that time to wean - you never know, you may be surprised! I also had unexplained infertility and tried to conceive for three years, had six IVF attempts the last one of which resulted in DD1. My husband and I had unprotected sex ONCE when DD1 was 12 months old and what do you know - DD2! Apparently it's quite common. No promises, but just saying...

#9 Ingrid the Swan

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

I do not want to get your hopes up with this post and nor do I presume to know your medical history, but is the reason you have been advised to wean because you have a short luteal phase?

Just that DP sought advice on starting IVF and had a short luteal phase due to breastfeeding. With a combination of reduced breastfeedibg (only to sleep now) and taking vitamin b6 under doctors supervision she managed to get her luteal phase up to 13 days from 9 within a month. We've had one chemical pregnancy since and about to try a second time.

If you could explore options there may be a way to just reduce rather than stop completely - but talk to your doctor because what has worked for my DP may not work for you.

#10 libbylu

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

I would also start to make the effort to conceive naturally for 3 to 6 months while you gradually ween your DD.
All 5 women I know who underwent IVF for their first child due to unexplained infertility have conceived their second (and in one case also her third) child naturally.  These women were all in their early to mid 30s though, which would make some difference. But it is definitely worth a try.  If there is no clear reason why you weren't conceiving, having carried a child can sometimes kick start your body to do it again.
Then in 3 or 4 months if there has been no success your DD will be approaching 2 and may be more ready to wean.  Giving yourself the chance to go naturally will also save you some cash if it does work.
You might need to start with night weaning as I think feeding 24/7 may reduce your fertility.

#11 CallMeFeral

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 31/01/2013, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In ten years time you are unlikely to have a huge amount of regret for having weaned your first baby a few (or more) months earlier than you wanted  (even if you only have the one) but you would probably have regret if you put off trying for the second and then couldn't....


This, my kids weaned earlier than I wanted them to, and although I was sad at the time, it's not a huge regret. I think not having a second you wanted would be a much bigger regret.

#12 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

I'd start weaning.

If it helps, my 15 month old is a boobaholic and sh*t sleeper. If you went throu my post history you'd see many posts from me complaining about breastfeeding and how it's impossible to wean him. he also wouldn't sleep without boob. He would scream the house down and would not settle without boob.

I started on day feeds and dropped to just for naps, then on his own he went to one big day nap so I gave him boob for the nap and then for resettling during the nap.

Then by some miracle at night he has started going back to sleep without boob. He now only has 1 or 2 feeds per night. Anyone who knows my son or I or knows our history knows what a miracle this is.

If you have a complete boobybaby, I would start trying to tackle the day feeds, start dropping them or restricting them to just nap time (or if they are particularly upset) try to distract and offer food every couple of hours as well (nothing major but maybe a piece of cheese or biscuit etc)

Good luck OP, I thought my boobaholic would have to go to some support group for adults who still breastfeed like Boobaholics Anonymous when he turned 18 as I could NEVER see him weaning.

Edited by Sunnycat, 31 January 2013 - 07:05 PM.


#13 EsmeLennox

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

I would wean her as soon as possible. You have give her 15 months of feeding - that's brilliant. But time is not on your side, especially of you need IVF again. Your DD will not be missing out at all' and a sibling is a wonderful thing, something she will have for life (unlike BF lol).

#14 Romeo Void

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (libbylu @ 31/01/2013, 07:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would also start to make the effort to conceive naturally for 3 to 6 months while you gradually ween your DD.
All 5 women I know who underwent IVF for their first child due to unexplained infertility have conceived their second (and in one case also her third) child naturally.  These women were all in their early to mid 30s though, which would make some difference. But it is definitely worth a try.  If there is no clear reason why you weren't conceiving, having carried a child can sometimes kick start your body to do it again.
Then in 3 or 4 months if there has been no success your DD will be approaching 2 and may be more ready to wean.  Giving yourself the chance to go naturally will also save you some cash if it does work.
You might need to start with night weaning as I think feeding 24/7 may reduce your fertility.

Unless you're like me and your cycle doesn't return even when you drop to only one comfort feed in the evening.

#15 PigNewton

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE
Unless you're like me and your cycle doesn't return even when you drop to only one comfort feed in the evening.

Same for me.

#16 Harmonica

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

I would definitely wean given your situation - I doubt it is something you will ever regret. However I do think you would regret not giving a 2nd child a chance because you wouldn't wean if that makes sense.

#17 Guest_LILLIANA1_*

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:35 AM

Thankyou SO much for your helpful replies - you have really helped me clarfiy my thinking about this.

Thankyou to all of you who have said that not trying for a second is likely to be a bigger regret than weaning. It is difficult for me to have perspective at the moment so it helps to hear this.

QUOTE
If you have a complete boobybaby, I would start trying to tackle the day feeds, start dropping them or restricting them to just nap time (or if they are particularly upset) try to distract and offer food every couple of hours as well (nothing major but maybe a piece of cheese or biscuit etc)


This is exactly what I've been doing lately, Sunnycat, and it is definitely working for cutting down day feeding. Night is a different matter though!

QUOTE
You might need to start with night weaning as I think feeding 24/7 may reduce your fertility.


Yes, I think I'm going to steel myself for nightweaning, Libbylu.

QUOTE
I'd wean in a heartbeat, and move to another room and get my partner to administer comfort and cuddles overnight. She won't get your milk, but she'll get plenty of comfort and love until she weans.


This is something we've considered too.

QUOTE
I do not want to get your hopes up with this post and nor do I presume to know your medical history, but is the reason you have been advised to wean because you have a short luteal phase?


Actually, Dabri, I haven't been advised to wean (I haven't seen the FS yet) but Dr Google has told me that success rates are lower in breastfeeding women because of elevated rates of prolactin. I will, of course, ask my doctor about this. But the advice on the internet seems pretty consistent.

QUOTE
OP, are you ovulating? You might find that your Dr will want you to try naturally for six months or so before going back to IVF. Use that time to wean - you never know, you may be surprised! I also had unexplained infertility and tried to conceive for three years, had six IVF attempts the last one of which resulted in DD1. My husband and I had unprotected sex ONCE when DD1 was 12 months old and what do you know - DD2! Apparently it's quite common. No promises, but just saying...


Yes I am ovulating - well, I think I am - my cycle has returned. I doubt that our FS would ask us to wait 6 months though. I know a few other of his patients and he encourages them to get right back into it. And, wow, how lucky you were (and the other PPs who conceived naturally after IVF). I am a little scared of going psycho again with OPKs etc. I kind of don't want to go down that road, mentally, emotionally, but I can feel that I'm already heading that way...

Edited by LILLIANA1, 01 February 2013 - 09:36 AM.


#18 sophiasmum

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

If it was me, I'd say 15 mths was a great amount of time to have breastfed, I would stop if it was required in order to conceive.

#19 ekbaby

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

You don't neccessarily have to stop breastfeeding in order to go through IVF. Have a listen of this:

Breastfeeding and IVF podcast

I know a couple of mums that have breastfed through assisted conception procedures. It is of course a personal decision to make, and it can depend on the reasons for needing IVF, as well as your take on the risks of fertility drugs going through breastmilk to your child- there is not
"evidence of no harm" but "no evidence of harm" if that makes sense (the podcast explains more).

#20 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

First thing - talk to your FS and see what he thinks

QUOTE (PatG @ 31/01/2013, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In ten years time you are unlikely to have a huge amount of regret for having weaned your first baby a few (or more) months earlier than you wanted  (even if you only have the one) but you would probably have regret if you put off trying for the second and then couldn't....

agree with this entirely.  Weaning at 15-20 months is not the end of the world, far from it.  And plenty of kids are weaned at this time and survive to be fabulous little kiddies.

QUOTE (libbylu @ 31/01/2013, 06:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would also start to make the effort to conceive naturally for 3 to 6 months while you gradually ween your DD.

Go the BD with your DH now, see what happens.  Make your appt with your FS and chat to them about what needs to happen next.  Wean when it be best for you.  Your child has already had the bonus of breastfeeding for over a year - that's pretty damn good.   biggrin.gif

It's not a decision that needs to happen in the next instant and even when you decide to wean, you can take a little bit of time to ease your child into it (if that works best).

#21 mmuc83

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:56 PM

QUOTE (YodaTheWrinkledOne @ 01/02/2013, 01:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First thing - talk to your FS and see what he thinks


agree with this entirely.  Weaning at 15-20 months is not the end of the world, far from it.  And plenty of kids are weaned at this time and survive to be fabulous little kiddies.


Go the BD with your DH now, see what happens.  Make your appt with your FS and chat to them about what needs to happen next.  Wean when it be best for you.  Your child has already had the bonus of breastfeeding for over a year - that's pretty damn good.   biggrin.gif

It's not a decision that needs to happen in the next instant and even when you decide to wean, you can take a little bit of time to ease your child into it (if that works best).



^^ agree!

#22 premmie_29weeks

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:05 PM

I have two boys who are pretty close in age, they are 17 months apart. I agree with other pp's a sibling is a gift that wold give far and above a few additional months of breastfeeding.

I'd wean and start trying, I have a good friend who is younger than you and had pcos, with her first and did ivf. She's pregnant again this time naturally with her second so it can happen

#23 Cat People

Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

If you want to nightwean OP, I've used the Dr Jay Gordon method twice with success (adjusted slightly to my kids).  It's particularly suited to b'fed co-sleepers.

I fed my first until 3 years and still feeding my 2 year old and would not hesitate to wean in your circumstances OP.  Good luck with your decision.

#24 niban

Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:04 AM


I don't quite get why so many posters feel the need to say they don't "get" the attachment to breastfeeding and then dole out advice when the OP has said how much it means to her....

I was in a very similar position to you OP after our first child (natural conception but after a long long time - DH was told he couldn't have kids)  B/feeding was really important to me esp as there was a high chance he would be our only.  I'm glad I didn't wean (though a diff situation as we were trying naturally then) - we finished just before he was 3. However, while he was still feeding a lot at 15 months (I expressed at work till 18 mth when he started to like ordinary milk) and this really changed over the next few months till we were only having one or 2 feeds a day by the time he was 2. When he was sick or upset though, it was great to be able to give that to him (esp when he had gastro and couldn't keep anything else down)  and I really think it helped him get over toddler bugs etc (IMO)  

Do you have issues with your LP? When my period first came back, my LP was short and this naturally increased over the next few months even with b/feeding still.   You're fortunate having 3 frosties as well, are they blasts? How many transfers did it take from the cycle to get your DD?  Personally, I'd make an appointment to see the FS and see what they say current research is pointing to, get bloodwork done etc and then look at the options (this will all take a couple of months so you may find things change in terms of feeding anyway)  

After our stim cycle we got 5 great blasts but my lining was dodgy so we transferred the least best of them - BFN.  I ended up having  another failed FET with not such a great lining and 2 D&Cs before transferring the blast that is now DS2 - he was apparently the very best of the embies.  Could you start getting the ball rolling and look at transferring the least likely candidate first?  Or doing a stim cycle and doing a freeze all instead of fresh transfer with the thought of weaning in x amount of time?  

Hope this helps, I used to agonise at the thought of weaning just for TTC when my first was such a boobie monster but I do know his needs did change around that 18 mth mark which isn't so far off for you.

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