Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 15 ~ Nursing While Pregnant

Baby's now the size of a naval orange!
Continuing the march toward normal proportions, baby's legs now out-measure his arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your baby is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably can't feel the movements just yet.

Your gums may be red and swollen (thanks, hormones), so it's extra-important to take good care of your mouth right now. Brush often, floss gently, and see your dentist if you haven't already. Also, your now-cramped chest and abdomen (baby's growing fast!) might be making you a little short of breath.  www.thebump.com

How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")
See what your baby looks like this week.
Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.

Baby, fetus at 15 weeks - BabyCenter


I am a visual person so the above picture helps me see what's going on inside better than reading it.  This video of weeks 15-20 is really neat too.  Technology is quite amazing sometimes!

I still have not felt a definite 1st kick still but think i might finally be feeling something.  I have always experienced a moment of a sure sign of movement up to now: a kick while the Doppler was on my belly or when a toddler was in my lap.  This time has been more of a gradual feeling of movement, not to mention the need for a heaping dose of patience on the side.  Time will tell!

This week i thought I'd talk about breastfeeding while pregnant.  If that sounds strange to you, then you might not want to read on.

It is possible to successfully nurse your baby or toddler while pregnant if that's what you want to do.  I have yet to have any of my toddlers weaned by the time i am pregnant again, so it has naturally happened that they continue nursing until my milk begins to dry up somewhere between 3-6 months pregnant. 

Here's some suggestions:

Don't try to wean your baby/toddler soon after finding out your pregnant, unless it is mutual.  I have found that my baby's know something is changing with me and so their nursing actually increases for a while for their security purposes.  Trying to wean now may only cause heartache for you both.

Usually my milk is still letting down when i get pregnant but around 2-3 months i notice a slow shift of spotty letting down, then none at all.  I am still making milk, just not in large volumes anymore.  This is when i start dealing with soreness, sometimes extreme soreness.  The best remedy, besides weaning, is Lansinoh Breast Cream (pure lanolin).  It is almost torture to put it on, being so thick, but provides better healing relief than coconut oil or lotion.  I usually use cloth nursing pads too just so it doesn't get all over my bra.

Verbal persuasion of my nursing toddlers is useful at the above point.  When they latch on and the stinging/soreness is at its worst, I am vocal about how much it hurts, not necessarily to make them feel bad, but because it really does hurt.  Usually after a month or so, they begin to  feel pity for their poor mommy who makes all kinds of unusual sounds as they latch on and so they wean themselves.  One of my girls at 2 said "I no hurt Mommy anymore" when she realized the pain her nursing was causing-so sweet!  I do suffer through this for a while so that the child does not feel that the baby growing in my belly is why they have to stop nursing.  I prefer a mutual weaning.

I did have one persistent nurser that didn't care that the milk had mostly dried up, he continued all the way through the pregnancy and tandem nursed, although very inconsistently, for another 6 months.  This is possible too if that's what works best for you.  My experience was that although i thought it would help my toddler not be jealous of the new baby, it actually was opposite.  Because he now had to wait to nurse until the baby was done, it made him more jealous and demanding of the nursing.  It still took 6 months to fully wean, but at the end he was only nursing 1-2 times a week.  About a month before his birthday, I made a big deal about him becoming a "Big Boy" on his birthday; one that doesn't nurse anymore because he's not a baby.  Any who, it worked for him.

If you have any questions or other advice, please feel free to leave a comment.


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