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TTC whilst extended BFing... Any advice please...

(5 Posts)
Elliemama Thu 13-Aug-09 14:10:56

I am struggling to conceive and think that maybe its because I am still breastfeeding DS - 20 months. Thing is he is not a big eater and relies heavily on milk.... I was hoping to follow his queues with food and just let him take his time. He does eat 3 meals a day plus snacks but he's very fussy and still wants lots of milk.
Anyone else had this prob? Shall I just accept that for now TTC is not an option and just give DS the time he seems to need to increase his food intake when he's ready?
We are proponents of attachment parenting so it is very important to me to allow DS to develop at his own rate and respond to his needs as he expresses them. He is a very happy, bright, physical child. He is also very independent when out and about but very clingy at home.
(have also posted on conception topic.)

mawbroon Thu 13-Aug-09 16:56:06

Hi Elliemama. I started ttc when my ds was 14months or so, and it's only now, 2.5yrs later that I have finally managed to conceive (apart from a brief pg 18months ago).

This co-incided with dropping night feeds around easter time this year, when ds was about 3.5yo.

I was charting my cycle and discovered that I had a short luteal phase (time between ovulation and menstruation) which wasn't allowing the lining to build up enough for sucessful implantation. I saw my LP lengthen from about 8 days gradually up to 13 on the cycle before I got pg.

If you are not already charting, I would really recommend it. I read Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler which is a really interesting book whether you are ttc or not. You might find it impossible to take the temperatures when you are co sleeping, but you can also observe your cervical fluid and cervical position.

Knowing the reason behind the lack of conceiving made it easier for me, and like you, I was willing to wait for the sake of DS. The thought of weaning and then still not being able to conceive was a factor too.

I don't know how old you are, but if time is not an issue (it kind of was for me, I am 37 now) then I would be inclined just to wait.


Verity79 Fri 14-Aug-09 08:14:53


I am currently tandem nursing my 3.5 y/o DD1 and my 20 m/o DD2. It took 5 cycles to get pg with DD1 and 1 cycle to get pg with both DD2 & DD3 (am currently 7 months pg shock).

DD1 was night weaned at 13 months so I could get pg but I found out I was already pg before we did it! She was feeding 4 times a night before night weaning. I got my period back at 8 weeks as DD1 was formula/EBM fed for 8 weeks.

DD2 self night weaned at 16 months and I was 3 months pg when that happened. She was also feeding around 3-4 times a night. I got my period back at 11.5 months. Then got pg on my 3rd cycle which was the 1st time trying much to DH's disgust grin.

I second Mawbroon's suggestion of charting or try ovulation test kits. You can get some really cheaply on the net you could try these cheaper than clearblue that's for certain! And don't forget Poundland sells pg tests at 2 for £1 so you won't be blowing the food money on testing each month. I found these very sensitive and I got a faint positive at 28 days (was having a 30/31 day cycle).

If you have a short lutenising phase/not ovulating you could try either night weaning for a while OR not feeding for a day (get grandparents or friends to have DC all day and overnight) these can be enough to kick start ovulation.

You don't have to wean to conceive and you can follow your child's lead in when to stop nursing. I am living proof of that! While I am quite strict with their nursing manners both of my DDs will be weaning themselves when they are ready.

Good luck and best wishes.

Elliemama Fri 14-Aug-09 19:48:33

Thanks guys, I will check out book! I'm on a 28 -30 day cycle so does that mean I am actually getting long enough lutenising phase?
he does feed at night altho has been going from 10pm - 5am...
I had pos preg test this month but then came on 2 days late... The three nights before I came on he was feeding every 2 to 3 hours... cos of teething and muggy weather I think. I'm wondering if it was just from these nights that my hormone levels changed and that caused early mc???

mawbroon Sun 16-Aug-09 14:45:52

Hi Ellie. The length of your LP depends on when you are ovulating. You need at least 12 days to have a chance of sucessful implantation. Also, you may not be ovulating at the time you think you are (unless you know how to spot the signs) and could be timing it at the wrong time in your cycle.

I had a reasonably regualr 26 - 28 day cycle throughout my time ttc, but sometimes wasn't ovulating until as late as day 18 or 20 which was leaving me with a woefully short LP.

If you do have a short LP, there are things you can do to help boost it. eg agnus castus, progesterone cream. I tried these and they made not a jot of difference, but as always, everyone is differnt.

I wouldn't have thought that the increased feeding would have caused your miscarriage, however the level of feeding beforehand could have meant that the conditions weren't right to sustain a pregnancy more than a few days beyond conception.

You will find that MN is full of people who have sucessfully managed to conceive whilst breastfeeding, and I know I felt like I was the only one who couldn't, but here I am 12 weeks pg and ds is still feeding morning/bedtime and sometimes during the day too.

I guess you have to figure out how far you have to cut down (if that's the route you want to take?), or whether you are willing just to wait it out until your ds cuts down himself.

Let us know how you get on!

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