Breastfeeding While Pregnant
The Ins and Outs

Breastfeeding while pregnant? Here is another decision a mother needs to make.

Bare with me through this article and find out all the info you need about nursing during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding while pregnant

In this article:

Yes. It is safe to nurse during a healthy pregnancy

The main concerns that mothers have about breastfeeding while pregnant are:

1. Can breastfeeding make my uterus to contract and lead to preterm birth or miscarriage?

NO. Oxytocin is being released during pregnancy. This is the same hormone that "calls" the labor to begin. However, women's uterus doesn't listen to this hormone (because the amount is very small) until mother is 37 weeks pregnant.

So you should not worry a bit about breastfeeding while pregnant.

But a mother who:

  • had miscarriage before
  • went into premature labor before
  • experienced some vaginal bleeding

should consider weaning a child during pregnancy.

2.  Will breastfeeding affect the nutrition of my unborn baby?

NO. If you are eating healthy nutritious meals, your body does take good care of you, your unborn child and the child who is nursing.

But if you are anemic, vegetarian, eating dairy-free or if you are not gaining enough weight - you should think of special dietary supplements.

3.  Is my nursing toddler still getting nutritious breast milk?

YES. Your milk is safe for your breastfeeding child. Even though some of pregnancy hormones get into your breast milk, they are considered too low to do any harm or affect your nursing child.

To conclude, if you are having regular, normal, healthy pregnancy, then there are no medical or physical reasons to stop breastfeeding during pregnancy.

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The good things about nursing while pregnant

nursing during pregnancy

  • The best thing about breastfeeding while pregnant is that you are still providing your nursing child with all the breastfeeding benefits
  • Your nursing child will bond better with the newborn. Just imagine the moment when you breastfeed your toddler, and the baby kicks. You both feel the movements of a new baby. That will definitely open up a subject to talk about a new sibling.
  • The transition and adjustments to a new baby will be much easier and more natural to your toddler.
  • Breastfeeding while pregnant will give you those few really needed quiet moments thanks to nursing sessions.
  • Breastfeeding while pregnant will keep your nursling’s immune system up so he won’t get sick, won’t make you and the baby sick.
  • Majority of breastfeeding mothers have less morning sickness during pregnancy. However, breastfeeding may cause some extra nausea for some mothers due to pregnancy.

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The down side of nursing while pregnant

Even though there are a lot good reasons to breastfeed while you are pregnant, there might be some downside to it too.

These are common problems for breastfeeding mothers who are pregnant:

  • sore nipples

Keep in mind that sore, cracked, bleeding nipples can cause skin or breast infection. Many times mothers just need to fix the latch and try different breastfeeding positions when nursing toddlers.

  • nausea, vomiting

have frequent meals or healthy snack such as crackers or bread before or while nursing. This should stop the nausea and rise your low blood sugar levels.

Drink more water.

Take some rest. Exhaustion can make you feel sick too.

Try breastfeeding at times when you don’t feel nausea.

Be patient. It will pass.

  • hormonal changes and moods.

There are a lot of hormones for sure during pregnancy. Now add the ones that come around when you breastfeed. Women react differently to all of those hormones.

Almost 1/3 of all breastfeeding pregnant mothers experience completely new psychological feelings that are mostly because of the hormones. The agitation, the uncomfortableness during nursing time can start during mid-pregnancy and may last till the end of the pregnancy or continue through tandem breastfeeding.

If you are bothered by some moody days, try this:

- Shorten your days by doing less. Do the stuff you really need.

- Assure your partner that you still love him, even though it doesn't look like thanks to last melt down. Try to spend more time with him

- Do the things you love. Is it yoga, knitting, baking or building furniture? Whatever makes you feel good.

- If something is bothering you - don't keep it in - let it out. In a most acceptable way you can.

  • dealing with criticism

Make sure to look for the right support. Having someone who supports you and advises you at the moments, instead of questioning your decisions, can save you a lot of unneeded stress.

  • sexual arousal during a breastfeeding session because of the pregnancy hormones

-  First you should know that there are a lot of mothers who feel that way and it is natural and nothing wrong with it.

-  Try to relax, meditate and take your thought away.

-  Listen to your favorite music, read a book, watch a movie, talk to somebody

-  Limit nursing sessions.

-  Talk with somebody about your experiences. Find a mother who nursed while pregnant. She will understand you better.

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Breast Milk during Pregnancy
when nursing

What will happen with my breast milk when I become pregnant?

  • Some mothers have so much milk, they have engorged breasts.
  • Others "dry out" completely during pregnancy.

However, most women feel a decrease in milk supply starting mid-pregnancy. Also at around the same time, breast milk is changing into colostrum. At this point your nursing toddler may not be so fond of "mommy's milk" anymore. In fact some women found the breast milk to be saltier, thinner and of course less of it.

That's when most of the nursing children wean. Some wean for good, some come back to breastfeed after the real milk comes back, which is 3-4 days after the new baby is born.

Take good care of yourself
when breastfeeding while pregnant

Basically you should do the same things you did while you were pregnant and not breastfeeding. Maybe just a little extra now.

  • Eat healthy, nutritious meals. You need to consume enough nutrients to sustain your milk supply and your pregnancy. Your are eating for 3 now (if you are not pregnant with multiples).
  • Take good care of your nipples. It is extra sensitive time for them during pregnancy alone. Add the teething toddler who chews on your nipples and you have some really sore nipples. Try not to use any soaps, creams or lotions on your nipples.
  • Find the best breastfeeding position that fits your child and you best. Make sure the latch is correct.
  • If/when you have cracked nipples use lanolin creams, all-natural nipple butters, or just dip your nipple in a cup with your breast milk in it.
  • Don't forget the prenatal vitamins to keep optimal health. You should use them as long as you breastfeed.
  • Increase your calcium intake by eating more raw vegetables and almonds.
  • Water water water! Drink a lot of it. 2-3 liters a day.
  • Don't forget to relax and rest. Breastfeeding and pregnancy requires a lot of energy from a mother. Yes, you have to run around your active toddler, but take every minute possible to lay down and put your feet up.

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Are you thinking about weaning your child?
"Don’t offer, don’t refuse”

If you feel breastfeeding while pregnant is too much, you might think of ways to gently wean your child.

The best way to wean your nursing toddler is gradually. First, stop offering breast to him. Avoid sitting in the places where you usually nurse. Do not hold him in the positions he usually nurses. If he asks for a nurse, try offering him some healthy snacks or distract his attention. If it is impossible - don't refuse the breast.

As every child is different, the weaning process may vary. Some women decide to keep breastfeeding during pregnancy, because it was just too hard to wean the nursing child.

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What was your experience while breastfeeding during pregnancy?

Please share your comment for other mothers.

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