Breastfeeding While Pregnant

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A new pregnancy can bring about many questions to a nursing mother. “Am I able to continue breastfeeding my child while I am pregnant?” “Is breastfeeding my baby safe for my unborn baby?” These questions and many others are common among nursing mothers who become pregnant.


Is it ok?

Generally, if you are healthy and have a healthy pregnancy, it is perfectly safe to continue breastfeeding throughout your pregnancy. There are, however, some reasons you may consider weaning your child during your pregnancy, and in this article, we will discuss those concerns. We will also look at the benefits of continuing to nurse throughout pregnancy.

The bond that breastfeeding creates between a mother and child is very special. Fortunately, most mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy are able to do so. Although nursing a child can be physically difficult during pregnancy, it is totally possible to do so throughout the entirety of pregnancy and even after the new baby is born!


It’s going to be challenging!

Some challenges may arise when a nursing mother becomes pregnant. Mothers may be extra fatigued or experience morning sickness. Sickness or exhaustion can make nursing difficult, and the extra calories a mother burns while breastfeeding can cause her to be even more tired and fatigued. La Leche League states on their website that, depending upon the age of the breastfed child and the stage of pregnancy, a pregnant and nursing mother can need up to 650 extra calories per day, on top of the 350-450 calories needed if she is in the second or third trimester. This is why it is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy diet of nutritious foods and lots of water, especially during the latter months of pregnancy.

Nursing while pregnant may also become more physically challenging as both you and your breastfed baby grows. It is important to be open to altering your established nursing routines. You may find the once comfortable nursing positions are no longer as easily achieved. Changing positions so that you and your baby are more comfortable during nursing sessions may be necessary.


Will I go into premature labor?

Some pregnant mothers also worry that breastfeeding causes uterine contractions. While this is true,La Leche League also states on their website that these contractions are not dangerous to you or your baby. This is because the amount of oxytocin released during breastfeeding is not substantial enough to cause the cervix to open. But, if you have concerns about this, you should consult with your OBGYN immediately!


Should I Wean?

Although mothers may think that it’s too much work to breastfeed while pregnant, their baby may not cope well with the change. It can be difficult for both mother and child to wean, so it is up to the mother to decide whether or not it’s in the best interest of both mommy and baby to stop breastfeeding. Weaning can be even more exhausting during pregnancy, especially if a child is unwilling. Whether she decides to wean or not, a mother should be supported in her decision and should feel that she has the freedom to make the choice that best suits her. Like other aspects of breastfeeding, a good support system is very helpful to a mother as she makes decisions about her nursing goals.


Check with your OBGYN!

If you are a nursing mother and pregnant you may have many concerns about your specific situation. Be sure that it is safe for you to continue to nurse while pregnant by talking with your healthcare provider. If you have any health risks associated with your pregnancy, your physician may urge you to wean your baby. Sometimes weaning is necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy. This does not break the bond that you and your child have created, so do not feel discouraged if you can no longer breastfeed your child.


La Leche League International
Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

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