Nursing while pregnant

Daryl - posted on 11/16/2008 ( 10 moms have responded )

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has anyone breastfed while they were pregnant? If so, how old was your nursling? Did you end up tandem nursing as well or did the child wean him/herself

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Annabelle - posted on 11/17/2008

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I know many mothers who have successfully breastfed whilst pregnant, with babies aged from 3 months to 2 years. I also managed to nurse my son throughout my pregnancy who was 15 months old when i got pregnant. We all had healthy weight babies. The one thing we found was that it could be quite uncomfortable at times as the breasts get quite sensitive in pregnancy. My son weaned himself 3 weeks before baby was born but as soon as he saw baby feeding he got back on to it so i did end up tandem feeding for a few months, which was really handy as i never got engorged.

The fetus will not suffer lack of nutrients as it will get fed first, but you and your breastfeeding child could if you don't eat healthily. if breast milk is the only source of nourishment then keep a close eye on his/her growth and weight and make sure you eat well and take supplements especially iron. if he/she is on solids then should be fine.

Nursing can stimulate contractions but i just found that it made my braxton hicks alot stronger. because you are still feeding it isn't such a shock to the system so your body doesn't take as much notice of the hormones that come from breastfeeding. towards the end of pregnancy and during birth the hormones produced will change your milk to newborn milk (probably why my son weaned himself, his milk tatsed funny)

Hope this helps.

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Catherine - posted on 11/17/2008

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I'm going to go ahead and assume you (Daryl) have already looked into whether it's safe to breastfeed while being pregnant since you didn't ask about it. So, in answer to your questions, my son was about six months old when I got pregnant with my second son. I've been tandem nursing for almost three weeks now.

[deleted account]

Here is an informational article:
http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_ba...

My first two were only 11 months apart, so I was interested in tandem nursing. A lactation consultant highly recommended the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" to me. http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tandem-...
Unfortunately my milk pretty much dried up at the end of the first trimester, which happened to be at the same time my son was teething, so I disappointedly had to wean. For many mothers their milk diminishes, but for a certain percentage it does not. I had been hoping to keep nursing my son while supplementing with formula so he'd stay familiar with it until the baby was born and I could nurse both , but the teething made that pretty much impossible. He showed no interest in nursing once the baby was born.

I became pregnant with my 3rd when my 2nd was 9 months old, and it was great timing as I successfully nursed her during my first trimester and weaned her directly to cow's milk at age 1 right as my milk was diminishing.

Weaning both as my milk diminshed was easy since the milk decreased gradually. They naturally began to expect less nourishment from the breast so it was a nice gradual transition.

You can absolutely do it safely as long as you take extra good care of yourself and pay attention to your body. Then you just wait and see what your milk does.

[deleted account]

I have found much of the info in 'What To Expect,,,' to be dated and well, incorrect. I have come to dislike that book!

I am successfully breastfeeding my 23 mo old son and am almost 20 weeks pregnant. Things are going very well and my Dr. is perfectly fine with me continuing on with my plan to do child-led weaning and tandem nurse.

You do need to ensure good nutrition, likely increase your caloric intake by about 200-300 more calories, but otherwise should be fine if you are healthy.

Here are good links:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/tandem/index....
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertil...

Carrie - posted on 11/17/2008

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"...your milk supply will probably diminish noticeably soon after a new pregnancy is established."
"Because it is virtually impossible to do a good job of nourishing both a breastfed infant and a developing fetus at the same time, it is highly inadvisable to continue nursing during a new pregnancy. (What to Expecting When You are Expecting, p. 406-407.)

An alternate perspective:
"To meet the needs of two growing babies, you will need to eat a balanced diet that includes extra calories, drink to satisfy your thirst, and nap when the babies nap. As long as the younger baby is fully breastfed and the older baby is taking some solid food, you should breastfeed the younger baby first."
"Breastfeeding can cause uterine contractions, but there is no evidence to suggest that the developing fetus is at risk. (Breastfeeding:A Parent's Guide, p. 166.)

Two very trusted books obviously disagree on the subject so would say it's a situation where you will have to trust your doctor as well as your own instincts.

[deleted account]

I have four children and nursed through 2 pregnancies and tandem nursed too. Let me start by saying had it not happened to me, I would have thought it VERY strange but then I thought toddlers nursing was strange when I had my first baby. So how I became a tandem nurser was just a lot of little steps that each time met the needs of my child and family. So to make a long story short, when I got pregnant the second time and my 1st was 12 months old, everything I read said he'd wean while i was pregnant. During the 9th month, I realized he might not wean and I started reading about tandem nursing. They were 22 months apart. The 3rd and 4th are 17 months apart and having gone through the whole nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing 'thing' before, I didn't think much about it. I had two different OBs (different states) and neither had a problem with me nursing while pregnant. The first time I had a nurse who told me I was killing my unborn child, but when I told my doctor what she had just told me, he corrected her. I hope this helps.

Kimmi - posted on 11/16/2008

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My OB told me that it's ok to nurse until you about 23-ish weeks along in your pregnancy as it can stimulate contractions and lead to pre-term labor. I got pregnant with my 2nd when my first was 8 1/2 months old and nursed her until she was 13 months. I wasn't ready to wean, but followed my OB's advice. She actually gave it up a lot easier than I expected and it was pretty easy. I just think if you are going to nurse through pregnancy it's VITAL to get all your nutrients! Congratulations! (That is, if you are pregnant.) :o)

Brenda - posted on 11/16/2008

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My milk dried up the first week I was pg with my first child. Now he was 3.2 and I was down to bf'ing only once a week by then. We did the VERY slow weaning thing. ;-)



My 2nd child nursed 2-3 x's a day until I was almost 3 months pregnant. He was 2.4 when he weaned. Once I found out I was pg, I went down to am and pm nursings and slowly weaned again.



No problems with weaning at all but didn't want to tandem nurse. I really wanted my body back for a bit ;-)



Now my last child nurses ALOT overnight still and at least 2-3 times during the day even though I went back to work OTH in Sept. He might be my oldest nurser in the bunch.



I'd say my weaning so far has been GREAT and jointly lead. This last child will be MUCH tougher. I disagree that your body can't handle nursing and being pg. You just REALLY need to watch your health and food intake even more and it's all individual as with any pg. If it wasn't "meant to happen" why wouldn't the milk just dry up? HTH you a bit.

Amanda - posted on 11/16/2008

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I was breastfeeding my first while pregnant with my second. No offence Carrie, but that's nonsense that your body can't do both in fact the midwives encouraged me to tandem feed however my son weaned himself with no encouragement from me at about 17months (three-four months before number 2 was born). Number 2 was born very healthy and a nice weight. My son was 12 months old when I fell pregnant with my daughter and both are happy, healthy children - our bodies really can do amazing things!

Carrie - posted on 11/16/2008

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I have read that your body can not adequately nourish both a fetus and an infant/toddler so when you become pregnant you should immediately wean. I'm sure it's not the answer you were hoping for, but I hope it helps!

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