Will it be okay to nurse while pregnant?

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known. Many women breastfeed for as long as their body or their baby will allow. However, can I still breastfeed while pregnant?

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40  Answers

26 34

There is a very well researched book on this subject called "Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond" by Hilary Flower.

Yes nipple stimilation can cause the uterus to contract, but it will not cause a miscarriage or early labour unless there is other risk factors involved.

Not all Obstetricians agree, but this is usually because they have not looked at the research.

I am a registered midwife in Australia and I have also breastfed through pregnancy and beyond (12mths in fact). Its not for everyone, and it does come with its own challenges. I found it to be a very empowering experience.

12
279 9

Absolutely Lyndal, it's an excellent book, and the research I have seen says the same thing, that in fact the receptors in the uterus for oxytocin do not become active until the baby is ready to be born, in fact their readiness is triggered by the maturation of the baby's lungs. therefore, as you say, without other risk factors there is no safety issue with breastfeeding causing early birth. I am currently 4 months pregnant and breastfeeding my 16 month old son, a huge, extremely clever thriving boy. I breastfed his sister all through his pregnancy too! In fact none of my kids has yet completely weaned lol!

214 11

Yes you can!! I'm pregnant with twins and still nursing my 3yr old son. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself! :-)

7
0 4

I nursed my 1 1/2 year old all throughout my 2nd pregnancy. I'm currently still nursing them both :-) One significantly more than the other, but still.... Just keep hydrated and get plenty of iron.

6
59 11

This is one of those questions rather than simply asking for popular vote you should be discussing with your obstetrician.

Everyone can share with you their bright ideas and words of encouragement but in all likelihood your case can be completely different. Milk supply should wane during pregnancy, and oxytocin depending on your stage in pregnancy can stimulate uterine contractions which in a high risk pregnancy may need to be avoided until 'prime time'-- definitely consult your OB/GYN seek expert advice.

4
0 0

As far as I know, it's totally okay, Just make sure you get extra water and eat very healthy. Nursing needs extra calories and with also being pregos, you need the proper intake for you and the baby. As long as your doc and you feel okay with it, there should be no health risks.

4
59 11

Okay... Katrina IDK it seems many people on here are simply encouraging the idea...I agree, it's not impossible, but the sensible (reasonable) thing to do for this question is to REFER to an OB/GYN what in the world people she isnt asking what color shoes she should wear today. I think many are offering advice and encouraging this behavior when this really is a topic best approached by someone who is following the pregnancy and knows what particular (other) risks are involved with this particular case.

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71 10

yes you can. make sure to keep up on your prenatal vitamins. and eat plenty and frequently.

4
25 3

Yeah, you can! I am on baby number 12 and I have been nursing all thru my pregnancies. Just eat right, take your vitamins and drink plenty of good fluids.

3
1,738 8

I personally know many women who have done so... Here is a link with some research-based info:

http://www.kellymom.com/nursingtwo/faq/index.html

3
117 21

I nursed my second child throughout the entire third pregnancy, in fact I thought I would be tandem feeding. However, just minutes before I left for hospital, my second child had her last suckle and then didn't want anymore...obviously the milk had changed its taste.

In my case, my daughter was highly allergic to everything, so breast milk was the better option and I would have tandem fed as well if she had wanted that. Don't allow yourself to get too stressed over the conflicting advice you will receive (experts always come out of the woodwork at these times)...instead make sure your diet is sufficient and everything should go well. God bless.

3
5 10

I breastfed my 2 year old during my pregnancy. Afterwards, I did tandem nursing. It was a little challenging with a 14 month old and a newborn but it was great once we got into an agreement. Caleb, my two year old is still breastfeeding occassionaly and I am still feeding on demand to my 1 year old. I had to really drink a lot of water and eat a lot of healthy snacks during my pregnancy.

3
10 3

I breastfed my daughter while I was pregnant, but had to wean her when she was 13 months. I wasn't gaining any weight. at that point. I was told that the taste of milk changes sometimes when you get pregnant and, boy did my daughter tell me! She normally loved nursey, but she would pull back and crinkle her nose! After a little while, she got used to it and went back to nursing normally. Her attitude towards my milk is what made me think I might be pregnant. Just eat well enough to feed you and you nursing child, as well as the one growing inside you and make sure you are gaining enough weight.

2 312

Yes although the nursing child may start to ween because your flavor changes :)

3
64 9

Yes, of course you can! Your supply may decrease with your changing hormones and may need to wean earlier than you originally anticipated, but go as long as you can. I've BF four babies and been pregnant while BFing also. GL and congratulations on your new pregnancy, what a blessing!

2
20 39

I breastfed throughout 3 pregnancies. watch out for problems with milk supplies, but turn to herbs (fenugreek and nettles). Watch for blood sugar and pressure problems. he doctor in his early years disliked the idea , but said if you can get pregnant then you can nurse. Was impressed.

Problem we had with second born was that babies who get colostrum and milk have a touch higher bloodsugar which causes them to get colder faster. A doctor didnt like us breastfeeding let alone natural birth and tandem nursing and threatened us because the baby shivered butt naked in front of an air-conditioner. his replacment released us because the baby was healthy.

2
5 35

absolutely!

2
0 0

Yes, you can. your milk supply might decrease, so if your little one is less than a year old or is older than a year and still getting the majority of nutrition from breastmilk - make sure to keep track of diaper output (at least 6 a day) :)

2
3 69

yes i did but its alot more painful when ur pregnant..

2
26 20

I nursed while I was pregnant and it was very painful also. I didn't have a very good milk supply during the second trimester and had to wean.

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55 31

Sure can, I am! My daughter is 20 months old and I am nursing her while 8 months pregnant. I am tired all the time, but I love the bond and It will make it easier for me to nurse my second baby because I already have a fully established milk supply.

2
1 35

That is very true, I nursed my now 2 year old until she was 18 and weened herself while I was pregnant. And even though I dint nurse through the whole pregnancy it made it alot easier to nurse my son when he was born. I did also notice that my milk did come in alot faster.

21 5

You completely can.... unless your doctor tells you that you have to stop for any health reasons or complication risks. I nursed my daughter until I was 5 months pregant with my son. I was going to continue nursing her until she self weaned but I had Gestational Diabetes that was completely running wild and after being put on insulin, still wasn't able to contain my numbers - they were everywhere, high, low, just not normal. My OBGYN and the Endocrinologist that I was sent to see both told me that if I needed to stop nursing so that they could control my diabetes... it was putting too much stress on my body and adding a variable that they just couldn't contend with. They were right, because once I stopped, they were able to figure out the correct insulin dose and I got everything under control. But, if you are healthy and have a healthy pregnancy, they it is awesome if you are able to keep it up! :)

1
279 9

The short answer is yes, the longer answer is that your milk may stop being produced at some point in the pregnancy.

I breastfed my daughter, now 3, all through my son's pregnancy, but there really was no milk there past about 4 months into the pregnancy. She was 2 and a half by then, and still sucked to sleep and wake up despite this, which was fine by me! She also nursed on and off since the birth and still does on occasion!

There are certainly no known ill effects on a normal healthy pregnancy from breastfeeding your older baby, and in fact there is a study that suggested that you produce more milk for your baby if you nurse through pregnancy (perhaps because the breasts keep being stimulated). There is also no reason to believe that breastfeeding while pregnant causes dangeroud contractions, as your uterus is not 'primed' with the right receptors for birthing contractions until the baby is ready to be born. However, it's worth considering the effect on the older child; if nursing a young baby or toddler, a longer spacing might be better as they may not continue to get breastmilk all through the pregnancy.

I'd advise anyone in this situation to read 'Adventures in Tandem Nursing' by Hilary Flower, it's reassuring, sensible and helpful.

1
432 14

yes, done it. Nursed my daughter until she was 2 years old and I was 20 weeks pregnant. I started reducing nursing after the first couple months, because she was waking up several times during the night to have a sip...and I ended up not sleeping at all, because whenever I finally was comfortable and fell asleep she'd wake up to nurse. We cut out the night feedings when she was 23 months old (she got really angry at me the first night waking when she didn't get nurse but cuddled up with her daddy and was back to sleep within 5 minutes, after that no problem at all and within days she slept through the night), and than the day after her second birthday she just stopped asking for mommy milk. so she was ready to stop, as was I. Now I am 34 weeks and she sometimes will point to my breasts and say "milk for baby". I am glad she thinks that way ;-)

Other than the night waking issue, there was no problem with the nursing during pregnancy, I generally eat healthy and I just ate more frequent according to my body's request.

1
352 2

Yes you can! I am still nursing my 20 month old and my doctor said it was ok. She said just additonal 300 calories on top of the already extra calories. AND eat healthy :) And baby inside is growing BIG and healthy... measures a week ahead already... hoping its not a huge baby since Im small haha. I also nursed my daughter while I was pregnant with my son. He turned out to be biggy haha!

1
8 81

I'm not sure, but I think nipple stimulation bring along contractions... so I would definitely ask a doctor O_o

1
59 11

Well now...here is someone else responding appropriately. That makes...um... 3

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13 0

i breastfed my 18 month old son till i delivered my other son, and then when he saw me breastfeeding his brother he didnt want to breastfeed anymore.... and they were both healthy, so i am sure that there is no problem

1
12 7

Yes it is ok...u should be flowing a river of milk lol! Well at least with me... You can never go wrong with bf!! stay with bf its alot of work some people quit on it but stay with it. Saves more $$$ and keeps you in shape to!!! Bf is tiring but i think its worth it because they hardly get sick.

1
4 15

Sure you can. I am. The taste of the milk changes and some babies don't like that, but mine is almost 18 months and I'm about 5 months pregnant. We'll be weaning soon though--he's too big to hold on my lap much longer as my tummy grows! :-)

1
113 19

yes you can, I did it when pregnant with #2, and nursing #1. I really drained me, although one of my friends has no issues with it.

1
49 0

Yes you can and many mums do it. You will most likely find your supply will lessen though, but many mums breastfeed while pregnant and then tandem nurse.

1
8 9

Personally I think it helps with the bonding process, however, i think it saps the body's nutrients. So try to prepare the child for his/her new baby brother/sister, let them feel the baby move, etc.

33 0

My answer is more of a question to people who have given answers to this topic. You say it's fine to bf throughout pregnancy, but what about colostrum? I want to bf for as long as I can too but if I'm pregnant with a second child, I'm thinking perhaps I should stop when I'm 6 months pregnant or so, so that the newborn gets colostrum. But what if I mess up my system and milk doesnt come in at all? I think I have to post this as a separate topic here in the upcoming days.

0
6 0

yes you can

0
25 8

I have breastfed my son throughout this entire pregnancy. He will be 2 on July 13th and this baby is due on July 17th.

0
14 34

I would trust what the midwife said on here. That is all midwives do is birth babies, so you know they have tons of experience and are way more accepting of breast feeding. That is my two cents.

0
96 11

Talk to your doctor on what your plans are. There are times that it is not recommended. I nursed my son through the first trimester of my twins. However they did warn me that it is a lot demanded on my body with a twin pregnancy. I was so exausted so at 13 month I stopped nursing my son. The twins came at 26 weeks so it was good that I had stopped when I did. If you are having a healthy pregnancy I know the advice maybe different... But alway good to check.

0
3 12

I also breastfed my first born through my pregnancy with the second child and my Ob was very supportive of it. Finally weened him 2 months after because it simply was too much for me with the new born and the 25 mo. Good luck!!

0
9 0

Of course! I did!

0
285 3

Everyone's experience is different. It's not a clear cut yes or no answer, and you should be wary of any answer that is a simple yes or no. It takes research and knowing your own contributing factors well!! You SHOULD discuss it with your person OB or midwife, although not even all of them are adequately educated on the subject, so you should research many different sources to make an educated decision for YOU. To the person who said that the responses about nipple stimulation causing contractions are coming from people who must not have any personal experience on the subject and only reading about it in books... I will give MY personal experience. I had pre-term labor in my first pregnancy and irritable uterus in the third trimester of my second pregnancy. Because of the risk factors in my first pregnancy, my doctors (two OBs and a midwife at my doctor's office) advised me to begin weaning in the first trimester of my second pregnancy and try to be done by the third trimester. I did because pre-term labor the first time around scared the sh*t out of me, and I didn't want to chance it on my unborn child just because other woman who had no problems that I had were successful. I'm well smart enough to know that everyone's bodies are different and I am not them (duh, right?) I had pretty much weaned in the second trimester, but during the occasional bfing I did do, YES IT DID STIMULATE MILD CONTRACTIONS, that's MY personal experience based on what I felt, not read in a book. Now, for many (probably most) woman, mild contractions are completely harmless. Lots of things stimulate mild contractions. But I developed irritable uterus, i.e. constant activity, which on a fetal monitor screen looks like constant little 'hills" that could at any point be stimulated into full-blown contractions. When I say constant activity, I mean constant, not every few minutes, not for a few minutes at a time then stopping for a period of time. Constant. And yes, sex and a host of other things can stimulate contractions, however to those who say "If you haven't been told to stop having sex then you don't have to stop bfing" well, I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't have sex as often as I breastfeed a baby!!! Haha! So there weren't very many things other than bfing that my doc advised me to stay away from. I also personally KNOW (not read in books, just to clarify) several woman whose supply dried up while pregnant. I'll say it again, everyone's body is different. You may be able to bf while pregnant and have a safe and wonderful experience. Many women do. But try to educate yourself about your own body and experience FIRST, rather than base your decision on anyone else's person experience, because you are not them.

0
111 36

If you are high risk, had trouble conceiving, and multiple miscarriages, I would stop breastfeeding as soon as you learned you were pregnant. Make sure to inform your Dr, that you are breastfeeding. While your Dr will give you the risk factors of continuing to breastfeed, they will also help make sure you are staying healthy enough. It really comes down to what you and your doctor are comfortable with.

Personally, if I would stop feeding before my 3 trimester. That way my new little one would receive the colostrum too, which is very important.

0
4 1

Absolutely! I breastfed my first through my pregnancy with the second - stopped only when he self-weaned at 21 months. Just be sure to drink plenty of water!

0
0 0

I was breastfeeding my son @ 2/yrs and got pregnant. I asked the OBGYN and he told me that nature would take its course and it did. When my daughter was born I breast feed her until she was 4. Back in the days I was told, breastfeeding was the only birth control available which is why I suppose in most families the siblings were 2 years apart. (I'm talking about way back in the days). Just saying.

0
162 4

My milk always stops when I become pregnant

0
1 2

I was breastfeeding when I fell pregnant and my 10mth old no longer wanted it, I don't know if they sense the changes or what but she really just gave it up.

0

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