Going against OB's Advice - Breastfeeding while pregnant

Sarah - posted on 03/06/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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When I went to get started at the OB office I was informed by the OB RN that it was their policy that nursing mothers should wean early in their pregnancy (within a month or two). My daughter is 12 months old and I'm a little over six weeks pregnant. I was planning on nursing on demand for at least 18 months, and then weaning her slowly down so we're done when she's around 2.

She's dropped to 4-5 sessions in the last month or so, and two of those sessions recently have been more for comfort than for food. I'm moderately okay with it if she self-weans, but I don't think it's necessary to wean her early because of a pregnancy. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy with my daughter and have NO risk factors for an unhealthy pregnancy.

NOW - I understand that if for some reason, my pregnancy was high risk, the contracting of the uterus from frequent nursing could cause premature labor - which is why some women go on bed rest and are banned from sexual activity. I would be willing to wean if it was definitely or even probably putting the baby I am carrying at risk.

My questions is: Does anyone have advice or experience navigating this particular problem? Have you gone against your doctor's orders before? Did you tell them that you were going against their recommendations?

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[deleted account]

Since you mentioned that you discussed this with the OB RN I would recommend at least talking with your physican. I am a nurse and I am appalled at the stupidity associated with breastfeeding of my collegues! I too was pregnant at my oldest's child's first birthday (8 weeks actually ;)) and was amazed at the number of RN's that I worked with everyday that were surprised that I was "still" pumping for my child when I was pregnant..as if I was robbing my child en utero of something! My OB did not have a problem with it. I brought it up at the first appointment and didn't ask it like a question. I simply stated that I wanted him to know that I was still breastfeeding and had no plans to stop until my child wanted to do so. He was fine with it and went on to inform me that there was very little if any at all risks to breastfeeding while pregnant. I continued to nurse my oldest until I was 7 months pregnant at which point she weaned herself (I think because she was frustrated trying to get milk when there was very little) She was an avid nurser and nursed every 2 hours 24 hours a day until she was 15 months old. Good luck! I'm with the others if your OB isn't educated on this then what else he is behind on?

[deleted account]

I'd fire that OB and go with a different healthcare provider~ or lie. ;-)

It's perfectly fine to nurse all the way through pregnancy~ unless you've got an irritable uterus or unless there is some other Real medical problem. I've nursed through several pregnancies and it's no big deal~ just a problem of logistics once your belly gets really big. lol

Just remember that the unborn baby takes what he/she needs first, then the nursing baby, then you... so you are left with whatever is left over. Be Super careful to eat Really well (and a lot), and drink tons of water. Some pregnant & nursing moms find that they need to add a protein shake or something packed with nutrition & protein in the afternoon in addition to their regular meals.

Minnie - posted on 03/06/2010

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Whenever I've had a doctor that had a policy that went against sound current research I've fired them. If they're not knowledgeable on something this major (that breastfeeding throughout pregnancy is perfectly safe) then what other things are they not aware of?



Exactly what are their reasons for having this policy? It's complete hogwash. Contractions that can bring on labor will only become strong enough from nursing if your uterus is at the point that it is sensitive to the oxytocin released. For most women this is not until sometime after 37 weeks gestation.



Let them know your feelings on this, your wishes concerning your breastfeeding relationship and how you want the best for BOTH of your babies, and yourself, and go from there. If they won't provide care for you because you don't comply with their policy, maybe you should consider a different doctor (or a midwife) because they might be difficult to negotiate with regarding other things, and you definitely don't want fights over policy during labor and afterwards.

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Merry - posted on 10/10/2010

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The baby only needs to nurse first while you have colostrum those few days, then you can nurse both at the same time, or any order they want! Lots of moms weaned during pregnancy find their toddler hasn't forgotten in the months and wants to start up again.
Most moms say that nursing both makes sibling rivalry easier and helps both kids bond closer.
My breastfeeding goal is 4 years so I'm not nearly done with Eric, he's only 1 1/2 now! And 2 years is my bare minimum for the health recommendations.
But my friend did wean her son early in pregnancy because she wanted a break in between. She says a lot how guilty she feels and how she knows he would have nursed much longer. That's not something I want to deal with. I want each child to get the same options as the next so I want my first to be able to nurse just as long as my last will eventually.

Janine - posted on 10/09/2010

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I had just weaned my 15 month old when I became pregnant with #2. But I have a friend who BF her toddler and is now tandem feeding. I will be honest with you. She is doing it, but it seems extremely frustrating. The older child is having issues with the new baby needing to nurse first. The toddler is wanting to nurse EVERY TIME the baby nurses even though before baby came she was only nursing to go down for nap and night. My friend is physically drained and exhausted. And she is very homebound trying to nurse two at the same time. Honestly, your older child may adjust better and have less jealously issues if you just wean soon. Let your body have a nice time growing your new baby. Let your older child forget that she nursed. Then when you introduce #2, nursing will be a thing of the past for the older child and you can enjoy once again the wonder of breastfeeding your newborn without your toddler screaming at you, angry at you, tugging on you to nurse and feeling rejected when you have to prefer baby #2 first.

Sorry ladies for disagreeing with you all, but this is just from my observations. Happy nursing all!

Merry - posted on 10/09/2010

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Sarah, I see this was started in march, I'm wondering how it all ended up? Did you get a new dr? Did you wean? Has the baby been born yet and are you still nursing both?
I'm in this same situation right now and I'm wondering how it turned out for you!

Jodie - posted on 03/09/2010

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i attended a breastfeeding peer support course not so long ago, and was told that you were able to breastfeed right up until whenever you wanted to stop. this is called Tandem feeding - when you breastfeed two babies at the same time. i was unaware that you were suppose to stop by 6 months or whenever!
my midwife/health visitor told me that it was fine to feed during pregnancy and when the new baby had arrived. the only change she told me of was that the breasmilk would change once new baby was here!!

i hope this helps =D x

[deleted account]

Your doctors should read up on the latest studies, there is absolutely no harmful effects from nursing while you are pregnant. I nurses my daughter until she was 22 mo old and I was seven months pregnant and she just got so busy that she lost interest. I know lots of moms who nursed through their entire pregnancy and then tandem nursed.

Melany - posted on 03/09/2010

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I'd just like to add that while it is thought that the nutrition goes fetus, nursing child, mom...there is no evidence to prove this theory. The panel is still out on this one!!

Melany - posted on 03/09/2010

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I only have one 12 month old, but have considered another pregnancy and tandem nursing. Check out kellymom.com, she gives tons of advice and facts about nursing through pregnancy and tandem nursing.

I would also look for a nurse midwife, they are generally more open to natural child rearing practices. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I also want to add that I was pregant last year and sadly miscarried, but we had just moved and didn't find out that the I lost the baby around 9 weeks when I thought I was 14 weeks pregnant. Even with a new doctor he made it a point to tell me (without me asking) that he didn't feel the miscarriage was caused from breastfeeding and that as long as I was taking my prenatal vitamins and drinking plenty of water that it should not be a problem to get pregnant again while breastfeeding.

April - posted on 03/06/2010

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good for you for standing your ground!!!! i would go somewhere that is more accepting of tandem nursing and nursing during pregnancy.



i am not even pregnant yet and i've already fired my OB. I'm going with a midwife and possibly having the birth at home. all these OBs want to do is get the baby out of you as fast as they can and put the money in their pockets. they don't care about YOU!

[deleted account]

Their POLICY to tell you what do do? What a nerve! Go somewhere else. If there's no-one else to go to, just remind them who's paying the bill.



I breastfed my second daughter all the way through my pregnancy of my third daughter, then tandem fed for a few months. I know it's different if you have risk factors, but you have none, Sarah, so your OBGYN has got it wrong.

Emily - posted on 03/06/2010

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That's just a dumb policy, and not founded in research at all. It is totally fine to nurse while pregnant, as long as you have no history of preterm labor. I agree with Lisa.. maybe it's time for a new doctor. If they're really that clueless about this issue, what else will they be wrong on?

Jacky - posted on 03/06/2010

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i was high risk.... my oldest daughter was 11 months when we got preg with katelyn. I had to stop for a few reasons....which I was so sad about. I have heard it can be safe to nurse while preggers, but it may cause you to be tired and your supply might drop. you can contact le letche league to get more info.

CONGRATS!!!!

Jacky
www.mummiesnummies.com

Chrystall - posted on 03/06/2010

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I thought it was ok to nurse while pregnant until around 6 months. Did you try to find a second opinion?

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