Moms who are breastfeeding often become concerned about continuing to breastfeed once they discover they are pregnant again. Can a pregnant woman continue to breastfeed? Yes! But remember there will be several factors that will determine that. They include:
- Your Medical History
- Your Older Baby’s Responses
- Your Milk Supply
- Your Feelings
While there are no documented dangers to the mother or the fetus when the mother breastfeeds through a healthy pregnancy, you should always connect with your medical professionals on any issues that give you concern.
Breastfeeding While Pregnant
There are a few medical reasons why a woman may need to consider weaning if they discover they are pregnant.
- A history of premature delivery
- Past miscarriages
- Uterine bleeding or pain
- Weight loss during pregnancy
However, if you have no known medical issues relevant to the above, you should be able to continue to breastfeed throughout your new pregnancy. So, let’s just cover some extra bases to be safe.
Changes in Breast Milk
After the first few months of your new pregnancy, your breast milk may begin to decrease. The milk will eventually change back to colostrum in preparation for the new baby’s birth. For the baby still breastfeeding, this will result in, the very least, a change in taste. These two changes in your breast milk alone may trigger your baby into the weaning process. They simply may not find the taste or effort to their liking any longer. If your baby does continue to breastfeed with no apparent hitches after the milk change, be sure to keep them up-to-date on their well-baby visits so you know they are continuing to gain weight.
Make Adjustments as Needed
Don’t paint yourself into a corner by setting goals you may not get to keep when it comes to breastfeeding during your new pregnancy. Hormonal changes can cause everything from emotional ups-and-downs to sorer-than-usual nipples. In fact, that last one may have been your first clue as to your possible new pregnancy. It can be helpful to try different nursing positions. As the pregnancy moves along and you gain in belly size, it may be difficult to use the current positions you choose. Try others, pillows and more to get as comfortable as possible. Some of the symptoms of change can make you irrevocably uncomfortable and if they do, there is nothing wrong with weaning earlier than you expected. Your body has another life to grow and there are options for the baby you currently hold in your arms. Don’t guilt yourself.
Take Care of You and Stay Positive
Both pregnancy and breastfeeding require extra energy. Make sure your diet keeps up with all that you’re burning through basic activities as well as the immense activities going on within your body at this time. Put those feet up when you are breastfeeding to maximize on those moments of relaxation that you do get. Take this new dual role with all the positivity you can muster. Get into the one-day-at-a-time mode. Try to avoid having too many expectations about how breastfeeding will go in the coming months, and in all cases of concern, as always, consult your medical professionals with any issue that makes you uncomfortable.