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Pregnancy, Nursing & Threatened Miscarriage

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi mamas - I'm just popping in here to see if any of you have experience with this or your thoughts/opinions with nursing...


I'm currently nursing my almost 1 year old - maybe 2-3x a day and 1-2x a night. He doesn't ever nurse for very long - more just to fall asleep and our nursing relationship is really important to us.


This morning after he took his morning nap, I coughed (I've been coughing and sneezing with a cold the past 2 days) and I felt a gush of blood. Sure enough, when I went to the bathroom, there was bright red blood, but not very much... just when I wiped. :( So, I called my midwife and she suggested I get a scan, as I'm 11 weeks and there's no reason for the blood. I don't have any cramping and in general I feel great! As the day progressed, I felt heavier in my lower abdomen and the blood was dark red/red and increasing. I thought that most likely I was miscarrying. They finally got me in 5 hours later at an OB that I went to 3 years ago. She has an OLD portable miscarriage machine that she said she'd do quickly because I couldn't get into the super-duper nice $500,000 ultrasound machine until Thursday. Up on the screen - we see a big baby with a healthy, beating heart. Such a relief! luxlove.gif


She did mention that she thinks that a cause of the bleeding could be the placenta trying to attach and with the nursing causing contractions, that it's struggling to implant, therefore causing the bleeding. Therefore, I should wean as quickly as possible. She said "this baby is struggling to survive and hang on, and your nursing could be squeezing the placenta and uterus too much... causing a miscarriage." I talked to my midwife and she said it's possible that my body is more sensitive to the nursing, but that there's a whole slew of other reasons for the blood... which is still happening. I soaked through a pad during my hour and a half nap.


So - I'm sure you mamas may not know what to say, and that's ok! I'm more asking to see if any of you have been through this, what your opinion/experience with nursing during pregnancy is, and any advice?


Thank you in advance. ~Wendy

post #2 of 9

I'm so sorry you're going through this -- scary!


You might try posting this in the I'm Pregnant forum too, as there's a much larger pool of people there. (Not that people here won't be helpful, you just might get a bigger cross section there too.)

post #3 of 9

Well, this obviously isn't definitive, but I've had a couple of really bad bleeds (one just yesterday), both of which I now suspect are cervical, rather than from the uterus. The ultrasound showed a healthy baby and sac, and a small spot that they thought might be a SCH, but no active bleeding in the uterus even though I was still bleeding quite a lot. This week, it happened after I did a round of monistat 3 to treat a diagnosed yeast infection, and was brought on by (TMI ahead, sorry) a tricky bowel movement that involved some pushing. So, like you, I think the strain of the sudden motion (cough, in your case) might have ruptured a blood vessel in the already engorged cervix that in my case was probably irritated by the YI and monistat. I was really surprised that a cervical bleed could cause so much blood, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.


So personally, I'd bet it's nothing to do with the BFing, especially if she saw no actual evidence of a SCH or placenta in trouble on the scan. Medical types tend to jump immediately to blame things like BFing during pregnancy, since it's something they see so rarely. It's akin to sex/orgasm, in terms of the strain it places on the uterus, and that's something most of us manage fine throughout pregnancy. So obviously you need to assess your own risk tolerance, but I wouldn't jump to wean. Here's a useful link from kellymom on the subject.



post #4 of 9

Yet, in a case with bleeding in pregnancy at this point with a healthy baby on the screen, it would be prudent to go on pelvic rest until you get in to the newer ultrasound machine to see for sure what is going on... which would include avoiding sex/orgasm and not breastfeeding. Avoiding anything that could contract the uterus at all is best.


I was put on pelvic rest at 27 weeks last pregnancy for bleeding. It really sucked because it started 3 days before I got married and lasted until 2 days later when I was finally able to get an ultrasound.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Maeryn Pearl - Thanks for your advice. The bleeding has actually stopped, cold turkey, for the last 15 hours! I'm still in shock that I can bleed that regularly for 9 hours straight and then nothing. I'm obviously very happy about it. But cautious - I don't want it to start up again.


Yes, I'm trying to sit/lay down as much as possible, and we won't be DTD at all for at least 2 weeks. I just can't stop bf'ing cold turkey... he's 11 months old, getting his molars, it's cold/flu season! I am trying to wait until he's really tired to nurse a little bit and he just falls asleep faster, and I only let him nurse 1x last night.


Wow - that would be hard to be on bedrest 3 days before your wedding! That's no fun at all! What did they find was the reason for your bleeding?

post #6 of 9

I'm really glad it stopped!

post #7 of 9

Glad the bleeding has stopped!


I nursed my daughter until she weaned, half way through my second pregnancy. I'm currently nursing my son during this pregnancy. Yes, nursing does release oxytocin, which causes pressure waves, but nothing that would deprive a growing baby of oxygen or nutrition. You do need more calories to support all of your nutritional and energy needs. thumb.gif

post #8 of 9

So, your midwife thinks you should continue nursing? Is that right? I agree that you shouldn't stop breastfeeding cold-turkey. That would be hard on both of you and like your midwife said their are so many other reasons for bleeding in pregnancy. I just can't imagine how your body could be growing a healthy baby that is at the same time "struggling to survive and hang on, and your nursing could be squeezing the placenta and uterus too much... causing a miscarriage."

What I would do personally is continue to nurse as much as my baby wanted to unless I started bleeding again and an ultra sound showed that the placenta was having a hard time attaching (as a result of the nursing).

post #9 of 9
My bleeding was due to my cervix funneling (dilating from the inside out) but taken off pelvic rest and another ultrasound showed no additional progress so my doctor didn't worry about it. The rest of the pregnancy went on just fine.
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