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Cramping during bfing while pregnant

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is this the right forum for this question? Sorry if not...

Background info: I'm letting my 23 m.o. nurse up to three times a day, in the morning, before nap, and before bed, if she asks. If she asks any other time (she typically doesn't), I distract her or give her some ovaltine or something. She usually skips the nap nurse, occasionally skips the bedtime nurse, NEVER skips the morning nurse. "Num-num!" is her first word of the day, every day.

I am also eight weeks pregnant.

For three mornings now, I've had very uncomfortable cramping during the morning nursing only. It feels like gas cramps, which is also exactly how my labor contractions felt. They stop pretty soon after she stops nursing.

Is this a danger sign? Is it likely to go away? I've had no other cramping, no spotting, no worries other than this. My nipples/breasts aren't even sore. Any idea what to make of this?

I would very much like to continue nursing her until she decides she's done.

post #2 of 10
I nursed through my whole pregnancy and would usually feel contractions during a nursing session. If it got too intense, I would just end the session. Towards the end of pregnancy it would be painful to nurse, cause it would bring on wicked cntrx. During labor though, it was very helpful to get things moving. All I can say is everything turned out fine for me, and I would just continue to keep on eye on everything like you're doing. My midwife said calcium could help w/ cntrx during nursing. Making sure you go to the bathroom before nursing can help a lot as well.

But no, I don't think it's a danger sign, esp. if it stops when she stops. Lucky you for having no sore nipples.
post #3 of 10
i had some cramping in my 3rd preg. this would happen when i'd nurse my 2 sons. it would happen during the night. after i nightweaned, it rarely happened. it would happen when i was laying on my back nursing. so when it would happen, i'd sit up. and i would ask my dh to get me a glass of water if he was there. sitting took care of it. since they went away easily i did not worry, but they did unnerve me a little while they were happening.

never had it in my 2nd preg while nursing.

try to drink more water. that would certainly help!
post #4 of 10
I had nasty cramping for the first 9 weeks...so bad, I thought I was m/cing. But, it was probably just the fact that my 14 month old was nursing like crazy because an u/s showed everything was just fine.
post #5 of 10
Oxytocin is produced when bfing. This causes the uterus to contract.

Oxytocin also is produced during orgasm, which also causes the uterus to contract.

Neither one is a risk to the average pregnancy. If you started contracting regularly, like in labor, then yours is not the average pregnancy and you would do your research, talk to your midwife and proceed from there.
post #6 of 10
I found that my nursing contractions were less pronounced as my pregnancy progressed. I hardly felt anything at all by the time I was 6 months along.
post #7 of 10
I don't think you need to worry at all. I have nursed through two pregnancies and also had that cramping but it never affected my pregnancy any more than that. My midwife said something about how the oxytocic effect from breastfeeding doesn't affect the pregnancy until the second trimester anyway. So she said nursing while pregnant does not pose risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.
post #8 of 10
Here, read this:


Breastfeeding Contractions

Although uterine contractions are experienced during breastfeeding, they are a normal part of pregnancy. Similar contractions often occur during sexual intercourse, which many couples continue throughout pregnancy.
Miscarriage/Preterm Labor Risks

This is a common worry, but it does not appear to have a strong foundation. A recent review of research on the pregnant uterus reveals that there is actually no theoretical basis for the common concern that breastfeeding can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor in healthy pregnancies. Instead the uterus has many safeguards preventing a strong reaction to the oxytocin that breastfeeding releases.

Interestingly, experts on miscarriage and preterm labor are not among those who see a potential link between breastfeeding and these pregnancy complications. Miscarriage expert Lesley Regan, PhD, MD, quoted in Adventures in Tandem Nursing, saw no reason that breastfeeding should impact pregnancy, even if the mother has a history of miscarriage or is experiencing a threatened miscarriage.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys, for the input and good information!

Not only has this been reassuring, but two of your particular suggestions have helped: making sure I go to the bathroom first has alleviated the severity of the cramping, and sitting up instead of lying down helped as well. I miss being able to lie down and nurse at 6:30 in the morning, but since it was getting so uncomfortable anyway, I can live with sitting in the rocking chair.

post #10 of 10
One more thing that I'd add is that you may want to not only empty your bladder and change your position, but also take a big drink of water, as some mamas feel the contractions more when they're dehydrated. This is partially why pregnant and nursing mamas feel the ctrx more at night or first thing in the morning.
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