Breastfeeding while pregnant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 11-08-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Breastfeeding while pregnant

Tell me how it's going and if you plan to nurse throughout and after the birth....& if you've had preterm labor issues in the past that might give you mixed feelings about it....

Is going well so far, nursing #3 while pregnant with #4. Plan to continue as long as my cervix looks long and firm enough....love tandem nursing and hoping to do so again....
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#2 of 42 Old 11-08-2014, 11:20 AM
 
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I'm still nursing my 20 month old, no problems at all so far. I nursed my second until the second trimester when it just caused too much cramping. He was already 43 months and I was just done. Nursed my third until the third trimester or so, he was 22 months and it just kind of phased out. I'm not sure how long it'll last this time. It makes me sad to stop, but I get so touched out during pregnancy. I only nursed my first 13 months, so she was weaned long before I was pregnant again.

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#3 of 42 Old 11-09-2014, 07:58 AM
 
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My 21 month old was down to nursing a few times a day but then she got sick so I've been nursing her more. My first two are five years apart so I've never nursed while pregnant before. Just planning to see how it goes. I think we are getting close to the end but we will see.
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#4 of 42 Old 11-09-2014, 12:40 PM
 
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My 2nd (2.5) weaned two weeks ago

I nursed my first until I was in my 2nd trimester and feeling the baby kick while nursing him is my favorite mothering memory I have, so I'm sad to not have that again.
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#5 of 42 Old 11-09-2014, 07:17 PM
 
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I am nursing two of my babe to sleep and for naps still. Hoping the older weans before baby is born because I am getting really agitated by it some days. He will be five when baby is born.

I went into labor with my third prematurely while tandem nursing and went into labor with my second while marathon nursing a sniffly babe. Definitely a trigger for me. I just can not imagine forcing them to stop but I will for health of the baby.
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#6 of 42 Old 11-12-2014, 05:21 PM
 
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I am nursing two of my babe to sleep and for naps still. Hoping the older weans before baby is born because I am getting really agitated by it some days. He will be five when baby is born.

I went into labor with my third prematurely while tandem nursing and went into labor with my second while marathon nursing a sniffly babe. Definitely a trigger for me. I just can not imagine forcing them to stop but I will for health of the baby.
My almost 4 yo is still nursing, once a day or every other day. So far, 6 weeks, no trouble. I think I'd like for him to be done by July though. My current concern is him bumping into my sore breasts just stomping around the bed as I am laying down.
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#7 of 42 Old 11-13-2014, 04:25 AM
 
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Sebastian will be 4 years old in 5 days and is still a HUGE fan of "mick." I've been trying to cut back for fear my progesterone was low but now that I know it's nice and high, I've relaxed a little about the nursing. In all of my pregnancies, I've had Braxton Hicks from the get-go that get more and more painful as the pregnancy progresses so I do have some concern about the nursing irritating my uterus.

I've nursed through one pregnancy (then tandemed) and with my last pregnancy, my nursling weaned at 4.25 years in my first trimester because my milk dried up. He was totally fine with it and just one day said it was all gone and that was that. Four is a decent weaning age and I'm hoping to quicken the drying up process by avoiding nursing when I can. Most times it's a fly-by nurse anyway.

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#8 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whose nipples are literally killing them but have a toddler who just seems to not notice anything had changed and wants to nurse more than ever?
Anyone but me?
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#9 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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I'm nursing my one year old (TODAY! is her birthday!) and my three year old. I've nursed through all of my pregnancies (save my first, of course.) and I have been tandem nursing for the past 18 years. I've spent a good deal of time with three nurslings as well. I've never had problems with preterm labor or anything. I fight feelings of agitation the first trimester and adore nursing a toddler in the third trimester.

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#10 of 42 Old 01-01-2015, 12:42 PM
 
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I'm nursing my 2.5 year old. We're down to two sessions a day. My nipples are getting pretty sore and I feel like my milk is getting less.

He is still very attached to nursing even though I am so ready to be done. I do not want to tandem, so I'm hoping to have him weaned soonish. I don't do well with being touched a lot, so I think a newborn is all I can handle.
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#11 of 42 Old 01-08-2015, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm nursing my 2.5 year old. We're down to two sessions a day. My nipples are getting pretty sore and I feel like my milk is getting less.

He is still very attached to nursing even though I am so ready to be done. I do not want to tandem, so I'm hoping to have him weaned soonish. I don't do well with being touched a lot, so I think a newborn is all I can handle.
Anyone have their nipples start to feel better? God I hope this soreness abates.
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#12 of 42 Old 01-08-2015, 01:19 PM
 
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Anyone have their nipples start to feel better? God I hope this soreness abates.

no.... and it seems they have gotten worse!!!! It's driving me crazy.

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#13 of 42 Old 01-09-2015, 12:02 AM
 
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Mine are just getting worse as well. Latching on is really uncomfortable right now. And nursing for long periods of time makes me super grumpy. I think its a bit of nursing aversion starting to pop up on me.

DS is also asking to nurse outside of our normal nursing times. I think it's because my milk is getting even less. He is eating a lot more as well.

I'm hoping to wean him sometime in the next few months.
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#14 of 42 Old 01-09-2015, 12:18 PM
 
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I am nursing my youngest, and plan to through out the pregnancy and after. I breastfed through out my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy too.

I have had 2 premature babies (28 weeks and 35 weeks) but breastfeeding had nothing to do with it.
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#15 of 42 Old 01-09-2015, 01:36 PM
 
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I am nursing my youngest, and plan to through out the pregnancy and after. I breastfed through out my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy too.

I have had 2 premature babies (28 weeks and 35 weeks) but breastfeeding had nothing to do with it.
You're all coming out of the woodwork today! Did another member go through and message all of the early posters in the group?

Glad to have you back.

Can I ask how you know that nursing had nothing to do with your premature labors? I never had a premature baby, but suspect that nursing my second child through my third pregnancy may have contributed to a hemorrhage early in my second trimester. Maybe it had nothing to do with it, but I'll just always wonder. My baby was fine, born on his EDD, so no worries now, but my 4 year old is still nursing twice a day and I do have that little bit of concern.

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#16 of 42 Old 01-10-2015, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From kellymom.com:

The specter of breastfeeding-induced preterm labor appears to spring in large part from an incomplete understanding of the interactions between nipple stimulation, oxytocin, and pregnancy.

The first little-known fact is that during pregnancy less oxytocin is released in response to nipple stimulation than when a woman is not pregnant.5

But the key to understanding breastfeeding during pregnancy is the uterus itself. Contrary to popular belief, the uterus is not at the beck and call of oxytocin during the 38 weeks of the “preterm” period. Even a high dose of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) is unlikely to trigger labor until a woman is at term.6

Instead, the uterus must actively prepare in order for labor to commence. You could say that there are two separate states of being for the uterus: the quiescent baby-holder and the active baby-birther. These states make all the difference to how the uterus responds to oxytocin, and so, one can surmise, to breastfeeding. While the baby is growing, the uterus is geared to have a muffled response to oxytocin; at term, the body’s preparations for labor transform the uterus in ways that make it respond intensely to oxytocin.

Many discussions of breastfeeding during pregnancy mention “oxytocin receptor sites,” the uterine cells that detect the presence of oxytocin and cause a contraction. These cells are sparse up until 38 weeks, increasing gradually after that time, and increasing 300-fold after labor has begun.6,7 The relative scarcity of oxytocin receptor sites is one of the main lines of defense for keeping the uterus quiescent throughout the entire preterm period—but it is not the only one.

A closer look at the molecular biology of the pregnant uterus reveals yet more lines of defense. In order for oxytocin receptor sites to respond strongly to oxytocin they need the help of special agents called “gap junction proteins”. The absence of these proteins renders the uterus “down-regulated,” relatively insensitive to oxytocin even when the oxytocin receptor site density is high. And natural oxytocin-blockers, most notably progesterone, stand between oxytocin and its receptor site throughout pregnancy. 8,9,10

With the oxytocin receptor sites (1) sparse, (2) down-regulated, and (3) blocked by progesterone and other anti-oxytocin agents, oxytocin alone cannot trigger labor. The uterus is in baby-holding mode, well protected from untimely labor.4
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#17 of 42 Old 01-10-2015, 11:55 AM
 
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@Serafina33 that is so interesting. I love kellymom.

In the years between my son's birth and now, I had lots of early miscarriages and still produced milk even though he had weaned. When I went on vitex and some other balancing supplements, my milk finally dried up and I finally stayed pregnant this time. So, I find it easy to believe that there can be a correlation between lactation and ability to get/stay pregnant for some women. So that is interesting to learn that the early labor correlation is bogus.


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#18 of 42 Old 01-10-2015, 02:48 PM
 
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I am nursing my youngest, and plan to through out the pregnancy and after. I breastfed through out my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy too.

I have had 2 premature babies (28 weeks and 35 weeks) but breastfeeding had nothing to do with it.
I wonder though how BFing in early pregnancy affects progesterone production?

I lost those two pregnancies very early on when my toddler was nursing SO much - even throughout the night. Once I night-weaned him (at age 3) and cut the daytime sessions down to maybe a handful, I was able to stay pregnant.

Not a scientific study, by still makes me wonder...

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#19 of 42 Old 01-10-2015, 03:03 PM
 
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I am nursing my 2yr old, and I'd really like to continue through the pregnancy, at least through the winter of nothing else! I was nursing my then-3-yr-old when I got pregnant with #3, and it greatly reduced our nursing sessions. I probably only tandem nursed a handful of times after #3 was born. Hoping for a longer turnout this time because she's younger.
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#20 of 42 Old 01-11-2015, 12:51 PM
 
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You're all coming out of the woodwork today! Did another member go through and message all of the early posters in the group?

Glad to have you back.

Can I ask how you know that nursing had nothing to do with your premature labors? I never had a premature baby, but suspect that nursing my second child through my third pregnancy may have contributed to a hemorrhage early in my second trimester. Maybe it had nothing to do with it, but I'll just always wonder. My baby was fine, born on his EDD, so no worries now, but my 4 year old is still nursing twice a day and I do have that little bit of concern.
My first was born at 28.6 weeks and I wasn't nursing then, so I know for a fact my premature labor with him wasn't related to nursing. My third was born at 38 weeks and I was nursing both of my toddlers day and night.
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#21 of 42 Old 01-12-2015, 03:38 AM
 
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I remember a thread here on MDC (not long ago) where mamas were talking about not being able to get/stay pregnant while BFing once they reached a certain age. In their 20s and even early 30s, they were able to BF and get and stay pregnant but as they got into their mid-late 30s, many of them had trouble conceiving and/or maintaining a pregnancy while BFing.

I seem to fit in there... Though I AM still BFing my toddler, but I think night-weaning was key this time.
After birth, we're supposed to be infertile as long as baby continues to nurse during the night (which isn't true for everyone) which has to do with hormones. Maybe as we get older, our bodies just have a harder time making enough hormones to BF frequently and grow another baby (at least for some of us)??

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#22 of 42 Old 01-12-2015, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The problem with anecdotal evidence like that is that the whole thing can also be easily explained that fertility goes down sharply after age 35, and risk for miscarriage increases as well. So, breastfeeding could be totally incidental to those proven issues. There are just no empirical studies showing that breastfeeding itself is to blame for increased incidence of miscarriage although of course breastfeeding (especially at night, especially frequently) can delay your cycle from returning. However, once it's back there's no proof that continuing to breastfeed would make conceiving any less likely.

It's certainly interesting and inevitable to speculate.

My nipples just hurt so much.....
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#23 of 42 Old 01-12-2015, 04:07 AM
 
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I love to read about traditional cultures and I know that pretty much all of them put great care into making sure to avoid pregnancy for a while to ensure at least 3 years between babies so that the mother had time to rebuild her body (minerals stores, nutrients, etc.) Many of those cultures also nursed their children past 4-5 years old. But of course, most women weren't having babies into their late 30s, either!

I guess every woman is different and for some, BFing may have an effect on pregnancy and for some, it may not. Some of us have strong adrenals that pick up when the ovaries aren't producing as many hormones (like while BFing or in menopause) and some have weak adrenals (and really feel the symptoms of menopause.) Then there's the thyroid and so many different hormones that come into play.

Maybe we'll never know.

My nipples are mildly sore when Ds latches on , but not too bad. My breasts are definitely getting fuller though! (and my butt, as DH noted last night...)

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#24 of 42 Old 01-24-2015, 08:17 PM
 
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I'm just dragging out old threads.
My DD got a cold about the first of the month and had to quit nursing cold turkey for a week because she was so stopped up. I had a TINY bit of milk left, but it's gone now. She's still nursing about twice a day. Sometimes 3 or 4. Almost always when we lie down for bed or naps. Most of the time when she wakes up but isn't ready to get up once or even twice in the early morning.
I was sore long before I got pregnant because she's got a shallow latch (a little tongue and lip tie, not enough that I felt she should have to go through being clipped) and I have eczema on my areolas. Now it's weird. Especially on her favorite side, the whole outer half around the nipple is SORE even to the touch. When she nurses, it's on one whole side of her mouth, not top or bottom. It's weird. And that's not counting just the swollen feeling like I would get before my period. That's not ALWAYS there, and it's better some days, but oy. I have to count to 30 or 60 when she's starting on that side. The other side, 10 or 20 will do it.

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#25 of 42 Old 01-25-2015, 03:15 AM
 
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I was really hoping to continue nursing #3 through pregnancy #4, but I feel like my milk is completely gone. It is twingey-painful to have her nurse (which she still does at least twice a day) and I cannot get any milk out at all through self expression. I'm not sure if she will hold out for the next five months
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#26 of 42 Old 01-25-2015, 03:25 AM
 
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I keep waiting for my milk to dry up, but it won't. I don't want to tandem nurse. DS is 4 yrs, 2 months and really only nurses once a day, sometimes twice, so not too bad. It hurts a but when he first latches on but not excruciating.

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#27 of 42 Old 01-25-2015, 11:31 AM
 
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I have a feeling this girl's going to be still comfort nursing till the baby comes. Then she'll probably keep going for a long time. It annoys hubby, but I'm like hey, it's the single best mothering tool I have. I don't want to give it up, even though it hurts! I told her the other day that there won't be any more milk for a long time, but when the baby comes, there will be plenty. A few days later, she told me, "Sips (her word for nursing). Milk. Baby comes," and kept on nursing.

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#28 of 42 Old 01-26-2015, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awwwww, that's sweet.
I'm nowhere near ready to wean my 15 month old but my nipples feel needle twinges without even being touched! Leaning against a counter accidently is excruciating. What is up with this, I cannot wait for it to die down. Nursing isn't so bad but if she nurses a ton between 3-7 am then it is. That's the main time she nurses back to sleep when she at stirs. Other than that it's half an hour @ nap time and ten minutes at bedtime.
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#29 of 42 Old 01-26-2015, 02:28 PM
 
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I keep waiting for my milk to dry up, but it won't. I don't want to tandem nurse. DS is 4 yrs, 2 months and really only nurses once a day, sometimes twice, so not too bad. It hurts a but when he first latches on but not excruciating.
My milk has dried up in only one boob, haha! He always favored my left side, and started neglecting the right side recently and it has (almost) dried up completely. My left side doesn't have very much, but he still enjoys nursing a few times a day and night.


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#30 of 42 Old 01-26-2015, 05:40 PM
 
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My milk has dried up in only one boob, haha! He always favored my left side, and started neglecting the right side recently and it has (almost) dried up completely. My left side doesn't have very much, but he still enjoys nursing a few times a day and night.
I haven't dried up on either side but there is clearly more milk on the left. I never noticed him favoring that side so not sure how it happened haha...
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