Pregnant while Breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay so I know I may be a rare case but DS is 3 and won't give it up. It's something I'd like to work on but it's my own issue as I feel bad making him stop when it comforts him so much. I know a few moms that have while pg but just wanted to ask the ins and outs of it.

I know my OB doesn't recommend it, I remember from a non pg appointment that she said it uses nutrients that are intended for the baby (or something to that effect). I literally just got a positive HPT so I didn't have an initial Dr. appointment yet. Just educate/reassure me on this, if anyone can! How is it? What is difficult? All of it! How does it work in terms of milk production - I remember getting colostrum in third tri so how would that work with nursing?

I'll look into the Joys of Tandem Nursing book but wanted to hear from other fellow moms in the same boat.
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#2 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 09:46 AM
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Congrats. This is my third time around being pg and nursing. Each time was different. I can tell you that the one thing that I felt with all 3 is nipple soreness. Also,as the pregnancy progressed I felt the desire to wean. I'm currently 6 months pregnant and nursing my 18 month old. My tip for you is drink plenty of H20. Also check out I don't go there personally,but I know a lot of women do. As for what your OB said about nutients, I've never heard a Dr say that.

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#3 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 10:06 AM
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well, to start, your OB is wrong according to my research.. your body will feed your new baby first, then your nursingling, then you - so it is hard on you but your new baby will come first. for me, and many women, my body stops producing milk at some point during the pregnancy.. for me that is right around 12-14 weeks .. before that i have some discomfort (nipple pain mostly) and then at that point the nipple pain gets pretty bad for a while - i'm now 32.5 weeks (and nursing through pregnancy for the 2nd time) and my nipples don't hurt so much anymore and i am making a tiny bit of colustrum .. i don't really remember when the nipple pain was the worst.. probably after my milk dried up but before the colustrum? anyway, also, there is pretty much nothing you can do to control what happens with your supply .. you can drink a lot of water and try to maintain what you have but the supply-demand thing no longer applies when you're pregnant..

- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13), Robin (11/15)... and SURPRISE! (3/18)
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#4 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 10:24 AM
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I am nursing my 2.5 year-old about 3 times a day and am about 31 weeks pregnant. As far as I could tell, my supply never stopped going. I saw a new OB last week and he said that the only danger is that I could get depleted (of energy, nutrients, etc.). He figures as this is not long-term for me (like, I'm not having 10+ kids in rapid succession), it's fine as long as I'm eating well, etc. DD is eating solids, and has been for some time, so he also figures it's not sapping that much nutritionally. This is probably the case with your 3-year-old, too?

I am currently "high risk" with placenta previa and asked specifically about whether there was any additional risk of pre-term labor with nursing. His response: "Do you feel like you need an epidural when you're nursing? If not, it's probably fine."
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#5 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 01:22 PM
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I'm 28 weeks and nursing my 33 month old. My doctor (family practice) is totally unconcerned. I've had some nipple discomfort (more so early on), but nothing major. Her nursing frequency has decreased majorly (down to 1-3 times per day), but part of that might be a normal part of being closer to 3 than 2? The amount of milk I'm producing has definitely been gradually decreasing. It doesn't seem to me like I have milk at this point, but my daughter swears that I do and that it tastes like butter... so colostrum maybe?

Adventures in Tandem Nursing is a great resource for nutrition/health info on nursing during pregnancy. Basically you need however many extra calories you needed to breastfeed prior to becoming pregnant (about 500 for a newborn, maybe less for an older toddler) plus the 300 or so extra that all women need during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
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#6 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 07:43 PM
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I'm pregnant and nursing for the fifth time...and am tandem nursing through pregnancy for the fourth time. OBs have told me I'd experience everything from preterm labor (nursing causes the uterus to contract ... see below) to low birthweight baby. I've also hear moms say they were told their breastmilk would go bad (it doesn't go bad, sour, or have an expiration date!) or that they would be robbing their newborn of colostrum (colostrum comes in toward the end of pregnancy and not only is great for the newborn, but gives the older nursling(s) an extra "dose" of all those immune factors and such).

This is something I recently posted in another forum:
Breastfeeding causes uterine contractions, but the uterine contractions it causes are much weaker than those caused by an orgasm, so if it's ok for you to have sex while pregnant, it should be ok for you to nurse through a healthy pregnancy.

As for preterm labor - I was told that as well. I have nursed through four pregnancies (this is the fifth pregnancy I've nursed through) and of those four pregnancies, I tandem nursed through three. My second child was 8 days "late", my third was 3-4 days "late", my fourth was one day "late" and my fifth was 9 days "late." I nursed while in labor and it only caused contractions to pick up while the nursling was actively nursing and then the contractions calmed down to where they were before the nursling latched on.

Some doctors will also tell you that pregnant nursing will cause low birthweight babies. The first pregnancy I nursed through produced a 9.5 lb baby (my firstborn was 7lbs 2oz), and the pregnancies I tandem nursed through produce 8lbs 4 oz, 10lbs 14oz, an 9 lbs 14oz babies!

Resources you might be interested in:
"Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hilary Flower
"Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner

ETA: Whenever a doctor tells me that there is some sort of danger in pregnant nursing, or something that goes against my research (pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, whatever), I say something like, "That's interesting to hear, since my research doesn't show that at all. I would love to see your resources on the subject - can you email them to me or can you give me copies at my next appointment?"
Most people don't realize that doctors spend 0-2 hours learning about breasts in medical school, and even then, it's about diseases of the breast, not human lactation. A lot of what they "learn" about breastfeeding their either learn from their predecessors or they make assumptions. I've spoken with MANY OBs, and most admit that they have no idea where they "heard" some of the things they thought were true about breastfeeding and don't have research to back up what they're telling patients. Don't get me wrong, there are some awesome and knowledgeable doctors out there, but more often than not, they don't know much more about breastfeeding than the average person.

Mama to A (12), Z (11), H (9), C (5), A (3) and 4 angels. 

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#7 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 08:05 PM
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I've nursed through 4 pregnancies, no problems. Usually I am nursing two of them about half way through and then the older of the tandem pair will self-wean. All of my subsequent babies were bigger than the previous ones, except the last one who was still 9+lbs.

A three yo isn't going to be nursing like a newborn anyway and most likely your supply will go down and he may decide to self-wean on his own.

All the pp resources listed are great and honestly if it is going to be a fight with your OB I'd consider finding a new one.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 09:43 PM
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#9 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 10:21 PM
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I am just brand newly pregnant (5 weeks) and nursing a 21 month old. My mom keeps telling me it's so dangerous, and that I need to stop. Everyone else looks at me like I'm nuts. So thanks for this, it's really helpful - although I'm not convinced that I want to breastfeed through the whole pregnancy. I just can't imagine having the energy.
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