Nursing toddler during pregnancy = miscarriage? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-04-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and having some issues with this pregnancy. I've had quite a lot of bleeding, and even went to the ER, sure I was having a miscarriage. Lucky for me, the little bean is still there.

When I went to see an OB/GYN for a pre-conception meeting, they were shocked that I am still nursing my 3 year old. They told me that there was no way I could get pregnant while nursing, and if I did, the pregnancy wouldn't last as nursing triggers miscarriage.

I wrote that off as a bunch of hogwash. After all, my little girl only nurses a few times a week at this point, and usually for only 5 minutes or so. I really didn't think it would affect it. Not to mention all the stories about tandem nursing and whatnot that I've read and moms I know who have done it. But now with all this bleeding I'm having, I'm really starting to wonder if maybe I should be listening to the MD.

Should I wean my 3 year old to help protect this pregnancy? It really wouldn't be that hard as she is pretty easily distracted, but I was planning to do child led weaning and I really don't think she is ready yet. I'm heading in for another OB appointment tomorrow, and not looking forward to the reactions I'm going to get (again) about nursing a toddler. I'm seeing a different doc this time, as I didn't really like the last one's reaction. Normally, I stick to the natural/midwife route, but with all the bleeding I'm having, I think I could use a little extra assistance with this one. Thanks for your thoughts.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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I have nursed through the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy and my last one.....with no issues. I have read that nursing while pregnant is really only contraindicated if you are a known risk for preterm labor.

This comment "They told me that there was no way I could get pregnant while nursing, and if I did, the pregnancy wouldn't last as nursing triggers miscarriage." on their part is just rather silly/unfair, tons of moms conceive and carry full term babies while nursing a toddler..........I'm sorry that they said that to you, Mama!

However, as you are worried/having bleeding and whatnot, and if you feel ready to wean, perhaps it might be easier on you mentally to just go ahead and wean?

Whatever you choose I hope that the remainder of your pregnancy is uneventful and healthy and easy!!!
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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I nursed DS through my pregnancy with DD1, tandem nursed both of them through my pregnancy with DD2, and am now nursing DD2 through my 4th pregnancy. If you haven't yet, you might want to check out "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hilary Flower, it's a good resource for nursing through a pregnancy. Also: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/tandem/index.html

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly!

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Old 01-04-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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If it was impossible to get pg while nursing, I wouldn't exist. My brother is only 14m older than me, and was exclusively BF (no formula, no solids yet) when I was conceived. If nursing during pg always caused miscarraige, then DD2 wouldn't be here. DD1 nursed throughout the pg (even though I had very little milk towards the end) and then nursed both of them for 13m. there is absolutely, positively, no reason to wean during a normal, healthy pregnancy.

I do know, however, that there ARE some circumstances in which it's a good idea to wean during pg. I don't know if your situation is one of them or not. I'd be hesitant to trust a HCP who knows so little about human lactation- does he or she know if you truly need to wean or is this just standard advice given to all expectant moms?

If I were you, I'd get some more professional opinions before weaning. Talk to another OB. Go to a midwife for a consultation, even if you're not sure you're a good candidate for midwifery care right now. Talk to a La Leche League leader ("off the record" since this is officially outside their scope.) Do as much internet research as you can, to see what kinds of situations truly do indicate a need to wean, and which ones don't.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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FWIW I had very similar bleeding and was even told by the ER doc to "go home and wait to miscarry" basically at around 7 weeks with DD - my first (and only) pg. And obviously I wasn't nursing. I bled on and off until about 10 weeks, having a couple of ultrasounds meanwhile and seeing a strong, healthy heartbeat each time. Turned out it was a subchorionic hematoma and they are a lot more common than I would have thought. http://www.brighthub.com/science/med...les/31339.aspxI rested, tried to stay calm and off my feet. Remainder of the pg was textbook and DD was born perfect and healthy, full term.

Of course I have no idea what's actually going on with you, but wanted to toss it out there just to say that nursing might have absolutely nothing to do with it and that there's always hope for a healthy pg even with bleeding! I agree with pp's that you should seek out some second opinions so that you can feel good about whatever your decision is - sounds like the OB you've seen previously wasn't all that educated on BFing! I have at least a half dozen friends who have concieved and nursed all the way through healthy pregnancies!

Hang in there and GL!

Megan, wife to K, mama to C lady.gif (9/07), brokenheart.gif(4/10) brokenheart.gif(11/10)

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Old 01-05-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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In your case I would wean. Clearly, many mamas here on MDC nursed through pregnancy, but you are not having a normal pregnancy. If you were, I'd say go ahead. But with quite a lot of bleeding, trip to the ER, etc, I wouldn't consider this your average pregnancy.

One of the things we are told to do to help labor along is nipple stimulation. I don't think nursing during a strong/healthy pregnancy is a no no necessarily - but you are in a gray area and having bleeding issues. And your dd is three and not nursing but a few times a week. You could wean her without causing a bit of damage emotionally or physically IMO.

For me, if anything did happen, I would have a hard time wondering if weaning would have made a difference. This is why I stopped lifting weights at the gym when pregnant with dd2. Doctor assured me it was fine, but it didn't feel fine to me.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy is smoother sailing.
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
In your case I would wean. Clearly, many mamas here on MDC nursed through pregnancy, but you are not having a normal pregnancy. If you were, I'd say go ahead. But with quite a lot of bleeding, trip to the ER, etc, I wouldn't consider this your average pregnancy.

One of the things we are told to do to help labor along is nipple stimulation. I don't think nursing during a strong/healthy pregnancy is a no no necessarily - but you are in a gray area and having bleeding issues. And your dd is three and not nursing but a few times a week. You could wean her without causing a bit of damage emotionally or physically IMO.

For me, if anything did happen, I would have a hard time wondering if weaning would have made a difference. This is why I stopped lifting weights at the gym when pregnant with dd2. Doctor assured me it was fine, but it didn't feel fine to me.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy is smoother sailing.
ita!

i had progesterone issues so we could not bf while pg.

Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and rainbow1284.gifAmelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11

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Old 01-05-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I did have issues contrary to what the normal outcome is. DD just turned 2 when I became pregnant and we were already to the point of only nursing 1 to 2 times per day. Every time I nursed DD I would cramp and proceed to bleed for the next day. At the time she was only nursing when I offered and so it was easiler for us to begin dropping sessions. We finally weaned at 2 years 3 months. I did bleed every. single. time. and during the course of the rest of the pregnancy I had many scares of preterm labor: dilated to 1 at 26 weeks, cervical shortening to .5mm and funnelling, bedrest, betamethasome shots...the whole 9 yards. I was dilated and walking around at a 6 by the time it was all said and done.
So for ME I do think that I was already at risk and I do think that the nursing did cause me to bleed because I would only bleed right after I nursed, as well as cramped badly.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Honestly, I would wean as well. I got pregnant with my second child when my son was 12 months old. I had a lot of bleeding with the pregnancy (basically bleed from 8 1/2 weeks until 14 weeks)...went in was told everything was fine. The OB was supportive of me breastfeeding as well. However, I felt like maybe I wasn't giving the baby inside of me everything I needed to give him. I had trouble keeping weight on (and I was eating and drinking soooo soooo much) and felt lethargic a lot of the time (although that can just be normal 1st trimester yuckiness), but at 14 weeks, I lost that baby.

I am still breastfeeding my son (who is now 16 months), and hoping that I can get pregnant again while breastfeeding. If I can, and my pregnancy doesn't appear or feel normal, I won't hesitate to wean him. If the pregnancy does appear and feel good and normal, I will continue.

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Old 01-05-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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I had a miscarriage while breastfeeding, and I honestly do not think that breastfeeding had anything to do with the miscarriage. After my OB blamed me breastfeeding for the loss, I turned to LLL for support, and they agreed that the OB was wrong (as did my family doc, and another OB as well). If you are havin contractions and spotting following breastfeeding like the PP, then weaning may be necessary. But in most cases, nursing is not contraindicated during pregnancy.

Cristina, Mama to Michael 03-16-06, Nathan 01-16-11, and an angel 01-20-09,
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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This is the rule of thumb I have heard---

If you are told you need to stop DTD during pg, you also need to stop nursing. Both can cause uterine contractions. In a normal, healthy pregnancy, though, there is not the hormone available to cause those uterine contractions to progress into labor/delivery. If your doctor encourages you to wean but does NOT mention needing to stop having sex, stop any other forms of nipple stimulation, etc... there is a good chance they are just uneducated about the realities of nursing while pregnant.

With me, our pediatrician was SHOCKED when we brought DD to her 2 year check up, still nursing, and I was pregnant. Though the office is supportive of nursing in general (it is only at the 3.5 YEAR old check up that the stop mentioning "bmilk is still best for baby/child" on their informational lists) she had never experienced a child nursing with a pregnant mom. When she said I needed to wean I replied that I had reserached it and that I didn't need to wean. She was surprised, but accepted that I knew better than her in that situation. Why? Because she had never even HEARD of bfeeding while pg and it was just a knee jerk reaction.

On a totally different topic, I also wanted to add that just because you are having problems *now* does not mean you should rule out the idea of Midwife care in the future. I would totally go to an OB while you are having problems with every intention of using Midwives for labor and delivery (and future prenatals) assuming you end up with an otherwise healthy pregnancy. There are MANY women who have early bleeding, or even bleeding throughout pregnancy who go on to have totally normal and healthy babies.

Good luck!

 

 

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Old 01-06-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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TiredX2, thank you for the awesome information!

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Mine is 14 months old and still nursing a ton. I'm 9 weeks pregnant and had 3 weeks of bleeding early on and my ob still has no problem with my breastfeeding. In fact he thought it was great that I hadn't given up.

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Old 01-07-2010, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the feedback! I'm so releived to hear that bleeding during the first trimester is not all that unusual. My first daughter was textbook perfect, with no problems outside the normal nausea/heartburn/swollen ankles. So I'm so anxious to be having issues with this one. My little one is starting to self wean on her own, and the feedings do not seem to be linked to the bleeding. So I'm thinking I will just try the no offer/no refuse method of weaning and see if it takes.

I recently heard that bleeding with a good ultrasound (clear heartbeat, development/etc.) turns out alright 97% of the time. So I'm feeling positive this little one making to August.

Thanks agian for all your support! I really appriciate having a forum like this where the fact that I'm still BF my 3 year old doesn't shock and offend.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarlady View Post
Thanks agian for all your support! I really appriciate having a forum like this where the fact that I'm still BF my 3 year old doesn't shock and offend.
Yeah, here its shock and AWE

 

 

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Old 01-08-2010, 05:25 AM
 
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bleeding due to sub chorionic hematoma(SCH) is more common than people think! (not sure if yours is SCH) I bled from week 10-18 with Er trips scattered (3 major episodes) and have happy healthy 15 mos old DS now. I took it easy, only worked PT and he was my first so wasnt nursing. It's a tough call, but just wanted you to know there are lots and lots of people who have the bleeding and all turns out fine and dandy!!!
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