I have a question for you ladies, I recently found out #4 is on the way!!! We are thrilled, but I'm still nursing my 1yr old ( my ticker is messed up it says she's 2 lol) She just turned 1 Aug. 6. She is a VERY strong nurser, nursing as much as 6-8 times a day...and often at night too. I love it, and want to keep going, but have heard so many times that it's bad for the pg, and can cause that baby to malnourished? Of course I want what's best for us all... have you ladies had any trouble nursing while pg with low birth weights, or complications? thanks!
everything I have read says that your body will nourish the baby inside, then the baby outside, then you. So my understanding is you can keep going with nursing and unless you start not feeling well then you are all set! Eat well, and more than you would normally and you should be fine. Some women do have to stop for pre-labor issues. I've also read that your milk could dry up. That is much more likely scenario than the baby inside having issues.
Congrats on #4!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart
The majority of mamas have zero issues to their pregnancy related to nursing. THere are some exceptions, but trust me you'd know if you were. (These are moms who have premies and lots of issues holding on to a pregnancy where they're often on bed rest.) Hormones will cause your milk to change and eventually go to colostrum. Seems like most moms experience this in the 3rd tri, but I experienced this in the 2nd tri (but I also remember getting colostrum with DS in the 2nd tri). I'm still nursing my son at just shy of 30 weeks. He decided he wasn't a fan for a bit and I thought he had weaned since he went 2 weeks with no nursing, but suddenly he's all about that colostrum and back to nursing a few times a week. Do note my son had already slowed down his nursing when I found out I was pregnant back in March.
A good book is Adventures in Tandem Nursing. I enjoyed reading all of the different experiences moms have had while nursing pregnant and later with tandem nursing.
Mel & Jackie gave you some good info. The majority of women are fine to nurse through pregnancy where the fetus is concerned. The challenge to you and your current nursling can come in two forms. You either become SO uncomfortable nursing that you wean or your nursling doesn't like the change in your milk and self-weans. I've known a bunch of women who've nursed through pregnancy without experiencing either of these issues but I also know women who've struggled. In the examples that I've seen, it seems that the latter issue is a non-issue if you get pregnant after your nursling is about one. So, you should be fine on that front. By age one, nursing is more about satisfying their emotional need than a need for sustenance so they tend to keep nursing even as your milk supply decreases and the taste changes. I know that my boob-a-holic will not care one bit when I get pregnant. The discomfort that some women experience is a hormonal thing and hits women differently. Make sure to take good care of your nipple and treat them as you did when you first started nursing. Be wary of letting your DD get too "frisky" on the boob. My DD does a number on me sometimes and when I'm about to start AF it can be unbearable. I just limit the time of each nursing session (still about 4-5 per day) and I'm able to get through. If you start to feel uncomfortable, be proactive. Cut back to just your most important sessions each day before you start resenting nursing. If you want to continue nursing, its better to have a handful of good sessions every week than to have a bunch of torture sessions every day.
I nursed my DD all the way through my son's pregnancy, and he was a 9lb5oz baby- huge. I did night-wean my daughter at 20 mos, about 1/3 of the way through my pregnancy. Her constant night nursing was too much for me. But otherwise, she nursed until he end, right after her brother was born, and is still nursing now (although only 1 or 2 times a day). At this point, she is 28 mos and he is 3 mos, and the tandem nursing is just sometimes starting to get to me- because her latch is SO different, and honestly not that good... but, when I reflect, I'm still very glad I have this way to connect with her, and offer her that comfort at nap and/or bed time.
Like the ladies said- you have to be respectful of yourself if you attempt it, but mostly there isn't a reason to stop. Oh, and if your milk dries up, and your kid keeps nursing, be prepared for the toddler to nurse as much if not more than the newborn when your milk comes back in. That happened to us, and thankfully it didn't last too long. I will say though, toddlers are GREAT for engorgement! My DD could take care of an overly full breast in minutes, when my son was just overwhelmed with too much milk.
Mara & Joel, 2009
ITA with the other ladies. I nursed my DS2 through my entire pregnancy. He was about 8 months old when I got pg. with #3. DS3 was born at 9lbs 9oz, so no issues with growing baby and nursing here ! We all continued nursing and I'm currently tandum nursing a 22 month old and almost 5 month old. The older one is starting to wean I think which is sad but a relief since I'm getting a little burnt out having been preg. and nursing for so long. But honestly being able to nurse DS2 throughout my pregnancy was a really special connection that I'm glad we were able to continue and share before such a big change.
Ditto though on having to cut sessions short during the later part of my pregnancy though. Under 5 minutes was essential for keeping my nips comfortable and also cutting down to fewer sessions. No pregnancy complications or preterm labor issues though. Actually was the first pregnancy I had with nearly zero morning sickness which I had pretty bad with the first two.
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
You've gotten some good info already but for the most part, breastfeeding during pregnancy is fine. The biggest concern, for the baby, is that it can cause uterine contractions but this is not something to be alarmed of in normal pregnancies. If you are prone to pre-term labor or have been told to abstain from sex (because it also causes contractions) then it's probably a good idea to discuss whether or not you should continue to BF with your OB or MW. If you have a normal, healthy, pregnancy though, I wouldn't worry about that.
I nursed through my pregnancy with DS3 and I'm nursing now through this pregnancy. Last time, my milk dried up for 3 days and DS2 cried and cried but kept trying to nurse and the milk came back. I have not experienced that at this point in this pregnancy but I know that DS3 will be the same way. Last time, it sometimes felt like there was gravel in my breasts while DS2 was nursing. It was very painful and made me consider weaning him. That has not happened this time either. There can be challenges to breastfeeding while pregnant but it's different for everyone and I wouldn't stop if you and your little one aren't ready unless a problem arises.