A lot of women who’ve recently become mothers naively believe that they can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding. And then they’re puzzled by a question: «Can I breastfeed while pregnant?» Very often a mum wonders whether she should breastfeed during pregnancy or wean her baby from the breast. So, is it safe to breastfeed while pregnant? And when is it better to refuse it? Let’s find the answers to these questions together!
Peculiarities of breastfeeding during pregnancy
If the age gap between your future second child and your first child isn’t significant, simultaneous breastfeeding of the two children will be optimal. Such breastfeeding is usually called «tandem feeding». So, you shouldn’t wean your child from the breast if the second pregnancy proceeds normally. Feeding a baby won’t do any harm if a mum observes certain rules.
As a woman is responsible for the two children in such a situation, she should have a nutritious diet. Maybe a doctor will recommend taking vitamins. Mother’s malnutrition means the female body’s distribution of nutrients in favor of the fetus. And then the child feeding on its mother’s milk will suffer from the lack of such nutrients. The milk won’t be healthy and it will be bad for the baby.
Actually, the nipple sensitivity increases during pregnancy and that’s why a mum can feel some discomfort that she’s never felt before during breastfeeding. That’s why you should try to put the nipple into the child’s mouth deeper and follow the grip during feeding.
When is it better to refuse to breastfeed during pregnancy?
There are still some cases when it’s better to wean your child from the breast. The morning sickness can be a sufficient reason for it, as the child feels it during breastfeeding as well. They might get nauseous and sometimes suffer from vomiting. Although it’s quite a rare situation, morning sickness can be a reason for weaning the child from the breast.
The second situation is a threat of pregnancy interruption. In this case, you should also refuse to breastfeed during pregnancy. As a rule, the uterus doesn’t feel oxytocin effect that appears as a result of nipple irritation before 20-22 weeks of pregnancy. Such nipple stimulation doesn’t cause birth activity in most cases when a woman breastfeeds till the end of the third trimester.
So, it’s beneficial to wean the child from the breast in the following cases:
- If the birth was premature
- If the mother had a miscarriage
- If the mother experienced bleeding
You should also know that breast milk changes in its composition. The body, as it should be, produces colostrum – the milk for feeding a newborn after birth. The baby you are breastfeeding will feel the difference as the taste of milk changes and its amount is less. Sometimes the child can refuse to take the breast in such a case.
If your pregnancy comes when you’re already going to wean your older child from the breast, try to do it as soon as possible. In this situation, it’s better to finish breastfeeding 2 months before the birth. The child should have enough time to adapt to the other diet and the mother will have an opportunity to rest a little bit. But wean your child from the breast gradually in this case. Try to put the child to bed without a feeding before it or to reduce the time of breastfeeding. Minimize daily breastfeeding till that time as well. It’s a good idea to offer your child something tasty instead. But, at the same time, tell your baby that they won’t be breastfed anymore. You should explain to your child that you love them as much as before, but now they will eat even more delicious food.
So, it’s safe to breastfeed during pregnancy. Remember that you can always discuss all the questions, exceptions, and hesitations with a doctor!