Saturday, July 30, 2011

Breastfeeding while Pregnant

I've spoken a little bit about this before, but I'm still breastfeeding while pregnant. I'm 5 months pregnant so it's a bit obvious now to the general public that that's what I'm doing. Although, the general public says nothing whatsoever. Most people around here could care less. My friends, on the other hand, seem astounded. Well...maybe just one.

I have mentioned before that one particular friend was asking me if I still breastfed HB when he was about a year old and newly pregnant. Today we went and visited her again, and she made the assumption that we had weaned. "You've stopped breastfeeding, right? I mean you're pregnant," she asked after we were talking about her pumping still.

"Nope. We're still breastfeeding," I replied followed by a demonstration.

"When are you planning on weaning him," she inquired.

"I'm not. I mean whenever he decides he wants to stop," I said.

"But doesn't that mean he's going to just keep going until age 7," she laughed.

"Actually, historically and biologically children don't usually wean until age 3 to 8," I explained which was followed by a gasp. "In Africa, for example, they still breastfeed their children that long."

"But that's Africa, they don't exactly have food," her husband interjected.

"Sure in the US we have good nutrition so yeah, it's not necessary," I said. Then the conversation turned to something else.

It's happened; I am now an oddity. If I lived in Africa, a pregnant, breastfeeding-a-toddler-still mom would not be looked at so funny. However, here in the United States, I'm strange. Oh, well.

My husband and I have talked about this before. He's perfectly fine with what I'm doing. In fact, my friend and my husband (and myself actually) are very interested in what's going to happen when I tandem nurse. There are some benefits to tandem nursing, but I'm going to save that for another post. Suffices to say that while I'm an oddity, I'm also interesting.

For those who want to know about breastfeeding while pregnant, I'll repeat some of the things that I've said before. It's perfectly fine as long as you don't normally or are currently not experiencing pregnancy complications. Yes, the uterus still contracts, but it doesn't hurt the baby. My 2nd son is 5 months gestation and appears normal in his ultrasound. Towards the end of the third trimester, you're milk will turn into colostrum again. This can cause your older child to temporarily or permanently wean, but not always. Breastfeeding while pregnant is sometimes painful for your nipples. For me, I find it initially is uncomfortable, similar to a nip from teeth, but that immediately subsides. Other mothers complain of something similar.

In other words, it's perfectly fine, normal in fact, to breastfeed while pregnant.

Sources: Kellymom
Le Leche League
University of Nebraska Medical Center

3 comments:

  1. :-) Good for you!

    We weaned Kalila when I was 5 months due to a combination of me being completely touched out/hormonal and some cramps that we didn't find out for a few days were not related (long story, prob already mentioned). Part of me regrets it... I did make my 2 year goal with her, but I don't think she was ready. We got a couple comments too, only ours were were family and told me that I needed to stop (way early on) that it was bad for the baby. They didn't say anything after I explained I'd discussed it w/ our midwives, but weren't happy either. Oh well.

    As for his Africa comment I prob would have gone off on a soapbox lol. I'll refrain from that here :-D

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  2. I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and nursing my 9 month old. But my milk supply is basically gone. I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water and raspberry tea, I take Funugreek tablets 3-4 times a day, and I pump whenever I can…but I’m still not producing enough for my nursing baby! I’ve been doing this for over 2 weeks now and last night, 4 hours after my daughter last nursed, I pumped for 15 min and only got 1/4 oz. Is there anything else I can try??

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    1. Raspberry leaf tea and fenugreek arent recommended if you're pregnant. RLT can cause early labor. Pumping really wont tell you much. If you daughter isnt hungry after a nursing session then she's fine. If she is then you may have to supplement more with food and formula. HB was old enough that he could drink cow's milk. But your supply changing is common. It will come back. Hang in there. You may experience nipple soreness the further along you get.

      God bless you!

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