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.
Le Leche League
University of Nebraska Medical Center