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Nursing While Pregnant? - Big Arm,MT

Ok, Moms, I need some advice. I just found out we're pregnant with baby #2 (5wks), but am still nursing our 15 month old before bed each night. I was planning to continue to do this at least until the end of flu season in February. Now, I was wondering if nursing would take away any nutrients from the little one on the way. I haven't talked to my doctor yet about this. We just took the home test this morning. Any thoughts?

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So What Happened?™

Ladies, thank you SOOOOOO much! I have decided to continue "bedtime" nursing my 15m old until my body won't let me do it anymore. Thank you for all the positive feedback, information & support. Mamasource is a wonderful thing & thank you all for being a part of it!

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I did it with my first. My husband kept telling me it wasn't okay-he is a doctor, but not in pediatrics or ob. So most of what I had read is that it was okay. So my daughter was about 14 months when I found out I was pregnant with my second and I went ahead a breastfed for about 2 more months-slowly weening her off in those two months. It is not a problem.

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Hi A.,

If you ask your ob/gyn about it you are likely to get the advice to quit. I think it's simply a lack of complete understanding of nursing through the childbearing years. Here are some wonderful links that will start you on your own education about what is right for you and your babies. You can also find great resources here on the benefits of breastfeeding through two years of age.

http://www.kellymom.com/nursingtwo/faq/01safety.html

http://www.kellymom.com/nursingtwo/articles/bfpregnancy_s...

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations!
It's definitely OK to breastfeed through a pregnancy. I'll echo the recommendations for the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing," since it addresses this issue thoroughly and accurately. You could order it through llli.org or look up your local La Leche League contact there and call her--she probably has this book available to borrow for free. LLL is an awesome resource. Their Web site is big and comprehensive, and talking with a Leader or going to a meeting is fun and reassuring. You might also like the book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler."
Studies have shown many mothers experience a drop in calcium while they are breastfeeding. As their babies gradually wean, they experience an intense "re-calcification" of their bones over the following year. There is no need to worry about calcium, beyond your normal healthy pregnancy efforts, and breastfeeding offers some protection against osteoporosis.
Some people have concerns about breastfeeding during pregnancy because they believe it can cause enough nipple stimulation to trigger pre-term labor or miscarriage. New research shows that is not accurate, except in extreme cases. It is safe for you to enjoy nursing your baby while you wait for another baby to join you.
Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,

Congratulations! Everything everyone else mentioned is right on. The Adventures in Tandem Nursing has been my support, in addition to my La Leche League group. I am four months pregnant. When we found out, my son was still nursing numerous times a day. He has weaned to nursing only 1-3 times per day most days. He can't get the flu shot due to egg allergies, so I, too, am hoping to get us through flu season.

Sore nipples have been a hurdle for me, but knowing what my reasons are for continuing to provide this to my son keep me going, much like overcoming obstacles in the early breastfeeding relationship.

There are many benefits to continuing to nurse the older one, if you wish to, with the second one. One is that the older can help with engorgement issues early on. The other, more important one to my mind, is the reports of there being a closer sibling relationship and bonding, as the older child still gets bonding time with mom while nursing and doesn't feel as "displaced".

There was also an excellent article in Mothering magazine maybe three issues back titled "Unweaning Georgia" about a mom whose 3 yo had weaned before the baby, but there were so many issues after the baby mom decided to try nursing the older sibling again, and the relationships all improved immediately.

La Leche League (www.llli.org) has support forums and meetings. Mothering has support forums also (www.mothering.com).

I have found it more important to set limits for myself and respect my body. I have been more tired and nauseaus this time around, so have been taking frequent rest breaks, or even resuming the early habit of sleep when the baby sleeps, meaning taking naps if/when he does and going to bed some nights at 7:30 right after him. Exercise has also helped, which I wasn't doing consistently before getting pregnant. Eating food, let alone healthy food, was an issue first trimester, but now that the nausea is going away, I'm finding it easier to resume previously better eating habits.

Good luck in your pregancy and nursing relationship.

~H.

1 mom found this helpful

The only cons I have heard is that as your breast get sore, it can get really painful, also, if you don't plan on tandem nursing, you may want to work on weaning now, so that your son doesn't associate weaning with the new baby. Also, a friend told me that weaning her first fairly early in her pregnancy gave her a chance to have her body back for just a little while before having her next. (Her husband liked that part).

I would talk to your doctor about it, but mine told me that it did indeed take nutrients away from the little womb-bound one. She told me I'd have to eat a LOT to get the nutrients for BOTH babies and myself. I stopped nursing. My son was only 24 weeks old when I found out I was pregnant with our third.

Congratulations on yor new baby! It is generally considered safe to continue breastfeeding while pregnant, but often doctors may be unaware. Unless the previous pregnancy had specific high risk issues, it's a "go." Nipple stimulation is the usual excuse given for not breastfeeding. Unless a mother has miscarried three times while breastfeeding, it is not considered "linked." Some moms do notice a few contractions, but these are considered safe and mild for most moms. Milk generally dries up sometimes by the 3rd month, so natural weaning by the older baby is usually in process by the birth. Good luck!
A.

My friend has her kids really close together (her babies were much younger than yours), and she always tried to keep nursing while she was pregnant. She didn't have much success because the babies decided to quit. She figured it was the change in taste.

I always worried about HER getting the nutrients! She stayed on top of taking her vitamins, etc., because she was nursing or pregnant for many years in a row, with no break! I think the mother's body is the one that sacrifices.

Good luck!

I nursed my daughter while I was pregnant. The fetus gets what it needs first, before you or the nursing child. Keep it up, and don't feel like you are doing anything that can harm either child!

I nursed my 1 year old for a bit while pregnant too, with no problems. My son basically weaned himself, since the milk did dry up dramatically at about 16 weeks...just be prepared.
But I can't agree enough with the ladies who say to be super-vigilant about getting a ton of good nutrition. My older son was still relying on breastmilk for a good part of his calories when I became pregnant, and he developed anemia during that time. It may not have been related, but if I'd been more careful about his and my iron intake, I think it could've been avoided.
Do you take an Omega-3 supplement or DHA? That's not in most pre-natal vitamins, but it would be a good idea, since there are now 3 of you to nourish! Good luck!

Hi A.-

Unless their are high risk issues, you are totally safe nursing while pregnant, I have as well--the most helpful piece of advice is to get the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing: http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tandem-Nursing-Breastfee.... It's fantastic and talks about nutrition, pregnancy, emotions, etc. Great to nurse through flu/respiratory season. I hope my toddler will as well. Let me know if you have questions!

I nursed my daughter until 3 weeks before I had my son. My milk dried up toward the end (which probably made it easier to wean), but we had no problems. I have a friend who weaned her son while pregnant due to uncomfortable nipples, but I did not experience this.

There are many women who tandem nurse, or nurse more than one child at a time. It was not for me, but it is possible!

I am not a medical professional but I did nurse while pregnant and found no problems with it. I think until February would be fine. I would do it.

Definitely absolutely fine to nurse while pregnant. You may find however that your son may not want to nurse because the taste can change. I also had a problem with my milk supply. I am in that situation right now. I nursed as long as my little one would let me. Right now she won't nurse. Absolutely will not. Turns her head, purses her lips and fusses. But I am pumping once a day so she gets my milk about once a day. I talked to my pediatrician and he said that that it is fine to nurse while pregnant; you need to make extra sure that you are getting enough nutrients yourself, but many babies will wean themselves. This has been my experience, I'm a little sad about it, but happy to have another one on the way. You may find yourself extra tired, from being pregnant and nursing, but if you are only doing it once a day it probably won't make that big of a difference.
Good luck nursing and congrats on the new one.

So good to keep breastfeeding. I did it while I was pregnant and it was encouraged by my midwife to keep going. So glad I did.

Everything I have been told is that you have to stop nursing and that it does take away from the fetus. I would just call you OB office and double check. It is not worth the risk. The good news is, I was told by my OB with my last baby that after 2 to 4 months of nursing they have gotten all the bug-fighting defenses they need, so you would be safe if you stopped nursing now.

Good luck and let us all know what you find out - and CONGRATS!!!

My girlfriend nursed while pg, and she is a La Leche counselor so sge is pretty well informed. Congrats on your baby on the way!

You have gotten a lot of great advice. You can absolutely keep nursing. I have done it with 4 children now. You are doing a great job. Just increase your calories a little more and don't forget your vitimans. Good luck and congradulations.

Congrats on the baby on the way!!

Continuing to nurse your toddler will not take anything away from the new baby growing in your belly. Your body gives nutrients to the younger baby FIRST and then puts them into your milk for the older one. If you are not getting enough nutrients to satisfy both needs, your milk supply will dry up and your body will wean the older child. Many women continue to nurse while pregnant, just make sure you are eating well and taking your vitamins!

I am due in Dec with my second and was still exclusively breastfeeding my first when I got pregnant. Breastfeeding while pregnant actually can hide some of your pregnancy symptoms (for ex, I never got ANY morning sickness this time around) I was wondering why my milk was drying up but other then that I had no signs besides a little extra tiredness during the day. When I finally took the test I was already 10 weeks along!! WHOA!! My body continued to wean my first baby, who was only about 8 mos old when we found out... he was completely weaned by about 9-9 1/2 mos. If I had known I was pregnant earlier I would have MADE SURE that I was eating better and maybe I wouldnt have had to wean my son so early, but as it was I didn't have any say in his weaning, my body did it for me because it just made less and less milk. The hardest part was transitioning my baby boy to take a sippy cup and eat more solid foods during the day...he lost some weight during the transition but all is well now and he is now a plump and happy 14 mo old.

I would say definitely keep trying to nurse your toddler as long as you can! Try to aim not to wean him fully until after the first trimester, and you might just get lucky like I did and miss the morning sickness entirely. And that will also help keep your baby's immune system strong. The month after my little one got weaned he was literally sick with something new EVERY WEEK for 5-6 weeks straght!! He got roseola fever, 3 colds, and 2 coughs all one right after the other. I was helping him through it just KNOWING that the reason he was coming down with so much stuff is because he didn't have all the extra antibodies in the breastmilk to help protect him anymore. Before weaning he NEVER would get sick.

So, my advice would be to definitely keep breasfeeding if your body will let you do it. If I hadn't gotten pregnant so soon I would have nursed my little guy for definitely the first full year, and probably up to 18 mos or even longer. Its just such nice cuddle time with them, and its just the nutrition that their little bodies need. I miss cuddling with my little guy... it hardly ever happens now that he is weaned and so actively mobile! Good luck with everything!!

First of all, congrats on your new little one on the way!! It's a medical urban legend that nursing while pregnant can harm the baby. There is no proof whatsoever that it is true, but doctors keep passing it around. First of all, you're only nursing your son once a day. You aren't making enough milk to feed an army here! Secondly, according to the doctors, pregnancy only requires 500 extra calories a day. To put that into perspective, you would need one extra 3oz serving of lean beef. Finally, if people weren't able to provide nutrients for two children, how do you explain mamas who nurse twins and triplets? You should be physically able to support a pregnancy and nurse a toddler just fine, unless you have some kind of medical condition. If you doctor recommends weaning, please do your son a favor and find out why s/he is recommending that. I would recommend talking to a local La Leche League leader to get her take on it. They are all mamas themselves, and they are highly trained by the most respected lactation group in the world. You can find a local group at http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html.

If you want a great book to read, I would recommend "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hillary Flowers. (http://tinyurl.com/tandemnursing) It is packed with great information, including real medical studies. It doesn't take a position one way or the other about when/if you should wean your baby, but it does provide a lot of good medical information, as well as stories from moms who have weaned during pregnancy, and stories from those who have not. Many local La Leche League groups have this book in their library, and you can check it out for free.

More likely than not, your son will wean himself during the course of your pregnancy. You will find that the taste of your milk will change, and around the 4th month it will mostly disappear. Some kids continue to nurse despite these changes. Some moms choose to wean their babies because it is uncomfortable for them to continue to nurse. I weaned both my girls while I was pregnant with the next baby. With my first, I got the creepy crawlies whenever she nursed. With my second, I had lots of pain while she was nursing. That being said, only you and your son can decide what is best for you and your son. If you do decide to wean, I would recommend doing so slowly and gently. At 15 months, he's not going to understand a lot, but talk to him anyway. I heard one mama who told her toddler that her breasts were "ouchie." When she got down to nursing only once a day, she put band-aids over her nipples and told her child that they needed a break. The child was able to understand that they were hurt. I told my girls that mama's milkies were broken, and they seemed to understand that. Whatever decision you make, you can make it without worrying about hurting your upcoming baby.

Best of luck,
S. L

I didn't read all the responses, but I did nurse while pregnant for about 2 months. (My son was 10 months old when I got pregnant, and I was committed to nursing him for a full year.) You do have to take in more calories and fluids, but it can be done. Your milk supply will likely diminish some, but with a 15 month old they are getting nutrition from other sources as well. The main thing I dealt with was that since my milk supply was lower, my son nursed more aggressively- and would leave tooth marks in the process! When I did start weaning him at a year by gradually replacing individual nursing sessions with regular cow's milk, he eased up because he was nursing more for comfort than anything. It was a bit challenging overall, but I was glad I stuck with my 1 year nursing committment with him. Good luck, and congratulations!

Hi A.,
If you nurse while pregnant it doesn't affect the baby you're carrying, but it takes a huge toll on your body-particularly your calcium levels. I've known people who had horrible teeth problems because of nursing while pregnant. Your 15 month old isn't getting any nutrients from your milk at this point anyways. They get the most nutrients from you in the first year, after that it's purely for soothing.
I hope this helps! Congratulations on your new little one on the way :)

Blessings,
J.

Hi A.--
I nursed my son until two weeks before my second was born. The only thing is you have to make sure you are getting enough water and nutrients for all three of you. The person who said your son isn't getting benefit from breast milk anymore is just plain wrong. There are still lots of benefits nutritionally and emotionally for your son. The nutrients you take in will go to you and baby first, so make sure you are eating enough and drinking enough to also make breast milk and you will be fine. As long as you are comfortable with it it's fine to continue. You may start to get sore and uncomfortable and you can reasses at that time if that happens.
Good luck!
J.

I did it with my first. My husband kept telling me it wasn't okay-he is a doctor, but not in pediatrics or ob. So most of what I had read is that it was okay. So my daughter was about 14 months when I found out I was pregnant with my second and I went ahead a breastfed for about 2 more months-slowly weening her off in those two months. It is not a problem.

Talk to the La Leche League folks in your area for information on this. Personally, I nursed my then-2-y.o. until my pregnancy with my second was twenty weeks along, at which point she self-weaned (I think my milk supply was diminishing at that point, plus, according to her, the taste had changed.) My doctor supported me in doing so. His one piece of advice was to pay careful attention to what I was eating, and to be sure that I drank water constantly. I have had several friends who also nursed through a pregnancy.

Eat a well balanced diet and increase your calorie intake by about 300 a day. Also take a mulit-vitamin and drink lots of water, and you should be okay for the next few months.

I nursed while pregnant with my second. My boys are only 16 months apart. My OB/GYN suggested that I stop though because it was taking calories away from the fetus. I nursed mornings only up until I was about 25 weeks so?? I would just ask your doctor and she was he/she suggests.

I nursed while pregnant & was fine. We found out I was pregnant with my daughter on my son's 1st birthday and I continued to nurse a few times a day until he was 15 months old. Your body will take what it needs for the new baby first, your breast milk second, and your body third. If you continue breastfeeding, you will really need to stay on top of vitamins and nutrition. You will have to eat A LOT. The new baby won't suffer, your bones and teeth will. If you aren't making rich enough breast milk (not eating enough) your son may reject your breast milk and wean himself because it will taste different.

Baby will get its nutrients, no worries there. The problem is that w/you nursing, baby in utero & you trying to help everyone combat flu season they'll be taking nutrients from you. Talk to your doc, see what you can do to boost your own nutrition & such. I don't see why with building up your vitamin & mineral levels you couldn't nurse & be pregnant at the same time.

It is fine to nurse while pregnant. I nursed my first son while I was pregnant with my second for a couple of months until I was to exhausted to continue growing a baby and feeding one. You may be alright though because it is just a night feeding and it isn't taking much from your body. My son was only 10 months when I found out I was pregnant and was feeding 3-4 times a day still, exhausting!! Just remember to drink lots of liquids and eat healty, take your vitamins too!

Congrats on the newest member to arrive into your family!

S.

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