August 03, 2008,
C.P. asks from Wolcott, CT on July 25, 2008
Trying to Conceive While Nursing
Is is safe to start trying to have another baby while I'm still nursing my 13 month old. I haven't gotten my period back yet (but I rarely got it b4 the pregnancy--like 1x a year). I know nursing makes the uterus contract; will the chances of miscarriage be higher?
T.W. answers from Buffalo on July 25, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, you are NOT risking miscarriage while nursing your toddler. As long as you are not at risk for miscarriage or premature labor, nursing while pregnant is perfectly safe! A friend of mine was still nursing her toddler and switched ob's 3 times before she found one that supported her nursing while pregnant. Unfortunately even practitioners are misinformed about breastfeeding!
From Dr. Sears website: "This was a topic of debate many years ago. It used to be felt that breastfeeding while pregnant can steal important nutrients from the fetus and can increase the risk of miscarriage. Now we know that this is not true. Many research studies have demonstrated no nutritional risk to the fetus, and no increased risk of miscarriage. I encourage pregnant moms to continue to breastfeed as long as they want to.
There is, however, one situation where breastfeeding during pregnancy is NOT considered safe. For moms who have a history of miscarriages or preterm labor (labor beginning before 37 weeks gestation) with previous pregnancies, breastfeeding may increase the risk of these events occurring again. Why? Because breastfeeding releases a hormone into mom's bloodstream that can cause the uterus to contract. If a mom's uterus is especially sensitive to this hormone (i.e., if a mom has had preterm labor or miscarriages before) then breastfeeding MAY trigger the uterus to contract.
However, most women's uteruses are NOT sensitive to this breastfeeding hormone. It is therefore safe to breastfeed during pregnancy.
You should discuss this issue with your own midwife or obstetrician.
And this is from La Leche League:
Good luck Momma!
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R.R. answers from Rochester on July 26, 2008
You've gotten good advice already, and about trying to conceive, I'd suggest learning about fertility signs to help you know when your chances are optimal... a book like The Garden of Fertility or Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It would probably also give you ideas about why you weren't cycling regularly prior to pregnancy, and help you gauge your overall gynecological health.
Between my first two children my cycle came back after 13 months, and then was very irregular; but I could tell when I was fertile by my cervical mucous- its kind of the consistency of egg white when you are fertile. I took dong quai tea which is supposed to impact hormones and it had me chasing my husband around the house and then lo and behold I was pregnant. Who knows- give it a try, maybe it will work for you! And if not just enjoy your body's wisdom to not conceive if it does not feel ready.
A wise woman I know told me "We are either birthing babies or ideas". My 2nd son is now 14 months and though I am open to pregnancy, my cycle has not yet returned. I keep track of the phases of the moon because it mimics the rhythm of my cycle, to keep me "in tune" with the cyclic nature of life and seasons, and use any extra energy I am not using to build a baby, to build myself and my family spiritually.
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M.B. answers from Hartford on July 26, 2008
i have 3 children, 2 conceived while still nursing. i continued to nurse through out my pregnancy. be sure you have a great support system. your ob, your hubby, family & laleche are wonderful starting places. i have met some amazing women at laleche!
S.A. answers from Hartford on August 03, 2008
I became pregnant with my second while nursing my first (he was 17 months when I became pregnant). I also had not had my cycle return before becoming pregnant. So, now that I'm nursing my almost 8 month old, I haven't had a cycle since '05!! Woohoo!! HOpe to get pregnant again before my cycle returns simply because I'm spoiled without a cycle now... :-) ALthough I'm certainly not ready to be pregnant yet... We'll see how that goes. :-)