Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant?

Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant? - Titty City Design - Boob Bon Appétit 

Estimated read time: 11 minutes

Congrats, mama!

You’ve got a delicious lil’ bun in the oven. We’re so happy for you.

As a breastfeeding mama, you might be thinking, ‘can you breastfeed while pregnant?’ After all, you and your little milk monster are still enjoying your breastfeeding journey, and you really don’t want to stop. 

The good news is, most of the time, you don’t have to! You can keep on Boobin’! Breastfeeding while pregnant is usually perfectly compatible, as long as you feel physically and mentally up to it. 

And in this article, we’re going to look a little closer at breastfeeding during pregnancy, including the benefits, side effects, and pros and cons of breastfeeding while pregnant. Let’s get into it Breastie.

Breastfeeding While Pregnant

Whether you were planning on getting pregnant again or it’s come as a bit of a surprise, you might have a fair few questions about how your breastfeeding will affect not only your pregnancy, but your milk supply, breastfeeding little one, and your body. 

Some mamas see a new pregnancy as a reason to wean their nursing child. This is totally your decision Breast Friend. You don’t have to wean just because you’re pregnant. Most of the time, mamas-to-be can continue to breastfeed their child during their pregnancy, and even both when their new baby arrives (also known as tandem nursing).

When you find out you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about your health and history and they’ll help you make the best decision about whether to continue nursing through your pregnancy. 

Your body is amazing. Not only is it capable of growing your baby in your womb, but it can also continue to make milk for your breastfeeding child. 

    Is Breastfeeding While Pregnant Safe?

    The short answer is, usually, yes. It’s totally safe to breastfeed while pregnant. 

    There have been a ton of studies done to research if breastfeeding is harmful during pregnancy, and (for most women) it doesn’t increase the risk of miscarriage (if the breastfeeding child eats solid food in addition to breastmilk) or premature birth. Nor does it affect the birth weight of your baby.

    If you are at a higher risk of miscarriage or preterm labor, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your doctor or midwife about your wishes to continue breastfeeding while pregnant. They’ll give you solid advice about whether it’s better for you and your baby to wean. 

    There might be some situations when your health care provider recommends you wean, such as:

    • Your pregnancy is high-risk
    • You’d had miscarriages in the past
    • You have had vaginal bleeding
    • You’re carrying multiples
    • You’re not gaining enough weight
    • You went into premature labor with a previous pregnancy

    In general, if you’re healthy and have a healthy pregnancy, then you should be able to continue on your breastfeeding journey as long as you are happy to do so. 

    Benefits of Breastfeeding While Pregnant

    If you’ve found yourself in a happy and comfortable routine of nursing your child, then you might find continuing breastfeeding a benefit to your pregnancy. After all, you can take the time to sit, relax, and let your child have a feed while you put your feet (and your bump) up. 

    Your body also produces that lovely hormone oxytocin (also known as the love or feel-good hormone) when you breastfeed, which can help you relax. And because you’re such an experienced nurser, it can help reduce symptoms of engorgement, and ensure you have a plentiful supply after your new baby arrives. 

    Now, we see this as a bit of a benefit of breastfeeding while pregnant - you’ll need to consume more calories as your body is working super hard. Of course, the amount you consume should be based on factors such as your weight and activity level, and how much you’re breastfeeding. 

    In general, your body needs about 450-500 extra calories a day to make your Boobie milk. Add to that the additional calories you need for your pregnancy (about 340-450), and you’ve got a lot of extra (healthy) snacks on your plate!

    Make sure you’re enjoying healthy, nutritious food, and speak to your care provider for any advice on eating well for breastfeeding and pregnancy. 

    Now, what about some benefits for your breastfeeding child? Because Breastie, there are plenty!

    • Your babe can continue to enjoy immunity boosts and nutritional gains as they continue to nurse
    • You and your little one can enjoy extra bonding opportunities, cuddles, and snuggles, which is ideal when you’re feeling the fatigue of a new pregnancy
    • By continuing to breastfeed, your child will continue to feel safe and secure at a time when there is so much change around them

    In short, there are lots of amazing benefits of breastfeeding while pregnant. Enjoy every one of them, mama. 

    Side Effects of Breastfeeding While Pregnant

    Pregnancy can affect breastfeeding in a few different ways. Your Boobies might feel a little different. It’s super common to have sore nipples and tender Titties during pregnancy, which can make breastfeeding a little uncomfortable. 

    It’s also possible to experience a little nausea when breastfeeding while pregnant, which is triggered during letdown. This doesn’t always happen though and if it’s not causing you too much discomfort then continue nursing for as long as you like. 

    You might also find that your milk supply lessens a little bit. This usually happens around the second trimester, when your magical milk turns to liquid gold colostrum (the first milk for your newborn). But don’t worry mama. As your little one continues to breastfeed, your supply should pick up again.

    Another kinda weird side effect of breastfeeding while pregnant is the taste of your milk. It can start to taste a bit different as it changes its consistency and content in preparation for birth. Some breastfeeding children don’t notice the change, while others do. If they decide they don’t like the new taste of their milk, it might make them decide to wean. 

    Remember when we talked about oxytocin being a benefit of breastfeeding? Well, that powerful hormone is also responsible for contractions. As a result, you might experience contractions while breastfeeding. If your pregnancy is healthy then these contractions shouldn’t pose a risk of preterm labor, however, if you’re concerned then be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

    If You Decide to Stop Breastfeeding While Pregnant

    If you’ve been advised to wean, or you’re choosing to, then the best thing to do is do it slowly and gradually. It’s also a good idea to do it while you’re pregnant, so your child doesn’t have to cope with so many adjustments after your little one is born. 

    You can try weaning slowly by encouraging shorter feeds, delaying their feeds, or dropping feeds gradually. If your child is old enough to understand, you can gently explain that your Boobies are feeling a little sore, and maybe offer them healthy snacks, or supplementing with formula if they are younger, as a replacement.  

    If you find you’re struggling with weaning, speak to your lactation consultant for tips and advice. 

    Remember, weaning can bring about a lot of emotions, on top of the emotions you’re already experiencing thanks to those pregnancy hormones. Make sure you’re getting lots of support from your partner, friends, and family. Take care of yourself, mama. 

    Breastfeeding is a Personal Journey

    The bottom line Breastie is that breastfeeding while pregnant is a personal decision that can require case-by-case strategies to be successful. Although it’s your choice, it’s always best to speak to your doctor or lactation consultant before continuing with breastfeeding. They can also help you with your diet and calorie intake, and any help you might need to wean your child off breastmilk if you choose to stop breastfeeding.

    The only time it’s recommended that a mama should stop nursing is if she has high-risk factors. If you aren’t high-risk and have spoken to your doctor about your desire to continue breastfeeding, then it’s your body, your choice.

    Ignore any outside pressure from friends and family, and listen to your body and the advice of your doctor. Breastfeeding is a very personal journey. It’s your journey. And we’re here to support you every step of the way.  

     

    At Titty City Design, we believe that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. We are a female-owned and operated, small business here to spread self-love and body positivity with our line of boob apparel, boob accessories, and boob-themed decor and products for the home. A portion of our proceeds goes to help support postpartum people and breast cancer patients.

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