You’re pregnant again. Congratulations! You know the benefits of breastfeeding, so you’re still breastfeeding your first baby. But you’re unsure. Is it okay to be breastfeeding while pregnant?
The experts say it is generally safe to do so. Your body is a powerhouse. It will continue producing enough milk to nourish your older baby, while your unborn baby will get all the nutrients he/she need from your body. However, here’s what you need to know if you decide to breastfeed while pregnant.
Check With Your Doctor
Breastfeeding does trigger mild contractions. These mild contractions are generally safe in uncomplicated pregnancies. However, check with your doctor or midwife if:
- you are at risk of preterm labor,
- if you’ve had a miscarriage or a preterm baby in the past,
- if you’ve been advised not to have sex,
- if you are having bleeding or uterine pain, or
- if you’re pregnant with multiples.
Your Milk Supply May Decrease
Your breastmilk will still provide your older child with the nutrients he/she needs. However, chances are you will be producing less milk as your pregnancy progresses.
If your older child is under 1 year old when you fall pregnant, be sure to watch his/her weight carefully to ensure your child is gaining enough weight. It may be necessary for you to introduce extra feeds if your older child is still relying on breastmilk for their nutrition.
Your Breastmilk May Taste Different
As your pregnancy progresses, the content of your milk will change too. You will start to produce colostrum, and it might taste different. Your toddler might not like the new taste anymore, and he/she might decide to wean themselves at some point during your pregnancy. This could be as early as the 5-month mark.
If your older child persists, do keep in mind that colostrum is a natural laxative. Therefore, your older child’s poop might be more liquid than normal. This is nothing to worry about.
Your Breasts May Be Tender
Being pregnant can make your breasts sensitive, but breastfeeding while pregnant can make them sore and your nipples tender.
You May Experience Worse Morning Sickness
Whether you are breastfeeding while pregnant, or not, you will be tired, and you may experience morning sickness. However, this may get worse if you are breastfeeding while pregnant. This is due to pregnancy hormones. If you’re lucky, they may clear up after the first trimester.
Nursing moms have to drink enough water to maintain their milk supply. Pregnant women too have to stay hydrated to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Your body now has to do both those things, so it’s absolutely essential that you make a conscious effort to stay hydrated. Better yet, keep a bottle of water close to you to keep you on track.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
This is not your first pregnancy, so you probably already know what to do when you find out you’re pregnant. Great, but you’ve probably got a lot on your mind and you may forget to take that prenatal.
Despite the fact that you are breastfeeding too, you won’t need to take any extra supplements—your body being the powerhouse that it is will adjust to making breastmilk and nourishing your unborn baby at the same time.
Look After Yourself
You’ve got one little human relying on you, and another on the way. Look after yourself by eating well and getting plenty of rest.
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