breastfeeding and pregnancy

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by chickadee, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. chickadee

    chickadee Member

    hello there,
    my first post here! just wondering if any of you have or are breastfeeding during pregnancy? i'd love to hear other peoples' experiences. did you wean during pregnancy or continue nursing and tandem? i'm 9 weeks pregnant with a 21 month-old nurser (usually just naps and bedtime). i'm just not sure how i feel about continuing or quitting...conflicted, you know?
    thanks!
     
  2. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I nursed my first child through the pregnancy with my second child. Yeah, sure, my milk dried up and it was really uncomfortable, but I knew that she still had a very real need to nurse, even if it wasn't for the milk itself. She did cut back to only nursing once a day, right before bedtime, near the end of my second trimester (and I'll admit I did encourage her to cut back) but after the baby was born and my milk came in, she went back to nursing several times a day and really put on some weight in the process, too. Personally, I can't handle nursing them both at the same time unless it's absolutely necessary, like if both kids were upset and screaming their heads off at the same time. That's happened maybe four times, ever. I told my older child long before the baby was born that baby would need to nurse a lot, all the time, and that she would have to wait her turn to nurse until baby was done because baby doesn't get any other kinds of food to eat besides Mommy's Nummy Milk. It has worked beautifully for us, and I think it is one of the main reasons I didn't have to deal with so much sibling rivalry as my friends who forcefully weaned their children when a baby came along.
     
  3. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Most womyn have absolutely NO health problems for either themselves or the fetus or the nursling if they breastfeed while pregnant. 70% of children will wean themselves during the pregnancy, due to lack of milk, and taste change. The other 30% continue.

    Only if you have a history of of preterm labor or preterm contractions or an "incompetent cervix" (I really hate that term) should you not nurse during pregnancy, but that is only a small proportion of the population.

    It takes nothing away from the fetus, and the milk is not at all harmful for the nursling. Some kids just really continue to NEED it and if you are having healthy pregnancy, there is no reason to stop nursing.

    Blessings to you and your babies
     
  4. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

  5. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I did have a history of PTL and miscarriage, and still nursed through my second pregnancy with no problems at all. The first time nursing ever caused me any noticeable contractions was the night before my baby was born (at 40 weeks gestation). My doc and midwives had no problem with me nursing through pregnancy, but doc's nurse kept telling me I'd have to wean... I just ignored her.
     
  6. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Every mama is different. I had a type of high oxytocin system (hair trigger, mulitiple orgasm is the only benefit to this. LOL!) and a very HIGH prostaglandin level. Just touching my breasts would put me into labor, Bear and I couldn't have sex for the last months (except after 36 weeks) and I was hospitalized with every pregnancy every mama is different.

    I'm glad you had a different experience. :)
     
  7. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I was advised that nursing might cause contractions. Before 13 weeks, I knew from past experience that there was no guarantee I'd have a baby just because I had managed to get pregnant, so I chose to meet the needs of my baby that was already with us rather than traumatize her by weaning before she was ready to wean. And then after the beginning of the second trimester when nursing had not caused me any contractions, I figured it was smooth sailing from there. Doc told me the general rule of thumb is that if you are okay to have intercourse/orgasm, you are okay to nurse your baby, that orgasm is much more likely to cause contractions than nursing is.
     
  8. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    My problems were mainly after 14 weeks. Not miscarriage,(my miscarriaged were most lilely not connected to breastfeeding at all, I don't think, I wasn't even nursiong anyone during the last one) but actual dilation, thining of the cervix (I never had more than 2 cm length of cervix after 28 weeks or so, and was alway dilating) and nonstop contractions, often ending me in the hospital for Brethine treatments.

    They actually brought the baby warmer in the room a few times, and the Neonatologist was there, until we were able to slow me down to 6 contractions an hour, after 22 weeks, sometimes I was in the hospital for weeks at a time NOBODY beleived I could carry my babies to term, but I was a bed rest fanatic. I wasn't "allowed" to have orgams, or sex either. (Ejaculate is a stong prostaglandin, my worst enemy once I am pregnant.) If I did, I would contract the entire day, and a few times, sex and even self induced orgasms ended me in the ER in labor, again. Aspirin helped with the last pregnancy (potent antiprostaglandin) but you have to stop it by 34 weeks to prevent premature closing of the arterial ductus. I remember sitting and crying when the contractions started again, with Sage, thinkkng OMG, I'm even older now, I have MORE prostaglandins, I started contracting sooner, I have LESS cervix than the previosu pregnancy. HOW am I going to carry this poor baby? It was torture to think about it.

    Every mama has a different situation. I am glad you were able to nurse your older baby while you were pregnant. :) I was lucky in that both Sunshine and Moon weaned themselves almost completely before I got pregnant the next time, so there was no traumatic weaning. Lennon was long weaned by the time I got pregnant with Sage. I think I may have helped Sunshine along with the weaning, not knowing any better, but I wasn't pregnant yet. because my main problem was second trimester, and early third trimester labor.

    :)

    Yep that's right. Most mama's uteri become somewhat "immune" to their own oxytocin from breastfeeding, in the majority of cases, which is why most mamas can continue breastfeeding with NO problems. Miscarriage from nursing is even more rare than preterm labor.
     
  9. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    my miscarriages were more likely due to me having endo, and immune issues. I only had one chemical pregnancy (that I know of) while nursing and ttc, but many more prior to my first child's birth. (((((Maggie))))) I'm so sorry pregnancy was so hard on you. I so loved being pregnant, especially the first time. It was the only time in my life I was completely and totally pain-free (at least for a little while).



    I need to add, for the OP and anyone else reading this, not all children have as high a need to nurse as my oldest child, and weaning wouldn't be as traumatic for them as it would have been for her. Even when she was physically unable to get any milk from my breasts and I was pumping full time, she still had to nurse at least once a day or she became a very intensely angry baby. Lots of babies wean during pregnancy because the milk supply dries up, but not my kiddo! You just have to follow your child's lead, but not to your own detriment. Some women just cannot stand to nurse during pregnancy, their nipples become much too sensitive, and I can relate to that. I would never think poorly of anyone who chose not to nurse through pregnancy for any reason at all.
     

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