So, I’m pregnant- hooray! We are very excited to add a second trooper to the clan. Baby is due early September and my toddler is almost 18 months, so s/he should arrive a few weeks before my daughter turns two.
She is still nursing throughout the night and during naptimes. So before anyone asks, yes she is still nursing, and no, I have no plan on stopping. However, I regularly attend my La Leche meetings and I knew that any of the following could happen over the 40 weeks:
1) Milk supply may decrease, which may cause baby to self-wean
2) Milk taste may change, causing baby to self-wean
3) Nursing may become extremely painful, which may cause mother to begin weaning process
4) Mother may feel “touched out”, and end nursing sessions earlier
I had read the info and was prepared, information wise. I was not emotionally prepared for my daughter unlatching, asking for water and gulping it down. That came as a big and sad surprise at around 13 weeks, and I realized my supply must have dropped. I now know to have her water ready next to me, and in the meantime, I am going to try increasing my supply however I can.
So, what has the reaction been of people who find out I’m pregnant and still nursing? It has been mixed.
Of course my La Leche ladies are all waving their breastfeeding flags and encouraging me. Both my obgyn, and my daughter’s pediatrician have been very supportive and also told me to continue throughout my pregnancy. This was wonderful, as I often hear of many doctors and obgyns that tell their patients to stop nursing immediately.
As with any motherhood issue, family, friends and even strangers all have an opinion on the matter. Comments have ranged from the truly concerned “Have you asked your doctor if it’s okay to nurse while pregnant?” to those that just assume “The baby isn’t getting and nutrients, your toddler is sucking them all out!” to the downright rude “You’re nursing and pregnant? You poor thing.”
There is no evidence that connects nursing through pregnancy to miscarriage or low birth weight. Sadly, there can be complications during any pregnancy, whether a woman is breastfeeding or not. Nursing can cause uterine contractions, which some women also experience after having sex while pregnant. Much like Braxton Hicks, these should stop after a while. For more information, visit the Kellymom page here or if you have any concerns, speak to your doctor.
My advice is that if you know someone who is pregnant and nursing, be as supportive as you can. It may not have been an easy decision, and some days may be harder than others, but your support and encouragement will probably mean a lot to her. I know it does to me.
Have you nursed through a pregnancy? Tell us about your experience.