Breastfeeding During Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Breastfeeding during pregnancy is one of the most common topics I see come up in different breastfeeding support groups I’m in.

It’s not something I actually have experience with, and until recently, I hadn’t thought much about it! However, I’ve found that there’s no one size fits all scenario.

I was really excited when Cake Maternity reached out to ask me if they could write a post on this topic – um, of course! I love that company, and I was thrilled to have them write about something I’m not as experienced in.

I think the fact that women breastfeed during pregnancy kind of busts the myth that breastfeeding is a good form of birth control. It is not!

I hope you’ll find this as informative as I have!

Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

Breastfeeding while you are pregnant with a second child is possible, as the body will typically continue to produce milk throughout the pregnancy.

Should you decide to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy,it is recommended to first visit your health care provider and discuss your plans and medical history.

Breastfeeding while pregnant is not recommended for women who have a history of premature births or notice unusual bleeding or spotting during pregnancy.  Weaning your breastfeeding toddler or baby is suggested in some cases.

Milk supply

Your toddler or baby may notice a slow down in the milk supply mid-pregnancy.  He or she may also notice a change in consistency and taste of the milk as the body starts to produce colostrum.  Your toddler may choose at this time to wean him or herself off, which is perfectly normal.

In some cases, pregnancy hormones will cause a woman’s milk to dry up. This doesn’t happen to all women, though it’s impossible to know if it will happen to you.

Morning sickness

Breastfeeding whilst pregnant can heighten the symptoms of morning sickness
.  Keep plenty of light snacks close by.  It is advisable to eat a quick snack before breastfeeding i.e. a piece of dry toast, to help control nausea.

Read more about how to manage morning sickness

Your Breasts

During the early stages of pregnancy, most women will experience a rapid increase in breast size and experience nipple and breast tenderness.

Breastfeeding during pregnancy is not always easy and can be painful.

One way to deal with breast tenderness is to limit the length of time your toddler feeds and to top up with solids, drinks to ensure the baby gets enough milk.

Eat well

Pregnancy takes a lot of a woman’s body.  Many of the nutrients in the food you eat help in the growth and development of the unborn child.

Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories.  Continue to eat regular health food snacks to ensure you are consuming enough food to sustain a pregnancy, breastfeeding and a healthy you.

Drink plenty of water

It is very important to stay well hydrated.  Avoid sugary drinks and too much coffee or tea.

Drink plenty of water and always ensure you carry a bottle of water with you.

Before breastfeeding, it is advised to drink a large glass of water.

Clarks Condensed Recommendation: When I was pregnant, plain water made me ill. I often would use an infused water bottle to add fruits to my drink to make it more manageable! 

Growing belly

As your belly continues to grow you might find your regular feeding position is no longer comfortable.  Experiment with different feeding positions to find one that works for you and your toddler/baby.

<Newborn

It is important to ensure your newborn gets its much-needed colostrum in the first few days after being born.

Feed your newborn first to ensure he or she gets plenty of colostrum and milk.  Remember milk is the only food source for your newborn.

You could choose to feed your toddler after your newborn.  Your toddler may or may not get enough milk from the feeds.  He or she may decide to wean should this be the case.

Tandem feeding

It is possible to tandem feed, although it is not always easy.

Find a comfortable position and experiment until it feels right.

The advantage of tandem feeding is you have a lesser chance of getting mastitis, due to the breasts getting fully drained.

Ultimately breastfeeding while pregnant is a personal choice.  Women should be empowered to make their own decision and should not feel pressured to conform to societies ideals.

Author Bio

Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity!

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