There have been many instances when a woman becomes pregnant during the course of breastfeeding. There is a popular belief that breastfeeding will fully protect the woman from pregnancy. However, this is not entirely true. There are many women who become pregnant willfully to continue with the breastfeeding relationship that was developed with the baby. But still some moms have certain concerns with breastfeeding during pregnancy and we will try to unfold these.Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond
Breastfeeding during pregnancy: Is it safe?
A majority of the mothers are of the opinion that breastfeeding during pregnancy is not a safe thing at all. In fact they resort to weaning the toddler as soon as they become aware of the pregnancy. But medical experts have opined that in case of pregnancy there is no need to wean the toddler at all. Though some of your well wishers may have other opinions, be assured that breastfeeding during pregnancy is absolutely safe for the baby. There is no need to feel concerned about the well being of the unborn baby at the time of breastfeeding. There are certain facts about breastfeeding while pregnant about which you should be fully aware.
1) There will be a bit of uterine contractions when you are breastfeeding while pregnant. But these uterine contractions are very common in pregnancy. In fact many women experience such contractions even during orgasm and exercise.
2) There will be no increased risk of miscarriage during breastfeeding unless of course you are already at risk to miscarriage during pregnancy.
3) Breastfeeding in tandem is very common. There is no need to wean the baby during pregnancy. You can nurse both the babies during pregnancy and there is no risk either to the mother or the babies.
4) When you are breastfeeding during pregnancy you will need a huge amount of rest and you will feel a lot more fatigued during this period. If you are nursing both that babies then it will definitely take a toll on your body and you will feel fatigued. Adequate rest is absolutely necessary for such situations.
5) When you are breastfeeding while pregnant there is an additional need for good nutrition both for yourself and your unborn baby. You must consult a nutritionist to ensure that you are eating the proper food for your own well-being and that of the child.
6) There are many women who feel that their nipples become a lot tenderer than normal circumstances. In such cases you must try switching the nipples to get rid of any discomfort that you may feel. There is a chance that the supply of breast milk will go down considerably during the second trimester. At this point of time you may introduce supplements so that the baby gets the proper nutrition. There have been instances when the taste of the milk has changed and babies themselves decide to wean as they so not like the change in the flavor of the milk.
Evidences have proved that if a mother does decide to wean then the toddler may demand nursing again when the baby is born. In some cases they latch on like a pro but some may completely forget how to nurse properly. There are some toddlers to whom the taste may not appeal at all. If you are not a great fan of tandem breastfeeding them offer a cup of breast milk for your child to sip. There are many ways to involve the older child in a breastfeeding relation and you must do it so that he/she does not feel alienated.
What is the best course of action?
To tell you frankly, breastfeeding is a sensitive time for both the mother and the child. Many women find breastfeeding while pregnant to be highly overwhelming while others prefer to opt for the ‘general advice’ and begin weaning their babies soon after becoming pregnant. Whatever decision you make you must get the support of your near and dear ones. You may contact your peers and friends to understand how it feels at the time of breastfeeding while pregnant and what the correct way to approach the situation is. There will be many hiccups during tandem nursing and even during forced weaning of the child but if you receive proper support from your friends and family then you will face no problem at all. Always keep in mind that breastfeeding during pregnancy is absolutely safe and very much possible.