Many mothers are faced with the dilemma of whether they should continue breastfeeding upon discovering that they are pregnant again. Whether it is a planned pregnancy or not, the upcoming arrival of another baby will undoubtedly throw a spanner in the works and tough decisions have to sometimes be made. There is no reason to give up breastfeeding during pregnancy unless your 0bstetrician-gynecologist says so. Just as important as your doctor’s advice is your own opinion on the matter provided that you have taken your breastfeeding baby’s welfare into account.
Pregnant Breastfeeding and Uterine Contractions
There are many myths circulating about the safety of breastfeeding during pregnancy. However, it is important to first understand the facts. One of the common points is that pregnant breastfeeding can lead to uterine contractions and jeopardize the current pregnancy. This is largely untrue. Breastfeeding does cause the release of the hormone oxytocin which can induce labor. But the quantity released with breastfeeding is usually too low to be a problem. It might stimulate some uterine contraction but not sufficient to cause preterm birth.
There are instances where even this small amount of oxytocin and the subsequent uterine contractions are just not advisable. It may be in rare instances where there are complications with the pregnancy and your OB-GYN may feel that it should be avoided, particularly very early or late in the pregnancy. It is always advisable to get the advice of a medical professional and to consult with a lactation consultant of your doctor’s choice. Get the facts about whether it is safe or not.
However, in the vast majority of cases breastfeeding during pregnancy is not a problem. Read up more on when to stop breastfeeding.
Sensitive Nipples and Insufficient Milk for the Next Baby
Despite the relative safety of breastfeeding during pregnancy, there are times where it is not desirable for the mother. The breast sensitivity during pregnancy can make breastfeeding a horrendous experience especially in the baby has teeth and and is a biter. At this point it may be advisable for the mother to minimize the discomfort and pain and stop breastfeeding altogether. Fortunately with current electric breast pumps, mothers have the option of extracting enough sufficient breast milk within a short period of time to sustain the baby.
There are also concerns on the part of the mother that the breast milk may be insufficient for two infants once the other baby is born. This is a valid concern. Some mothers do have a difficulty producing sufficient breast milk for even one baby and the demand on the mother’s time, sleep and body with breastfeeding two babies can also be stressful. It these cases it is best to wean the older baby off the breast well before the next baby is born. Suddenly stopping breastfeeding after birth can be emotionally taxing on the older infant who is also dealing with the arrival of a new sibling.
Remember that it is best to speak to a doctor or registered lactation consultant about any concerns rather the depending solely on the advice of family and friends, or opinions by unknown sources on the internet.