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Breastfeeding during pregnancy- How safe is it?

(19 Posts)
joymaker Sat 04-Jun-11 22:46:32

My DP and I are thinking about ttc again however I have a DS who is 13 months that I am still bfeeding on demand. Though he is obviously Bfeeding far less than in the first six months, how much of a risk is there of miscarriage or premature delivery?

mairik1 Sat 04-Jun-11 23:08:32

I fell preganant when Ds was 10months i continued to BF him for another 6 months when he weaned, it was a bit painful and there was a drop in my milk supply but I never had any issues with the pregnancy it was perfectly safe. I know several women who have fed right through preganacy and then go onto tadem feed.

Good luck

DitaVonCheese Sat 04-Jun-11 23:30:04

Fine according to Kellymom smile :

"This is a common worry, but it does not appear to have a strong foundation. A recent review of research on the pregnant uterus reveals that there is actually no theoretical basis for the common concern that breastfeeding can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor in healthy pregnancies. Instead the uterus has many safeguards preventing a strong reaction to the oxytocin that breastfeeding releases."


My understanding is that bfing can impede implantation so you may find it harder to conceive/may have very early or "chemical" pregnancies (anecdotally this was true for me) but one implanted there doesn't seem to be a risk afaik.

Good luck smile

confuddledDOTcom Sun 05-Jun-11 00:06:23

I'm tandeming 3! All were premature but not related in fact only had support with it from HCPs. I've always been told if you're not on pelvic rest - banned from sex - during the pregnancy and it's not causing you pain (you will get BH but it shouldn't last beyond the feed) then there's no problem continuing.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 05-Jun-11 00:08:29

Oh and I found it helpful last time that I had a very effective engorgement reliever and they bonded over the boob!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sun 05-Jun-11 07:50:26

hi joymaker, i'm 22wks pg and being ds15m. As others have said it's perfectly safe unless on pelvic rest but even the evidence for stopping then is questionable. Infact there is some evidence that bf lessens morning sickness. Bonus!

There is a bf while pg thread you can look at to get an idea of how others find it.

There is also a really great book called "adventures in tandem nursing, bf through pg and beyond" which is really informative. Get it from the le leche league site where it's cheapest.

Good luck!

EauRouge Sun 05-Jun-11 09:20:01

Yes, I was going to recommend that book too grin Here is a link.

I definitely found that BF lessened morning sickness, I was sick as a dog with DD1 and hardly at all with DD2 (although it could just have been like that anyway, who knows). I also found that tandeming has helped DD1 adjust to being a big sister.

There are no risks unless you have a high risk pregnancy so let your MW know you are BF just in case. I did get quite strong BH towards the end that were a bit uncomfortable, possibly due to the toddler bouncing around on me, but no pain or supply problems.

WoTmania Sun 05-Jun-11 09:32:35

EauRouge - that was probably juts the different pg - I founf both times I was nursing during pregnancy that first thing in the morning I was very sick if I hadn't eaten anything before nursing. However, I'm very very sick during pg anyway.
Asto your concerns OP - like everyone esle has said, unless there are specific concerns it's fine to BF throguhout a pg.

joymaker Sun 05-Jun-11 13:47:59

Thank you all so much for your replies and to DitaVonCheese, MoonFaceMamaaaaargh and EauRouge for the helpful links.

I should have mentioned that I think I'm more concerned than I would be because I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks in 2008 before my DS was born (2010) and wonder if it means it is more unsafe for me, and to what degree?, as opposed to a woman who hasn't had a miscarriage (I have only heard or read somewhere that it is apparently more dangerous for women who have had more than one or recurrent miscarriages but not sure if this has any medical grounding anyway???).

I know that I should probably talk to my GP about this but fear she may dissuade me from continuing to Bfeed my son because of my concerns, on the usual grounds that it is now 'not necessary'.

EauRouge Sun 05-Jun-11 14:11:19

Sorry to hear about your miscarriage sad I would guess that it's still safe to BF but if you want to put your mind at rest then it's a good idea to talk about it, you don't want to be stressing about it if you are still BF when you get pregnant. Perhaps your GP could get you an appointment with a midwife if you want to talk to someone with a bit more expertise in that area? Or is there a LLL group nearby you could go to?

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sun 05-Jun-11 16:39:59

Joymaker, sorry to hear about your mc. I too had one prior to having ds, and in all my reading on the subject I have not had any reason to think that I was at an elevated risk of mc if bf while pg. I haven't mentioned it to my mw, but tbh i think after the research I have done i am possibly better informed on this particular matter than the average mw! wink

If it puts your mind at rest a little I do recall reading that while the odds of mc are higher if you have had an mc in the previous pg, once you have had a full term pg the chances return to those of a woman who has not had an mc...if that makes sense...

My mind was greatly put at rest by reading "Adventures..." in particular it's explaination of why oxcytocin, produced when bf or orgasm, and previously thought to induce contractions in the womb resulting in mc or early labour, can not in fact do too few oxcytocin receptors are present, and they are inactive. When labour becomes immanent, ie, full term, they increase in number and are "switched on" cut a long story short!

I can understand your reluctance to speak to your gp...would some one from lll/nct be able to put your mind at rest? ie a bf specialist?

MmeBlueberry Sun 05-Jun-11 16:41:54

I bf through all my pregnancies after the first and didn't have any problems. I can't see why there would be a miscarriage risk.

joymaker Sun 05-Jun-11 19:12:00

Thanks EauRouge and MoonFaceMamaaaaargh That's a good idea. There is a LLL relatively near me that meets once a month, a friend of mine attends it, I think I will go with her this month. Even if I do feel I should wean afterwards, (hope it won't come to that) they will be able to tell me the best way to go about it.

Thanks you all for sharing your experiences and your have made me feel a whole lot

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh so glad to hear that everthing is going very well with bfding and pregnancy, all the very best.

Maternelle Sun 05-Jun-11 19:36:22

It took us 4 years to conceive DD and a AI, and I got pregnant again (naturally) when she was 9-month old and was BF. I went on to breastfeed her for another 5 months.

DitaVonCheese Sun 05-Jun-11 22:38:26

Tbh I wouldn't ask a GP anything about breastfeeding - and I speak as someone who has several GPs in the family! If you have concerns then I would call someone like the NCT or LLL who have indepth knowledge of bfing. A GP is likely to tell you to stop just because they don't consider it "necessary" ime.

(NCT bf counsellors train for around 3 years before qualifying - GPs have barely any knowledge of bfing at all in my personal experience. My dad, who is a retired GP, told me that he didn't see what there was to know about bfing that you couldn't learn in an afternoon hmm)

Icoulddoitbetter Sun 05-Jun-11 22:53:38

My GP was freaked out that I was still bf when I got pg. He said "you can't do that!" but then admitted there was no reason why not...

I had bleeding in the first three months, and was told not to have sex. At the time I didn't even consider the bf issue. I then spoke to my mw about it who said there was no reason why I should stop, so I haven't (and haven't had any futher bleeds for about 7 weeks, so fingers crossed).

It does hurt now when DS feeds, though thankfully on some days he only does it once. At the moment it seems to be working well for us, and it he doesn't self-wean in the next few months then I'll give tandem feeding a go.

Good luck!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Mon 06-Jun-11 09:08:27

thanks joymaker and best wishes for ttc etc if you decide to go ahead. smile

Good luck too to icoulddoitbetter. smile

confuddledDOTcom Mon 06-Jun-11 14:07:43

I replied yesterday and it must have got lost.

I've been pregnant 5 times and had an 8 week miscarriage, 20 week live birth, a 31 weeker, a 35 weeker and just had a 34 weeker. Nursing through pregnancy has never been an issue to me, caused me problems, despite their gestations as it is the way my body works that made me deliver early. I've still had nothing but support from the professionals who knew.

joymaker Mon 06-Jun-11 22:20:02

Yes good luck icoulddoitbetter and thanks MoonFaceMamaaaaargh, confuddledDOTcom I'm glad you got the support you deserved smile

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