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Breastfeeding while pregnant and autism

(9 Posts)
BellaAnaia Sat 29-Aug-20 13:43:06

Hi everyone, I’ve previously had concerns about my son (17 months old now) possibly having ASD. We’re now thinking of trying for another baby, but I am still breastfeeding my son twice a day and would like to continue if possible.

I just wondered if anyone with an older child with ASD continued to breastfeed them during their next pregnancy, and if so, whether your new baby was also later diagnosed with ASD or not?

I haven’t found anything to show if breastfeeding while pregnant increases, decreases, or doesn’t have any impact on, the risk of the next child having ASD, so it would be great to hear your personal experience.

OP’s posts: |
1990shopefulftm Sat 29-Aug-20 14:54:30

this is purely anecdotal, but my half sister was BF for 2 years and has ASD and I was FF from the start and have dyspraxia and dyslexia so it seemingly made no difference to us and was down to genetic factors instead.
So i've decided to FF my son as the minimal benefit from it he would get for other reasons don't outweigh the cons to me being a worse parent with having no way to help with feeding and i know i won't get over the sensory aspect of it.

TwinkleStars15 Sat 29-Aug-20 14:55:54

No experience with ASD, but I am 39 weeks and have continued feeding my daughter throughout, she was 3 in June. I don’t see how breastfeeding would increase or decrease the risk of ASD in baby?
The only thing I would consider, is his your son might manage if your milk supply was affected.. Approx 75% of women experience a significant decline in their supply/drying up. How would he manage if there was no milk? Would he accept the situation? Your colostrum would come in at some point, would he like the different taste? Lots to think about, but what a great feeding journey you have been on with your son smile

Sls668 Sat 29-Aug-20 15:43:25

I have done a lot of training and research on Autism due to my job and have never seen any link between breast feeding and ASC. I’m pretty sure there is a lot of evidence to suggest that there is a genetic link with Autism so it’s not uncommon to see more than one person (or multiple people) with Autism in one family

StressedOutTFF Sat 29-Aug-20 15:46:18

I'm pregnant and breastfeeding, she may self wean when my milk supply changes but if not I plan to tandem feed. Never heard of any link to ASD and can't see how there could be one?

HelloRose Sat 29-Aug-20 21:24:52

My ds self weaned within 6 weeks of me becoming pregnant. I was gutted as I hoped to continue but I definitely felt a drop in supply from early on.

Many women do successfully breastfeed throughout pregnancy though.

Somethingsnappy Sun 30-Aug-20 00:08:41

I can't answer your question, although nothing I have ever come across would suggest that bfeeding whilst pregnant would have any impact on the baby. However, on a good note, I have heard that studies suggest that breastfeeding a baby/toddler with ASD can help them cope better with their autism in later life and improve their social interaction. I can't remember now where I found this, but worth looking up!
So you're doing a great job!

calimommy Sun 30-Aug-20 00:28:01

To date there has been no link made between breastfeeding and ASD. None. It is important to know that, as far as science is aware, nothing which you do will cause your child to have ASD. It is also not transmittable. However there has been some evidence to suggest that it is genetic and that more males than females are likely to express ASD traits.
Do what ever you feel is best for you and your son but don't feel you are causing any sort of damage x

BellaAnaia Mon 31-Aug-20 08:34:50

Thanks so much everyone! I actually hadn’t realised getting pregnant could affect milk supply so thanks for the heads up smile. I’ll see how I go, but I do feel like me and my son get the best opportunity to bond while BFing... so hopefully he’ll be ok with the change if I do get pregnant (he was alright with going down to three feeds when I went to work, so fingers crossed) - and hopefully it will also have no effect (or if anything at all, a positive effect) on the new baby.

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