Whether you are thinking of becoming pregnant or have recently found out you are pregnant and you’re still breastfeeding – this article is for you! There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around breastfeeding whilst pregnant so I want to help set the record straight so you can know what to expect.
Conceiving whilst breastfeeding
Many women believe you can’t fall pregnant whilst breastfeeding, although Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM) is an effective form of contraception there is strict guidance to follow, outside of *LAM is it entirely possible to fall pregnant.
*LAM – Lactational Amenorrhoea Method is using exclusive breastfeeding alongside amenorrhoea (no periods) as a birth control form. Meaning you nurse your baby at least every 4 hours in the day and 6 in the night and feed only breast milk (no solids or formula). LAM also doesn’t work if you are pumping not nursing.
If your baby is over 6 months old or periods have returned before 6 months you are no longer covered by LAM. So it’s important to remember if baby is over 6 months LAM shouldn’t be relied on or if you supplement with formula or wean early (should only be done if advised by a paediatric dietician)
Although some women find that breastfeeding does prevent ovulation from returning. If you are trying to become pregnant it is worth checking out whether you are indeed ovulating – there are various methods to do this so research and chose the best way for you.
Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM) is using exclusive breastfeeding alongside amenorrhoea (no periods) as a birth control form.
Congratulations you’re pregnant
If you have just found out you are pregnant, congratulations!! However, I am fully aware of how scary this can feel when you are still breastfeeding. So hopefully I can ease your mind.
Contrary to belief, breastfeeding whilst pregnant DOES NOT increase the risk of miscarriage. Some physical changes may occur such as tender nipples due to the rise in hormones, nausea during letdown and milk supply decreasing. Distraction and ensuring a deep latch can help with any tenderness you may feel and if your child is old enough implementing some breastfeeding manners.
Milk supply decreasing
It is common when pregnant that your milk supply naturally decreases around the 4th and 5th month of pregnancy. It may even go completely.
Some children will wean at this stage and some will dry nurse until the milk turns back to colostrum. This is important to note if your child is under 12 months as milk is still their main source of nutrition and supplementation may be required.
It is common when pregnant that your milk supply naturally decreases around the 4th and 5th month of pregnancy
Looking after yourself
As you are now pregnant as well as breastfeeding this means your body is prioritising the growing baby then the breastfed child before you, so ensuring you are eating well, staying hydrated and resting is more important to help you feel well enough. Ensure you are taking vitamins required.
It is entirely possible to breastfeed two children at once of different ages. The older child will not be taking nutrients from the newborn baby. Breasts work on supply and demand, so they’ll make enough milk for both children. Tandem feeding can also help the older sibling bond with the new baby and help them become more accepting of the new addition.
Breasts work on supply and demand, so they’ll make enough milk for both children.
Any further questions comment below.