Breastfeeding during pregnancy: Is it safe?

Breastfeeling during pregnancy

Even when you are pregnant, your body will continue making milk. So, you will be able to breastfeed your first child even when you are carrying another. And once you give birth, you can tandem feed (feed both), if you wish.

Please note that breastfeeding during pregnancy is ok only if cleared by your doctor and if your pregnancy is progressing well. And now it is more important than ever to make sure that your body is getting more than enough nutrients. However, if you can’t keep down enough food during the initial days of pregnancy, just eat whatever you can get in.

One of the side effects of pregnancy is sore nipples. And this might be a bother if you are breastfeeding also. One thing that might help you cope is the release of Oxytocin (the happy hormone) that your brain releases when your breast milk lets down. This is the hormone that makes you feel all happy and content when you feed your baby. And this may help you cope a fair bit with the sore nipples.

When is it risky to continue breastfeeding while pregnant?

Some of the instances where it is risky to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy include:

  • you had a premature birth/labour before
  • you had a miscarriage
  • you had some bleeding/spotting during pregnancy

However, 4-5 months into your pregnancy, your breast milk starts turning into colostrum in preparation to feed your second baby. This is vital, rich, super-nourishing pre-milk that your new baby needs soon after birth.

Your first baby will most likely notice the difference because your breast milk now tastes different. And the consistency will change. It is possible that at this point, he himself may choose to wean because he doesn’t like what he’s tasting. In this case (baby-led weaning), go with it and start supplementing your first born’s milk needs with formula or cow’s milk depending on how old he is. Your colostrum will come in handy for baby#2.

If your baby is under 1 and he chooses to continue to breastfeed, make sure his weight is still adding up. Remember that in this situation, there is no right or wrong. It is a personal decision. Choosing to wean, tandem feed or carry on feeding while pregnant is a personal choice based on how everything is working for you. And don’t let anyone guilt you into any one decision.