Hey yall, its Jess again!
I know I said that I would finish the series on fur babies and children but something struck me today and I just have to write about it.
Breastfeeding has been a huge part of my everyday since I had my daughter almost 22 months ago.
Then, I got pregnant and everything was so different. I joined all the support groups because I had no idea if I had to do anything differently and I realized something– not many people knew either.
Let’s break down the biggest myth real quick:
Can you breastfeed safely while pregnant?
YES you can.
( Let me give a quick disclaimer that I am NOT a medical doctor and any information I have found is from research and the advice of my own doctors, midwives, and other medical professionals. You should still seek medical advice if you are wanting to breastfeed while pregnant to ensure it is a good option for you. )
However, if you are high-risk, at risk for preterm labor, or having uterine pain or bleeding. If you are high-risk, at risk for preterm labor, or having uterine pain or bleeding, you should seek medical advice immediately. However, if have a normal, healthy pregnancy AND you are comfortable continuing, breastfeed away mama.
Yay! Now you know you don’t have to wean your infant/toddler/child because you are pregnant. Let me share my experience with you.
I found out I was pregnant after my daughter turned 1. My husband is a straight up baby whisperer and just knows when someone is pregnant. It is freaky.
At 4 weeks, he just knew. I took a test because I wanted to prove him wrong and BAM pregnant. We were so excited for our upcoming addition and a little shocked since I had never gotten a period (FYI: It is still possible to get pregnant even if you are breastfeeding and never get a period. I have found many moms are completely stunned by that realization. I will be very honest and say that the period thing caught me off guard too). We were super ready to try for a second baby but thought we had to wait for a period before anything would stick for lack of a better term.
Well, here I am at the doctor 4 weeks pregnant, nursing my 1 year old. My doctors and nurses were not concerned which was incredibly reassuring. When I asked if it was okay to continue, I got a resounding yes from everyone.
This is all good and well but nobody told me about how HARD breastfeeding is while you’re pregnant.
I am very lucky to not have sensitive nipples so biting and most other problems mothers experience with pain while breastfeeding usually doesn’t really affect me. Basically, I feel none of those things.
BUT pregnant Jess is a whole different person and she has really sensitive nipples. Breastfeeding made my nipples feel like they were on fire every single time starting at week 8 or so.
When my daughter would bite accidentally, I wanted to cry.
I found some relief by spending time on my phone so I was focused on something else. I would read, watch movies, scroll of facebook or instagram and it was like magic.
I was exhausted building a human and sustaining another one. Still, I actually looked forward to nursing because it forced me to lay down and rest even if I wasn’t sleeping.
Also, being pregnant and nursing meant I was starving all the time. If you’re like me, you use this opportunity to eat all the delicious things because why not.
All jokes aside, I was basically a hobbit.
I had breakfast, snack, brunch, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, second dinner most days. Pretty sure my husband considered a second job just to keep me fed. It was out of control. Things settled down at the end of my second trimester but I am almost certain I just ran out of room for food.
Some women have no issues breastfeeding while pregnant, others experience awful symptoms like nausea during letdown or intense aversions that make you want to push your child off and sometimes even dislike your child. Hormones are all kinds of crazy.
The most important thing to ask yourself when you are considering continuing to nurse while pregnant is whether or not you and your nursing child are comfortable with it.
If you cannot continue, there is NO SHAME in that. Pregnancy is a difficult all by itself but with another human attached to you, it becomes extra demanding. Nursing is a relationship and both parties need to be happy with it for it to be healthy.
I have talked to a lot of women and heard many different stories about how breastfeeding was for them while they were pregnant. Everyone’s experience is different of course. This is just mine. If you’re comfortable, please share yours with us in the comments 🙂
In a couple of weeks (after finishing the series on fur babies), I will share about tandem feeding and how wild that is!
Have you nursed while pregnant? What was the most challenging part for you?