Can I Breastfeed If I'm Pregnant?

I had my daughters very close together. It wasn't exactly planned that way, but it happened nonetheless. My first daughter was just passed her first birthday when I found out about our second child and, to be honest, I was overwhelmed with the thought of having another baby. I had no plans to stop breastfeeding my first child, but when I found myself pregnant, overwhelmed and dealing with the joys of morning sickness, I asked myself questions like "what in the world am I doing?" and "can I breastfeed if I'm pregnant? Even if it's exhausting?"

According to the experts, you can indeed continue to breastfeed if you get pregnant again. In fact, many health care professionals encourage it. Today's Parent noted that if you have a history of premature births or any other issue from your last pregnancy, speaking to your OB-GYN is recommended, since breastfeeding will cause your uterus to contract which may cause rare issues for some women.

Additionally, breastfeeding while pregnant can be flat out exhausting. Your body is now caring for two humans (not including yourself, of course) and it's a lot of work. If you do decide to continue breastfeeding, be sure to make self-care a priority. La Leche League International recommends that lactating moms who are pregnant eat about 500 extra calories per day, depending on the age of your nursing baby, and to make sure your unborn baby is getting the nutrients they needs.

Today's Parent also noted that the added changes to your body during pregnancy may make your breasts more tender and nursing suddenly more painful than it was.

Despite all of the bumps in the road, many moms nurse without issue or complaint throughout their entire pregnancy, some even continuing to tandem breastfeed both of their children for many months. Like I learned when I ultimately decided to stop breastfeeding before I gave birth to my second child, doing what's best for your body and your children is what really matters, no matter what decision you make.