Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant?

Every time I get a little bit of baby fever, I look at my daughter and the thought is immediately squashed. In all honesty, I'm not ready to share her, and I don't think she's ready to share me. Preparing to have a second child is a big deal for parents, but it can be hard on your little ones, too, especially if changes are happening like transitioning them to a big-kid bed to free up the crib. But if you're scared to wean your current child from breastfeeding, you may be wondering if you can breastfeed while you're pregnant.

Your big kid may have to free up some of their closet space for their new siblings' items, but luckily, they don't have to give up breastfeeding just yet. According to the American Pregnancy Association, breastfeeding while pregnant is absolutely safe, as long as your pregnancy is healthy and complication-free.

One major concern that a lot of moms have is worrying that there won't be enough milk for both their older child and the new baby. Depending on your current breastfeeding child's age, they may not be spending as much time on your breast as usual anyway. The Mayo Clinic does note that your milk may change while you're pregnant, altering the taste, but you don't have to worry about "running out." According to BabyCenter, while your milk supply may decrease a bit, your body will have no problem producing enough milk for both your unborn baby and your big kid.

If you're worried about breastfeeding causing contractions, you can rest easy as long as you aren't at risk for pre-term labor. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the hormone oxytocin is released during breastfeeding and can cause mild uterine contractions, but it's released in such a small amount, that it won't send you into pre-term labor. If you do experience them, you don't have to worry about the contractions harming your unborn child either.

Speaking of hormones, there's a whole lot of them during pregnancy, and La Leche League International mentions that some of them can be passed through your breastmilk to your feeding child, but they won't cause any harm.

So as long as your pregnancy is safe, you keep a healthy, nutritional diet, and drink lots of fluids, you shouldn't have any problem breastfeeding while pregnant. You may experience some mild discomforts, however, like tender nipples. According to the American Pregnancy Association, nearly 75 percent of mothers will experience sore nipples. You may also experience even more nausea thanks to the let-down of your breastmilk while you're pregnant notes La Leche League International.

Breastfeeding while pregnant, regardless of the pros and cons, is completely your choice. Do what's best for you and your family and be sure to give your healthcare provider a heads up on your plans to either wean your child or continue breastfeeding through pregnancy!