Is It Ok to Breastfeed During Pregnancy?

There has long been the warning issued to women who get pregnant while still breast feeding an older child that it is not advisable to continue breast feeding when one is pregnant. However, now according to studies it would seem that breastfeeding creates no additional risk in a normal pregnancy.

breast feedingWhile many express the apprehension that vital nutrients will not reach the fetus if the mother is breast feeding an older child, and that the risk of miscarriage or low birth weight increases, according to the La Leche League, studies do no support this. Studies have shown that there was seen to be no difference in birth weight.

There is also the apprehension that the hormone oxytocin is produced by nipple stimulation, which can contribute to preterm labor. However it has been seen that in the earlier stages of pregnancy, the uterus is not receptive to the oxytocin hormone.

It becomes more receptive to the hormone later in pregnancy and may trigger labor – if however there are no other factors involved that could cause pre-term labor, oxytocin production from breastfeeding should not induce an early delivery.

However if for whatever reason breastfeeding during pregnancy is overwhelming or causes pressure then it can be discontinued, and the mother should wean away the older baby. Also since the milk changes by the time of the second trimester, it could be that a child weans themselves off.


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