Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
If you become pregnant while breastfeeding, it is usually safe to continue nursing if you want to – it is a personal decision.
There isn’t any evidence to suggest that breastfeeding during normal pregnancy is harmful or that it can cause early labour. Research also shows that breastfeeding during normal pregnancy does not affect a baby’s birth weight. If you are pregnant with multiples or are considered high-risk for preterm labour, discuss this with your LMC to make an informed decision about whether breastfeeding through pregnancy is an option for you.
Due to hormonal changes, many breastfeeding people experience a drop in milk supply from around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy but sometimes this occurs earlier. Some toddlers report a change in the taste of the breast milk during pregnancy which may prompt them to reduce the frequency of their feeds or wean entirely. There will also be a change in the composition of your milk during pregnancy, as your body begins to produce colostrum for your new baby. If you continue breastfeeding throughout your pregnancy, you may choose to feed both your toddler and newborn after birth. This is called ‘tandem feeding’.
Aversions and Agitation
During pregnancy, some breastfeeding people will encounter breastfeeding aversions and agitation (BAA) which can be an unexpected and upsetting experience. BAA presents negative emotions – such as anger, stress, rage or irritability – while a child is latched on and feeding at the breast. Some people may choose to wean as a result of these feelings, while others find that setting limits and boundaries with feeding, implementing better self-care (increased sleep, well-balanced diet and sufficient hydration), and taking supplements, like magnesium, can help ease the intensity of the aversions. If you are experiencing aversions and want to continue breastfeeding, seek support from a lactation consultant or join a private peer support group such as Pregnant and Tandem Breastfeeders Australia & NZ on Facebook.