When a woman conceives while she is still breastfeeding, several issues regarding the safety of her unborn child and her breastfeeding baby crop up in her mind. A mother is often unsure how to handle breastfeeding and pregnancy at the same time. She might wonder whether by continuing breastfeeding she will deprive her unborn child of the essential nutrients. Some women even wonder whether lactation will increase the risk of miscarriage. However, doctors suggest that breastfeeding does not entail any risk during pregnancy.
Nutrition for fetus
The growing fetus will not suffer from nutrient deficiency even when the mother continues breastfeeding while pregnant. The body of a pregnant woman is programmed to handle pregnancy even when she is nursing her baby. The major proportion of nutrients in the mother’s body will be directed to the growing fetus. However, if a pregnant woman continues breastfeeding, she should consume extra amounts of vitamin and mineral rich foods to prevent malnutrition. She might need prenatal vitamin supplements. Extra calorie intake is needed to nourish the mother and her babies depending on her for their nutrition.
Breastfeeding and miscarriage
Can breastfeeding trigger miscarriage? It has been observed that nipple sucking by the breastfeeding child could cause mild uterine contraction. Fortunately, the contraction is not forceful enough to cause miscarriage. However, if a woman has a history of miscarriage, she might consider weaning her baby when she conceives.
Breastfeeding mothers often worry whether pregnancy would adversely affect her milk production. During early pregnancy, the volume of breast milk is usually sufficient to satisfy your baby’s hunger. As pregnancy progresses the production of breast milk drops naturally. This would increase the need of weaning the baby. The content of the milk might change slightly. Your breast milk will now contain more protein and sodium and lesser glucose and lactose. The taste of the milk will change. Fortunately, change in the content and taste of the breast milk is not harmful for your baby. Your baby will easily adapt to the change.
Nursing mothers are concerned about the presence of pregnancy hormones in breast milk. Breast milk contains insignificant amount of pregnancy hormones, which in no way could harm your baby.