Breastfeeding is not a form of contraception. If it was we would have absolutely no reason to write a piece about breastfeeding while pregnant.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Breastfeeding is not a form of contraception.
If it was we would have absolutely no reason to write a piece about breastfeeding while pregnant
There is some truth in the fact because for a period of time breastfeeding can prevent ovulation from occurring but for many breastfeeding mums, this is short-lived.
Many women who are exclusively breastfeeding on demand have also experienced the return of their monthly period after just a couple of months. In fact, some ovulated before they even noticed a monthly period. Moral of the story – it is not contraception.
If you have recently discovered that you are pregnant and you are nursing your little one throughout the pregnancy, you might like to know what to expect. You may also be breastfeeding right now and hoping to conceive very soon without it putting an end to your current breastfeeding relationship.
Your mind may have already begun wandering to the idea of tandem nursing. It is a lot more common than you might think. If you are breastfeeding and pregnant it’s probably difficult to imagine weaning your child before the new baby comes. In fact, it might feel a little unfair if your child is young. Tandem feeding can work out really well for a lot of families and it is good to explore the idea now so that you can prepare for it in the physical and emotional ways that might be necessary for you.
Let’s look at some of the positives of breastfeeding while pregnant. It really can help you make the most of that couch or bed-bound pregnancy stage. You’ll be able to give your child the physical and emotional love and support that they crave without having to exert yourself very much. Ideal when you are feeling pregnancy nausea and fatigue.
It is important to consider the fact that weaning may be out of your hands. Even the biggest milk monsters have been known to spontaneously wean during pregnancy. It may be due to the changing positions, nipples or milk composition. Others feel it is a lack of milk. Whatever the reason – it could happen and it’s good to prepare yourself for that possibility. Weaning may also be entirely your decision. You may not have realised just how sensitive your nipples would become during pregnancy for example.
Breastfeeding during pregnancy will not have a negative impact on your otherwise healthy pregnancy. It will not affect the biological process or encourage preterm labour. So if that is where your concerns lie, forget about it, Mama, because your body has totally got this. The important thing is to ensure that breastfeeding does not interfere with your need for rest and nutrition during your pregnancy.
When it comes to morning sickness some women believe that breastfeeding during this phase had an impact. In some cases, women felt that breastfeeding made the sickness a lot better and in other cases, women believed it worsened it completely. There is no research to confirm if either is fact but there are many mothers who are adamant about the impact it had on their pregnancy sickness.
If your older child breastfeeds to sleep it may be an idea to consider introducing another approach during the pregnancy. This may help form a new pattern or routine which will make life easier when the new baby comes along and needs you during this time in the evening.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.