Sometimes a mother may get pregnant when she is breastfeeding. This can be an accidental or a planned pregnancy. In either situation, she is not required to stop breastfeeding, just because she is pregnant.
Research indicates that 74%of breastfeeding women experience nipple pain while breastfeeding during subsequent pregnancies. In fact, this sudden onset of nipple pain may be a pointer towards possible pregnancy. This pain is due to the hormonal changes in her body due the new pregnancy.
Mothers can continue breastfeeding their baby, so far as the the little one is comfortable. The breast milk supply is not much affected during the first trimester of pregnancy. But during the second trimester, the breast milk production usually declines and this may make the baby fussy on the breast. Mothers may continue to nurse even in their third trimester; provided they themselves are comfortable .The position of the nursing baby needs to be adjusted to accommodate their growing tummy.
There is no evidence to support the claim that uterine contractions during breastfeeding can increase the risk of preterm labour. However, if the mother has a history of repeated miscarriage, then to be on a safer side, the healthcare professional may recommend weaning. Mothers need to maintain an extremely healthy diet to provide the required nourishment to the growing foetus as well as the nursing baby.
After the birth of the baby, they can still continue to nurse both, the newborn and the elder child. This is referred to as TANDEM NURSING.
With the birth of the new baby, the milk will begin as colostrum and progress to mature milk. This is not harmful to the older children, although their bowel movements may temporarily appear loose, like that of a newborn. They may also react to the change in the taste and the consistency of milk. There will be sufficient milk for both children. But the newborn should be fed before the older child so as to ensure that the newborn gets adequate milk.
Thus TANDEM NURSING may help the older child to adjust with the new change in the family and also helps to reduce sibling rivalry.