• Bea Christie

Nursing Through Pregnancy

When i found out i was pregnant for the second time i didn't go through the same thought process as i did with my first pregnancy. I didn't worry about finding the perfect cot or how my body was going to look after a whole little human lived inside. I worried about my first born, Willow. I questioned what would happen to our nursing relationship. When i took my pregnancy test willow was only 1 1/2 and no where near ready to wean from my milk.

I didn't know the facts about nursing through a pregnancy so i took time to do some research and the rest happened naturally.

Helpful tips for easier nursing whilst pregnant

  • Stay hydrated. Get as much fluid into your body as you can. WHO recommends you drink 3 litres of water whilst pregnant, if you're struggling with this amount you can replace some with other drinks such as pure fruit juices.

  • Add more calories to your diet. Whilst pregnant its recommended to increase your calorie intake by 350-450 calories daily. Whilst nursing its recommended to further increase your calorie intake by 500-600 daily.

  • Prepare yourself for nipple pain. Breast/chest pain is a common symptom of pregnancy, this doest change just because you have continued to nurse.

  • Reach out to others in your community who have gone through or are going through the same things as you.

  • Rest as often as you can. I know this can be hard when you've got to care for an older child but take advantage of any opportunity.

  • Use distractions if you experience aversion.

Milk Production

Your milk will change throughout your pregnancy, and most people will experience their milk completely dry up. This is due to hormonal changes, so sadly pumping and frequent nursing wont up your supply. Depending on your child's age you may need to think about alternative milk.

Your child may continue to nurse regardless of milk production, as we know nursing is about more than milk. Dry nursing is very common and has no evidence of negative impacts on pregnancy.

The amount your child nurses during your pregnancy does not impact the amount of colostrum or mature milk you will produce after you give birth.

Negative comments

Nursing whilst pregnant is a personal choice and isn't for everyone. A lot of people don't understand it, or even know it exists. It can come with a lot of unwelcome negative comments, in my experience even from health care providers. This is why it's important to normalise nursing, nursing whilst pregnant and tandem nursing.

Check for any local or online groups with support available to you.

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