Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Breastfeeding while pregnant

When I became pregnant last year Buttercup was only 6 months old. She was just beginning to experiment with solids and we were planning on breastfeeding for at least another six months as we were doing baby-led weaning.

My first indication of being pregnant was that latching began to be uncomfortable for me and Buttercup began to increase the time she spent feeding, I think this may have been because she was working to keep my supply up.

I found great support and advice on the parenting website Rollercoaster and on, the then newly launched, Breastway site. Someone recommended the book Adventures in Tandem Feeding by La Leche League and this really helped me to believe that, yes breastfeeding while pregnant would be possible for us.

Now it hasn’t been easy all the time. We had a teething marathon at the start of the year and as she wanted to feed all night for comfort, I was pretty exhausted. I also needed to go on iron supplements this pregnancy, I hadn’t when pregnant with Buttercup, but I put that down mainly to the teething weeks.

When I was seven months pregnant and Buttercup thirteen months old my supply and her interest (and mine too, if I’m honest) dwindled and after three days without a breast feed, I realised we were weaned. It was quite emotional as I had been prepared to the whole tandem feeding thing, but such is life.

Talking to other mums who have breastfed during pregnancy, experiences vary. For some they seem to lose supply quite early in the pregnancy, for others they have an abundance that sees them through the nine months and beyond. Physically and emotionally mums and babies reactions vary from the desire to wean almost immediately (especially if the baby is older) to being quite happy to nurse away into the foreseeable future.

Whatever your choice there is an increasing amount of information and support out there.


  1. I was hoping you could give my some advice: I am nursing our 8-month old, Silas, and am 22 weeks pregnant with our second child. Nursing has continued without a hitch...until two weeks ago. I came down with the flu, my milk supply dwindled, and now Silas never seems to be satisfied. I had no intention of weaning this early, but I think my body is telling me it's in overload mode. How do I wean? Thankfully, Silas will eat anything put in front of him, but what do I substitute for breast milk? I'd prefer something other than formula. Any thoughts?

  2. Hi Tommi,
    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I had a lot of questions when pregnant and breastfeeding and found La Leche really helpful, I just telephoned a local leader (i wasn't even a member at the time) and got great advice and support. Cuidiu also have breastfeeding counsellors who would be able to advise you. www.thebreastway.com is a great place for getting expert advice as is the the breastfeeding board on www.rollercoaster.ie. And www.kellymom.com has great articles and evidence based information.
    I know of women who have continued to offer the breast even after their supply has dried up and have then gone on to tandem feed. My body told me it was time to give up but Dd was a bit older than Silas.
    I hope this has been of some help and and you get the support and advice you need.
    I would love to hear how you and Silas get on.