Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pregnant and Breastfeeding

Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. The thoughts expressed here are from my own experience and research.

When we found out we were expecting again, I was very disappointed to find out that the OB who I LOVE and have been seeing for more than 6 years, is no longer delivering. It can be hard to find a doctor who you see eye to eye with, really like and respect, still gives out her home number, and will deliver you even if she is not the doc on call. Anyway, I had to find a new doctor who so far I do like, except for one thing......her view on being pregnant and breastfeeding.

Quite honestly I mentioned that I was still nursing on my first appointment in an off-handed way, and only because it can be a factor in determining due date. I was in no way prepared for the response from the nurse, doctor, and even the ultrasound tech, that this was NOT a good thing and needed to stop nursing immediately. The doctor's reasoning is that nursing causes uterine contractions that can cause preterm labor and miscarraige. Thi surprised me so much because my previous doctor encouraged me to nurse as long as I felt comfortable even when I was pregnant. I explained politley to the new doc that I have done this 4 times before very successfully and didn't expect that this time would be any different. She firmly explained to me that she felt it was an unnecessary risk to myself and my unborn baby and encouraged me to stop immediately.

To be honest with you, I will admit that I am ready to stop nursing Lily, but not because I feel that I am hurting my unborn baby. The nausea, fatigue, and let's just call it tenderness, has me starting the weaning process. Lily, on the other hand, would probably nurse for ever. She is a comfort nurser and although is almost 18 months would probably go on nursing for much longer ( I do have a little mommy guilt over cutting her off.) I cut back on one feeding every week or so, and right now am only nursing in the middle of the night. Within the next couple of weeks she will be completely weaned.

So, are there risks to nursing while you are pregnant? The answer to that is not for the majority of women. If you are an average, healthy, women with no chronic or severely acute illnessess, who has not suffered from miscarraige or preterm labor, and are haing a normal, healthy, pregnancy, you can still coninue to nurse without risk to yourself or unborn baby. Your nursing baby is not taking any nutrients from your unborn child. You may consider trying to add some extra calories and calcium to your diet. I have nursed into my 5th month of pregnancy in the past, and I know women who choose to continue nursing throughout their pregnancy and then nurse both the infant and the toddler.

If you are nursing and pregnant, don't be immediately discouraged to stop right away because one doctor tells you to if you still want to continue. Ask the reasons why they feel that way. Do some research on your own. Get a second opinion if you don't agree, and do what you think is best for all of you.
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