Pregnant AND Breastfeeding?

What happens if you get pregnant while breastfeeding? As with anything else, the options depend on your unique situation…

Is the pregnancy low risk? Generally breastfeeding during pregnancy is considered safe if the pregnancy is considered low risk and you’re cleared for sexual activity. (The release of hormones during sex is similar to those involved in lactation. If one is fine, generally so is the other.)

How old is the nursing baby? Many moms experience a drop in milk supply when pregnant. If baby is much younger than a year in age, you will need to supplement (but not necessarily wean) if your supply drops.

Does pregnancy make your nipples tender? If not or if only mildly, this may not be a factor. If you’re in real pain, you may choose to wean.

What do you want to do? Some moms choose to wean upon finding they’re pregnant, some don’t. If the pregnancy is low risk, you’re comfortable and you want to continue, go ahead (keep an eye on supply for younger babies). If you want to wean, do so using the usual weaning guidelines.

As always, if you’re breastfeeding during pregnancy discuss this with your health care providers.

And for a great reference, we recommend Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower. It’s an A to Z guide for moms breastfeeding during pregnancy.

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