Absolutely! There’s no reason not to continue breastfeeding while you’re pregnant if you want to do so. Many mothers not only continue nursingduring pregnancy but also “tandem nurse” – that is, breastfeed both their newborn and their older child.You may worry that you won’t be able to eat enough to both nourish the baby growing inside and produce enough breast milk for the nursling, but our bodies are amazing and they know exactly what to do. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet – eating when you’re hungry and drinking when you’re thirsty – is all that’s needed.
Here are some other things to be aware of as you nurse during pregnancy. All of these are perfectly normal:Your nipples and breasts may be more tender during pregnancy.Your milk supply may diminish a bit.Verbal toddlers may announce that your breast milk tastes different. Why? Because toward the end of pregnancy, breast milk changes to a colostral type of milk. (Colostrum is the thick, yellowish milk your body produces while you’re pregnant and for the first few days after your baby is born.)Some moms are concerned that nipple stimulation during breastfeeding will lead to premature labor. Nipple stimulation does trigger your body’s production of the hormone oxytocin, which helps with milk letdown and also plays a role in the contractions you have during labor.
Fortunately, the amount of oxytocin released isn’t enough to stimulate labor under normal circumstances. You may have a few mild contractions occasionally, but that’s normal and nothing to worry about.
The release of oxytocin is only a concern if you’re at risk for early labor and your doctor or midwife has put you on strict bedrest, with no lovemaking or breast play allowed.
If you are one of those at risk and your healthcare provider is concerned that breast stimulation of any kind might lead to premature labor, the two of you will want to discuss your particular situation. Your provider might want you to wean until the baby is born or might encourage you to cut down on the number of feedings.