Breastfeeding While Pregnant – What You Need To Know

Finding out you are pregnant doesn’t mean you must stop breastfeeding your toddler. Breastfeeding while pregnant is normal for many mothers who chose to continue breastfeeding throughout their pregnancy, while others decide to wean.

If you have recently discovered that you are pregnant while you’re still breastfeeding, it’s very likely that you’ve already asked yourself at least one of these questions:

  • Is breastfeeding while pregnant dangerous?
  • Can I still breastfeed my baby while pregnant?
  • Will breastfeeding affect the growth of your unborn baby?
  • Will breastfeeding interfere with the pregnancy in some way?
  • Will I have enough milk for my older child?

Hopefully, the following information may provide you with some guidance and help you form your opinion or even aid your decision making.



Some women do breastfeed throughout a pregnancy, and there is no evidence that this is harmful to the fetus. But in theory the hormone oxytocin, which is stimulated by breastfeeding, might stimulate uterine contractions, possibly causing miscarriage. Most experts say that the uterus is not receptive to stimulation by oxytocin until 24-weeks, and the oxytocin present is not considered to be enough to cause problems. But If you have a premature labor before, a history of miscarriage or unusual uterine contractions or some bleeding while feeding it might be wise to stop.

If you are keen to continue at the moment, there is no reason why you should not do so. But do keep in mind however, that breastfeeding while pregnant won’t necessarily be a walk in the park. For one thing pregnancy (especially during the first and third trimesters) is an arduous endeavor. Pair that with the toll milk production takes on your body (and energy level) and you could have a recipe for sheer exhaustion. For another, the combination of nipple sensitivity in early pregnancy and nursing a hungry baby can be a painful one. Women who are breastfeeding while pregnant often find their milk supply decreases around the fourth or fifth month. If your breastfeeding baby is less than a year old, watch his weight gain to be sure he is getting enough to eat. It’s also not uncommon for the flavor of your milk to change. These changes may prompt some older toddlers to nurse less often or to wean entirely.


When the new baby is born your milk will change to that ideal for a newborn and your newborn will need this milk. While women in other societies often feed more than one child at a time, this is probably less than ideal for the newborn. When a breast feeding mother is first pregnant her nipples may become tender, the supply of milk may diminish, and there may be a change in the taste of the milk such that the baby may be reluctant to feed. The second is usually a transient problem. Some women find it too tiring to feed during pregnancy, and if this is the case or you just feel it’s time to stop, then it’s probably time to begin the weaning process.

You have plenty of time to wean your child by gradually reducing the feeds in preparation for stopping. Children who are still breastfeeding at age 2-3 years old rarely choose to stop feeding until they are of school age (3-4). If your child does not stop in next six months you will need to initiate this. Most mothers worry endlessly about the process of stopping and about the way their child will react. In fact, although there may be some tears and tantrums, most children cope with the change remarkably well, and move on quickly. Distraction and treats help this process.