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Breastfeeding during pregnancy

After birth, breast milk is the most natural and best possible nutrition for babies because it is exactly tailored to their requirements. If you become pregnant while breastfeeding, you can safely carry on breastfeeding the older child in most cases. Nonetheless, it's advisable to be aware of some aspects.

Medical restrictions
In some cases it is not advisable to continue breastfeeding during a new pregnancy. You should stop breastfeeding if you experience:

  • Severe pain in the womb
  • Bleeding
  • Weakness of the cervix
  • Risk of premature birth
  • Weight loss

Slight contractions of the womb may also occur during breastfeeding, because the hormone oxytocin which triggers them is released not only during pregnancy but also during breastfeeding. It is responsible for letting the milk down in the breast and also for kick-starting labour. However, contractions of the womb usually pose no risk to the unborn child since only minute quantities of the hormone are released during breastfeeding.

Further challenges
In the later stages of the pregnancy the positioning of the nursing child can become problematic. The child may be unable to reach the nipple easily because of the mother's bigger tummy. Breastfeeding in the side position is especially helpful here as the child can be positioned directly at breast level.

Towards the end of pregnancy it may become difficult to breastfeed as the mother's body changes once again in preparation for the birth of the new child. Some mothers also experience sore nipples or severe pain which can make breastfeeding unbearable.

Most breastfeeding children wean themselves shortly before their sibling is born. This happens because the taste of the breast milk changes, less milk is being produced, and the mother is probably suffering from sore and sensitive nipples. Many mothers therefore start expressing milk at the beginning of a new pregnancy so that the baby can be fed breast milk until their sibling is born.

SWICA supports the breastfeeding campaign 2015. For more information, visit: www.stillkampagne.ch (only in German).

 

22.06.2015


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