Breastfeeding during pregnancy: is it possible?
Pregnancy is a big life change. It comes with many different symptoms and changes in your body.
One of the most important ones is that your body switches from producing hormones to produce milk. At the same time, breastfeeding is one of the most cost-effective and healthiest ways to feed a baby during its first year.
So it seems like a natural next step to breastfeed during pregnancy, right? Not always! Here’s all you need to know about breastfeeding during pregnancy: how it works, what’s safe, and what isn’t.
When you’re pregnant you develop new hormones that boost your milk supply. The best known is human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), a sugar molecule found in human breast milk and milk from other mammals.
Another is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone. In pregnant women, both of these hormones are blocked by progesterone, a hormone that is released during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the breasts also produce two other types of hormones. These are oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin is a hormone that gives a woman feelings of maternal love, whereas vasopressin is a hormone that helps you stay hydrated in pregnancy.
What causes a woman’s milk to be less than usual? One of the most common causes of reduced milk supply during pregnancy is not enough progesterone.
What is milk?
Milk is the term for the liquid your body produces when your body needs to produce nutrition for your growing baby.
At the end of a long day, when you’re in a tired state, your body produces milk in order to keep your baby healthy and thriving. Milk is a naturally occurring substance in your body that helps your baby develop and stay healthy.
Your milk contains immunoglobulin, antibodies, and growth factors. As well as a nutrient for your baby, it contains antibodies, which are used to help your baby fight infections.
When your body needs to produce more milk, your body releases the hormones responsible for this, which in turn signals your brain to produce more milk.
This process happens continuously. Who is able to breastfeed during pregnancy?
Benefits of breastfeeding during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a very hard time for new mothers. The hormones of pregnancy can make their own demands on your body and make it difficult to go about your daily life without becoming exhausted and upset.
But there are a lot of potential benefits for your baby and yourself too. There are many different health benefits for your baby that come from breastfeeding during pregnancy, which can make your life easier as a first-time mother.
The first six months of life is when most babies develop a healthy sleeping pattern and have their first child-like experiences like smiling, giggling, crying, and pooing! Breastfeeding during this time helps to provide the perfect start for these milestones.
How does it work?
As you’ve probably noticed already, your body starts producing the hormones required for lactation when you’re pregnant.
According to Mumsnet, it could start up to five weeks before you actually have your baby. Once you start to breastfeed, the breastfeeding glands start to secrete milk.
The hormones help to encourage the production of milk and reduce its release so that your baby gets enough.
Breastfeeding is especially helpful for the first few days after birth because it helps to get rid of the colostrum, or the first milk, your baby has.
This milk contains lots of antibodies and nutrients that your baby needs for its first few days of life. In fact, it’s also the best way to get any colostrum into your baby.
Tips on breastfeeding during pregnancy
Breastfeeding during pregnancy is hard. When you’re first pregnant, you want to learn all about what your body is going through and how to best care for it.
But once you get a hang of the whole thing, you start to forget everything you were supposed to do. And when you’re expecting, you have some new issues to deal with like morning sickness and weight gain.
Oh, and let’s not forget the whole sleep deprivation thing. No one wants to deal with all of that alone! So why not lean on your partner, a lactation consultant, or other moms? While everyone should try breastfeeding during pregnancy if they can, there are some things that you shouldn’t do.
For instance, many moms believe that they should be “massaging” their breasts during pregnancy, which is actually harmful.
What are the risks?
Breastfeeding during pregnancy carries many risks. It’s not ideal to nurse while pregnant if you have existing health problems or are at high risk of complications.
If you already have high blood pressure, you should postpone breastfeeding if you plan to get pregnant or have a new baby. Women with diabetes or a history of low birth weight also need to be careful about breastfeeding, as they can pass on health risks to the baby. So you should talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of breastfeeding. What are the benefits? Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby.
Your body produces it just for your baby. It contains many vitamins and antibodies, and a significant amount of fat, carbohydrate, and protein.
It provides the perfect mix of nutrients to meet your baby’s needs.
Because there are some differences in each woman and because of their unique genetic make-up, your pregnancy may require different practices. Just because it’s safe to breastfeed during pregnancy doesn’t mean that every woman can.
Don’t let the fear of something happening to your baby prevent you from caring for her and taking care of yourself.
As long as your pregnancy and your baby’s health are in good shape, every single pregnancy should be an amazing one!