While many women who are planning to add to their families think about the challenges of tandem nursing a toddler and newborn, often they don’t realize that these challenges can start before the baby is born.
Here are 3 challenges many moms face and a few tips on to make it through them.
- Pain: Not all women experience pain when breastfeeding while pregnant. Often the pain will get better as the pregnancy progresses. For some women it continues throughout the whole pregnancy. How much pain is felt varies. It can just be a slight discomfort much like nursing a baby with bad latch, or who is teething, to extremely painful. There isn’t really anything you can do to make the pain better. Some moms find that limiting nursing to a few time a day makes it bearable.
- Low supply: There isn’t much you can do to fix low supply when pregnant. The hormones that are helping make your baby grow also lower your supply. Fenugreek is not recommended for pregnant women. In addition, most nursing teas and supplements are not OK to take while pregnant. Your child might increase the frequency with which they nurse, trying to naturally boost your supply, but as your baby grows, the levels of milk reducing hormones increase, so this is not likely to help. Many women find that they stop having any milk supply at all. However, as long as it isn’t too painful, it is possible to continue to “dry” nurse your older child. Some children will stop nursing when this happens only to start again when the new baby arrives and your milk supply returns. To help make sure you don’t inadvertently lower your supply anymore than will occur due to pregnancy hormones, avoid Sage, Peppermint, and Spearmint. All of these herbs, used to flavor food, or in teas, can have the effect of lowering milk supply.
- Taste Change: The taste of your milk can change due to the change in hormone levels. Some children wean as a result of not liking the new taste, others are not bothered by it at all. Like low supply, you can’t really do anything to change the way your milk tastes.
Have you breastfed while pregnant? Did you experience any of these challenges?