Can I breastfeed during pregnancy?

Updated on: Dec 11, 2019

Yes, it is possible to breastfeed a child during pregnancy if the mother is healthy and not at risk of preterm delivery.  

The risks of breastfeeding during pregnancy to the fetus appear to be minimal if the mother is healthy and the pregnancy is without complications. For more information about the risks of breastfeeding during pregnancy, click here.  There has been no reported impact of breastfeeding on the birth weight of the newborn, apart from in a population of women who were already largely malnourished. 

The nursing child will be most affected by breastfeeding during pregnancy, since milk production and taste vary according to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. In the fourth month of pregnancy, breast milk production can decrease significantly. Breast milk becomes insufficient for the nursing child, who must be supplemented with another type of milk adapted to their age. Therefore, it is important to monitor the child’s growth. For more information, see the following article. 

It is recommended to consult your doctor to make sure that breastfeeding is not contraindicated. Certain medical conditions may require weaning of the breastfed child: 

  • Risk of premature birth  
  • Previous history(s) of preterm labor and/or birth 
  • Previous history(s) of miscarriage 
  • Vaginal bleeding 
  • Incompetent cervix 
  • Multiple pregnancy 
  • No sexual relations due to risk of contractions 

All in all, for the majority of women, it is possible to continue breastfeeding their child, especially since breastfeeding offers nutritional and immunological benefits that commercial infant formulas do not. The decision to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy is up to the mother. It should be noted that both pregnancy and breastfeeding are energy demanding for the mother. Fatigue is often felt from the latter. It is important that the mother eat adequately and sufficiently. To learn more, click here. 

Références

Allard, M. et Desrochers, A. (2010). Bien vivre l'allaitement. Montréal : Éditions Hurtubise HMH. Ishii, H. (2009). Does breastfeeding induce spontaneous abortion? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. 45(5), 864-868.



Cetin, I., Assandro, P., Massari, M., Sagone, A., Gennaretti, R.,
 Donzelli, G., …Davanzo, R. (2014). Breastfeeding during Pregnancy : 
Position Paper of the Italian Society of Perinatal Medicine and the Task Force on Breastfeeding, Ministry of Health, Italy. Journal of Human Lactation, 30 (1), 20-27.



Ishii, H. (2009). Does breastfeeding induce spontaneous abortion? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. 45(5), 864-868.



Mohrbacher, N. et Stock, J. (2003). The breastfeeding answer book (3e éd). Schaumburg, Illinois: La Leche League International.



Moscone, S. et Moore, J. (1993). Breastfeeding during pregnancy. Journal of Human Lactation, 9(2), 83-88.



Shaaban OM, Abbas AM, Abdel Hafiz HA, Abdelrahman AS, Rashwan M, Othman ER. (2015). Effect of pregnancy-lactation overlap on the current pregnancy outcome in women with substandard nutrition: a prospective cohort study. Facts Views Vis Obgyn, 7(4), 213-221.



Wambach, K. et Riordan, J. (2016). Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (5e éd.). Jones and Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury.  



 
Ressources

Australian Breastfeeding Association. (2006). Breastfeeding through Pregnancy and Beyond.



 

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