what happens if you get pregnant while breastfeeding
Your baby is here, it is growing and thriving and seems to grow up much too fast, and you are thinking about stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again. In many mothers, the desire for the next child awakens. Whether this wish is fulfilled while still breastfeeding varies greatly.
Sexuality during the lactation period
Freshly after birth the desire for physical closeness to his partner is usually low. One has to struggle with fatigue, possible birth injuries have to heal and the milk can drip. Many mommies fill their daily “touch memory” with the fact that they lovingly care for their baby. Thus the physical closeness to the person of the heart quickly falls victim to the new everyday life with baby.
But this does not apply to everyone. If you feel fit and healthy, the possible birth injuries have healed well and the desire is there: go ahead! However, a condom should be used during the period of menstruation. Not only for contraception but also to protect you from infections. The uterus, which is only just healing, must be protected against germs.
Due to the hormonal changes after birth and breastfeeding, you may initially become less moist than usual. This “dryness” (also: lactation amenorrhoea) frightens many mothers. But don’t worry, this too will pass as soon as the hormone levels have settled down. Until then a lubricant can be helpful.
Desire to have children while breastfeeding
May I get pregnant while breastfeeding or I must have to stop breastfeeding? Many women thinks about stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again. Meanwhile menstrual bleeding does not happen at the start of breastfeeding, numerous of females are unclear whether they can become pregnant while breastfeeding.
Many wait impatiently for their first menstrual period and consider weaning to speed up the process. Other mothers already have regular menstrual periods, but the hoped-for conception does not occur. They too wonder whether this could be due to breastfeeding and whether weaning would make it easier to get pregnant. If you want stop breastfeeding, it will be helpful for you to Making Weaning from Breastfeeding Toddler Easier for You and Baby
How long it takes to have menstrual periods after giving birth depends on several factors. As explained above, the frequency of breastfeeding plays a decisive role. There are also individual differences among women: Some become fertile again more quickly than others, even if they breastfeed equally frequently.
Breastfeeding or reducing the frequency of breastfeeding could theoretically help to bring fertility back a little earlier. Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether this measure makes sense. This is because too close a sequence between a birth and a subsequent pregnancy increases the rate of complications during the subsequent pregnancy and birth. Moreover, bringing up several small children in close succession can be particularly stressful.
A minimum break of 1 to 2 years between a birth and a subsequent pregnancy is ideal to avoid an increased complication rate.
It’s good to know that the latest research suggests that breastfeeding or lactation amenorrhoea may delay menopause. This reduces the pressure to get pregnant soon.
Once the cycle has returned, the woman can become pregnant again. Sometimes conception even occurs before the first menstrual period, if the first ovulation occurred before the first bleeding. However, the first cycles after lactation amenorrhoea are usually less fertile because the hormones are still in “imbalance”. Only from about the 3rd cycle onwards can one speak of a “normal” rule. After that, it can be assumed that the woman will reach full fertility even if she continues breastfeeding. The methods of natural family planning such as cervical mucus monitoring and hormone determination from urine can also be practiced during breastfeeding. so stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again is essential.
If a woman is undergoing hormonal fertility treatment, continued breastfeeding is generally not recommended due to the high dosage of hormones.
Signs of pregnancy during Breastfeeding
First ovulation, then menstruation – sometimes the first fertile cycle is the one that leads to another pregnancy. How do you notice this as a pregnant woman? A lack of menstruation is a sure sign of pregnancy in this case. Pregnancy tests also work during the breastfeeding period.
Many mothers also notice that their nipples become more sensitive. The milk often decreases noticeably during pregnancy. Some babies will then stop breastfeeding, others like to continue breastfeeding “dry”. Besides, there is often a ravenous hunger!
Is it dangerous to get pregnant while breastfeeding?
In principle, many studies prove that breastfeeding is safe during pregnancy and there is no need to stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again. Nevertheless, you should consult your gynecologist or midwife in advance.
Breastfeeding is often advised as a precautionary measure, for example, to protect the unborn child or the mother, or to ease the transition to not breastfeeding before the birth of a sibling. Some nursing mothers experience unusual aggression towards their breastfeeding baby or become particularly sensitive at the nipples. In many pregnancies, milk production decreases, sometimes even come to a complete standstill. Some breastfeeding babies lose interest in breastfeeding, while others very consciously demand further breastfeeding and continue to breastfeed “dry”.
If you wish to continue breastfeeding and the pregnancy is intact and proceeding smoothly, there is nothing to be said against continuing breastfeeding. If you feel the contraction, please contact your gynecologist or midwife directly.
As in the previous pregnancy, a good supply of folic acid is necessary. In consultation with the midwife or your gynecologist about stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again, you can also take other dietary supplements such as zinc or iron if necessary. Drinking enough, a healthy and balanced diet – more is usually not necessary to ensure that the fetus, nursing child and mum are well provided for.
Tandem breastfeeding after the birth of the second child
In principle, you can breastfeed a newborn immediately after birth and, as soon as you wish, your older breastfeeding child as well. Your breast milk initially adjusts itself precisely to your newborn baby. This means that your milk is particularly nutritious and full of everything your newborn baby needs. Your breastfeeding older child benefits from this, of course, and some experience a real “growth spurt”.
However, the amount of milk may only be enough for one child. The following rule, therefore, applies when tandem breastfeeding:
- First, the newborn baby can drink.
- Once his hunger has been satisfied, the older nursing child may also drink.
- Some mothers give every nursing child “his” breast, others prefer to change through. If you are unsure, it is best to discuss this with your midwife or a lactation consultant.
Typical questions and answers on stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again
Can I become pregnant while breastfeeding?
Yes. If you do not wish to become pregnant again immediately with the first cycle, you should use contraception. There are several ways to do this:
- Progestogen hormone preparations, such as the minipill
- Barrier methods, such as condoms or diaphragm
- Overall, fertility tends to be lower during the lactation period. Nevertheless, the desire to have children can come about much more quickly than expected if contraception is not used.
Can I continue breastfeeding when I am pregnant again?
As a rule, there is nothing to be said against continuing breastfeeding during pregnancy.
If you have already experienced miscarriages or are prone to violent, premature labor, it may be advisable to stop breastfeeding. Your gynecologist will discuss this directly with you. In general, however, the oxytocin released during breastfeeding only affects the uterus when the baby and mother are ready for delivery.
Stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again?
It varies how quickly mum can become pregnant again while breastfeeding. If you have been “practicing” for some time, consciously stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again than stop it during the night could increase your fertility. Sometimes a longer interval between individual breastfeeding sessions is sufficient. If it doesn’t work at all and fertility treatment is on the cards, you should stop breastfeeding first.
Breastfeeding during pregnancy – does my baby get enough nutrients?
During pregnancy, the growing fetus is first supplied with all the important nutrients. Next, it’s your baby’s turn to breastfeeding, as breast milk continues to be perfectly composed – and only then does your body ensure that you too are physically well-prepared.
As a nursing pregnant woman, you should, therefore, treat yourself to a good, balanced, and nutritious diet – and plan for breaks. Your gynecologist will discuss folic acid, zinc, iron, and other dietary supplements with you if necessary.
Can I breastfeed during pregnancy?
The second child is already on the way, but the first one has not yet been weaned? In this situation, many mothers ask themselves the question: Does the second pregnancy automatically result in weaning the first child? These tips and information can help you make a decision
Is it safe to continue breastfeeding? What should you expect?
First of all, it’s not dangerous. Here’s the explanation:
Every time you breastfeed or have an orgasm, even over a casual meal with friends, you release the hormone oxytocin.
And, yes, oxytocin indeed triggers uterine contractions… during childbirth.
But until a few hours before the onset of labor, your uterus is almost completely “numb” to oxytocin, no matter how much it receives.
For this reason, women are not given syntocinone (artificial oxytocin) for abortion. It simply does not work.
This is also the reason why there are so many “unsuccessful” birth initiations. The uterus is not ready to throw the baby out before it is time, and it simply does not listen to the command of the syntocinone infusion.
A large number of “unsuccessful” attempts at induction ultimately only means that someone wanted to get the baby out before the baby was ready and that the uterus has done its job.
As soon as the birth is about to begin, the number of oxytocin receptors (“ears”) in the uterus skyrockets.
Now the mother’s oxytocin enters the hormonal orchestra that triggers the birth.
If she now breast-feeds or has an orgasm, this event could indeed be the triggering factor for the beginning of birth. But not before.
Will breastfeeding your older child take nutrients away from the unborn child?
Few mothers do not notice a decrease in their milk volume once a new pregnancy has begun.
Your unborn child is well protected. Your body will fall back on its reserves if a shortage has to be compensated. But the first thing that happens is that your milk quantity drops to almost zero.
Some infants react to the loss of both the quantity and sweetness of milk and breastfeed themselves before their sibling is born. Others will continue to breastfeed even if there is no milk left.
But most mothers find that their bodies change in surprising ways: They no longer like to breast-feed the older child as much as before so you don’t have struggle hard for stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again.
They may have more sensitive nipples or feel real pain or an itchy tension, so they want to push the older baby off their lap.
Some mothers then decide to wean their baby. Others decide to continue. Every family is different.
If the infant is breastfeeding until the baby is born, he may stop breastfeeding because he doesn’t like all that milk… or he may quietly develop a good double chin!
There will be plenty of milk for two if he decides to continue (or start again after he stopped during pregnancy).
Mothers even find that they like to call on the baby’s help when they have what is known as “milk leakage” or milk congestion.
If your tandem breastfeeds, you may find that your children like to share your breasts and touch and caress each other while they breastfeed together and that they develop a delightful, loving relationship with each other.
Already decided to stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again?
Of course, it is also perfectly okay if you decide to wean. Reasons for this can be painful or sore nipples or a miscarriage or premature birth in the past. In the latter case, we recommend that you consult with your gynecologist about stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant again?. Or, as explained above, the child may decide of its own accord to refuse the breast.