You have mastered breastfeeding your child and you find out you are pregnant again.
Do you need to wean your child? The answer is no, not unless you want to. That’s pretty vague, right?
Like many things, it’s a personal choice!
There are some things to think about whether you decide to stop breastfeeding our child, or want to continue while pregnant.
Let’s discuss the pros and cons to breastfeeding while pregnant so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
Pros and Cons to Breastfeeding While Pregnant
Maybe the most important thing to know when you are pregnant and want to continue to breastfeed, is that it is perfectly safe. Be sure to eat well and get plenty of good calories. You already know from breastfeeding that you are going to need more calories, and you already know from being pregnant that you will need additional calories as the weeks go by. Depending on how old your breastfeeding child is and if you are supplementing with solid foods, you will need about 500 and 650 extra calories, and this is in addition to the extra you need to grow your new baby.
A downside to breastfeeding while pregnant? You are (most likely) going to feel exhausted. This is not necessarily from breastfeeding, but just from being pregnant. The good news is that if you continue to breastfeed, you will be forced to sit and rest for a bit! Put your possibly puffy feet up and bond with your child in the quiet.
I know a few women who chose to continue to breastfeed and then stopped at 7 or 8 months. This is also an option! Go as long as you can. Do not feel badly if you feel the time has come to wean your child. The closer it gets to your delivery date, the more you might be thinking that breastfeeding two children at the same time (or not at the same time) might be a little much for you. If you are not ready to completely wean your child, think about just breastfeeding at night. Many women do this!
Only you know your child and how she will handle being weaned, as well as having a new little sibling. Something to think about if you decide to wean your child before the new one arrives, is how is she going to react when she sees her new baby sister or brother eating from the same place you just weaned her from? Of course you will be preparing her for this new arrival and making her feel as a part of it and comfortable as possible, but kids have a way of throwing us off our game at times.
Now for the morning sickness you might experience. That’s definitely something on our minds when we consider the pros and cons to breastfeeding while pregnant! Every pregnancy is as different as we are. I was so incredibly sick with my daughter, but didn’t experience it once with my son. Do not be alarmed if you are experiencing morning sickness, you will not be depriving your unborn baby or your breastfeeding baby of any nutrients. Our bodies are pretty amazing in that they seem to know what needs to go where; our babies get fed before we do. If you experience hyperemesis (vomiting all the time, can’t hold anything down), you do want to consult your doctor to be sure you are getting everything you need to nourish your babies.
There are endless pros to breastfeeding, even while pregnant. It may or may not be easy, but it is a choice you have as a mother. Which ever you choose, do not feel badly about your decision. Consult your friends or even other Facebook mommies out there and get their opinions and experiences on breastfeeding while pregnant and beyond.
Have you already experienced pros and cons to breastfeeding while pregnant? What did you find beneficial or what did you find difficult? Share your stories with us below in the comments section!