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Pregnancy, Breast Milk, and Supply: 5 Things You Should Know

When you are expecting, your mind will be filled with all sorts of questions and thoughts, especially if you are a first time mom. One of the things that you may not know much about is breastfeeding and how pregnancy, breast milk, and milk supply operate with one another. If you are not a first time mom, but you are pregnant and still have a nursing child, you may also have unanswered questions about how to continue your nursing relationship. This simple guide should fill you in on the basics and give you an outline of what you can expect while you are expecting.

Pregnancy, Breast Milk, and Supply: 5 Things You Should Know #nursing #baby

  1. Your breasts begin preparing for lactation as soon as you conceive.

    One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is tenderness in your breasts. Estrogen and progesterone are released as the placenta develops. This begins the process of milk production for baby! Pregnancy hormones cause your breasts to grow, milk ducts to enlarge and possibly even multiply. Your body is preparing to provide the best nutrition for your little one!

  2. Sometimes, you can leak while pregnant.

    This doesn’t happen to every woman, but it is certainly possible. It can begin as early as your second trimester and the substance that is leaked at this stage is called colostrum, your baby’s first food that is full of the appropriate nutrients and antibodies that newborns require. If you experience leakage, don’t worry. Just be prepared and have some nursing pads on hand, just in case you need them. I believe you are more prone to leakage if you are currently nursing a child.

  3. Breast milk changes flavor while pregnant.

    If you already have a little nursling, you may be wondering how you can continue that relationship throughout the duration of your pregnancy. Since the composition of the breast milk will alter (turn to colostrum) the taste will not be what your current child is accustomed to having. Sometimes children will self wean because of this, but often, they will acclimate and continue nursing as usual.

  4. Milk supply will likely lessen.

    All of the preparations that your body is making for the arrival of your new child mean that adjustments and changes will take place with your breast milk. Your supply will lessen, typically even if you are nursing quite frequently. If you have an older baby, you can just increase their solid food intake. If you have a younger baby, you may need to begin keeping an eye on their weight gain and development. As long as there are no lags in those areas, they should still be fine to continue nursing while you are pregnant.

  5. It is safe for you to continue nursing while pregnant.

    Some worry about the nipple stimulation that occurs during a nursing session triggering oxytocin that then causes contractions. Most research shows that this should not be a concern in a normal, healthy pregnancy. If you have certain circumstances that cause you to worry, you should consult your physician.

Remember that it’s always okay to contact your doctor, midwife, or a lactation consultant if you have any questions or concerns. These are some basic answers, but this list is not at all comprehensive.

What questions do you have about pregnancy, breast milk, and supply?

Dusty is a stay at home, homeschooling mother of four and has been married to the love of her life,  a Southern gentleman, for 8 years.  She is trying to find her own path in this great wide world while devouring chocolate and leaning on the Lord.  She blogs about homeschooling, homemaking, motherhood and faith at To the Moon and Back.

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