Bump Squad mama Kayawna on the challenges of breastfeeding during her pregnancy.
When people hear that I’m breastfeeding my 25-month-old son while being 6 months pregnant, their first reaction is “Wow, doesn’t that take away from the baby that’s growing inside you?” or “You’re patient, I don’t see how you’re doing that”.
To answer the first question, "No", it does not take away from the baby growing inside me. Our bodies are more intricate than we realize. Baby is receiving all the nutrition it needs from my placenta. Secondly, it indeed takes patience to be nursing my son on-demand while being pregnant and at times becomes unbearable. I say this because in the first month or so it was good, but my nipples started to become more tender as the weeks progressed. I was in far too deep, it seemed. Thinking to myself, maybe my son will self wean, can’t he taste the difference in my milk because of my hormones changing or that mommy is in complete pain every time he nurses? But nope, he’s just as happy and jolly as can be. I just want to say that this second trimester has been good to me besides the fact that my breasts and nipples are super tender to touch.
By the time I reached 16 weeks though, I noticed my milk supply decreasing. I was no longer squirting milk around, or when I tried to squeeze milk out, there was little to none. At this time I immediately started researching so that I could increase my supply again. From my research, I read that other mothers usually notice a decrease in their milk supply around the same time and not to worry. I returned to drinking a gallon, or more, of water a day. I added in nettle leaf tincture drops into my water along with milk thistle tincture drops. I also decreased worrying and trusted that my body knew what it was doing.
Within a week I noticed the tingling you feel when you’re producing, and gosh, it felt good to know that what I was doing was working. I continued the nettle leaf tincture for about 3 weeks and drinking a gallon of water, or more, a day. I’m so happy and thrilled to be feeling my body producing milk throughout the day. Just to be clear, our son eats plant-based throughout the day but he insists on being nursed afterwards. I never imagined breastfeeding while pregnant. I’m doing my best to ensure that I’m getting what I need to maintain a healthy pregnancy so that when we deliver this baby unassisted, I will continue our nursing journey into tandem nursing. Thank you for reading and good luck to all the mamas that are pregnant and nursing. It can be tiring and frustrating but I remind myself it’s temporary and having this bond is so worth it.