Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breastfeeding While Pregnant: The First Trimester

Gentlemen, please skip this post. Thanks!

The first pregnancy symptom I had with Shane, my firstborn, was sore breasts which at that point I chalked up to my oncoming menses. But then they got more and more sore. I took a HPT two days after my missed period and found that I was pregnant, and the soreness continued to escalate until I was wearing a bra 24/7 and could hardly stand the touch of bedding or clothing. At some point, although I don't remember when exactly, the soreness dissipated and things were fine up until Shane's birth when we began breastfeeding.

Since I am still nursing Shane, I wasn't sure what things would be like with this pregnancy. I began as always by researching the safety of tandem nursing (nursing while pregnant or nursing multiple children at once). At my first appointment with my midwife Emily I also talked with her about continuing to nurse while pregnant and she was completely supportive. And although I am not using my previous OB/GYN (I'm sorry Dr. H!) I asked him at one of my visits during Shane's pregnancy about nursing while pregnant and he was even fine with it. So I am fully satisfied that continuing to nurse is safe and beneficial. Of course, the caveat to this is that it is safe as long as the fetus is developing normally.  Check the bottom of the post for links to a few articles on nursing while pregnant/tandem nursing.

Week 3, 10 days past ovulation, positive HPT on 8/31:  No noticeable changes.
Week 4: Starting to feel a little twinge when Shane latches on.
Week 5: Starting to feel pretty sore at latch. It's necessary to breathe deeply for the first few moments. Considering night weaning because Shane is still waking up so often at night.
Week 6: Definitely sore nipples. Deep breathing is my friend. But still, it's only for the first few moments (till letdown I'm guessing) and it's no worse than those first few weeks of breastfeeding. Also, I am not experiencing any breast tenderness--I can only attribute it to the breastfeeding! I also know I've still got milk as I still can hear Shane gulping and swallowing.
Week 7-8: About the same
Week 9: Not sore much at all anymore, but I'm starting to wonder about my supply. Often Shane asks for water if he wakes up at night. I don't ever hear him gulping and swallowing anymore. Over that past month Shane has started sleeping most of the night and only waking up once, maybe twice. I'm glad because I was seriously considering night weaning and I'm glad he did it on his own when he was ready. I'm liking all of this sleep!
Week 10: Went swimmingly along until Saturday. On Saturday Shane decided he no longer needs to sleep, and woke up about every 10 minutes to half hour on Saturday and Sunday nights.  He just wanted to nurse all night. And normally I would just deal with that and it would be fine but unfortunately this concurred with two nights of very strong nursing aversions, as well as exhaustion. I am praying that this will not continue, and he will go back to sleeping through the night.
Week 11: Back to sleeping all night. He goes to sleep at eight and wakes up for a nurse around 6 then back to sleep till eight. OR, wakes up to nurse around seven and DOESN'T go back to sleep. Gradually he has weaned himself to just nursing at bedtime, in the morning, and before naptime. I'm not sure if it's because I'm gone so much during the day or if it's because of the pregnancy but either way he has done it on his own. Of course I have mixed feelings but overall I'm glad of the break.
Week 12: I'm not sure when it happened but my milk is very bitter now. I'm not sure why Shane's still nursing!  Yes, I've tasted my own milk. It was always sweet up until some point during this pregnancy. I'm not especially sore or tender right now but I'm definitely having some nursing aversions that I get through by playing on my phone.  I understand that this is very common during pregnancy and since it's only two or three times I day I deal with it. I know that he'll drop those feeds when he's ready.
Week 13: Whew! First trimester down! To recap: Sore and nursing many many times a day at the beginning. Not sore but getting the creepy crawlies and only nursing three times a day at the end, as well as decreased supply.

Some articles on tandem nursing:
Kellymom--The Official FAQ
Kellymom--Useful Links


Nepo said...

hey! updated my blog :-) MIss you! Can't wait to make that blanket for you!

Elizabeth G. Sipple said...

I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and nursing my 9 month old. But my milk supply is basically gone. I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water and raspberry tea, I take Funugreek tablets 3-4 times a day, and I pump whenever I can…but I’m still not producing enough for my nursing baby! I’ve been doing this for over 2 weeks now and last night, 4 hours after my daughter last nursed, I pumped for 15 min and only got 1/4 oz. Is there anything else I can try??