Pregnancy Signs While Breastfeeding

Pregnancy Signs While Breastfeeding


Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding

There is an opinion that while you are breastfeeding the baby, and there is no menstruation, pregnancy is impossible. This opinion is wrong – fertility can be restored in 2-3 months after birth – in some women the body is restored even earlier. Some pregnant women may be unaware of their condition even before the first fetal movements, as pregnancy symptoms are uncertain during lactation.

Effect of Lactation on Pregnancy

Pregnancy during lactation is most often unplanned. Many women mistakenly believe that breastfeeding protects against pregnancy. Yes, there really is such a thing as lactation amenorrhea (lack of menstruation during breastfeeding).

However, in order for lactation to protect against subsequent pregnancy, the following conditions must be considered:

  • feeding the baby on demand not less than every 3 hours during the day, and no more than a 6-hour break at night;
  • the only source of food and drink for your baby should be your milk (without supplementary feeding, water, teas, stewed fruit and so on);
  • child not older than 6 months, because at this age begins the introduction of complementary foods and breast-feeding may not be as frequent.

In most cases, observing all these conditions the menstruation does occur at women and pregnancy is impossible. However, the body of some young mothers, even in such cases, is ready to conceive. In some women, periods can start on the second month after the birth, while others – only at the end of lactation (even if a woman is breastfeeding more than one year).

Therefore, during breastfeeding is recommended to use approved methods of contraception:

  • spermicides;
  • intrauterine contraception;
  • hormonal contraception with progestins;
  • condoms.

Signs of Pregnancy

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The most basic sign of pregnancy is a delay of menstruation. But what if menstruation has not come yet? There are many instances when a woman is breastfeeding, the pregnancy occurs without the menstruation.

In this case, the following signs will help:

  1. Refusal of the baby from the breast or a change in its behavior during feeding. All this happens because on the background of hormonal changes the milk composition, and therefore its taste, may change. Some babies very strongly feel the difference and do not want to eat milk. For others, the taste difference is not as noticeable in the behavior and will not affect the feeding regime.
  2. Soreness or tenderness of the nipples during suckling the baby. Some moms notice discomfort when breastfeeding the baby. This is because the nipples are more sensitive, especially if not properly taken. Usually, these feelings go away within 2 weeks.
  3. Reducing the amount of milk. It happens because the body is configured to maintain the ensuing pregnancy and lactation is already secondary for it.
  4. There may be pain when feeding, because the hormone oxytocin is released during suckling, causing uterine contractions. In normal pregnancy production of this hormone does not increase the risk of premature birth, but it affects the uterine contractional capacity only after 37 weeks.
  5. Delay of menstruation when a young mother has resumed periods.
  6. Other signs of pregnancy: nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, drowsiness.

Should Breastfeeding Be Quitted

If you discovered that you are pregnant, you must resolve the issue of the continuation of breastfeeding.

Absolute contraindications for the conservation of lactation are:

  • premature labor in previous pregnancies;
  • bleeding during childbirth and during pregnancy;
  • strong toxicosis during this pregnancy;
  • cervical inconsistency (cervical deficiency);
  • multiple present pregnancy;
  • danger of premature termination of pregnancy.

A Piece of Advice

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If you have no contraindications, then continue feeding or discontinue – it’s up to you. The onset of a subsequent pregnancy is not a reason for the termination of lactation, especially if the child is less than a year.


If an older child is more than a year at the time of the birth of the younger, it is possible to establish breastfeeding in tandem (when both take the breast – the older and the younger). Of course, their feeding regime will be different: the younger would require the breast more often and longer, and older – more for sleep and to calm down or in the need for more intimacy with you. Also, when breastfeeding during pregnancy, you and your child will have to adapt to the growing belly and find new convenient positions for sucking.

If the age difference is greater, over the period of pregnancy, you can gradually wean an older child from the breast. This should be done gradually. In some cases, the child can refuse to take the breast without any special action. And in some cases the mother should be active: not to offer to breastfeed, to distract the child, try to offer an alternative.

Over time, the number of taking the breast will become less and less, and for the older children the refusal from feedings will not be a strong stress. It is desirable that breastfeeding is over for 1.5-2 months before the birth of the youngest child. During this period, the baby will wean from the mother's milk and it will not have the feeling that younger child has deprived him of being so close to the mother.

Pregnancy Tips: Signs of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding

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