Breastfeeding during pregnancy and tandem breastfeeding

Breastfeeding during pregnancy and tandem breastfeeding

Congratulations! You are pregnant! Again!
But your firstborn is not yet weaned.

Is it safe to continue breastfeeding? What should you calculate with?

First of all, it is not dangerous.

Here’s the explanation:
Every time you breastfeed or have an orgasm, and even during a leisurely meal with friends, you release the hormone oxytocin.

And, yes, it’s true, oxytocin triggers uterine contractions .. while of the birth.

But until a few hours before the onset of labor, your uterus is almost completely "deaf" to oxytocin, no matter how much of it it receives.

For this reason, women are not given Syntocinon (artificial oxytocin) even for abortion. It simply does not work.

That is also the reason why there are so many "unsuccessful" inductions of labor. The uterus isn’t ready to push the baby out before it’s time, and it just won’t listen to the command of the syntocinon infusion.

The large number of "unsuccessful" induction attempts ultimately just means that someone wanted to get the baby out before the baby was ready, and that the uterus has done its job.

As soon as the onset of labor is imminent, the number of oxytocin receptors ("ears") in the uterus skyrockets.

Now the mother’s own oxytocin enters the hormonal orchestra that triggers birth.

When she Now breastfeeds or has an orgasm, this event could actually be the triggering factor for the onset of labor. But not before.

Will breastfeeding your older child take nutrients away from your unborn child?

In fact, there are hardly any mothers who don’t notice a decrease in their milk volume once a new pregnancy has started.

Your unborn child is well protected. Your body will draw on its own reserves when a bottleneck needs to be compensated for. But the first thing that happens is a drop in the amount of milk to almost zero.

Some infants react to the loss of both quantity and sweetness of milk and wean before their sibling is born. Others are happy to continue breastfeeding even when milk is gone.

But most mothers find that their bodies change in surprising ways: They no longer enjoy breastfeeding the older child as much as before.

They may have more sensitive nipples or feel downright pain or tingly tension, making them want to push the older child off their lap.

Some mothers then decide to wean. Others decide to continue. Every family is different.

If the infant breastfeeds until the baby is born, she may wean because she doesn’t like all that milk … or she may quietly develop a neat double chin!

There will be plenty of milk for two if he decides to continue (or start again after stopping during pregnancy).

Mothers even find that they like to enlist the help of the infant when they have what is called "milk letdown" or milk letdown.

When you tandem breastfeed, you may find that your children enjoy sharing your breasts and touching and caressing each other as they nurse together, and that they develop a delightful, loving relationship with each other.

What remains at the bottom line?
Every experience is different and there is no wrong way as long as you follow your heart.

Original: "Nursing while pregnant, tandem nursing" by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC, 2008
Translation: Regine Gresens, IBCLC, July 2013
Photo: Celeste Burke via photopin (license)

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Regine Gresens

Regine Gresens

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Thank you for the good articles on this site, especially the info on breastfeeding during pregnancy and tandem breastfeeding! I’m pregnant again and still breastfeed to sleep and at night. I usually prepare the breast with warmth and massage beforehand, then it’s no problem at all. I’m actually just afraid that the amount of milk might decrease too much, because I don’t want to wean my big one, but since I’m already in my late 30s, I didn’t want to take so much time with the sibling either. Are there any tips to keep the milk amount as much as possible?
Love and keep up the good work,

Dear Hanna,
this question was already asked here and also answered by me.
All love,
Regine Gresens

Thanks for this article. I am still unsure if I want to tandem breastfeed, so far I have read some positive but also some negative about it.
At the moment I am not sure if I can or want to breastfeed for such a long time. My daughter is 16 months old and since I am pregnant again breastfeeding really hurts. The first week it was just like that then and slowly got better, now it feels like the process is getting exactly reversed. It gets worse and worse (I am now in the 12th week of pregnancy). SSW). Now I would like to wean at night, I think, because my daughter partly wakes up and breastfeeds for hours (but only sucks and does not drink) and that just hurts way too much. Still introducing a pacifier at that age for the sucking need feels wrong (I don’t like those things), but she still has to be allowed to suck at that age. Just please not on me&
During the day we only breastfeed for naps and just in the evening and at night to fall asleep. Actually for me I would also like to wean completely, but I don’t want to just override her needs. Maybe I can reduce it to short breastfeeding before going to bed and in the morning? Do you have any tips on what I should do or what I can do? I am somehow unsure. I want her to fall asleep without me at some point to z. B. Stay overnight at grandma and grandpa’s house. Since then no one can breastfeed her (certainly not to sleep). But falling asleep without breastfeeding only works in the stroller or in the car or on my arm (or sometimes falling asleep again at night).

Hello Eva,
yes, tandem breastfeeding has both positive and negative/problematic aspects. And definitely does not fit for all mothers.
If you don’t like breastfeeding anymore, you should not ignore your feelings, but change something.
Maybe it already helps to reduce the falling asleep at the breast?
Read here: Learning to fall asleep without sucking.
All the best to you and love,
Regine Gresens

Thank you so much for this info! Feel so much better now that I don’t have to compulsively wean my "big one".

Hello !
I am in the 17. Week pregnant .
I am breastfeeding my 21. Month old son dry once again before bedtime.
I would like to keep this and later breastfeed tandem.
Unfortunately, in the 1. SS a gbmh shortening starting at 23. ssw. However, without clinic stay, without funneling, but I took a lot of physical rest. Of course I can’t do that now. I am already taking high doses of magnesium and progesterone.
I don’t notice any cramps while breastfeeding, occasionally just a little increased my uterus. But I also do that during the day in between.
I am unsure if I am harming my unborn child, possibly triggering shortening again.
I would so love to keep breastfeeding though and breastfeed both of them.
My gynecologist also seems unsure about it.

Hello Ulrike,
a 2019 US study evaluated 10.661 pregnancies from 2002 to 2015 on the risk of miscarriage if breastfed during a subsequent pregnancy:
"An increased risk of miscarriage was only present in women who exclusively breastfed during pregnancy.
No increased risk of miscarriage was found in women who were pregnant and breastfeeding another child who received complementary foods at the same time."
J. Molitoris: Breast-feeding During Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage.

Spanish researchers who evaluated 19 studies on breastfeeding during pregnancy (Breastfeeding during Pregnancy, short: BDP) in a review in 2017 came to the conclusion:
"Data suggest that BDP does not affect the way pregnancies end or even newborns’ birth weights in healthy and wellnourished women."
German translation:
"The data suggest that breastfeeding during pregnancy, in healthy and well-nourished women, does not affect the outcome of pregnancy or the birth weight of the newborn."
G. Lopez-Fernandez: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy.

I hope this gives you more security to go the right way for you.
Love greetings,
Regine Gresens

As a pregnant woman you have twice the nutritional needs. If the older child is still breastfeeding, it robs nutrients and the pregnant woman should take even more in nutrients?

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