• The problem with breastfeeding while pregnant

    Mother of two Meng A. Morales shares the difficulty she had after finding out she was pregnant while nursing her nine-month-old.

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    I was lucky with breastfeeding. My milk came in the day after I gave birth, and my baby didn’t have any problems latching. Overall, I didn’t have any major problems. I was enjoying breastfeeding so much that I didn’t want to stop. The thought of weaning didn’t even cross my mind—until I found out I was pregnant again when my baby was still nine months.

    I seriously panicked, remembering the horror stories I heard about breastfeeding while pregnant. A friend’s cousin continued breastfeeding her daughter while she was pregnant and after a couple of months, she had a miscarriage. According to her OB, the culprit was her continued breastfeeding.

    The first thing I did was set an appointment with my OB for a consultation. While waiting for that meeting, I researched on the Internet about the issue. Although most medical articles I found said that breastfeeding does not pose any harm to pregnancy, my friend’s story left me unconvinced and paranoid. I chose to believe the articles that said oxytocin, which is released when your baby suckles, triggers labor contractions.

    By the time I got to talk to my OB, I already had the wrong mindset: that breastfeeding will hurt my unborn child. When my OB said it was perfectly fine, I asked her about the possibility of premature labor. She said it was possible, but the chances were very, very slim, especially since I was eating well and getting enough nutrients for me, my breastfeeding angel, and the baby we were expecting.

    However, no matter what my OB said, I was not appeased and I stopped breastfeeding my nine-month-old baby. My fear of hurting my unborn child prevailed. The chances were small, but I didn’t want to risk the life of my child. And that is one fear that I regret not overcoming.

    I was able to ask for opinions of several more doctors, and they all told me what my OB said months ago. It turned out, I was being unreasonably paranoid. I guess at some point, I was right in not risking my baby’s life just to continue breastfeeding. In hindsight, however, I shouldn’t have chosen to believe that breastfeeding would be harmful to pregnancy when everything else and everyone else said otherwise. Now I regret my decision to stop breastfeeding. My son and I could have enjoyed the irreplaceable benefits of breastfeeding for a longer period of time.

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