Breastfeeding during pregnancy

Doctors often advise mothers to wean a child immediately, as soon as the next pregnancy is confirmed. They may fear that continued feeding during pregnancy will slow the growth and development of the fetus or cause miscarriage or premature birth. However, most of the written materials fall into the category of guesswork and hypothesis rather than scientific research. One of the reasons doctors advise to stop feeding is the effect of oxytocin on the uterus. Studies show that continuous, regular nipple stimulation with a breast pump can cause labor pains in a woman with a full-term pregnancy. Attaching the newborn to the breast after delivery helps the uterus to contract and return to the pregenerative state. Both of these phenomena are due to the release of the hormone oxytocin, which causes hot flashes and contraction of the uterus. However, there are several reasons why continued breastfeeding does not cause problems in women with a normal pregnancy. Matka in early pregnancy is not the same as before birth or immediately after birth. It is much smaller receptor oxytocin – areas that can absorb oxytocin. Between the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, the number of these sites increases 12 times (and before the onset of labor, another two or three times). The lower ability of the uterus to absorb oxytocin at the onset of pregnancy indicates that oxytocin at this time will not cause effective contractions. Perhaps it is for this reason that labor induction by intravenous administration of oxytocin sometimes fails: the uterus is not yet ready. During most of the pregnancy, the dominant hormone is progesterone. By the end of pregnancy, preparing for childbirth, the level of estrogen in the blood becomes higher than the level of progesterone. Progesterone relaxes smooth muscle cells. Since the walls of the gastrointestinal tract and blood vessels are covered with a layer of such cells, a similar effect of progesterone can add to the inconvenience of pregnancy – heartburn, varicose veins, susceptibility to urinary tract infections. At the same time, a high level of progesterone during pregnancy allows you to keep the smooth muscles of the uterus at rest until the right moment – the beginning of labor. In the first days after birth, when milk production is just beginning, women have very high levels of hormones involved in milk production, which in turn, strongly affect the uterus. When the baby sucks the breast, these hormones are active. Over time, when the mother’s body gets used to regular stimulation by sucking the baby, a much lower level of the hormone becomes sufficient to maintain lactation. With the establishment of lactation, the level of the hormone in the blood becomes completely small. Thus, the level of oxytocin is lower when the uterus is less sensitive to it. For a known effect of stimulation of labor in full-term pregnancy, long nipple stimulation with a hospital breast pump was required. Even the most devoted amateur little breasts after a year are hardly capable of such efforts. But what about premature birth? With them, the situation is not as obvious as with the threat of miscarriage of the first trimester, and in this case, it seems much more likely that with the symptoms of the onset of preterm labor, it would be better for the mother to stop feeding, at least for a while. common practice several generations ago, and still widespread in some nations where long feeding is taken. Some anthropological studies on this issue found a “coincidence” with feeding in 12–50 percent of pregnancies in countries such as Bangladesh (12%), Senegal (30%), Java (40%) and Guatemala (50%) (Lawrence 1994) . Many of these women continue to feed until mid-pregnancy and longer. According to statistics, miscarriages end with 16 to 30 percent of all pregnancies, and it is quite possible that sometimes this may coincide with feeding.

Breastfeeding during pregnancy

The sensesHow will the next pregnancy affect your relationship with a baby? Every woman experiences this in her own way. It depends on many factors, including the child’s age, temper, current feeding habits, your physical and emotional reaction to pregnancy, your attitude to continued feeding (which is often unpredictable in advance). Think about what the basic needs of the child are, if they are satisfied with the breast – nutrition or comfort, and how these needs (all or some) will be met in case of breastfeeding. Only you can find the right balance for you. Feeding during pregnancy can make you and your baby very strong. One mother told me: “My daughter would not refuse a breast even if motor oil would flow from there”.

Sosco sorenessMany mothers, although certainly not all, experience pain or discomfort in their breasts or nipples, or emotional discomfort from simultaneous feeding and pregnancy. One study cited pain as the most common reason for not feeding during pregnancy, followed by weakness and irritability. Hormonal balance is an individual thing like fingerprints, this is evident from the most diverse variation of the “normal” menstrual cycle. The degree of breast and nipple sensitivity and discomfort when feeding before menstruation can, to a certain degree, predict the intensity of the same symptoms during pregnancy, since symptoms can be determined by levels of estrogen and progesterone. However, even women who did not notice the inconvenience of feeding before menstruation may notice them during pregnancy. The pain in the nipples during pregnancy is caused by the hormones of the mother, so treatment may not help. In addition, for all women it manifests itself in different ways.

Milk reductionMany women experience a decrease in the amount of milk during pregnancy. Scientific research on breastfeeding during pregnancy was carried out mainly after the end of the relevant experience, therefore, evidence of a decrease in milk may not give a complete picture of when and to what extent breast milk changes during pregnancy. In the book “Raising a Baby Over a Year,” Norma Jane Bumgarner writes about a study that analyzed the milk of three pregnant women for several months. “At about the second month of pregnancy, milk began to change composition just as it happens during weaning. The concentration of sodium and protein gradually increased, and the volume of milk, the concentration of glucose, lactose and potassium gradually decreased. When weaning off, these changes are caused by a decrease in sucking, but in pregnant women they occurred against the backdrop of continued feeding as well, or even more than before pregnancy. ”It is known that high estrogen and progesterone levels suppress milk production. At some point during the pregnancy, possibly in the second trimester, the milk turns into colostrum. (In some nations, colostrum is considered an impure substance, perhaps this is one of the reasons for the taboo on feeding during pregnancy). Although some women have a lot of colostrum, the amount of milk is still noticeably reduced with such a change. In addition, the taste and composition vary greatly. Some children themselves abandon the “new” milk when changing composition. Others do not care. One two-year-old girl said to her mother at the beginning of the second trimester: “Milk has become like strawberries with cream!” Milk changing to colostrum is caused by hormonal changes and cannot be moved back to a later date, it does not depend on the mother’s food and drink. No six months, and it is completely dependent on breast milk in terms of nutrition at the time of conception, your ability to feed him during the next pregnancy becomes a matter of paramount importance. Careful monitoring of his health and weight gain is needed. May need some supplement. Older children who already eat a variety of solid foods will have to eat more of them when the amount of milk decreases. A balanced, well-chosen diet will help you not to exhaust your natural reserves. However, the continuation of feeding will in no way take away the substances it needs from the developing child. When feeding you during pregnancy, you will probably feel severe hunger. It is very important to eat properly and enough, as well as drink when thirsty. Some sources advise pregnant nursing mothers to eat “as if they are pregnant with twins.” At the same time, do not neglect the feelings of the mother. When feeding during pregnancy, negative emotions are often encountered, as well as noticeable physical discomforts. Perhaps with these feelings nature encourages mothers to focus on the unborn baby in the womb, which is more vulnerable and in need of care than the older one. When feeding and pregnancy coincide in time, it is very important when making a decision to take into account feelings and relationships. Only a mother can decide how best to proceed based on her feelings and needs, as well as on the feelings and needs of her children.

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