HomeHealth articlespregnancyWhat Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding if a Mother Is Pregnant?

Breastfeeding During Pregnancy: Know the Risks and Benefits

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Mothers can carry on breastfeeding while pregnant with their next child without causing any harm to both. Read the article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Aparna Arun

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao

Published At August 14, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 4, 2023


Some women fall into pregnancy while breastfeeding a baby, which makes mothers scared that there will be complications for the child in the womb and themselves. Breastfeeding during pregnancy is safe if there is no harm to breastfeeding the child and the child inside the womb. However, certain women should consider breastfeeding a baby while pregnant. Breastfeeding during pregnancy requires changes in positioning and scheduling breastfeeding. Therefore, they should get help from specialized doctors regarding breastfeeding during pregnancy.

Is Breastfeeding Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to breastfeed a baby during pregnancy. However, breastfeeding should be comfortable for mothers while pregnant with another baby. Mothers should not be scared if they want to wean their current breastfeeding baby. It is safe if the mother consumes healthy food for themselves, their baby in the womb, and the feeding baby. There are some factors in which breastfeeding is not indicated during pregnancy.

What Are the Risk Factors of Breastfeeding While a Mother Is Pregnant?

  • Breastfeeding stimulates mild contractions during pregnancy. So mothers carrying twins or more, mothers at risk of preterm labor, mothers who had a preterm birth in the past, and mothers who have already had miscarriages should consult specialized doctors about breastfeeding while pregnant.

  • Some mothers do not breastfeed while pregnant as they feel uncomfortable during pregnancy as there may be physical and emotional changes in the body.

  • Mothers may experience the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • They may discover sore nipples.

  • Nausea - may be triggered due to the letdown reflex.

  • Mothers feel tired.

  • They found decreased milk supply.

  • Sometimes the breast milk changes taste, making the breastfeeding child wean alone.

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding if a Mother Is Pregnant?

Though breastfeeding is challenging for a pregnant mother with another child, there are more benefits a mother can get from breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding boosts immunity for the child who currently gets breastfeeding from the mother as long as the child receives breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding helps promote safety and security for older children when there is a change.

  • It creates an extra bond and attachment between the child and the mother.

  • Some mothers feel relaxed when breastfeeding their older children during pregnancy whenever they are fatigued.

  • Breastfeeding helps reduce breast engorgement after the new baby arrives, making the mothers feel comfortable with their breasts.

  • Since there is a continuous flow of solid breast milk, the difficulties faced after delivery for breastfeeding a baby for the first time are reduced.

  • It helps in good milk supply to the newly born baby.

How Should a Mother Look After Themselves While They Are Breastfeeding During Pregnancy?

  • Pregnant breastfeeding mothers should take good care of their breasts as they can become sore and tender. Breasts should be well moisturized and made clean after every feeding.

  • Mothers may feel tired or experience worse morning sickness due to pregnancy hormones in the first trimester, which makes breastfeeding mothers lack adequate nutrition during pregnancy.

  • Mothers breastfeeding during pregnancy should eat well, keep themselves well-hydrated and rest more.

  • Mothers should take proper vitamins and mineral supplements to nourish the mother for breastfeeding and the fetus in the womb.

  • Mothers should change their positioning during breastfeeding while pregnant for comfort as their abdomen expands.

  • The mother should schedule the breastfeeding. It helps in nourishing all three.

What Is Tandem Breastfeeding?

Tandem breastfeeding is referred to as feeding two children of different ages at the same time. Mothers do not worry about the nutrition that goes to the newly born child being restricted by providing the older child. The newborn child will get enough colostrum. So mothers should not limit their older children to one side.

There are different ways of tandem breastfeeding, the mother can breastfeed both children at the same time by positioning them correctly, or the mother can feed the newborn baby first and then the older one. If the mothers find that their older children want more milk, they can limit their feeds.

Mothers may also notice their newborn struggle with the letdown reflex due to more milk production; in such a case, the mother can allow the older children to drink first at the start and feed the newborn on the other side. Mothers can wean their older children if they find it difficult to tandem breastfeed.

How Will Pregnancy Affect the Milk Supply?

Commonly, milk supply generally reduces by the around fourth or fifth month of the pregnancy. The composition of breast milk also changes slightly. All such changes are due to hormonal shifts. As a result, mothers cannot increase the supply by pumping or exclusively feeding as they usually do.

Mothers always worry that their newborns get enough colostrum. But still, the newborn can get colostrum no matter how much their older children take it. However, the doubt can be rectified by offering the newborn to feed first at each feed.

What Are the Ways to Wean Older Children?

Mothers should gradually wean their older children. This gradual weaning helps older children understand that breastfeeding is at its end. Mothers can start weaning by decreasing one feeding session every three to five days. Mothers should wean the early morning and bedtime sessions at the last as it makes the special bond between the mother and the child. If the mother wants to wean quickly, they should approach the doctor to use medications, herbs, etc.

After weaning, the mother may feel pain and inflammation of her breasts. Mothers can treat the pain by trying cold compresses on the breasts and some medications. On the other hand, they can do hand expression of milk in small amounts to get relief from the inflammation. If weaning makes the older children angry or emotional, the child should be offered special care and time. Pacifiers and teethers also are helpful in such scenarios. In addition, mothers should check their older children for proper nutrition they meet daily.


Breastfeeding is safe at any time in the mother's life. Feeding both children with comfort makes the mothers feel very comfortable and proud. Tandem breastfeeding is a decision made only by the mother. If the mother is ready to breastfeed both their children, they can contact specialized doctors or lactation consultants for help and make their breastfeeding journey happy and comfortable.

Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao
Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao

Obstetrics and Gynecology


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