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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Nursing during high-risk pregnancy- advice, tips, experience? (No bashing, please)

Posted by on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM
  • 13 Replies

I am currently nursing my 16 month old son, and I am 12 weeks pregnant with my second. I have already dealt with excruciatingly sore nipples and extreme drop in milk supply. I have done research on Kellymom.com and purchased The Adventures in Tandem Nursing, both which support breastfeeding while pregnant, but offer little information on high risk pregnancies. My OBGYN advised at the first appointment to wean my son, and when asked if it was truly necessary and why she was unable to answer other than it increases risk of pre-term labor/ delivery. The second appointment she said we can see how it goes. 

I am a high-risk pregnancy this time because I went into preterm labor at 33 weeks term (unknown cause, water didn't break until physical delivery). The hospital tried IV Magnesium, but it did nothing except set my body to fire. At 7 dilation, they took me off of it, and I continued labor naturally, without any pain relievers and used a yoga ball for relief while gripping a pillow during contractions (with moral support of my husband too). I received an antibiotic and a steroid injection prior to delivery for the baby. He was born 4 lbs, 2 oz and was 17 in long. He needed occasional oxygen (no ventilator- which is typical for that early), and had to master the suck, breathe, swallow reflexes to eat before we could leave the NICU. I pumped, a lot, and he latched day 7, and we worked, gaining muscle strength daily to nurse. We were able to take him home from the NICU at 1 month of age. Nursing was not easy, and we finally had it down and mastered by about 4-5 months while fighting severe reflux and colic issues. Each nursing goal was met, all with obstacles along the way and assisted by many lactation consultants and support groups, and here I am today. It was my next goal to nurse to 2 years of age, based on the Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization recommendations for health and immunity. 

Beginning at 16 weeks I will start weekly progesterone injections, as prescribed. At 4 weeks pregnant my son was nursing 6-8 times daily (2-3 were mid-night feeds). I eliminated all night feedings, except to sleep, gradually cutting back to about 4-6 by 8 weeks term. Now I am trying to just nurse him morning, nap and at bedtime. He's not happy with this and asks often. My OBGYN is pleased with the decrease, even knowing that I feel strongly about nursing. I fear my doctor will recommend to cease all nursing, for the safety of the baby, however I wasn't nursing when I went into preterm labor with my first. 

Has anyone else nursed through a high-risk pregnancy, or even pregnancy? Do you have any medical articles that would assist my decision? Any advise or resources that I may be able to use? Thank you in advance for your time.

Again, please no bashing. I am attempting to gather medical information or gentle motherly advise to make an educated decision for the future. Thank you. 

by on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM
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Replies (1-10):
aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:28 AM
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The general consensus is it should be fine to continue nursing unless you have been put on pelvic rest.
LittleRed80
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 2:36 AM
I had a previous preterm labor(31 weeks) and I didn't last nursing very far into the 1st trimester. It caused me to contract quite a bit and Iwas ttoo worried that the risk was out weighing the benefit. He was 14 months old.
kajira
by Silver Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 7:07 AM
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I don't think nursing will actually make a huge difference. I had planned on nursing my toddler through my twin pregnancy, except she chose to wean on her own, I still gave birth to my twins at 24 weeks.



I would listen to your body, rather than your doctor, if you feel it's unsafe, listen to your gut instincts. If you feel your body will be okay, then listen to it. It will give you cues. For me, contractions themselves aren't an indicator if i'm going into labor or not, both previous pregnancies, I didn't nurse at all, and contracted non stop, my twin pregnancy, I had zero contracts, and when I delivered/dilated/went into labor, my labor was like my homebirth, no physical contractions I could actually feel as contractions, just pressure, tightness, restlessness... and fast dilation - I was lucky I didn't give birth in my toilet.

I know there's mixed reviews, but if your body allows you to go with it, your baby may choose to wean on his own half-way through the pregnancy anyways... the milk changes, that's why my toddler changed her mind about nursing. She woke up the day I found out I was pregnant, announced my milk had changed and she didn't like it anymore and that was that.


MusherMaggie
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 7:46 AM
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La Leche League may have information on this. LLLI.org.
K8wizzo
by Kate on Jul. 26, 2014 at 8:47 AM
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The general consensus is that pelvic rest = no nursing. Until then, I would try to continue limiting and maybe further wean down. The progesterone injections made a huge difference for me. With my first, I was in the hospital on mag for a week at 27 weeks, then on complete bedrest until I delivered at 35 weeks. With my second, we had some threatening at 26 weeks (positive ffn, cervix thinned) but 2 weeks of total bedrest and everything calmed down. I spent the rest of that pregnancy on partial bedrest until I hit full term and ended up delivering 4 days after my due date, a beautiful 10 lb 5 oz baby boy. My first was 6 lbs 12 oz at 35 weeks. Having a full termer that gets to nurse and come home right away is so amazing.
midwest0317
by Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Thank you everyone.  I do plan on following my gut instincts as well as any doctor orders. I just want to be educated enough to have a discussion with my doctor, as she has never had anyone who wanted to, or even questioned her on nursing through any pregnancy (25 years practice). 

I will be attending a La Leche League meeting early next month. The leaders are reaching out for information as well. They are the ones who recommended The Adventures of Tandem nursing. 

Thanks again for your time. 


aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Jul. 26, 2014 at 1:07 PM
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Just know that most doctors have little to no education in breastfeeding so what you learn will probably be more than what the doctors know. If your doctor is open to new information, you can share what you find with her.
spitfire06
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 4:14 PM
'I'm newly preggo with third baby still nursing dd2...:( I know nothing about it ... I'm scared my drs are going to be unsupportive ugh blah boop.
MusherMaggie
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM
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Quoting spitfire06: 'I'm newly preggo with third baby still nursing dd2...:( I know nothing about it ... I'm scared my drs are going to be unsupportive ugh blah boop.


Which is why I didn't mention to my doctor that I was still nursing when I was pregnant with my second. I was considered "high-risk" because I had PIH during my first pregnancy and had a cesarean section for failure to progress.

Margarett RBC Zavodnyteal ribbon

spitfire06
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM
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ohno.. good luck mama <3 I have never had a high risk pregnancy.. thank God.. but who knows wahts in the stars for this one! LOL

Quoting MusherMaggie:
Quoting spitfire06: 'I'm newly preggo with third baby still nursing dd2...:( I know nothing about it ... I'm scared my drs are going to be unsupportive ugh blah boop.
Which is why I didn't mention to my doctor that I was still nursing when I was pregnant with my second. I was considered "high-risk" because I had PIH during my first pregnancy and had a cesarean section for failure to progress.


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