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