Last update Dec. 4, 2020


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

According to populations, between 5% and 60% of women who become pregnant while still breastfeeding continue to breastfeed during pregnancy (Molitoris 2019, López 2017, Merchant 1990).

No differences have been found in the duration of pregnancy, the weight of the newborn, its subsequent growth or or the rate of miscarriage among healthy and well-nourished pregnant women who continue to breastfeed and those who do not (Molitoris 2019, López 2017 , Shaaban 2015, Couple 2015, Ayrim 2014, Cetin 2014, Madarshahian 2012, Ishii 2009, Moscone 1993).

A retrospective study with many limitations showed an increased risk of miscarriage with exclusive breastfeeding during pregnancy but not with breastfeeding together with complementary feeding (Molitoris 2019), which could actually be explained by the shorter spacing between pregnancies.

Nutritional, energy, mineral and vitamin needs are very high in pregnancy and more so during breastfeeding (Molitoris 2019), which is why less weight gain, decreased hemoglobin levels and other problems have been reported in women who breastfeed during pregnancy, especially in economically disadvantaged populations (Shaaban 2015, Ayrim 2014; Marquis 2003 and 2002, Siega 1993).

By ensuring the necessary extra dietary intake, breastfeeding is considered compatible and safe in a new pregnancy (CLM 2012, HWA 2009). The Working Group on Breastfeeding of the Italian Association of Perinatal Medicine have positioned themselves in this regard (Cetin 2014).

Although nipple stimulation has been used to elicit cervical ripening and induce labour (Kavanagh 2005), there is no evidence that oxytocin released during breastfeeding can induce preterm labour or miscarriage (Molitoris 2019), as the oxytocin peak is not sufficient and because the uterine oxytocin receptors are not complete until the end of pregnancy in the uterus (López 2017).

Breastfeeding has historically been a method of spacing pregnancies, but, outside the first 6 months and exclusively and intensively (LAM method), it cannot be considered a contraceptive method nor is it at odds with planning a new pregnancy (Tikka 1998, Short 1991, Chao 1987).

Possible taste changes in the milk, increased sensitivity in the breasts, a feeling of rejection by the woman of continuing breastfeeding, a decrease in milk production and spontaneous weaning of the infant are factors involved in the higher frequency of weaning that occurs during pregnancy (Moscone 1993).

If breastfeeding continues throughout the pregnancy, the breast returns to producing colostrum around the time of delivery and the immediate postpartum period.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

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  1. Molitoris J. Breast-feeding During Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2019 Sep;51(3):153-163. Abstract
  2. López-Fernández G, Barrios M, Goberna-Tricas J, Gómez-Benito J. Breastfeeding during pregnancy: A systematic review. Women Birth. 2017 Dec;30(6):e292-e300. Abstract
  3. Shaaban OM, Abbas AM, Abdel Hafiz HA, Abdelrahman AS, Rashwan M, Othman ER. Effect of pregnancy-lactation overlap on the current pregnancy outcome in women with substandard nutrition: a prospective cohort study. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2015 Dec 28;7(4):213-221. Abstract
  4. Cetin I, Assandro P, Massari M, Sagone A, Gennaretti R, Donzelli G, Knowles A, Monasta L, Davanzo R; Working Group on Breastfeeding, Italian Society of Perinatal Medicine and Task Force on Breastfeeding, Ministry of Health, Italy. Breastfeeding during pregnancy: position paper of the Italian Society of Perinatal Medicine and the Task Force on Breastfeeding, Ministry of Health, Italy. J Hum Lact. 2014 Abstract
  5. Ayrim A, Gunduz S, Akcal B, Kafali H. Breastfeeding throughout pregnancy in Turkish women. Breastfeed Med. 2014 Abstract
  6. CLM - Comité de Lactancia Materna de la AEP. Preguntas frecuentes sobre lactancia materna. Folleto. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Madarshahian F, Hassanabadi M. A comparative study of breastfeeding during pregnancy: impact on maternal and newborn outcomes. J Nurs Res. 2012 Abstract
  8. Pareja RG, Marquis GS, Penny ME, Dixon PM. A case-control study to examine the association between breastfeeding during late pregnancy and risk of a small-for-gestational-age birth in Lima, Peru. Matern Child Nutr. 2012 Abstract
  9. Ishii H. Does breastfeeding induce spontaneous abortion? J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2009 Abstract
  10. HWA - Healthy Western Australia, Department of Health. More about breastfeeding. Health Pamphlet 2009 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Kavanagh J, Kelly AJ, Thomas J. Breast stimulation for cervical ripening and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD003392. Review. Abstract
  12. Marquis GS, Penny ME, Zimmer JP, Díaz JM, Marín RM. An overlap of breastfeeding during late pregnancy is associated with subsequent changes in colostrum composition and morbidity rates among Peruvian infants and their mothers. J Nutr. 2003 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Marquis GS, Penny ME, Diaz JM, Marín RM. Postpartum consequences of an overlap of breastfeeding and pregnancy: reduced breast milk intake and growth during early infancy. Pediatrics. 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Tikka M. [Advice on contraception for new mothers in Finland]. Katilolehti. 1998 Abstract
  15. Moscone SR, Moore MJ. Breastfeeding during pregnancy. J Hum Lact. 1993 Jun;9(2):83-8. Abstract
  16. Siega-Riz AM, Adair LS. Biological determinants of pregnancy weight gain in a Filipino population. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. Short RV, Lewis PR, Renfree MB, Shaw G. Contraceptive effects of extended lactational amenorrhoea: beyond the Bellagio Consensus. Lancet. 1991 Abstract
  18. Merchant K, Martorell R, Haas J. Maternal and fetal responses to the stresses of lactation concurrent with pregnancy and of short recuperative intervals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  19. Chao S. The effect of lactation on ovulation and fertility. Clin Perinatol. 1987 Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2006 of United States of America

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