Last update Dec. 4, 2020
Very Low Risk
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.
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Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM