Month three Q&A

Your Pregnancy - - Contents - YP

Q:Our first­born is nine months old and I re­cently found out that I’m preg­nant again. I’m still breast­feed­ing and I won­der what in­flu­ence this will have on my preg­nancy, and what in­flu­ence my preg­nancy will have on my breast­feed­ing. Can I carry on? And will I be able to feed them both af­ter the birth?

A:Lisanne an­swers: The term “tan­dem feed­ing” is used when a mother feeds her older child and her new baby. It’s not a new phe­nom­e­non or fash­ion – moth­ers have been do­ing it for aeons. The WHO rec­om­mends that all chil­dren are breast­fed un­til the age of two or longer. There­fore, tan­dem feed­ing is a good idea when your age gap is small. It can be an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for you all. You might have mixed feel­ings about whether you should carry on breast­feed­ing when you find out you are preg­nant. Friends or fam­ily could even put pres­sure on you to stop. Some­times health work­ers might even rec­om­mend that you stop too, giv­ing as rea­son the fact that stim­u­la­tion of the breast can lead to con­trac­tions in the uterus. This hap­pens be­cause suck­ing stim­u­lates the re­lease of the hor­mone oxytocin. This has lead to a fear of spon­ta­neous abor­tion. Con­trac­tions of the uterus are, how­ever, nor­mal dur­ing preg­nancy. They hap­pen dur­ing sex too, an ac­tiv­ity which most cou­ples con­tinue with through­out. For­tu­nately, sup­port for breast­feed­ing dur­ing preg­nancy is grow­ing. Ex­perts agree that if your preg­nancy is pro­ceed­ing as nor­mal, and your un­born baby is healthy, you can carry on breast­feed­ing safely. Af­ter birth, some moth­ers are wor­ried that the older child will fin­ish the new baby’s milk. The first colostrum is of course meant for the new baby and it is there­fore a good idea to pre­pare your older child for this. Ex­plain that the first milk that is made af­ter baby’s birth is a spe­cial milk for the new baby. Ex­plain that your older child also got it, and that it is very good for him, and that the new baby will also need it. With most ba­bies in South Africa be­ing born in hos­pi­tal, you will most likely be sep­a­rated from your older child for a while, which should give you the chance to nurse your new baby alone at first. You could also ex­press and give your older child breast­milk from a cup so that he gets used to get­ting his milk in this way. Moth­ers also of­ten worry that they won’t be able to pro­duce enough milk for a new baby and an older child at the same time. Breast­milk pro­duc­tion is, how­ever, a re­sult of sup­ply and de­mand. Both chil­dren’s suck­ling will send a mes­sage to the brain to en­sure that the right amount of milk is pro­duced. Your own nu­tri­tional needs in­crease when you are preg­nant and breast­feed­ing. Make sure that you eat well. You can con­tinue tak­ing a mul­ti­vi­ta­min and min­eral sup­ple­ment. Chat to a di­eti­cian if you think your diet might not be op­ti­mal.

Lisanne du Plessis Breast­feed­ing con­sul­tant

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.