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Generally, it's safe to continue breast-feeding while pregnant — as long as you're careful about eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids. However, breast-feeding can trigger mild uterine contractions. Although these contractions aren't a concern during an uncomplicated pregnancy, your health care provider might discourage breast-feeding while pregnant if you're at risk for preterm labor.
If you're considering breast-feeding while pregnant, be prepared for changes your nursing child might notice. Although breast milk continues to be nutritionally sound throughout pregnancy, the content of your breast milk will change — which might change the way your milk tastes. In addition, your milk production is likely to decrease as your pregnancy progresses. These factors could lead your nursing child to wean on his or her own before the baby is born.
Your comfort might also be a concern. During pregnancy, nipple tenderness and breast soreness are common. The discomfort might intensify while breast-feeding. Pregnancy-related fatigue might pose challenges as well.
Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D.
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