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Thread: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

  1. #1

    Default Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if I could draw from your collective wisdom about this issue.

    I am nursing a 2.5 y.o. and am in week 28 of my pregnancy (rainbow baby after a miscarriage at 9 weeks). The toddler nurses to sleep for naptime and bedtime.

    In the past few days, I experienced've BH contractions when I nurse. They feel intense and happen every 10 minutes or so. Last night I experienced 3 strong ones.

    I have read about this online and found different answers (a. that it doesn't matter, b. stop nursing, c. stop nursing only if I have four contractions in an hour).

    I want to do what is natural and best for both children, and ideally I'd like to nurse for as long as my first child wishes. Of course I will stop though if it isn't good for the pregnancy.

    Thanks so much in advance for your insights/advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    Hi. Generally speaking, nursing when pregnant with a normal (not at risk) pregnancy is safe. So I think the first thing to figure out is, are these feelings you are having actually benign or possibly a sign of early labor? In other words, is there any reason to think your pregnancy may be at risk?

    Have you called your doctor? I mean, how do you know this is Braxton Hicks and not actual contractions, or something else?

    I really do not know anything about BH. But in my experience with pregnancy, if some activity appeared to be the root of any contraction feeling or discomfort in that area, I would stop that activity. Not permanently, but certainly for the moment. Also I would drink water immediately. I wonder if what you are feeling may be related to becoming dehydrated when nursing?? Just a musing I really do not know, I just know that dehydration can bring on contractions and nursing can be dehydrating.

    Nothing I have read about or experienced- I nursed my then 2 year old when pregnant and he nursed frequently- would prepare me to give you an accurate answer as far as how many contractions in X amount of time would be "ok" And frankly I doubt anyone one else can either. If BH contractions when nursing has been studied in any way I would be very surprised. On the other hand, if this is info coming from a board certified lactation consultant or midwife or other health practitioner, perhaps there is more info out there I am not aware of.

    The most accurate resource out there regarding tandem nursing and nursing when pregnant is, as far as I know, the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing. But there may be more up to date info somewhere I just do not know about.

    Just FYI, any moms do find they need to discontinue nursing when pregnant not because of a health concern but because they feel it is too draining or uncomfortable. Also some kids stop nursing when the milk changes and reduces during pregnancy. Frequently, the older child ends up coming back to the breast after baby is born.

    If you decide you do want baby to stop nursing now, let us know, we can offer some tips.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 25th, 2017 at 12:38 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    Hi, thanks so very much for the detailed reply. My pregnancy is normal and and my midwife has told me everything seems to be going fine. But I am wondering if my previous miscarriage might be a risk factor. I haven't talked to her much about nursing during pregnancy because unfortunately she is "old-school" and thinks toddlers should be weaned at a year old.

    A few minutes after she starts nursing, my bump tenses up and I feel a pulling in my pelvic region. This has only been the case in the last couple of days.

    I wlil definitely try drinking more water, and will also check out the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing.

    I read about the 4 contractions per hour on kellymon here (under the subheading "a primer on preterm labor"): http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-pre.../#contractions

    I think that's the only place I read that. I've also read other moms say that they've experienced up to 8 contractions per nursing session with no issues and a full-term pregnancy.

    May I ask if you experienced BH / contractions while you nursed your two year old?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    No, I never had Braxton Hicks at any point in any of my pregnancies. I am probably not much help there, I also never had a normal labor so I am not even sure what real contractions feel like.

    There is a lot going on hormonally in a pregnant mom, and the stimulation of nursing can cause many intense sensations in my experience, from great irritation to arousal. Tummy tightening and what you describe sounds familiar to me, but we are talking over a decade ago and I am not sure. I do not recall every feeling anything I thought of as a contraction.

    I would say kellymom is usually a very accurate source of information.

    When I nursed when pregnant, it was shortly after a miscarriage. As far as I know there is no reason a previous miscarriage would make nursing when pregnant unsafe, and nursing when pregnant does not cause miscarriages. What might be a concern...maybe, is previous preterm labor, or in a situation where preterm labor is suspected or threatened, and so mom is being warned off things that may cause a hormonal rush that could lead to preterm labor- namely, orgasm. Orgasm would cause a far larger hormonal rush than nursing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    Thank you so much again for your help and wisdom. I've ordered the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" and right now I feel like continuing to nurse my toddler is the right thing to do. I drank more water and did have less BH as a result!! Thanks again, you are such a blessing to this community <3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Pregnant and nursing 2.5 y.o., strong Braxton-Hicks

    Thank you for your kind words! I am glad the water trick seemed to help. I liked remembering... I so enjoyed those days nursing my oldest when I was pregnant with his brother. It was also a great way to get a much needed nap!

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