Breastfeeding While Pregnant | What To Expect...
[one-half-first] First things first... Breastfeeding photoshoots are totally a thing!
Last month, Jayden and I had the opportunity to take "breastfeeding photos" (yes, this is totally becoming a thing now) with a local photographer. Taking breastfeeding photos is something I've been wanting to do for a while now, as a way to remember this special time in both of our lives forever.
We had a pretty rough start to breastfeeding, as many mamas do–I really envy those mamas who's milk is flowing by day three and only experience moderate pain for the first couple of weeks, if that. If you would've asked me back then, if I would still be breastfeeding 19 months later, never mind the fact that I'd also be pregnant, my mind wouldn't even know how to comprehend that. When I think back to the beginning, I was just hoping to get to three months, then six, then nine and so on, so the fact that I/we have made it this far is a huge accomplishment and something that I am truly proud of. Really, I was just taking it one day at a time–trying my hardest to get through the pain and give my baby the nutrients he needed.
At around eight weeks postpartum, was when things finally took a turn in the right direction, when Jayden was officially diagnosed with a tongue and lip tie and we were able to get it fixed. It took us about another four weeks or so to really get in our grove but once we did, it was smooth sailing. It was then that I made the goal of breastfeeding till Jayden was around one years old. Then one hit, so I extended my goal to 2 years (which is what I had initially hoped for before I became a mom). Shortly after Jayden's first birthday, I found out I was pregnant...
I didn't know I was pregnant, until I was around eight weeks. I have been having symptoms basically since right before Jayden's birthday; I was sick (i.e nauseas), chronic migraines, extra hormonal, couldn't sleep and started to experience pain while nursing, but I kept making excuses for all of it. Finally at around 8 weeks, the thought that I might be pregnant popped into my head, so I took an at home pregnancy test (actually I took two) and sure enough, I was.
I had no idea how far along I was, since I never got my period, so my doctor scheduled my first appointment for two weeks later.
NEWSFLASH: You CAN get pregnant even if you don't get your period back...
On the day of my first appointment, I woke up feeling awful (and it only got worse as the day went on)–flu like symptoms, terrible pain, weakness, you name it–I had mastitis! Since I had mastitis early on with Jayden, I knew what the the symptoms felts like and this was exactly how I felt when I woke up the morning of my first OBGYN appointment, only slightly worse. Even then, I wasn't fully convinced though... I just always thought of mastitis as one of those things you get early on, when your body is trying to figure out your milk supply and baby is trying to figure out how best to access it.
Thankful, I would be seeing the doctor that day though and once I told him the symptom I was experiencing, he confirmed it was in fact mastitis. My doctor also told me it wasn't that uncommon for nursing moms who get pregnant, mainly because of all the hormonal changes your body goes through–I just so happened to be one of the lucky ones.
26 weeks have passed since I got mastitis for the second time and we are still nursing, although I'm not quite sure we will be for much longer. About five weeks ago, I decided I wanted to start slowing weaning Jayden off of the breast, as I realized I may not be up for tandem nursing a newborn and a toddler in just a few short weeks. So we introduced cows milk for the first time, at 18 months. We actually started with almond milk, then tried coconut milk but ultimately ended up with organic cows milk as that was clearly Jayden's favorite. I wont get into details on the whole weaning process just yet, but I promise once we are fully weaned I will share our experience with you.
As of now, at 19 months, Jayden still nurses once a day (more when he was sick this last week) and there have also been a few days where he has skipped a day nursing all together, mainly because we were super busy that day.
With only three weeks to go, give or take, before baby number two makes his arrival, I'm not sure how my breastfeeding journey with Jayden will end. How will he react with his new baby brother encroaching on his territory? With his be jealous or will he be happy to share? Will he want to nurse more? Or will he he fully wean himself?
Only time will tell...
For now, I'm am beyond grateful that we made it this far and I could be happier with the bond that we have formed because of it.
Breastfeeding While Pregnant | What to Expect...
Yes, it is possible
Your milk may dry up
It most likely will be painful at some point
It's perfectly safe... but always check with your doctor first
Your belly will get in the way
You child may end up weaning on their own
Make sure to stay EXTRA extra hydrated
You will be beyond exhausted
Your nipples will be extra sensitive
It's okay to decide to wean early
Don't be surprised if your little one weans themselves
If you are a breastfeeding mama, I highly suggest looking up a photographer in your area that would be willing to take some breastfeeding shots for you. Not only is it a great reminder of the bond between mother and child, but you will have these photos for a lifestyle to remember how strong and amazing YOU are... I mean, making milk is totally a super power if you ask me! If you're in the NY/Queens area check out Kim Max Photo.