Breastfeeding is known as a natural contraceptive method for staying away from pregnancy. Breastfeeding reduces the fertility of a woman and suppresses ovulation.
However, pregnancy cannot be ruled out altogether while you are breastfeeding. Many women who become pregnant while breastfeeding do not know their pregnant status as they are not menstruating.However, there are other symptoms and signs that you can watch out for to find out if you are pregnant while you are breast feeding.
Signs Of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding
While women might miss the swelling and increase in size of the breast which are associated with pregnancy, they would surely notice that the nipples are very sore when you become pregnant while breast feeding.
The breasts will also be tender and would be more swollen than they usually are. If you notice these symptoms, you could be pregnant while still lactating.
Reduced Milk Supply
When you become pregnant while breastfeeding, there is a clash of hormones in your body and this can cause the milk supply to reduce in your breasts. Pregnancy hormones lead to decreased milk supply in the milk ducts and this can immediately be felt by the mother when she is nursing a baby. The reduction in milk supply can set in from the eight week of conception and will continue until delivery.
Change in Breast Milk Appearance
There would also be a definite change in the appearance of breast milk when you are pregnant while lactating. The colour of the breast milk will turn from white to a more watery consistency and colour.
You baby would start weaning on its own at this time as the taste of the breast milk too undergoes a change and your baby could be finding it less appealing. However, there is no harm in continuing the feeding if your baby does not stop on its own as the breast milk still has all the nutrients required for your baby.
Becoming pregnant while you are breastfeeding can take a toll on your body and you will feel increasingly fatigued and tired than usual. If you are feeling tired all the time and do not see any particular reason for the same, you could be pregnant again.
Pregnancy while breastfeeding will also have the common symptoms associated with all pregnancies like nausea, morning sickness, heightened sense of smell and taste etc.
While breastfeeding women have strong or mild abdominal cramps which is very normal. The cramping is triggered due to the release of the hormone known as oxytoxin to help stimulate milk production. During the time of labour, the same hormone is released.
When women are pregnant while breastfeeding, mild cramping will be felt as a result of oxytoxin release. Many women fear that this cramping can lead to miscarriage which is not true.
However, severe cramping at this time must not be ignored,no matter how unimportant as it could be a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or some other complication not related to pregnancy.