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Author Topic: question for mothers who have nursed, esp while pregnant  (Read 528 times) Average Rating: 0
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islandbird
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« on: December 23, 2012, 12:58:42 PM »

I will try to ask this question as simply as possible.  It's difficult to find anyone really familiar with these topics (nursing during pregnancy) and familiar with the church's attitude or stance on the issue (if there even is any).  I know the RC Church recommends nursing an infant for at least a year.

I have 15 month old with asthma.  For those unaware, breastfeeding is supposed to help prevent asthma and/ or its severity, which is the main reason I have continued to nurse her this long.

However while nursing I've had countless "chemical pregnancies" where a conception occurs but the pregnancy doesn't progress past 5 weeks.  I haven't been able to get a definitive answer if nursing could have prevented the pregnancies but chances are it did.

More recently, I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks.  The sonogram showed development stopped at 6 weeks.  I could count back pretty much to the day when my baby got sick and went from nursing 3-4X a day to nursing nonstop.  I can't help but think this caused the miscarriage.

So what I am wondering, is, if I should avoid pregnancy since my body seems like a precarious environment for the fetus, or if, I am morally obligated to wean if I fall pregnant again.

I know many women have nursed through pregnancies but if I'm causing harm to the fetus by doing this should I stop?  Or am I jumping to conclusions that nursing is causing the miscarriages?

Thanks for any consideration.
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LBK
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 05:03:19 PM »

For some (many?) women, breastfeeding acts as a natural contraceptive. It's a characteristic in certain members of my extended family.
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islandbird
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 05:36:22 PM »

That's interesting.  I guess my concern is that nursing is acting as an "abortifacient" since I am conceiving but the pregnancies are terminating.  I know any kind of abortifacient BC is generally not condoned by the church.  Huh
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Quinault
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 07:24:37 PM »

Hi! I certainly can tell you my experience.


I have been breastfeeding since my first child was born 10-2001. My eldest weaned 1 month before I conceived our second, she weaned while I was 6 months pregnant with our 3rd, he weaned about 10 months after I had our 4th, she weaned when I was 6 months pregnant with our 5th, he is still nursing at 10 months and I am 4 months pregnant. I have had 4 miscarriages since my eldest was born. For me, breastfeeding causes my progesterone levels to drop at about 6 weeks. I have enough progesterone to ovulate and get pregnant, but not enough to sustain a pregnancy to 12 weeks. If I start progesterone supplementation as soon as I get a positive pregnancy test, I can sustain the pregnancy.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 07:27:54 PM by Quinault » Logged
ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 08:40:35 PM »

For some (many?) women, breastfeeding acts as a natural contraceptive. It's a characteristic in certain members of my extended family.
Didn't work in my family: my brother is just over a year younger than me (and my younger brother just under three years younger than me), and my sons are just a year and a half apart.

The contraceptive effect is IIRC, preventing ovulation.  Affecting carrying to term?  Never heard of it (I would expect that if it did, the mother wouldn't menstruate while nursing).

This summarizes what I recall on the matter:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/breastfeeding/faqs/breastfeeding-fertility

That's interesting.  I guess my concern is that nursing is acting as an "abortifacient" since I am conceiving but the pregnancies are terminating.  I know any kind of abortifacient BC is generally not condoned by the church.  Huh
No, they are not condoned at all.  But has your doctor identified this as the problem?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 08:42:08 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 08:48:47 PM »

What happens is that there is an in between period where a breast-feeding woman ovulates, as well as menstruates, but the corpus luteum stops releasing progesterone around 6 weeks. This is a common issue. I have the lab work that shows that at about 5-6 weeks I stop producing progesterone naturally. You only need a low level of progesterone to ovulate and for the first week or so after conception. Thereafter you need a level of around 20+ to sustain a pregnancy. While breast-feeding many woman can't naturally rise above a level of around 5 without help. This is enough to ovulate, enough to implant, but not enough to sustain a pregnancy.

It has to do with prolactin levels as well as the other hormones associated with breast-feeding.


And as many an infertile woman knows, it is entirely possible and quite common to have annovulatory cycles. Women that have PCOS or endometriosis often don't ovulate, but still have menstrual cycles. Unfortunately menstruation doesn't necessarily mean balanced hormones.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 09:01:24 PM by Quinault » Logged
mabsoota
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 12:49:04 PM »

i think you should discuss it with your doctor.
both breast feeding and pregnancy deplete the bodies stores of many nutrients, and there is certainly no orthodox teaching that you should breastfeed for a particular length of time.
whatever your doctor advises should be fine with any orthodox priest.
also pregnant or nursing women are not expected to fast.
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2012, 04:30:51 AM »

Is in awe at all of this medical talk
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 01:31:13 AM »

My condolences for your loss, Lord have mercy.

Breastfeeding as contraception prevents you from menstruating and releasing an ovum, it shouldn't cause you to have a miscarriage. The only way this would happen is if breastfeeding was causing your uterus to contract, which can happen, and this somehow lead to the miscarriage but that seems rather unlikely. I think in this situation you may have just been unlucky. Of course the hormonal issues another poster has, you may have as well. I think you need to speak to a doctor, basically. All I can say is that I've never heard of such an issue before today.

I fell pregnant with my second while I was still breastfeeding my toddler, who was about 14 months old. She was of course eating solid food so I was breastfeeding her part time, usually just before bed. I have had one early miscarriage prior to becoming pregnant with my eldest but no issue afterwards.
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