Can Breastfeeding While Pregnant Cause Miscarriages


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Breastfeeding and Miscarriage. Although there are numerous conflicting opinions on the issue of breastfeeding during pregnancy, no research has ever found an increased risk of miscarriage in women who continue breastfeeding an older child during pregnancy. 1. In the past, doctors used to advise women to stop nursing when they became pregnant again.

According to a new study reported on in Perspectives on Sexual Reproductive Health, exclusive breastfeeding during pregnancy may elevate the risk of miscarriage to a similar degree as conceiving after age 40. 1 Importantly, in the same study, mothers exhibited no added risk if they were giving their children complementary foods while breastfeeding and pregnant. There is a extremely slight chance that breastfeeding causing contractions that may cause a miscarriage, but this is very unlikely to happen with healthy pregnancies in the first two trimesters.

The amount of oxytocin released in response to breastfeeding is typically minimal, and the uterus isn’t ready to respond to that call to shrink back to pre-pregnancy size at these early. Generally, the answer is no, breastfeeding won’t cause miscarriage in every case. But before you run off, worry free, you have to know that this isn’t a black and white world. Breastfeeding can impact your pregnancy, but just because it can, doesn’t mean it will. Mothers who breastfed exclusively during pregnancy had a significantly higher risk of miscarriage vs mothers who breastfed during pregnancy but also gave complementary foods to.

Many women fear that breastfeeding may cause harm to their unborn baby by increasing their risk of miscarriage. This belief is supported by the fact that the pregnancy hormone that aids contractions during labour is released during breastfeeding too and thus may cause miscarriage. 2. There is, however, one situation where breastfeeding during pregnancy is NOT considered safe. For moms who have a history of miscarriages or preterm labor (labor beginning before 37 weeks gestation) with previous pregnancies, breastfeeding may increase the risk of these events occurring again.

This is because oxytocin, the hormone released during breastfeeding that stimulates contractions, is usually released in such a small amount during breastfeeding that is not enough to cause preterm labor. Such contractions are also harmless to the fetus and rarely increase the chances of having a miscarriage. The emotional state of women during pregnancy: the emotional state of women during pregnancy including being depressed or stressed is not linked to the increased risk of having a miscarriage. Having a fright or shock during pregnancy: if you suffer from a fright or shock during pregnancy, it may also not increase your risk of having a miscarriage.

However, pregnancy can cause changes in your level of comfort and sexual desire. Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage? Having sex during pregnancy won’t provoke a miscarriage.

Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing normally.

List of related literature:

The Miscarriage Clinic in London states that once a pregnancy is clinically detectable, breastfeeding should pose no added risk of pregnancy loss, and there is no reason to link breastfeeding and miscarriage.

“Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession” by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
from Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession
by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

Once the embryo is implanted, and the mother knows she is pregnant, breastfeeding can’t cause miscarriage.

“Breastfeeding Made Easy: A gift for life for you and your baby” by Carlos González
from Breastfeeding Made Easy: A gift for life for you and your baby
by Carlos González
Pinter & Martin Limited, 2014

It can cause intrauterine death and stillbirth but infection acquired during birth or in the postnatal period through breastfeeding is not associated with adverse neonatal outcome unless the infant is premature (Newell & McIntyre 2000).

“Mayes' Midwifery E-Book: A Textbook for Midwives” by Sue Macdonald
from Mayes’ Midwifery E-Book: A Textbook for Midwives
by Sue Macdonald
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

If the woman’s condition remains stable, with no excessive bleeding, there is no cause for concern; breastfeeding can be initiated, with the added benefit of increased oxytocin release to promote uterine contraction.

“Skills for Midwifery Practice Australia & New Zealand edition” by Sara Bayes, Sally-Ann de-Vitry Smith, Robyn Maude
from Skills for Midwifery Practice Australia & New Zealand edition
by Sara Bayes, Sally-Ann de-Vitry Smith, Robyn Maude
Elsevier Health Sciences APAC, 2018

The mother may become pregnant, and her history of miscarriage or preterm birth may preclude breastfeeding.

“Counseling the Nursing Mother” by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
from Counseling the Nursing Mother
by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015

However, they are at increased risk for preeclampsia, intrauterine fetal death, preterm birth and low-birth-weight infants, and postpartum endometritis.

“Maternal Child Nursing Care” by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, David Wilson
from Maternal Child Nursing Care
by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, et. al.
Elsevier, 2013

Mothers may find the production of breastmilk following the miscarriage, stillbirth or death of her baby distressing, particularly if they were unaware of this happening (Bakhbakhi et al. 2017).

“Myles' Textbook for Midwives E-Book” by Jayne E. Marshall, Maureen D. Raynor
from Myles’ Textbook for Midwives E-Book
by Jayne E. Marshall, Maureen D. Raynor
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2020

The antibodies themselves do not cause miscarriage, but their presence indicates that an abnormal autoimmune process will likely interrupt the ability of the phospholipids to do their job, putting the woman at risk for miscarriage, second trimester loss, intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia.

“Manual of Obstetrics E-book” by Daftary, SUDIP Chakravarti, Muralidhar Pai, Prahalad Kushtagi
from Manual of Obstetrics E-book
by Daftary, SUDIP Chakravarti, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

It may cause miscarriage, usually in the second trimester, and is the cause of 15–20% of pregnancy losses as well as premature labour.

“Pregnancy and Childbirth E-Book: A holistic approach to massage and bodywork” by Suzanne Yates
from Pregnancy and Childbirth E-Book: A holistic approach to massage and bodywork
by Suzanne Yates
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Breastfeeding immediately after birth and in the early days postpartum increases the release of oxytocin, which decreases blood loss and reduces the risk for postpartum hemorrhage.

“Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada E-Book” by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Lisa Keenan-Lindsay, David Wilson, Cheryl A. Sams
from Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada E-Book
by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • Also a pregnant nurse (20 weeks!) but working in labor and delivery. Such a difficult time right now living it and seeing it firsthand! Thanks for keeping us informed of the facts without adding to the anxiety or panic. Hope the rest of your pregnancy is smooth sailing!

  • There is so much information out there. I appreciate the information from UCLA to be reliable. Can you update this site with the most current information on Pregnancy and Covid 19. Thankyou

  • Thank you so much for all your videos, for me you are the best for preparing to take the NCLEX, I’m waiting for my Att and is the 3rd time I’m going to take it, I would like some advice from you, I need to pass that test this time. Congrats for your family! Be safe!

  • I am an Australian doctor working in a tertiary hospital. I showed your videos to a few of my colleagues. All were impressed. Easy to learn easy to understand thorough and consistent.

  • True story I was in my 3rd Trimester ready to pop in Nov 2019….well in Oct 2019 i got really sick went to the hospital the emergency room put me at the end of the hall by the bathroom knowing my symptoms was shortness of breath (hard for me to breath sitting up and laying down) and I got asthma. I never been this sick before. no one check on me knowing I’m way pregnant and breathing problems. I get to a floor um staying over night they said pneumonia but was debating to put me on the maternity floor. I was confused, and irritable with the hospital cause they sent me to get a cat scan but the tech didnt know I was pregnant til I said is this safe for pregnant women? and she said I didnt know and you can see I’m pregnant. so when I felt a little better I wanted to discharge myself I had two Male doctors that aggressively and intimating trying to convince me to stay. I had two obgyn doctors visit me all in one day. like I couldn’t but could understand why they was trying to convince me but the how thing was bizarre. anyways I was stubborn I left and I said me and my baby will be fine. welp me and my family treatortreat and I had a healthy baby girl in Nov too. I think this virus been here even before November. cause I live with my grandmother and she end up in hospital together.

  • Thank you for all your hard work! I am currently in my third trimester and finishing up last semester of PN school! I am looking forward to the next video on the topic! Stay safe!!

  • I have watched your videos throughout nursing school and just passed my NCLEX yesterday. Your videos are amazing!!! Thank you!:)

  • I’m keeping you and your baby and family in my prayers. I have a question and would appreciate your input. I’m a med student early in their pre internship, and am asking lots of pregnant women questions. I know that women can be pregnant and have periods, or be asymptomatic and still pregnant, but what’s the data of women that miss three periods and STILL be asymptomatic? Especially if they’ve NEVER missed that many periods before, and have light spotted a couple days. Oh, they also have PCOS. Should they be more concerned about pregnancy, or something else? Abby input is appreciated. Congrats on your pregnancy. Blessings. ������

  • I’m currently in my third trimester. Definitely have my moments like you. It’s a scary time. Had a checkup today. Was told only one person can be in the room with me and I have to wear a mask the entire time of labor especially during pushing. Glad they’re taking precautions but really sad that I won’t be able to kiss my babies head right after birth.

  • Thank you for all your videos and Teaching Sarah, is really happening me to prepare for Nclex. Please can you make video on mental health? Am finding it difficult to understand

  • I’m in my second trimester and it’s so scary because of what’s going on but I’m also vary excited I hope things get better in November I hope. ����

  • Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for watching. Don’t forget about:
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  • Hi Sarah! I was wondering if you could do a video on fetal wellbeing assessments (BPP), leopold maneuvers and fetal positioning, and also one explaining the different kinds of decelerations. These are some things that I struggle to understand as a 3rd semester nursing student. I know that if anyone can make me understand it is you! Thank you so much for what you do.

  • Hello My girl is 11 months old and I just found out i’m pregnant(5 w) My doctor suggest to stop breastfeeding Before my girl, i had a miscarriage at 6 w
    I m not really prepare for weaning, My milk is the only one she has drunk
    Is there a higher risk of miscarriage?? Thanks You Sorry about my english