Breastmilk Changes During Pregnancy

I was watching 18 Kids and Counting this week when Michelle Duggar announced that she is expecting baby #19. Though some say the family is crazy for wanting so many children, I embrace it with secret hopes that I may be able to have a large family myself someday. I would love to have a full house. I can’t say that I’m physically able to carry that many babies, but I’ll take as many as I can get.

The reason I mention Michelle is she talked about discovering the pregnancy after noticing that baby Jordan was fussing a lot while nursing. It’s not uncommon to hear about babies fussing at the breast when their mother becomes pregnant, but what causes it?

As Michelle noted, there is a change in the taste of the breastmilk. This happens as a result in the change of the composition of the milk. Sodium and protein increase while glucose, lactose, and potassium decrease. The increased sodium can make the milk taste salty, which explains why some babies will self-wean once the mother becomes pregnant.

Another reason babies may begin to fuss is a decrease in milk supply, which is triggered by the hormones of pregnancy. Not all women experience a decrease in their supply.

If your baby continues to nurse while you are pregnant, she may increase her solids intake as your milk slowly changes into colostrum or if it decreases in supply. The colostrum may also cause the child to have loose stools since it has a laxative effect.

As long as you are healthy, there is no reason you cannot continue to nurse if your baby does not object. Once the new baby is born, you body will produce enough milk to meet the demand. Women are more likely to have problems with oversupply rather than under-supply when nursing a toddler and an infant.

This entry was posted in Involving Siblings/Family by Kim Neyer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kim Neyer

Kim is a freelance writer, photographer and stay at home mom to her one-year-old son, Micah. She has been married to her husband, Eric, since 2006. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, with a degree in English Writing. In her free time she likes to blog, edit photos, crochet, read, watch movies with her family, and play guitar.