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'I was still breastfeeding my nine-month-old when I fell pregnant with my second child.'

Aussie actress Teresa Palmer recently posted a beautiful image of her and a friend breastfeeding their children on Instagram. The image itself was striking in its own right but the thing that many followers found more remarkable was the fact that Teresa Palmer is currently four months pregnant with her third child. So not only did she conceive while breastfeeding, she continues to breastfeed while pregnant.

Underneath the image there were comments amazed that this was even possible, one user saying, “and I thought it wasn’t even possible to fall pregnant while I’m still breastfeeding my toddler…never say never!” Palmer’s response, “yes absolutely possible” stating she was still feeding her two-year-old, three to four times per day when she got pregnant.

 

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Beautiful night with beautiful friends and beautiful babes ✨ @swrightolsen @ericcolsen @markwebber

A post shared by Teresa Palmer (@teresapalmer) on

And boy is Teresa right (I say like she is my BFF), it is indeed absolutely possible because the same thing happened to me. When I was still breastfeeding my nine-month-old I too fell pregnant with my second child (for this I blame Patrick dying on Offspring and my emotional needs following) and nine months later my Milla-Moo arrived.

Although most people are aware that breastfeeding is not a form of contraception, the belief is still definitely out there and is probably a cause of many surprise or at least, unexpected pregnancies. The reality is though, that many women are in this situation or have been, including my BFF Teresa and myself.

In my experience nothing really changed for the first few months. I felt the same, my supply (at least in my eyes) remained the same, my eldest daughter fed the same but after about three months I realised she had begun to naturally wean herself, eventually stopping at around 13 months, when I was four months pregnant.

For others though, according to the Australian Breast Feeding Association (ABFA), the changes of pregnancy (yep, those pesky hormones) can create worsened morning sickness during feeds, increased hunger or thirst and increased nipple tenderness which some women have described as “excruciating.”

In some instances, this may be cause for some mums to wean their child, for others they feel as if they can overcome it. For others, like myself, it isn’t an issue at all. Like many things it is really the luck or ‘unluckiness’ of the draw.

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breastfeeding while pregnant
Me with my mate Teresa Palmer (I joke) when she was filming at my work. Image: Supplied.

Although I knew that breastfeeding wasn’t a form of contraception I was still one of the women who were surprised by my pregnancy news. I had about 500 questions for my Obstetrician, mostly about safety of continuing to feed for both my nine-month-old and the newest growing in utero. For my specific situation everything was given the A-OK. Apparently, our bodies are pretty amazing and accommodate for quite a lot. Although its best to check with your medial professional/s if in the situation, for the majority of women multitasking even with breastfeeding and pregnancy is indeed possible.

There are definite changes to your breast milk while being pregnant in regard to volume and milk composition. Some women can notice a decrease in milk supply within the first month but most notice it mid-pregnancy. According to a 1984 study by Prosser, Saint & Hartmann, changes in a pregnant women’s supply were similar to women who were also gradually weaning, this also affected the taste of breast milk. The results on the children consuming the breast milk varied though, some didn’t seem to notice the change while others did.

Although the realities of breastfeeding while pregnant will be different for each woman’s situation, the general advice from The Australian Breastfeeding Association is to keep going as long as it’s safe to do so and if you of course choose to.

For many women who continue to breastfeed while pregnant they will often do so for the entire pregnancy and then afterwards. Feeding tandemly- at the same time, one after the other or both children at completely different times are all possible depending on your situation says ABFA (and coordination says me).

Do you have any experience breastfeeding while pregnant? Tell us in a comment below.

Now that tampons are no longer considered a 'luxury item,' let's win the fight on breast pumps.

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