You’ve recently had a baby, and you’re currently breastfeeding. But something seems a little different. This time, you’re starting to notice symptoms that are a lot like you had when you were pregnant.
And good news: you might be pregnant again.
Some women believe that they can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, but this is a fallacy. It may be a little more difficult to get pregnant while breastfeeding, but many babies have been conceived when their mother was breastfeeding their brother or sister. Pregnancy symptoms while breastfeeding are real.
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7 Common Pregnancy Symptoms While Breastfeeding
If you’ve had intercourse since you’ve given birth and are still breastfeeding, there is a chance that you can get pregnant. A few of the symptoms that you’ll experience include:
Your energy levels have just gotten back to normal, and all of a sudden you’re feeling very fatigued. This is fatigue that feels more extreme than the normal “I need a nap” type of fatigue, and it will happen when just going about your normal everyday life.
You may feel fatigued from something simple, such as:
- Walking the dog
- Cleaning the floor
- Doing laundry
The severity is much worse than when you first get pregnant. Mothers-to-be normally don’t start feeling fatigued until they’re at the end of their first trimester. But when you get pregnant and are still breastfeeding, you’ll feel an entirely new level of fatigue that you never felt before. Many women have gone on walks around the neighborhood with their baby and felt like they could barely make it back home.
2. Increased Thirst
Women often feel extreme or increased thirst when they get pregnant while breastfeeding. Your child that is breastfeeding is taking in a lot of the liquids you drink, and now the new baby is also causing your body to lose more fluids. So, you’ll need to boost your liquid intake as a result.
While every woman may not have this increased thirst level, it is rather common.
If you have the feeling of sore breasts or nipples, you’ll often equate it to breastfeeding itself. Babies can be a little eager to eat, and it’s not uncommon for mom’s nipples to get sore. If you’re the type of mother that will feed their baby every time they cry, you’ll notice that your nipples are sore more often than not.
But, sore breasts and nipples are also a sign that you may be pregnant. In fact, sore breasts and nipples are one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, and this soreness is one of the first symptoms a woman will feel when pregnant.
Unfortunately, cramping can be very severe. Many women will believe that they’re going to have their period, but as time goes on and no blood is experienced, it becomes apparent that something just isn’t right.
Cramping may be from implantation and you may even experience implantation bleeding, which is an early sign that you’re pregnant.
5. Lower Milk Supply
You’ve been breastfeeding, but something has changed. The milk levels seem to be a little lower, and your baby seems to be hungry shortly after he or she has fed. All of this can be associated with another pregnancy.
But note that lower milk supply isn’t common until well into your pregnancy – at least two to three months into the pregnancy.
The best option at this point is to get tested to ensure that you’re pregnant and something else isn’t causing your milk levels to plummet.
Another indicator is that something has changed in your milk. While you may not be drinking your own milk, the nursing baby may show distaste for the milk all of a sudden. Many mothers note that their child will suddenly not want to drink, and this is because the milk now has a slightly different taste because you’re pregnant.
The sickness has returned. Women normally don’t start feeling nausea until morning sickness kicks in. But it is a common symptom of pregnancy, and is one that women will complain about most.
When you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms while breastfeeding, you’ll find that nausea is heightened. You’ll begin to feel even more nausea than before, and this can be very intense. if this does occur to you, there are two options:
- Ensure you’re eating enough to sustain the feeding baby
- Start feeding the breastfeeding baby formula
All too often, mothers will feel such a high level of nausea that they simply don’t eat enough. Since you’re breastfeeding, you need to make sure you’re eating enough to be able to provide your nursing baby with adequate nutrients.
It’s normal for pregnant women to feel a loss of appetite at this time, and eating smaller meals more often will likely alleviate the issue. But if you just can’t eat a full meal and are sick to your stomach, switch to formula for the sake of your baby.
7. The Hunger Returns
Some women feel sick to their stomach, and others are hungry. Very hungry. And if you’re hungry, it’s because you’re feeding one baby and now eating for another baby. It’s a difficult time for mom at this point, and you need to eat more calories naturally when pregnant and breastfeeding.
If you start to notice that your hunger is increased and you can’t seem to feel satiated, there is a chance that you’re now pregnant.
Breastfeeding can cause many of the symptoms above if you’re not pregnant, so your main objective now is to determine if you are pregnant. Any woman that experiences the above symptoms will want to discuss their options with her doctor. You can also choose to take a pregnancy test at this time. At-home pregnancy tests have a very high level of accuracy and will be able to provide you with quick results on your pregnancy.
If you do find that the test is positive, congratulations. It’s important for women that are still breastfeeding one child and pregnant to contact their medical professional. Your doctor will be able to advise you on proper dietary requirements and what to expect now that you’re pregnant again.