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Breastfeeding during pregnancy

Lots of mothers breastfeed successfully during pregnancy. But you may notice some changes. These are normal.

Breast milk supply

If you are breastfeeding when you become pregnant, your milk supply will drop. This is because hormones during pregnancy cause a decrease in milk production.

Your milk supply will not dry up completely. But you may notice it drop more in the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy.

Nipple pain

Nipple pain is a common side effect of the hormonal changes of pregnancy. You may need to breastfeed less often and shorten feeding times.


Some breastfeeding babies and toddlers respond to a drop in milk supply by breastfeeding less. They may want to start weaning. Weaning is starting your baby on solid foods.

This depends on their own readiness to wean. It also depends on your own feelings about feeding through pregnancy. Mixed feelings are common when feeding during pregnancy.

Weaning - starting your baby on solid foods

As your milk changes

Your breast milk’s taste can change a bit later in the pregnancy. Your milk will also turn into colostrum.

Older babies may notice a change in the taste. They may wean at that point. But they also may want to try feeding again after the new baby arrives. This is known as tandem feeding.

The older child will not deprive the newborn of colostrum by feeding during pregnancy.

The increased amount of hormones in your breast milk are completely safe for your breastfeeding child.

Concern about your breast milk supply

Tandem breastfeeding

This is when you are breastfeeding your newborn and your older child.

When tandem feeding, your newborn baby should get first preference with feeds.

Your older child may have stopped breastfeeding before the new baby's arrival, but now wants to feed a lot.

Depending on your older child's age, try to explain to them that they can still feed but as the new baby is small they will need more feeding.

As your new baby grows you may be able to feed both children at the same time.

This can be a very confusing time for your older child. The more you explain to them about what is happening, the easier the transition will be. The extra feeding they will want to do at first is often short lived.

Continuing to feed after the new baby is born may help to ease the emotional adjustment of the older child.

Taking care of yourself

It will be important to make sure you take good care of yourself. Eat well and rest whenever you can. This is not always easy when you have a young child, so ask for help from friends and family.

Looking after your mental health

Get support

Attending a breastfeeding support group can be an enjoyable way to talk with other mothers. Some may be able to give advice about breastfeeding through pregnancy.

Find your local breastfeeding support group

What happens at a breastfeeding support group

Page last reviewed: 20 August 2022
Next review due: 20 August 2025