Pregnancy Symptoms while Breastfeeding

The time following the birth of your child is one that is full of new experiences and changes. These can include both physical and emotional changes. If a woman chooses to breastfeed, then this may cause additional changes. Sometimes, a woman may experience a range of symptoms that makes her mistakenly believe that she is pregnant. Here is an overview of some of these symptoms and their causes.

Missed periods

During pregnancy a woman does not have periods. This is partly due to hormonal changes that prevent her from releasing an egg and also affect the thickness of the lining of the womb. Similarly, following the birth of a child and while breastfeeding, a woman’s hormones may fluctuate. Furthermore, the body is still recovering from the pregnancy and labor. This may mean that she misses one period or more, or even stops menstruating altogether while she is breastfeeding.


Another common symptom of pregnancy is nausea. Again, this is caused by hormone fluctuations. Additional causes while breastfeeding that may contribute to the feeling of nausea are tiredness and a poor diet. It is important to get plenty of rest and eat regular, healthy meals while pregnant.

Tender breasts

Women often have tender breasts in the earlier stages of pregnancy. When women are breastfeeding, even if breastfeeding is going well, they will usually have some tenderness to the breasts and their nipples may feel uncomfortable. This is particularly the case in the early days of breastfeeding as they adapt to their new roles. Also, the breasts will change shape as they fill with milk and pregnant women often find that their breasts become larger. Therefore, it is understandable that a woman may mistake the increase in breast size and tenderness that are caused by breastfeeding to be signs of pregnancy.

Weight gain

One of the benefits that many women find when breastfeeding is that they will lose weight easily. Unfortunately, some women have the opposite experience. The body can retain weight to ensure that the women is in a healthy condition for breastfeeding. Another reason for weight gain while breastfeeding is that a woman may become less active while recovering from the birth and nursing her baby. As one of the symptoms of pregnancy is weight gain, it is not uncommon for a women who is also experiencing other symptoms to mistakenly believe that she is pregnant.

Could you be pregnant?

In spite of there being good explanations why pregnant women may experience the symptoms of pregnancy, it is still possible for them not to be pregnant. If you are experiencing one or more symptoms of pregnancy, it is important to take a pregnancy test and seek the advice of a medical professional.


Some symptoms of pregnancy, such as lack of periods, tender breasts, weight gain and nausea are also experienced by breastfeeding women. These may be caused by a number of factors including hormonal fluctuations and the physical changes to the body that take place following the birth. However, if a woman is experiencing one or more of these symptoms then it is wise to take a pregnancy test and rule out pregnancy as a cause of these symptoms.