Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: Is it permissible to breastfeed whilst pregnant? I have been told this is sinful and harmful to the baby and ones own health?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
The Related Hadith
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I had intended on prohibiting al-ghila, but then I reflected upon the Romans and Persians: surely, they do this and it does not harm their children.” [Sahih Muslim]
Scholars differed as to what is meant by al-ghila in the hadith: some maintained it refers to a man having intercourse with his wife who is nursing, while others said that it means for a woman to nurse while pregnant. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]
Imam Baji comments that although the Prophet did not prohibit this, he did allude by stating “I had intended on prohibiting” that harm is possible from it. Yet he still refrained from prohibiting it altogether since it does not necessarily and generally result in harm. [Baji, Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta]
The Legal Perspective
Based on this hadith, jurists mention that for a woman to breastfeed while pregnant is generally permissible as long as there is no fear of harm to the nursing baby, fetus or mother, although some say avoiding it is still more preferable. If however it is established in a particular case that doing so would indeed be harmful, then it would be impermissible. [Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia]
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no harm nor reciprocating harm (la darar wa la dirar)” [Ibn Maja, Daraqutni], a universal principle based on which our jurists have laid down key legal maxims such as “Harm is to be avoided (al-darar yuzal).” [Majalla]
In terms of modern medical opinion, the Mayo clinic and other reliable sources say that it is generally fine, as long as the woman eats well and takes plenty of fluids:
The woman in question should consult a reliable physician to ensure there is no concern of harm in her particular case.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani