Smiling like Sunshine: 5 tips on nursing during pregnancy and tandem nursing

Saturday, 6 August 2011

5 tips on nursing during pregnancy and tandem nursing

I have been tandem nursing for 19 months now and in honour of the World Breastfeeding Week I wanted to share my top tips.
Tandem feeding has its ups and downs. One day you will enjoy it, the other day you might ask yourself why you never weaned this child in the first place. It's perfectly okay, try to find other tandem nursing mothers, online or in real life. They'll most probably been there, done that and will offer support to you.
A little background about us: I rarely  feed them together but when I do, I love watching them giggle, hold hands and smile at each other. My daughter is 4 years 8 months old now, only breastfeeds once in the morning and once before bedtime. Somedays she skips bedtime and somedays she wants to feed when she comes home from preschool.
Without further ado here are my tips:
  1. I cannot recommend LLL's book Adventures in Tandem Nursing highly enough. This book gives you the confidence to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy, has advice on eating for three, on how to breastfeed with a growing bump and tandem feeding. Some mothers feel very sensitive during pregnancy and cannot bear their older children breastfeeding. This books also shows you some gentle ways to wean your older child, if need be. I personally felt some sensitivity, not to the point I couldn't bear it though, so I persevered.
  2. Running after a toddler  during the pregnancy is quite tiring. My toddler also gave up napping during that time. By the afternoon, both of us would exhausted. We used to rest on the sofa whilst she breastfed happily. I still remember that time fondly.
  3. When my son was born, my daughter had just turned 3. I had assumed that she would only feed once or twice a day at that point. However she was an avid nurser but old enough to understand that mummy wants to rest a bit and does not want to nurse. So, I sometimes distracted her. I offered a drink, a snack. I offered a cuddle, I offered to play with her.
  4. As children get older, they start to lose their perfect latch which is disturbing for mothers. It's always great to remember the basics of a good latch. I particularly find it difficult to feed my daughter in the morning, after having fed my baby all night long. But at the same time, I don't want to force her to give up those morning sessions as I know that she's not ready for that yet. Again distraction works best here. I try to distract myself by reading.
  5. During the early weeks my daughter was very anxious that baby brother would finish all the milk and none would be left to her. She would tell me from which breast to feed, insisting on it. She would say that she would finish all the milk. This both saddened and annoyed me. Then a wise mother told me to be playful about it. I would repeat with her that "D. will finish  all the milk" exagerrating it and we would laugh. This made a big difference, she relaxed about it and it was no longer an issue.