Tandem Breastfeeding - hints and tips !
Hello everyone, it's Harriet here again from Making A House A Home
Today I'm here to talk to you all about tandem breastfeeding.
Finding out you’re pregnant brings with it a whole new host of excitement, wonders and worries…A flurry of baby-related thoughts whizzing around your mind.
One of the worries the second time around for me, was if I would have to stop my current breastfeeding journey.
There isn’t a great deal of information readily available out there about tandem feeding, or about what happens to your breastfeeding journey when you fall pregnant!
But having a new baby and starting a fresh breastfeeding journey, doesn’t have to mean the end of your old one. Obviously every experience is different and occasionally circumstances can be out of your control - for example, you may have to stop breastfeeding during pregnancy if your milk dries up.
However, there are often ways around these circumstances (in this situation - dry nursing, re-introducing breastfeeding when the baby is born, etc.).
Often babies/toddlers will be happy to feed throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
Tandem feeding enables you to feed two little ones at once.
Combining the beautiful, rewarding experience of breastfeeding with bonding time for your children too!
Tandem feeding is a topic that isn't widely talked about.
I'm SO proud that I managed to tandem feed, it is hands down one of my top 'mum achievements'.
Breastfeeding two babies at once may seem overwhelming but it is such a rewarding thing to be able to do. Tandem feeding doesn't necessarily mean you need to feed both in the same feeding session, it means you're feeding two little ones during the same period of time. Therefore, it can look different for everyone. Some mums prefer to alternate feeds, and feed one child at a time. Other mums prefer to feed their little ones together, at the same time one on each side.
For me, I've always fed on demand. So it really would just depend on who wanted milk, when!
I had my two boys 17 months apart, Freddie fed the whole way through my pregnancy and continued for a good few months when Edward was born.
Personally, I found it really helped my little ones to bond with each other too! There was no jealousy from my toddler towards the baby, as instead of the toddler feeling pushed out when the baby wanted to feed, they would often feed together... Sometimes even holding hands, which was totally adorable!
I initially thought tandem breastfeeding felt a bit intimidating really...I asked myself, was my body really capable of producing enough milk to nurture two babies at once? Then, I thought about all of those breastfeeding Twin mums and how they managed!
Especially since both of their babies would be the same age, therefore double the cluster feeding and growth spurts - something I didn't have to contend with, with two little ones of quite different ages. If they could do it, then I surely could too! Us mums really are more capable than we realise, and our love for these little people pushes our boundaries and abilities, more than we could imagine.
The hardest thing about tandem feeding for me, other than the physical tiredness due to it being quite demanding, was the positioning. I found it incredibly hard to get both babies supported comfortably and safely but like with anything, it became easier with more practice.
This is something that wouldn't have posed such a challenge had I fed them separately but feeding them together at the same time, did provide a special bonding time for the three of us. A nursing pillow was particularly helpful when it came to this, as well as feeding somewhere comfortable - such as in bed, where I could prop myself, and them, up with pillows and of course easy breastfeeding clothes .
I used to do the rugby hold feed with them quite often, so they both had their heads in the centre and legs out to the side. However, we did get creative too - sometimes I even laid the baby stacked on top of the toddler! You'll find out what feels most secure to you and your little people as you go.
Breastfeeding is such an incredible gift, and to be able to nurse two babies at once is amazing. It takes a lot of dedication and love.
Something REALLY important, is to make sure you are looking after YOU. Eating a nutritious diet, drinking lots to ensure you are keeping hydrated, and (although often it seems impossible) resting as much as you can, are all vital for a successful tandem-feeding journey.
Those newborn days are always such a haze, it can be hard to remember to find time to take care of yourself properly but it really will help.
I hope you have found this read interesting, and if you have any other questions I'd love to chat about them!
Harriet is seen here were a Stylish Mum Breastfeeding Dress
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