Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding My Toddler & Newborn
Since announcing to the world that I am still breastfeeding my toddler despite also feeding a newborn, I have had so much response and questions that I figured I would just blog about it!
Most of you already know that I fed my toddler all throughout my pregnancy and he has been breastfeeding for the last 2 years and 3 months of his life. Now, let’s get one thing straight: I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be that crunchy, hippy mama who breastfed her kid past one year of age, much less one who fed two kids at once. But hey, I fell in love with breastfeeding and the ability to provide that nurturing so I decided to go with the flow.
Since my daughter was born over a week ago, I have chosen to keep feeding my toddler in addition to her. Let me tell you this: it has not been easy, but it has been worth it.
To answer the most common question that I get asked: “Did you still produce colostrum after delivery?”
Of course I did! Your body is smarter than you may realize and the hormones from giving birth signals your body to start giving your newborn what they need, too, even despite already producing milk for another child. So, yes, I did produce colostrum for a few days!
The biggest challenge I have faced while tandem feeding (aka feeding two kids at once) has been my toddler’s jealousy. At two years of age, he does not get that his sissy needs the milk whereas he does not need it-it is simply for bonding and a “snack.” He will throw temper tantrums and lash out which has been quite frustrating-I have told myself at least ten times this week that I was going to stop breastfeeding him because I just couldn’t take it anymore! But then I cool off and I still nurse him because I love him and I know he needs this bond now more than ever. Adding a new child to the family has been a HUGE adjustment for all of us, but we are getting there.
Since I am feeding two kids, I am making a ton of milk to supply the both of them. My body realizes this-isn’t our bodies smart? I have been having to eat like a cow to be able to keep my weight on (currently less than 5lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight). This will also make my job at gaining muscle postpartum around 1,000 times harder since I will have to work double for it. All of my “gains” are going into these two little human beings! But I would not have it any other way.
If you have any questions about tandem feeding, feel free to ask!