Monday, July 29, 2013

Nursing in tandem


Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

 DAY 8 : Breastfeeding Multiples

  This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding multiples. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!  

I was breastfeeding my first child when I became pregnant with my second. It was never in my mind to wean, and it seems it wasn't in my son's mind either as he continued to nurse throughout my pregnancy despite my milk having gone by about 22 weeks. The second time around I enjoyed a blissful pregnancy free from any morning sickness or nausea which I was very grateful for.  At times my nipples became tender and I would have to halt or delay nurturing at the breast until I had eaten or I was able to find relaxation in something. Overall it was pleasant, and I think it helped my son bond with his new brother being so close to him so often. I remember one time when he was nursing as I was quite far along and we felt the baby moving.

" oh the baby's kicking" I said "He's saying hello"

Moonflower smiled happily and brought his own foot up to my belly intent on returning the greeting.

" hahaha You can use your hand like this." rub. rub.

After the birth things were a little rough for the first day. Moon wanted to nurse but I was too tired to try to manage more than a brief tandem feed, with the new baby.

Dad to the rescue! 

Dave was a big help to all of us those first few days. Taking on pretty much all the house duties and paying special attention to our big brother to ease any resentful feelings.

Our sleeping arrangements went through a few transformations during the first few months as a family of four. I had purchased an extra queen sized mattress and set it up in the room where I was planning to give birth. Afterwards that room became the new baby's and mine, with Dave and Moonee in the old bedroom.

Co-sleeping and tandem feedings? yes I do that! 

For the first few months I would nurse my oldest to sleep in the bedroom then leaving him with dad I'd go to sleep with the baby in the birth room. About half way through the night I would hear Moonflower calling or he would just come into the birth room and join us in bed. I was comfortable with this arrangement, me sleeping between the boys and switching back and forth between them throughout the night.

After a few months though it got lonely and I missed Dave. So one day I moved the birth mattress into the bedroom and strapped the two beds together. This is how we've been doing it ever since. Over a year later both boys still nurse to sleep and wake a few times at night. As they both sleep continuously for at least eight hours I'm always rested unless I stay up to sew or craft and then blog about it!

Sometimes they get jealous and won't feed in tandem, and then its like any other instance of instructed sharing. We take turns.  They are not always happy about it but such is life.

There are moments of adorable cuteness when they fall asleep at nap times holding hands or start tickling each other while nursing. It's those moments I refer to when I feel like locking myself in bathroom with a pair of earplugs and a good book. (not something I've actually had to resort to)  It's of course harder than nursing a single child but everything about having two children is harder. Breastfeeding two was just another evolution of parenting two, and I'm glad to have not weaned my oldest. I know its important to him and I love the bond we all share.

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.
Did you miss the first week of the carnival? 

Day 1:  Favorite online resources for Breastfeeding

Day 2: Breastfeeding myths: The infant image

Day 3: Wordless Wednesday : Breastfeeding photos i LOVE

Day 4: Breastfeeding during special circumstances

Day 5: Helping other's with breastfeeding

Day 6: Favorite go-to resource

Day 7: Favorite Feeding Clothes

1 comment:

Krystyna said...

What a lovely story! It sounds like you all have made a wonderful transition to being a family of four. Our kiddos sometimes claim their "sides" and don't want the other nursling to eat from that breast. As you articulated so well, a great lesson in sharing that starts at home :) So great to connect with so many tandem mamas - thank you for sharing your story. I don't feel so alone now.