Breastfeeding: A guide to tandem feeding

It’s been 16 months since I started tandem feeding both of my babies. Something I was once so worried about trying. The thought of feeding two children scared me especially with them being different ages, I were also worried I’d face the same issues I had with Logan, such as lip tie.

However, after a lot of patience and luckily a baby who took straight to boob with the perfect latch it was so much easier then I had planned. They were some moments where I struggled , such as positioning and being comfortable, especially with a toddler who does yoga poses whilst feeding…nightmare.

What did I do when I struggled? Of course I took to Facebook and to forums online, every google search possible you name it. In hope I could find someone to relate to, someone that could guide me through my struggles. It was very limited.

So, after a year of putting it off and adjusting to the craziness of having two kids I am Finally writing a guide. Breastfeeding is something I’m very passionate and open about and if I can help any struggling mum or even just a curious one, then that makes me happy.

Can I still breastfeed whilst pregnant ?

This is a common question and one I asked myself to my family nurse, it is a common belief that once you get pregnant you can no longer breastfeed. This isn’t true, not for every woman anyway. Milk drying up during pregnancy is actually uncommon, it is completely possible to continue with your breastfeeding journey if you choose to do so. For me I personally saw no differences when feeding Logan whilst I was pregnant, however some women can find it extremely uncomfortable due to hormones. A lot of patience and the use of nipple cream may be needed during these times and of course take it day by day. Your nursing child may also naturally cut down on feeds or make the decision to stop around 5/6 months into your pregnancy due to the taste of your milk changing. This is completely normal!

Choosing to carry on breastfeeding can be a huge decision to make. So make sure you have lots of support around you.

The early days – what to expect

This may surprise some but your milk will turn back into colostrum! Yes, back into liquid gold it’s honestly amazing what our bodies can do.

A worry for many new mums is , if their newborn is getting enough milk if their toddler is also feeding . As before, with your first nursing child, as long as you keep latching baby on and monitor their nappy’s you’re newborn will be receiving enough milk.

Do expect some discomfort at the start, remember you may be an expert now but this new little baby needs to learn. Have patience and guide baby into having a perfect latch.

Also, don’t be surprised if your toddler starts feeding as much as your newborn. This can be normal, they’ll be enjoying the increase of your milk supply. This can be beneficial to the three of you as it’s perfect time to bond.

Tandem Feeding Nursing Positions

Like feeding a single child they are many different positions to choose from. I personally found letting Logan latch on and get comfortable first was easier to do I would then prepare Lara with my free hands and get her into a “Rugby hold” for the early days she would perfectly fit into my forearm. This worked really well for the three of us, when Logan was tired whilst feeding he would lay down in same position without support and enjoy stroking his sister head whilst she fed next to him. Honestly these moments are so bittersweet and still to this day they have the cutest bond , even if they do occasionally argue over boobie.

These positions below will work with both twins or a toddler and newborn.

Double rugby hold

Hold your baby in our underarm with their feet facing away from you. If you are supporting a toddler make them lay or sit next to you with their feet facing the same way. This hold is perfect for fidgety toddlers and also for those who have had a c-section.

Double cradle hold

This is a popular position, it also feels super comfortable. Support your babies heads comfortably in the nook of your elbow. This is easier done with twins when they are both swaddled. With a toddler, let them latch after you’ve got yourself and baby in position comfortably.

Cradle clutch

This hold is a mix of rugby hold and cradle , this was another favourite position of mine. (Twiniversity have some fantastic graphics to work from if you get stuck!)

Photo credit: Twiniversity.com

Double side lying

Lay down and have your toddler on the bottom, then comfortably place your newborn on top with support.

Things to be prepared for

There’s a few new challenges with tandem feeding, especially with a toddler. As well as discovering what feeding position is best for you, be prepared for a fast flow! This is completely normal. If needs be , express a little milk before latching you’re baby on, this will slow down your milk flow.

Emotions.

Breastfeeding , especially tandem feeding , is a big commitment. You’ll have good days, great days and low days where it becomes to demanding for you. This is normal to feel that way, breastfeeding is hard work and can be very draining in them early days , it’s not all “magical”. Be prepared to feel “touched out” and feel like a feeding machine from time to time. To deal with this, set limits to how many feeds your toddler can have, also make sure you give yourself you time, it’s so important to keep up with self care.

And of course be prepared for jealousy. It can be hard for your toddler to understand that they have to share their milk supply.

Negatives out the way , I promise you , you will have so many sweet moments that you will treasure forever ❤️

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