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Tandem feeding - any advice, things I should be aware of?

(9 Posts)
otchayaniye Thu 14-Jul-11 09:16:29

I never planned to get this far. But like some mothers I've just continued to feed my daughter and never got around to weaning. She fed throughout my pregnancy (am 8 months) even though the milk dried up and colostrum has been back in from around 24 weeks.

I see little point in weaning her now, and advantages to helping her accept her baby sister by continuing. Plus she'll help boost my supply, right?

I have only mentioned I'm still feeding in passing to midwives who tutted and told me to stop (without explaining why, and I felt too puzzled and taken-aback to ask). So I imagine they won't be full of advice when I ask about tandem feeding!

So. I'm likely to go for a repeat planned section, so am likely to be in for at least 48 hours so my baby will get colostrum without my elder daughter nicking it. Should I dissuade her for longer? I would imagine you feed the newborn first only allowing the second child to have a quick go afterwards?

Any tips, advice? Bit late to order Adventures in Tandem feeding and doubt I'll have time to read it.

EauRouge Thu 14-Jul-11 09:27:15

There isn't a finite amount of colostrum so you don't need to worry about your DD nicking it all (although if your main concern is having to clean up toddler colostrum poo then I totally understand!).

You might want to read up on different nursing positions you can use when you've had a C section, it might make positioning a bit trickier if you are planning on BF both at the same time. Alternatively you may want to wait until your wound has healed up a bit before you BF both at once because it can take a bit of wriggling to find a position where you're all comfortable.

My MW told me to feed the baby first but it doesn't always work that way, they weren't always both hungry at the same time. Anyway, as my DH so succinctly put it- "two boobs, no waiting". grin

Other than that, be prepared to be more hungry than you have ever been! Oh and it is pretty normal for your DD to regress a bit, my DD1 went off solids completely for about 2 weeks and BF more than newborn DD2. It was exhausting but passed quickly.

Is there a LLL group near you?

mawbroon Thu 14-Jul-11 19:40:20

Go with the flow is my advice!

At first, I was trying to let ds2 get the colostrum first, making sure he got both breasts etc etc etc, but it was too hard trying to remember who had had what and when, so I just muddled through and it all worked out in the end!!

I did have a bit of an oversupply problem at one point and realised that ds2's stomach wasn't big enough to hold the amount of milk that I needed out of my engorged breast, putting me at risk of mastitis, so I would ask ds1 to help out. Other than that, it was a bit haphazard!

Like EauRouge, ds1 totally regressed and wanted milk every time ds2 did. I gave him unlimited access for about a fortnight or so until I was really pissed off with it (and I was sofa bound with a broken ankle, so it was way easier to just let him feed!!) and then I started trying to distract him. Once I got the hang of feeding ds2 in the sling, it stopped becoming such an issue.

I hope it all goes well for you.

BTW, totally normal to feel freaked out by feeding them both at once! I sometimes wanted to throw them both off and run away screaming! shock The sensation of a 4yo on one side and a newborn on the other was weird, but I got used to it. I also felt annoyed at ds1 for spoiling the lovely snuggles with the newborn, and felt annoyed at the newborn for spoiling the lovely relationship that ds1 and I had. I was really surprised at that one, but again, it passed.

otchayaniye Thu 14-Jul-11 21:04:20

Thanks, and very interesting what you say Mawbroon and yes, don't want to get disheartened to early if I go through a range of feelings. I think if I hate it after weeks and weeks I'll revisit the situation.

I have felt that feeling of wanting to throw my daughter off at times while pregnant (painful from time to time, feels like the ramping up of the demanding, instead of just feeding occasionally, is invading my privacy - weird that one considering how long we've been at this!

Just waiting for my mother to raise her eyebrows (and she was someone who fed me a long time for the 70s) as I think she's assumed I've weaned.

I also worry about supply (did with my first, she was early and little) and worry about latching etc. Funny isn't it, that you can still worry about these things despite having nipples you could slam a car door on without feeling it.

mawbroon Thu 14-Jul-11 21:54:03

Are you familiar with biological nurturing?

I did this with ds2 and it was amazing grin. Your 48hrs in hospital will give you plenty opportunity to try it out without and older nursling trying to muscle in.

Oh, and your older nursling will look like a GIANT!!! shockgrin

otchayaniye Thu 14-Jul-11 22:03:42

I think I ended up doing bio nurturing (that's letting them self latch yes?) after the stress of latching the Singaporean midwives taught me (dive bomb style)

Thanks, I'll look it up

HumphreyCobbler Thu 14-Jul-11 22:09:37

stick to your guns when midwives tell you that you shouldn't be feeding whilst pg. Thanks to MN I was SO confident in the fact that it was an appropriate activity to carry out that any criticism just bounced off me and I just stared at them and told them they were completely wrong, then wandered off grin

I was an object of much curiousity on the ward (had a planned section so was in for a while) and the midwife manager came to ask me how it all worked shock I thought she meant the mechanics and said something about the newborn taking biological priority over milk production, but I have since thought she might have wanted to know at what times I fed etc.

Thinking back, I am rather proud of myself. Nothing else about pregnancy went well for me, at least I am a hardcore breastfeeder.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 15-Jul-11 16:04:05

Really, just do it. It isn't any harder than feeding one.

The only 'issue' I've had with feeding both DCs together is that DD (18mo older than DS) can get a bit overenthusiastic in her very affectionate stroking and cuddling of DS. I've started having toys nearby to occupy her hands whilst on the boob and stop her squeezing him toooooo hard.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 15-Jul-11 16:07:39

<Nothing else about pregnancy went well for me, at least I am a hardcore breastfeeder.>

That's very much how I feel. Not that any of us should have anything to prove...

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