What is Tandem nursing?
Tandem nursing is when a mom falls pregnant while nursing and then has to nurse her toddler and baby at the same time, or when mom is breastfeeding twins. They may feed together or at separate times. A mother with multiple births might also decide to breastfeed all her babies…and this is also a form of tandem breastfeeding.
If you fall pregnant while breastfeeding you do not need to wean your child, you can tandem feed and wait for your toddler to wean himself naturally.
Nursing while pregnant is not dangerous for you or your unborn child… read more on this here
Advantages of Tandem nursing “tandem benefits”
- Breastfeeding tandem reduces jealousy and helps with bonding between siblings. When the new baby arrives, your toddler might feel a little left out especially if he is told that he may not breastfeed anymore! This extended breastfeeding for your toddler with help create less resentful feelings towards you and his baby brother or sister. Children will also learn how to share at a very young age.
- Your toddler still receives all the benefits of breast milk
- Tandem nursing can relieve breast engorgement in some moms
- A decreased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer in mom
- If both your children are breast feeding at the same time, it will give you some time to relax, as you will not need to keep your toddler busy while you are breastfeeding
Disadvantages of Tandem breastfeeding
- Most moms feel that they cannot lose any of the pregnancy weight while breastfeeding this is mostly due to stored fat and also a lower metabolic rate when breastfeeding
- You will need to deal with critical people that make bad remarks or that tell you that your baby will not be receiving enough milk. This is not true.
- Some moms might decide to breastfeed their children separately and this can cause them to feel as if all they ever do is breastfeed.
- Some moms feel strong feelings of sexual arousal when tandem breast feeding caused through higher levels of these hormones.
- Some moms feel more nauseous during a breastfeeding session while they are pregnant
When your body starts to produce colostrum
Moms might wonder whether it is safe for their toddler to drink the colostrum that is produced the last weeks of pregnancy and when baby is born. Yes, it is safe; actually it is really like an “immune boost” for your toddler with all its extra nutrients and antibodies.
Moms also worry that there will not be enough colostrum for breastfeeding two children. You will have enough for both as colostrum works on the same supply and demand system as breastmilk, if you are really worried about this, you can always breastfeed baby first and then let your older child drink. Your toddler might not like the change in the taste of your milk (colostrum) and might even wean himself off of the breast as a result.
The colostrum might make your toddlers poop a little runny, but this will only last until your mature milk comes in again.Tips for Tandem nursing
- Eat extra healthy and do not try dieting while breastfeeding to lose weight. Your body will naturally get rid of the fat stores when your second child decides to wean himself at year two. This is just the way nature intended it.
- Try different positions for breastfeeding
• Hold both in a cradle hold
• Hold both in a football hold
• Hold one in a football hold and one in a cradle hold
There are so many different ways to tandem feed, in the end you will most likely find something completely different that works for just the three of you.
If you do decide to wean your child before you give birth you can read more on weaning here.
Most moms have a great time tandem nursing and others wish they had weaned their toddler before the baby was born. My advice is that if you feel any irritation during pregnancy while breastfeeding, it would be best to wean your toddler before baby comes along. This will prevent your older child from being weaned abruptly when baby is born.
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr, Studying through Child birth international (CBC, CBD), Author and Mommy of two.