Tandem just means one in front of the other, not necessarily at the same time; so for me there never was any question about whether I’d tandem feed. My son was still a baby (it was the day before his first birthday I discovered I was expecting again) and not ready to give up. Also demonstrating that you can still have sex (or make love as in our case) whilst breastfeeding (and co-sleeping, it doesn’t have to be in a bed you know), and get pregnant too!
There was also the fact that most other mothers who had had their babies at the same time as me had either not been able to, or chosen to stop, breastfeeding, so it actually felt like having the opportunity to feed two children at once was a unique magical opportunity that actually I was privileged to experience. Also research seemed to think that it would help to lessen any sibling rivalry that may occur.
There is actually a very good book I do recommend you read
But I’d found the answers myself by the time I’d discovered it. Answers to common questions about breastfeeding in pregnancy, and tandem feeding can be found at KellyMom, and I’m sure you can find them on many parenting forums too.
There was a lot of ignorance around tandem feeding – including that from professionals (you may like to read about my troubles after my son was born at 35 weeks by the professionals). The real benefit of the tandem feeding with my son being born early is that the milk supply was already established. I also didn’t need breast pads and didn’t leak or get that painful experience of when the milk suddenly comes in – bonus.
For me the thing to remember, that helped answer all the questions, was that breast-feeding was a natural process. That nature wouldn’t let me do it if it wasn’t meant to happen (pretty much how I view breastfeeding in general). No the unborn baby wouldn’t be harmed and neither would I. That the milk is a live substance and would just adapt for both my children’s needs. The only thing is there were changes in feeding patterns (I think around 20 weeks pregnant) but nothing I worried about.
For me I could not wait to have my two sons feed at the same time. To experience that bonding between them (especially sweet when they started to hold hands with each other when feeding). For me it has made things easier because I could (and can) calm them both down together, get them to fall asleep at the same time, or generally if the baby needed feeding I knew where the toddler was and what he was up to. The older one seemed to help the younger one too (for example getting him to latch on) – and of course he helped with the supply.
Personally, I found that keeping the right side for the toddler worked for me, for when they both fed at the same time – and he knew that one was “his”. Obviously the baby fed from both sides when the toddler wasn’t feeding also. For me the whole colostrum issue wasn’t a problem as I did tend to make sure baby was fed first – and, as I say, the toddler didn’t go on one side at all. This was my personal preference though and nothing I read. I tend to put them in the position that the baby was in the newborn hold and the toddler – well he found his own way. I put the baby on first and then the toddler could position himself. Although my husband did help me at first. Lying in bed was also a lot easier.
I *think* they have both stopped now. The older one just before he was 4 years old and the same with the younger one who is 4 this month. I found lifting my top up worked best (otherwise my tops get ruined) so didn’t often feed in public in the later stages. Again it helped to get them both to sleep at the same time – and is the only time they tended to sleep at the same time in the day apart from when I was driving (although the older one didn’t often need to nap often).
I do hope this blog has helped convince some of you that tandem feeding is a thing of such beauty. And so natural. If you are planning on Tandem feeding I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have so far. Any questions then just ask me and I will try to help or steer you some place that can.
This is NOT a sponsored post.