Tandem nursing is when two children breastfeed at the same time.
No I did not have twins, I tandem nursed our newborn and two year old for about 6 months.
Looking back, tandem nursing could have been more pleasant, if I had known more about it. And so, I’m sharing the good and the not-so-good in hopes of helping another mom in her journey.
So first, the not so good.
1. Babies Like To Nurse Together
Our two year-old was nursing once a week (if that) when our newborn was born. She only wanted the breast in situations where she was hurt, or needed to calm down - which was rarely. But when our newborn came, she then wanted to nurse with her little sister.
2. More Obvious Breastfeeding
When nursing two children at the same time, there is less opportunity to nurse discretely (in my opinion). For example, when nursing one child, there are different positions where it isn’t so obvious a child is feeding. They look like they are napping or just being held close.
When two children are nursing, it was quite obvious what we were doing. And because of social pressures, I did not feel completely comfortable nursing both girls in public. So I felt stuck at home and it was humiliating.
3. No Room
My lap felt very crowded. With two bodies laying on me, attached to me, sucking from me, sometimes every two hours — I felt overwhelmed and I just wanted my body back.
4. Start The Weaning Process Over Again
Our two year-old began asking for the breast even when our newborn wasn’t nursing. And I always felt bad about telling her no.
Now for the good.
1. Having The Best Lactation Consultant
Because our two year-old was on the receiving end of breastfeeding, she knew how to help the milk flow for our newborn.
She began massaging the breasts. When I asked what she was doing, she said “giving her milk.”
If we had a hospital birth (instead of a home birth), our two year old would not have been allowed in and she could not have taught me how to help our newborn feed.
Our daughter was honestly more informative than any lactation consultant I have ever had (and we had a few). She knew how my body worked and the best way to get the most milk for our little one.
2. Milk For Everyone
When I used to pump milk for our older daughter, I noticed if one breast was being emptied the other breast would start leaking.
While tandem nursing, they were both able to get the milk they need at the same time.
At first, I was really scared that our toddler would take all the milk from our newborn. But my body was able to produce enough milk to satisfy the both of them.
3. Family Bonding
I really think our girls loved nursing together. They both laid in my lap, attached to me. When I finally weaned our three old, she was very upset that she couldn’t share in this moment with us.
If you are reading this as a tandem nursing mom, I want you to know that I admire you and I hope you are able to enjoy this beautiful time with your little ones.
Do you plan on tandem nursing or have you tandem nursed before? How far apart in age are you children? If you want to share your tandem nursing experience below, please do.
Until next time.
Peace & Love,