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Larisha Campbell's picture

I knew when I found out I was pregnant with my first that I wanted to attempt to breastfeed. I set a meager goal of six short weeks. We battled through those first few weeks learning from each other, dealing with a dairy intolerance, engorgement and more. But before I knew it, we were passing the one year mark. Approaching the two year mark of breastfeeding, we discovered we were pregnant again. One of my first thoughts, after being terrified of having another child, was that I didn’t want to tandem breastfeed. I didn’t want to have to worry about breastfeeding a strong-willed toddler while learning how to breastfeed a new baby all over again.  One less stressor right?!

But pregnancy came and went. We nursed through the aversion. We nursed through my milk drying up during pregnancy around 13 weeks. We nursed when my colostrum came in at 22 weeks pregnant. And finally, we nursed as I was in labor. I cried as I nursed my first born to sleep knowing it would be the last time she nursed by herself at night.

And here we are now. Thirteen months after having our second and we are still tandem nursing. Our first is just over three months from her fourth birthday and I legit believe if we didn’t have boundaries, she would nurse more than her little sister.  Of course, we have our days, but as much as I feared it initially, I love it today. It hasn’t been without its challenges though.

Things that helped us the most:

  • Talk to your toddler

    • Before the baby arrived, we talked about how the baby would also be having “momos” (our word for breastmilk). We discussed this often and we knew she understood.  Still, when she came to the hospital to meet her sister, I told her that it was time for her sister to have milk and asked her if she would like some too.

  • Set limits for your toddler

    • Your toddler is going to want to nurse every single time that the baby does. In the beginning it will surely help with the engorgement, but it can become exhausting quickly. Set time limits (i.e., 5 minutes) and nursing times (i.e., only once in the morning, at nap times, bedtime, etc).

  • Co-Sleeping

    • Consider safe co-sleeping practices.  The transition to two kids will be much easier if you aren’t constantly having to get up and down to go to a different room each time your baby or older nursling wants to have milk.

  • Find a Support Group

    • You need support. While the benefits are amazing, you need reassurance from others. Whether you attend a La Leche League meeting, a hospital or local town breastfeeding support group, make sure that you have in person support that is not your family. Try to find a great Facebook Breastfeeding Group as well!

  • Remember to bump up calories

    • You aren’t only nursing one child, but two now. Ensure that you are keeping up with quality nutrition, including healthy proteins and fats, and drinking enough water to thirst.

Above everything, our girls have an unbreakable bond. They are very close and I only expect that to grow as they get older. I absolutely adore seeing them love on each other, hold hands, and care for each other. I can only believe that tandem nursing has helped create this closeness.


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