Category Archives: Breastfeeding

Tandem Nursing

We are now tandem nursing.  Not very often, but sometimes Mr. Bug wants to nurses when Squeaker nurses.  Mostly though, he’d prefer to have me to himself.  He likes to nurse when Squeaker is sleeping.  He nurses 2-4 times a day now, and seems to be thrilled with the fact that the milk is back.  This is actually really useful in the morning when I’m engorged since I already have issues with over active let-down.  I nurse Mr. Bug first while Squeaker is still sleeping.  That way Squeaker isn’t choking and sputtering when he tries to eat.  The down side of all this is sometimes he decides it’s his turn to nurse while I’m nursing Squeaker.  He comes up to me and tries to remove his brother from the breast saying “I want a nummies”.  I’m trying to explain to him about taking turns, but it hasn’t caught on yet.  All in all though, it’s going well.

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Breastfeeding while pregnant 2

So we’re still breastfeeding for now.  Mr. Bug has actually picked up a bit in how often he nurses.  We’re back to about 4 times a day, though I’m not sure how much milk he’s getting from me if any.  An interesting side effect of him no longer waking up at 4am is that he’s now ready to start the day at 6 instead of 7:30.  Maybe sleeping through the night isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I’d rather wake up for 5 minutes at 4am than have to start my day an hour and a half earlier.

I recently picked up some blessed thistle capsules at the store.  It’s an herb to help promote breastmilk production that’s safe to take during pregnancy unlike fennugreek and milk thistle (both may cause uterine contractions).  I really wish I could take the fennugreek.  That stuff is like magic.  I don’t know if the blessed thistle will cause any noticeable change in my milk supply, especially this late in pregnancy.  Once I get to 37 weeks, I will probably go ahead and take the fennugreek if we are still breastfeeding.

Another interesting thing about breastfeeding while pregnant, it’s getting increasingly difficult to situate Mr. Bug comfortably on my lap to nurse.  My belly is really starting to get in the way.  Maybe he can sit next to me and nurse?  I’ll have to try some different positions.  It’s neat though how the baby in my belly will kick at Mr. Bug wherever the most pressure is being applied.  Not even born yet, and trying to beat up his big brother.   Also, on the rare occasion where he falls asleep while nursing, I usually need help to get up from the couch.  I guess between my shifting center of gravity, and the almost thirty pounds my toddler weighs, it makes sense.

All in all, it’s not so bad.  Another week down, 9 to go, give or take a few.

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Breastfeeding while pregnant

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant.  My nursing toddler is 17 months.  We found out I was expecting right around the time he turned a year old, and I didn’t want to wean that early.  There are so many benefits to extended breastfeeding, but that’s a whole different post.  Suffice to say the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years.

It’s been difficult.  For starters, a toddler nurses differently than an infant.  He might go 6 hours without nursing, or nurse for 1 minute every half hour.  Toddlers are just so active and distractible that they don’t really nurse on any set schedule.  Then there’s the fact that a common pregnancy side effect is sore nipples.  Nursing does not help this.  During the first trimester it was frequently uncomfortable, and sometimes painful to nurse.  But that’s where a toddlers distractibility comes in handy.  I was able to stop the nursing or skip it entirely if I needed to, and just read him a book or play with blocks instead.  Mind you this didn’t always work, but it worked often enough.  Then there’s the dreaded drop in supply.  Some mothers are able to nurse all the way through without a hitch, but most suffer at least some drop in their milk supply.  I really started noticing it around 16 weeks or so.  And my son noticed too.  He would nurse on one side, switch to the other, then sit up in my lap and go “more, more”.  That was hard.  But we increased the amount of whole milk and food he was getting, and I kept nursing as much as possible.  I am now 30 weeks, and I don’t think there is much milk left if any.  He’s stopped waking up for his 4am nursing.  He doesn’t ask for “nummies” as much any more, and when he does he usually only nurses for a minute if that.  At this point I don’t think we’ll make it all the way to the new baby being born.

I may be able to tandem nurse anyway.  Some toddlers want to nurse again once they see the new infant doing it.  I hope he does just so I can get him to at least two years old nursing.  I’ve also been told by mothers who’ve successfully tandem nursed that the siblings tend to have less jealousy issues.  But if we’re done, then I guess we’re done.  We’ve made it farther than I thought we would.

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