Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5 Tips For Tandem Breastfeeding Or Breastfeeding While Pregnant

I promised you all I would follow up with a post on my tips and advice on Tandem Breastfeeding. Some of the biggest questions I get asked about are questions on breastfeeding while pregnant and breastfeeding two children. These few tips hopefully cover answers to my most frequently asked questions.

Tip #1: If you find yourself pregnant, and wanting to not only breastfeed through that pregnancy, but to also tandem nurse when the new baby is born, go buy Adventures in Tandem Breastfeeding. Now!! Everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding while pregnant and breastfeeding while tandem nursing, is in this book. I highly recommend it!

Tip #2: In the beginning, feed your newborn first, and then your toddler. This is to ensure they are getting enough at the breast. However, also make sure they are getting enough of the hindmilk that is the good fat content at the end of a breast feeding session. For me, this has involved letting Xiomara nurse first, then Meridian, and then letting Xiomara drain my breasts one more time to make sure she has gotten the fatty milk.

Tip #3: Use your toddler to help with engorgement. If they are willing, offer the breast when you become engorged. If you are anything like me and hate pumping, this will be a life saver. I tend to get very engorged when my milk comes in and I remember after Meridian was born having Zoelle nursing still was the best thing ever. No engorgement!

Tip #4: Don't be afraid to set up rules. This applies to both nursing in a pregnancy and tandem nursing. There were times in my pregnancy with Meridian, that Zoelle while nursing would literally just make my skin crawl. I hated having her nurse because my nipples would burn. This stage didn't last long, but during that time I would set up limits for her to only nurse for so long, or sometimes I would tell her no. It is also perfectly fine to set limits and say no at times to tandem nursing. Just make sure you do so in a loving, gentle way. For example, lately Meridian is wanting to nurse everytime we go somewhere. She loudly will declare "I want to nurse!", while shoving her hand down the front of my shirt. I have lovingly reminded her that mama has made the rule that we only nurse at home unless we are gone for the whole day. The other new thing that Meridian has been doing lately is screaming "I just want to nurse other side!" after just being on the other side, and the other side, etc. We could go all day doing this, so I set a limit and tell her we nurse for just a minute and then mama is done until before bed, after nap, etc. It has greatly helped keep me enjoying tandem nursing to set some limits.

Tip #5: Take good care of yourself. As mamas it is so easy to push aside our needs in lieu of taking care of our children. There is nothing wrong with that, but you also need to be taking good care of yourself. Drink LOTS of water, eat right, and take a break one night every week or fews weeks to do something by yourself, for yourself. A great guide to eating properly can be found in the book Eat Well, Lose Weight, While Breastfeeding: The Complete Nutrition Book For Nursing Mothers.

So there you go. I hope I helped you even a little bit wherever you are on your journey to nursing while pregant or to tandem nursing! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments of this post, or e-mail me if you are not comfortable with your question being seen by others.


  1. excellent write up mama!! Thanks for also for the last book recommendation!

  2. Aww thanks Sonya! :) The book is awesome in terms of sharing a healthy diet while breastfeeding. I actually need to follow it more closely as I know I am lacking in certain areas.

  3. As I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of our second little one, this was good to read...and thanks for going into detail with Tip #2. I had heard that (let the infant nurse first) several times, but was also confused about the hindmilk issue so it was really good to hear what another mama does. :)

    And thanks too for the second book recommendation (I have the first one already :)). After Cedar, my now 16-month-old son, was born, I really struggled with losing the baby weight, but was scared to reduce what I was eating (good food :)) because I didn't want to lose my supply. So, that book looks like a great resource. :)

  4. Hi Jessica-I've been wondering how you are doing (we talked once on my sister's blog)! :) Yes, Tip #2 has been so good for me to know. I never really did that the first time I tandem nursed with Zoelle/Meridian. But Meridian also never had trouble gaining weight, with her stools, etc. Xiomara on the other hand is tiny so I have to do this for her to gain weight!

    Both books are awesome! I was amazed at how the second book really laid out the proper nutrition in eating so clearly for me. Definitely realized I haven't been eating like that and I needed to change some things.

    Thanks so much Jessica for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing tandem nursing experience! :)

  5. i love this!

    hai, i'm from malaysia

    now i'm expecting 3rd baby
    but still breastfeed my 2nd baby
    hope i will tandem my babies - because she still want to breast feed with me :)

    1. Hi Izzah! Congrats on expecting your third baby! I hope that all goes well with your pregnancy and good luck on your journey to tandem nursing! It is such an amazing one!! Stop by again and let me know how it is going!!


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