Curious about tandem feeding

Breastfeeding multiples, twins, tandem feeding. Or when mum or baby has special circumstances due to illness etc. Share it all here.
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MummaK87
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Curious about tandem feeding

Post by MummaK87 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:05 pm

I have a 12 month old and am 11 weeks pregnant with my second bub. At my first antenatal visit with my GP, she recommended that I wean my 12 month old - and soon. I was planning on tandem feeding but this has put doubt in my mind about it as the GP said that I am taking nutrients away from baby #2.

I'm really after some information about the practicalities and some positive and negative aspects of tandem feeding.

Also, I'm a bit vague on the details about what happens with colostrum when the second baby is born...

Any help would be much appreciated :D

K

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Mummy woo!
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:13 pm

Just a quick response from me. I tandem fed my toddler while pregnant with my second child - they are 2.5 years apart so a bigger gap than yours. People said the same thing to me and I was delighted when Mrs Moops turned out to be on the 95th percentile. She is now 4.5 years old and tracking above 100th percentile for height and about 80 for weight - she is just perfect! DH and I are both tall, so no great surprises, but it was nice to have a thumping big baby to prove my point :)

Some mums find they don't want to or can't feed through pregnancy, but there is no evidence that a healthy mother with no history of premature labour can't tandem feed. Did your GP provide any evidence about risks of continuing to breastfeed, or was it a throwaway comment? You could check out a book called 'adventures in tandem feeding' which is in most ABA Group Libraries or can be sourced from Mothers Direct.
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MummaK87
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by MummaK87 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:23 pm

I am ordering the booklet from Mother's Direct :D

The GP said that by breastfeeding my 12 month old, I was redirecting nutrients away from baby #2 and this could prevent an appropriate growth. I can't really find any evidence to support this so not too sure where she pulled it from. I really want to keep feeding but am open to the idea of weaning if my body can't cope and my LO is happy to wean.

So good to hear that your LO developed so beautifully!

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Mummy woo!
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:28 pm

I'm not a doctor and we can't give medical advice here. But I'm very curious about the mechanism where breastmilk production competes with baby for nutrients. The baby is getting what he or she needs from your bloodstream. Be warned though - you might be more hungry than you have ever been in your life, and you may find your milk supply drops off.
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Monicat
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by Monicat » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:30 pm

Any nutrients go to the baby first so the baby won't be missing out on anything at all. I had a Dr say the same thing to me when I was tandem feeding my then 3 week old and my almost 2 year old. His exact words were 'You can't possibly feed two babies' I went on to not only tandem feed my first two but them to tandem feed them through my second (twin) pregnancy and then exclusively breastfed my twins plus a few feeds a day for the older two. My babies were 3.69kg, 3.9kg. 3.68kg and 3.445kg (the twins) so no none of them were lacking in nutrients while I was pregnant at all :lol:

You should ask your Dr what actual medical training they have in breastfeeding, you will probably find it will be extremely minimal if they have done any at all. I would ring or email the ABA helpline to get correct information as they have had a lot more training on breastfeeding than most Drs would have.
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MummaK87
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by MummaK87 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:42 pm

Thank you :D That is very encouraging :D

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Baby Blue Eyes
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by Baby Blue Eyes » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:19 am

I have breast fed through 3 pregnancies and have tandem fed my last 3 babies. All my babies except my ds3 were big babies. Ds3 was still a 3.6kg baby (just smaller than the other 3) and he has never put on the weight like the other 3. They were all above the 97% line whereas he was always around the 75% line. So even he wasn't tiny he is just a smaller kid

Pros of breastfeeding a toddler - no jealous issues because the toddler still gets mummy. If you are concerned about them getting into trouble while you are feeding a newborn offer them to come and join in you will know where they are :lol: Helps with sleep time with the toddler still

Negatives which is the only negative when feeding a toddler either singular or tandem which is toddlers can be very demanding with b/fing and will demand it at times that isn't suitable but that is just a learning curve for them
DS1 - b/f 4 yrs
DS2 - b/f 3yrs 11mths
DS3 - B/F 4yrs 10 mths
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whitto04
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by whitto04 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:32 pm

MummaK87 wrote: the GP said that I am taking nutrients away from baby #2.
I fed a toddler through my third pregnancy, and gave birth to a baby girl who weighed 4.41kg, or 9lb 12oz (40 weeks gestation).

For my next pregnancy, I was tandem feeding 2 toddlers. I had another baby girl, born at 38 weeks, who weighed 4.19kg (don't know conversion for that one).

Unborn baby will get what they need first. Your milk supply will be the next priority for nutrients and calories.

Tandem feeding can be tricky logistically, but it is so worth it. I found it to be an amazing bonding experience for each of my BF pairs. I still think it's the easiest way to teach young children to share!
DD#1-1999, BF 12 months.
DD#2-2006, BF 5 yrs 8 months
DD#3-2009 (born at home), BF 4 yrs 2 months
DD#4-2012 (born at home), no longer sharing with her sister!
11 years of continuous lactation!!!!!

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strolltotheshops
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by strolltotheshops » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:53 am

The ABA has some info about Breastfeeding Through Pregnancy and Beyond here https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... and-beyond and Mothers Direct sells a booklet about it https://www.mothersdirect.com.au/conten ... and-beyond.

Hilary Flower's book Adventures in Tandem Nursing http://store.llli.org/public/profile/77 and Norma Jane Bumgarner's Mothering Your Nursing Toddler http://store.llli.org/public/profile/154 also have some reassuring info.

I've breastfed through several pregnancies (and have tandem or tri fed through some of those). All our babies have weighed about 4kg at birth and have been strong and well. I've been tandem, tri or quad feeding for more than five years and it has been wonderful for our family.

silverruby_2000
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by silverruby_2000 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:58 am

Hi, i just wanted to share my flip side of the coin feelings on Tandem feeding. I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old and i can honestly say i can't stand it. I'm actually online trying to figure out how to gently wean my 3 yo because feeding him has become a horrible experience. I've posted a question on this board about it but basically DS1 is terribly jealous of DS2 and wants to nurse all the time and i feel that 1 feed a day is sufficient. For me, bf has always been about a mutual experience and my side of that relationship isn't committed enough to push through the anger and violence he directs at me and his brother when i either tell him he can't nurse, or when i've had enough of nursing him.

From a nutritional point of view, unless you have a history of late term miscarriages, feeding while pregnant is unlikely to cause you any grief. Many women have done it. Some doctors suggest that the uterine contractions will harm, or even miscarry your baby and for the majority, that's not true. The female body is a remarkable setup. Somehow our bodies can first draw all the required nutrients for our developing fetus, then next in the pecking order is the nursling and typically last, our bodies get whatever nutrition is left. For that reason it's important to eat a balanced diet or supplement (neither of which i actually did).

I found that when i was feeding when i was pregnant my supply would drop and then come back several times over the 9 months and often when DS1 was dry nursing it was an intense and very painful experience - far worse than having a biter. Also once DS2 was born DS1 wasn't at all interested in nursing, and would suck for less than a minute ever couple of days. I was hoping that he'd help with increasing my supply because after having a c/s i knew my supply wouldn't be great, but i still had to take my fenugreek and motillium to bring my milk in. Then once it did come in, i faced the psychological barrier that i had a giant nursing at my breast and it just looked wrong.

I think it's for all of the above reasons why i'm not enjoying my tandem feeding experience and i wanted to share with you that sometimes it's not all lovely holding hands special times.

Good luck.
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MummaK87
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Re: Curious about tandem feeding

Post by MummaK87 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:57 pm

Thanks for all the help. I definitely have a few things to think about in the coming months. We are doing a morning feed and an evening feed before story time and bed at the moment so I think I will wean the morning feed. DH does this feed with cows milk when I have to leave for work and DD is still asleep so she is used to getting cows milk a couple of times a week already at this feed. After that, I will see how I am feeling for the evening feed.

Good luck to you as well Silverruby... It sounds like you are having a really tough time. I hope it all starts to settle for you soon and you can enjoy feeding with your new LO :D

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