Our version of 'Milk Sharing'!

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding when you have more than one child. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

As soon as my son was 11 months old, we decided to start trying to get pregnant with baby number two. And just like the first time around it took us three months of 'trying' to do just that.

*Oh, and if you are wondering how I managed to do this without weaning my son first in order to get Dear Aunt Flo back, well, that lovely lady decided that 2 months without her was plenty for me and she came back when C was a mere 8 weeks old!! Seriously!! I has just stopped all the lochia from his birth and could not for the life of me figure out why I started bleeding again 2 weeks later. It was Natural Urban Dad who figured that one out for me!!*

.....and back to being pregnant with a 14 month old boob-aholic.

Well, the kid just did not stop.

At all.

For the whole pregancy.

All 41 weeks of it.

I am not sure what my milk supply was like during that time, but he never complained. Just kept at it and nursed when he wanted, and for as long as he wanted.

Did I want him to stop during the pregnancy?

I won't lie. Yes, there were days were the mere thought of him nursing was enough to make me want to scratch my eyes out and it really did physically make my skin crawl on a few occasions. Thankfully I was reading Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower at the time and knew that this kind of physical aversion is COMPLETELY normal and mostly due to all the pregnant hormonal changes going on. I basically had to suck it up during those times and keep going. We also started to do a lot of count downs around that time (I would give him a 10-20 count and then he had to come off) and we made it through those few rough patches, our breastfeeding relationship still intact!

I think continuing to breastfeed my son while I was pregnant made him very aware of the whole situation early on and also, in a weird and totally awesome sense, gave him and his sibling a connection of sorts way before they ever actually met. I remember at about 6 months he could actually start to feel her kicks and thought it was quite hilarious. He would talk to her, kiss my belly (the baby) and pat it and rub it while he was nursing.

C was still quite a little guy at the time, at 18 months he weighed a mere 20 pounds, and my thought had always been to tandem nurse them for a while to give him the benefits of some nice fatty newborn milk! My daughter was born at 9 PM on October 14th, 2008, we were home by 10 AM the next day and I had both of them latched on by about 10:30.

I do believe that being able to nurse both of them, either together or one at a time, made the transition from single child to big brother a whole lot easier for my first born. Yes, he did have to learn to share mommy, but he did not have to give up something that was a huge part of his life, his source of nutrition, his source of comfort and our happy place together!

We never went through a big jealousy phase with him when his sister was born and I attribute that in large part to the fact that I was tandem breastfeeding. And shortly after L was born, pointing to my breasts, my little man told me very clearly in his 2 year old voice that one side was for him and the other side was for Baby L. :)

Breastfeeding during pregnancy and then for a whole year of tandem nursing made the transition from one to two kids easier for me, and also for my son. Yes, it was hard at times, but I am glad that we did it this way. I was so happy to be able to provide the nourishment and nurturing that both my children needed during a time of big change for our little family and I firmly believe that it has made all the difference!

And it was an Adventure!




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