Five tips to help you feed your newborn, toddler, or twins at the same time.
Do you have or are you about to give birth to baby number two, but your first child is still a toddler that is breastfeeding? How will you manage to nurse two babies at once? Well, don’t fear, as ‘tandem nursing’ is becoming more and more popular, and of course it is perfectly safe. Your toddler won’t drink all your newborn’s milk, as they adjust depending on the demand.
If you are thinking of doubling up, here are five simple tips to make it easier!
Time to get creative.
There are two main positions here, one being the “football hold” and the other being the “cradle position”.
If you’re opting for the football hold, you want to bring your baby to your breast and position her so her legs and body are under your arm. Be sure you hand is also at the base of the head and neck, like you were holiday a football…thus the name.
If you’re opting for the cradle position, cradle the baby’s head in the fold of your arm with his stomach against yours. Be sure he is line with the rest of his body.
You don’t have to be married to one position. Mix and match between them, so you can do one cradle and one football, or double cradle, depending on the situation and size of your kids.
With twins, positioning becomes even more important. It is better for your twins to feed them both at the same time. The ideal hold here is the football hold. For twins though, start off with single feeding, giving each one their own undivided attention, before moving on to tandem.
Have an order in mind
If you’ve got a baby and a toddler, feed your baby first as she will have a high nutrient demand, and will get more colostrum this way.
In month 4 to 5 of your pregnancy, you will again produce colostrum, even if you are currently breastfeeding, which is fine for everyone.
If it’s twins you have, feed the one who fed last, first. This is so they get the first serving of milk this time around, and keeps everything in an alternating fashion.
Being a mother is exhausting enough, add trying to feed two children at once and it’s another chapter all together! Try to sleep when your newborn does and get your toddler to follow suit. As your toddler won’t need feeding as often as your newborn, see if someone can watch her or even bottle feed her while you sleep.
Prepare for critics
If you decide to tandem breastfeeding, be prepared to face some possible criticism. Possible comments from friends, family or even strangers may include, “Aren’t they taking all the food from you? You need to eat more!” and “Why don’t you have your husband just feed them a bottle?” Have your response ready for these times and don’t let them bother you. Remember it’s your body and they’re you’re children, not anyone else’s.
Not all doctors may be up-to-date with the benefits of tandem nursing, so try and find someone who can support you and who is on the same page as you. A breastfeeding expert is particularly helpful for tandem feeding moms, so don’t quit because you just don’t have the support! Find it.
“Finding a support group also helps surround you with people who support your decision. La Leche League is the go-to organization when it comes to support for breastfeeding and a great resource for local groups. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to ask about groups at your hospital.” // fitpregnancy.com
Always remember, as long as you try your best for your babies, you’re being a great mom!