Monday, June 6, 2011

Tandem Nursing


Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! I've linked up with the June Carnival of Breastfeeding at Blacktating.

I wrote an article a few years ago for Associated Content about toddler nursing. I've been reading various articles around the internet about the much lower percentage of African American women compared to other races that breastfeed their babies, and I was sad to hear that news.

I have enjoyed breastfeeding for the past almost four years. I related in a previous post about how much I have loved breastfeeding, and I do! My son is three and my daughter is 2 now, so I don't really nurse that much now. My three year old weaned himself around 2 years old, and my daughter occasionally nurses now.

When I first had my daughter, my son was 11 months old, about to turn one in three weeks. He nursed throughout my entire pregnancy, much to the chagrin of various family members, who felt that nursing him would somehow deprive the baby I was carrying of nutrients.

When I had my daughter I couldn't bear the thought of refusing him if he wanted to nurse. I already felt kind of guilty that I had another baby so quickly after having him, so I definitely wasn't going to stop nursing him if he wanted to.

It proved to work out just fine. Nursing pretty much works along the lines of supply and demand. If there is a lot of demand, the milk supply goes up. This explains why mothers of twins and even triplets are able to successfully breastfeed their children.

I allowed my daughter to breastfeed as much as she wanted, and only allowed my toddler to nurse after she was finished eating. I did not want to deprive her. Sometimes my son would whimper and whine to nurse, but he adjusted and he was able to nurse pretty much as much as he wanted, which wasn't a lot by that time. He basically wanted to nurse before naptime and bedtime and sometimes in the morning.

It worked out just fine. I enjoyed nursing my daughter just as much as I enjoyed nursing my son. Breastfeeding makes newborn motherhood SO MUCH EASIER in my opinion. To me it seemed to cure everything for babies; tiredness, hunger, comfort, if they hurt themselves and I nursed them, they IMMEDIATELY stopped crying. I was actually astounded at the powers of nursing. I even wondered why some mothers didn't even try to breastfeed. It's definitely worth trying, and even continuing for at least a year.

If I have another baby, I will definitely breastfeed again, and I look forward to the special bond that is created by doing so. Breastfeeding my first two children was one of the most special and awe-inspiring times in my life. Their sweet little eyes looking up at you with such trust and love.

So sweet.

So precious.

Other mothers sharing their breastfeeding story:

Caramel Chica: Breastfeeding the Second Time Around

Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Reasons why breastfeeding is usually easier the second time around.Takisha:

Takisha: Lessons Learned

6 comments:

Sarah R said...

I loved nursing too. And if I'm ever blessed with another, I will do it again!

suddenlymom said...

Found you through the Homemakers site. My 15 month old just weaned herself. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and found my supply changed some with the pregnancy. I continued to nurse (also with some questioning family) until my daughter just stopped asking for it. It was a slow process, but I was not going to force her to nurse. I would have continued breastfeeding all the way through my pregnancy if she had wanted. Glad you are encouraging mothers to do the same.

joyfilled said...

Beautiful post! Breastfeeding allows us mommies some wonderful time with our children!!! Great job tandem nursing! I've always felt like tandeming really takes a lot of pressure off of the older nursling when the new baby arrives...they still get that "constant" while they transition in to "big sister/brotherhood".

caramelchica said...

thank you for sharing your tandem nursing experience! It's good to hear that your nursing relationship survived a new pregnancy so early on!

Barbara @ Three Girl Pile-Up said...

What a nice post. It's such a gift to be able to let your children nurse until they're ready to stop.

I think you'll be an inspiration to many others!

Zoie @ TouchstoneZ said...

This is a great post for the carnival. I really like how most of the posts, especially ones like yours, are normalizing breastfeeding. I absolutely agree with you that breastfeeding is a boon for mothering. I don't think I'd be even close to half-decent at being the parent I strive to be without breastfeeding-it certainly would be much more challenging for me.

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