Tandem feeding blog post isle of wight postnatal doula support

Tandem Feeding – It’s not as uncommon as you might think!

August 2, 2023

I had two babies only two years a part.

The one thing I hadn’t factored was that this would result in tandem feeding.

This is one of those things that if you’d asked me 10 years ago would I be a tandem feeding mum you’d have got a “hell no!”.

It’s truly amazing how we can change when ours eyes are opened to how harmful our societal discourse on breastfeeding and child rearing is! Plus finding your like minded people!

My oldest hadn’t fully weaned. She still needed to nurse at night and maybe 1 – 2 times in the day if she needed comfort.

I knew forcing her to stop doing something she needed so much, just as her new sister was going to arrive and change life as she knew it, would cause us all upset and distress.

She was too young to understand that it wasn’t rejection if she saw baby feeding and she couldn’t. The idea she could take it this way broke my heart.

So I accepted I was going to tandem feed. It was certainly a different journey to any of my family and friends and I felt quite uneasy talking about it…. But in my style I found a community of mums for who this was their journey too. I found a great book ‘Adventures in tandem nursing’ by Hilary Flower and I began to embrace what was to come.

It wasn’t easy for sure. Once baby was here, big sister wanted to feed more (almost just as much) and I felt touched out. But over time this eased off as everyone found their way as a new family of four. And we started to put in some boundaries, distract my eldest with activities and got her back in to her routine.

But I truly believe tandem feeding eased the transition from only child to big sister for my eldest. It helped her to feel reassured, safe, connected and comforted while I juggled now having two small people (as she did too).

Looking back I feel really fortunate that I’ve been in a position where this has been possible.

I wish mothers didn’t feel the pressure from work, peers and society that leads them to make decisions that don’t feel instinctive or beneficial to their family. Change is needed.

If anyone wants to connect about tandem feeding reach out. The book is here to borrow too!

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