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Nursing Two--It Works for Me!

Brenda C.
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 16 No. 4, July-August 1999, pp. 121-22

We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time.

When my daughter, Ruby, was just seven months old, I became pregnant. Since she was not yet on solid foods, I did not consider weaning her. Instead, I began looking for information about nursing while pregnant and seeking support for my decision. Unfortunately, I found very little information and even less support. When a neighbor who was still nursing her young baby became pregnant, her obstetrician insisted that she wean her baby before her second prenatal visit. Both my midwife and my obstetrician told me it was perfectly safe to continue nursing through a pregnancy, but my decision seemed to shock and dismay many other people.

As I neared the end of my pregnancy, Ruby still showed no signs of readiness to wean, and I began to search for information and support for tandem nursing of siblings. There was a little more information available, but still very little support, even among other breastfeeding mothers. I had to trust my instinct to do what I felt was right for my family and rely on those few who did support my decision, including my husband, Donald. I answered questions from friends and neighbors, who asked if I planned to be nursing two once the baby was born, with humor. My standard answer was, “I guess I shall be nursing two, since I can't imagine giving the new baby a bottle!" This answer did not even acknowledge their real question- would I force Ruby to wean?

During my pregnancy, I noticed times of decreased milk supply and tender nipples, but these obstacles were not significant for us. Ruby began to eat solid foods, but still nursed many times per day. Although I had milk throughout my pregnancy, I noticed that my milk changed to colostrum toward the time of Levi's birth. About 30 hours after his birth, I became engorged and endowed with an abundant new milk supply. The first time Ruby nursed after my milk increased, she finished on the first breast and I begged her to nurse on the other side. She just made a silly milk-drunk grin and fell over backward. Ruby subsequently gave up solid foods almost entirely. Her skin feels smooth and creamy, she has been having breast milk stools, she has gained more than two pounds (a kilo) in the last few weeks, and she is the picture of health. I trust she'll eat more solid foods and nurse less as the weeks go by. Levi never lost weight after birth and gained more than two pounds in three weeks.

My babies most often nurse separately. When they need to nurse at the same time, I find it works best to position one of them in the football hold. However, I'm finding a variety of positions to accommodate them both comfortably. Ruby often gently strokes Levi's hair as they nurse.

I hope my story helps others who are trying to decide about nursing during a pregnancy or tandem nursing siblings.

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