Despite the universal-sounding title, this is just how it’s gone and is going for me, breastfeeding older and younger siblings at the same time. The first thing you learn when you start asking other tandem breastfeeding mothers about their experiences is that nothing is exactly the same for everyone. No one can predict how they’re going to feel or what they’re going to need to do. We can share ideas and offer solidarity but there’s no roadmap, no rulebook. I tandem breastfed for sixteen months the first time around, until
Six plus weeks to go still feels a long time but a look through our calendar with most weekends booked up until then and it really isn’t a long time at all. Physically, all is looking as it should. A midwife appointment last Thursday confirmed that the baby is head down and that my iron levels are in good shape. A Spatone smoothie a day has kept the anemia away so far. This is my first non-anemic pregnancy. The girls went with me this time. Talitha was delighted to hear
I’m 24 weeks pregnant and this is my second time breastfeeding while pregnant. Believe me when I say this is not something I imagined doing once, let alone twice. Struggling for months to establish breastfeeding with Talitha (y’know, tongue tie, low milk production, the most stressful experience of my life), the idea of making it to a year seemed a vague “maybe”. So I couldn’t have expected that not only would age two find us still breastfeeding but that I’d fall pregnant around then and wind up breastfeeding her for
I didn’t set out to breastfeed my older daughter as long as I did. I doubt anyone gazes into the face of their newborn and imagines breastfeeding them for four years. Certainly, at the time, I felt like we’d be blessed to get to six months. When the difficulties with her tongue-tie and my low milk supply kicked in, my goal became to take it one feed at a time. By the time her first birthday came into view (a landmark I was just relieved to make), I’d learned a
I had a love-hate relationship with the phrase “This too shall pass” when I was doing the new baby thing with Talitha. Sometimes it was my mantra. I would declare it and draw great strength from it. We would live to see another day. She would not be thirteen and waking me up hourly (or, I really hope she won’t be!). All these biologically normal newborn things that did not fit with my industrialised, isolated lifestyle would settle down, would be survived. Other times, a more experienced mother would tell
I cleared the last couple of baby bottles out of my kitchen cupboard today. My supplemental nursing system (SNS) went to the breastfeeding group some weeks ago as a demo aid for mothers struggling with milk production. These pieces of kit powerfully remind me that I cannot claim to have exclusively breastfed my daughter. Big deal, you might say, especially since I’m still breastfeeding her now at 22 months. How dare I feel any regret when so many don’t manage to breastfeed at all? Well, OK. I’m being real here.
I met Mummy Glitzer a few weeks ago at a coffee morning for South West mum bloggers in Bristol. We got onto the topic of breastfeeding (as you do) and she told her extraordinary story of breastfeeding by accident or, probably more accurately, breastfeeding by instinct. At my request, she’s graciously and honestly put into words her breastfeeding journey. Please leave her a comment at the end so she knows that she’s been heard. When I found out I was pregnant with H and had passed that all important 12
Thirteen months ago, when I first blogged about using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) also called an at-breast supplementer, a lot of people mentioned that they’d never heard of one and just assumed that the only options for feeding a baby were breast or bottle. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for the brilliant lactation consultant who supported us. There are, of course, a range of other options for supplementing if the need arises – cup, syringe or spoon – but we felt these were too time-consuming for
So many points in our breastfeeding journey have given me space to reflect. The last time we got back from Trinidad and Tobago, I was still buzzing with excitement over the revelation that I was making enough milk to breastfeed without other milk, expressed or artificial. This time, I’m just feeling quite celebratory about how easy and enjoyable breastfeeding my fifteen-month-old made our trip. So I’ve come up with five benefits of breastfeeding while traveling. If you’ve taken this show on the road, can you think of any more? Perfect
I actually laughed out loud when I read this piece of creative writing by Dr Miriam Stoppard yesterday. I call it creative writing because it certainly wasn’t an exercise grounded in scientific fact. Anyone using the title “Dr” to qualify their statements needs to feel the full weight of their responsibility to their audience. Most of what she’s written doesn’t deserve a response. OK, actually all of it is. I am tempted to mention that some babies are born with teeth and that they’re called milk teeth for a reason.
Scared to fly with a baby A week ago I did something I’d sworn I’d never do again – take a baby on a plane. On my own. I didn’t even blog about the last time I did it, when she was six months old, because it really was that awful. At fourteen months it could only be worse. OK, no, I take that back. It could have been much worse the time before. She didn’t cry the whole way but she was on the verge a lot of the