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PREGNANCY & TANDEM NURSING


Q.    I am pregnant but want to continue nursing my 1 year old.  Can I breastfeed both children once the baby is born?
 

A.    Breastfeeding while pregnant is alright as long as you do not have what is classified as a high-risk pregnancy (eg. a history of miscarriages or premature labour). Some children may decide on their own to wean during their mothers' pregnancies.  Often, this occurs around the second trimester when the milk changes in taste & quantity.  If a child doesn't self-wean in this way, a mother will find herself nursing both a newborn & the older child.  Sometimes, even the child who has stopped nursing before baby was born, may ask to nurse again. This is called "Tandem Nursing", and yes, that IS possible to do.

When nursing an older child, as well as a newborn, it is wise to allow the new baby to breastfeed first, especially in the first week, as the  colostrum is somewhat more limited in quantity and important for your newborn.  Your older child may feel jealous when the new baby nurses. This is normal.  I would recommend talking with your older child about the baby's need for your milk. But rest assured, you will probably find that you have plenty of milk for two.

Tandem nursing can be stressful,  and is not for everyone. Be sure to ask for the help you need, once your new baby is born. Your partner may be thrilled to begin taking a much more active role with your older child -- while you are busy with  the new baby!
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