Posts Tagged ‘tandem nursing’

Tandem Nursing Update: Labor of Love

“I yuv mulkie.”

“Suntines I feel sad. Den I get mulkie. Den I feel better!”

“I yike to have dis mulkies and den dat mulkies!”

“I yike the taste of da mulkies….”

These are my daughter’s loving words about how much nursing means to her. I get this. I want, with all my heart, to meet this genuine and deep need she has.

From the moment of latch, despite all my desires, it takes the effort of labor to keep myself from unlatching her at the least and throwing her off me (in my mind’s image) at my worst.

For the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting, I shared how a nursing necklace from Wild Mother Arts was giving my toddler something to focus on. This led to less wiggling, something that agitated my aversion. The relief I felt from this allowed me to keep searching for more relief.

I needed to keep looking for a solution because my aversion was affecting my mothering.

It doesn’t matter how many times I am gentle and kind and loving, even when setting limits. When I can’t nurse her in that way, she feels it. And it does not feel good. To anyone.

I want to make positive nursing memories that I can remember.

I needed to change, and I had been trying for a while. I realized that I could use the same strength and wisdom I found inside when I gave birth to my children. I was breathing and trying to stay positive. I still could not nurse my daughter lovingly.

Someone said assuredly, “Well, you have positive memories from when she was young at least.” If I am being honest, I cannot remember those positive moments. I can see them in my mind, but when I try to feel those feelings, I can only feel the hard feelings I have now. This wraps the whole experience in sadness for me.

Then I found this article at CodeNameMama on an Inner Body Awareness Exercise for nursing aversion.

That very next time I nursed her, I tried the suggested visualization. It. Was. Difficult. Letting myself truly feel those feelings. To hold compassionately this negativity I’d been trying so hard for so long to drive away.

The next day, I continued to try. Every single session. It was a plodding process but not without results.

I began to notice over the course of the day these little things, that felt big to me.

I didn’t feel negative. At all. I had no aversion. The entire day.

She didn’t hit her brother once. She was loving and kind and caring and respectful. The entire day. 

Negativity while nursing and when she acted out her feelings using her brother were the two areas that I continually felt beating down on me.

The whole day I felt love and even, at moments, joy with my daughter. I tried to notice all the little details of our time nursing together. I formed my first positive memories after my daughter relearned to nurse after weaning during pregnancy.

Since then, I have had little to no aversion each time I nurse. Before I would have it all the time and horribly sometimes. I want to keep up with what I have found to work — the necklace, water, sleep, food, conscious focus and relaxation, limits.

I even figured out a new little something that first day of the awareness exercise. My daughter had been latched for two or three minutes when I could feel my agitation growing. I unlatched her, even though I could see her need at the moment. She began to become upset, but I asked her for a minute break. She went along with that pretty easily (shocker!).

I was able to nurse her for a long time that session. I think the breaks help me feel that there is an end, and that I can have a break from that when I need to and continue when I can.

I know now that I’m facing weaning. She’s 2.5 years old. She’s moving away from me. I feel grateful to have found a resource that helps me cherish these final stages of our nursing relationship and wean my daughter gently, lovingly, with care and respect.

Through this labor of love, I am moving towards birthing joy and connection by nursing my daughter.


[Thanks, CodeNameMama, for your unwavering support of breastfeeding at all all ages and stages. Still have discount on all items from Wild Mother Arts (including nursing necklaces!) for sharing about your breastfeeding experience(s) through A Living Family Breastfeeding Survey.]

Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

[See end of post to get discount code on weaning keepsake/nursing necklaces and more from Wild Mother Arts as a thanks for sharing your experiences on A Living Family Breastfeeding Survey.]

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My 2.5 year old daughter and I have had some rough spots in our nursing relationship, including weaning during pregnancy and relearning how to nurse postpartum.

The first tandem nurse. Is my toddler really nursing?

I wrote about my commitment to breastfeeding despite woes while pumping and working and while nursing and pregnant. I shared how my body weaned us both due to lack of supply which may have caused my daughter to have a nursing-related nose obsession. I found a respectful way to handle tandem nursing. Alas, our nursing relationship continues to be one riddled with bad timing, unhelpful hormones and hard feelings. Shifts are happening, and I am stuck with this nagging worry…

Is this weaning?

A few things are standing out to me:

  • Second tandem nursing effort. Felt like a bundle of legs and a juggling of mouths. Luckily, everyone’s latch is better now.

    Sometimes my daughter will ask for “milkies” but then continue playing. Sometimes I let her know that if she wants milkies now is the time because I’m going to put baby in a sling soon. She says, “First, I want to play with this for a little bit.” Sometime she asks and runs off to do something else, or I ask before wearing baby and she says no.

  • I figured out having her on during a let down minimized my aversion and helped her get the most milk. I assumed she had relearned how to nurse after six months without, during pregnancy. I have overactive(forceful) letdown. Recently, now that baby boy is nearing five months, I entered the period when milk supply regulates. My letdowns are less out of control now.
  • My daughter has been saying things like “the milkies are stuck” or “there’s no milk coming out” when I just had a letdown. I just realized, since the supply shift makes it more clear, that she is talking about the flow slowing. Now I wonder if she doesn’t not how to create suction…without teeth, which causes horrible aversion for me.

I have come to the realization that I cannot force a nursing relationship to continue.

I can’t even force myself to get past aversion and enjoy the act of nursing. Admittedly, I am only months out postpartum, but I have been having all kinds of emotions. Usually I do however much maneuvering it takes for me to get baby settled elsewhere.

Then it starts up like this inside my head:

The first “real” nurse session post weaning.

I am so happy to have a chance to nurse her and be close. Finally! I am going to give her what she needs. I am going to be there for her. I can do this. I am going to wait till she is all finished. Other mamas grin and bear it. I can do this. [Recall birth experience for inspiration.]

[Latch] My sweet baby girl…

[Right after latch] Oomph.

Grrr….this feels so grating. How’s her latch? [Readjust. Reposition.]

I really, really want to give this comfort and closeness to my little girl.

[Guilt…for having these conflicting feelings, for going back to work, for getting pregnant and losing my milk, for having such strong nursing aversion…]

[Rubbing feet back and forth, gritting teeth, clenching hands.]

Aargh! I want to push her off me! STOP IT!!!

[Mind searching elsewhere for things to think about. Not helping. Can’t stand it.]

“One more minute, my love.”

[15 seconds….]

Has it been a minute yet?! [5 more seconds]

Still not a minute?! [10 more seconds]

“Ok, my love, all finished.”

[My daughter asks for “few more minutes” and I give her one more “minute” just to assuage my guilt.]

This feels like a crossroads. This feels like weaning territory.

If I can’t get it together, I am pretty sure she will stop sooner rather than later. I am not ready to end our relationship. She is not ready to wean.

I want to nurse my child till she is finished with our nursing relationship.

At only 2.5, she’s so small. Before I got pregnant and the aversion started, I loved nursing her. It feels like betrayal, and I don’t want to give up something I want because my body feels hard to deal with.

I don’t want to unintentionally wean my daughter through my negativity.

Sometimes, I get this horrible urge, like I want to squeeze her hard to make the feeling stop. Sometimes, I realize I am holding my arms tight or she says “too tight” and I have to ask her to get off or tell her “one more minute.” Sometimes, I snap at her when she moves around. I get so irritated and agitated and aggravated and all those annoyed words. All at once. The feelings overwhelm me….

Right now, I need to nurture our nursing relationship so it can survive and grow again. 

MY PLAN:

[For dealing with my feelings of aversion, but I’d say these apply to pregnant mamas with sore nipples, too]

  • General Preventative:
    • Stay hydrated…extra extra because more milk = less teeth
    • Eat well — lots of healthy fats, low sugars, no caffeine?
    • Sleep — sleep early, nap when needed
    • Take placenta pills when feeling off
    • Drink milk tea, nettle tea as needed
    • Eat oatmeal a few times a week
  • Before Nursing:
    • Continue our kiss and “fweeze” (squeeze/hug) first
    • Bring up positive feelings and images of my daughter
    • Really take her in — her eyes, her size, her feel
    • Make a commitment to focus on loving her for those short minutes
    • GOOD LATCH
  • While Nursing: 

Of all of these measures, the biggest surprise has been the nursing necklace.

Wild Mother Arts so compassionately supports the natural nursing and weaning relationship (see below for discount opportunity!). She makes beautiful pendants that are made from semiprecious stones using care and wisdom of healing properties of stones such as amethyst, rhodonite and tiger iron. I love stones, had seen these briefly long before all this nursing drama and thought, “How sweet and pretty.”

Now, though, I was more desperately trying something other mothers had said was actually helpful for keeping a good latch while nursing their distracted toddlers. I also read about having her open wide and stick out her tongue, common trick for correcting toddler latch. I ordered the necklaces, and forgot about them, trudging along until they arrived.

I decided to try out the nursing necklace and the latch instruction during our next session.

The first time I nursed my toddler wearing the necklace my daughter instantly settle down. She caressed, stroked, poked, swung, grabbed and stared at the necklace while she nursed. Her latch stayed good. I was able to nurse her for longer than usual and with little to no discomfort.

The second time, I decided to do some of my “before nursing” ideas above. She both played with the necklace and was on and off talking to me. This usually annoys me because her teeth are also on and off. I was surprised I felt able to nurse her rather easily. I felt no discomfort and barely any aversion. I even nursed her on both sides.

Tandem Nurse #3: Trying out the football hold with the 2.5 yo…didn’t like the teeth where they were. Going to try football with baby next time.

If I am being honest, part of the reason I wanted a nursing necklace is to have, as Wild Mother Arts says, a wonderful keepsake of my nursing relationship with my first born child.

I can be sentimental, and this can be something to hold my memories. The reality is that, even though sometimes she wants more milk, my daughter is probably in the earliest stages of weaning. She is closer to 3 than 2. I hear of nursing relationships shifting to once every week or two. I can’t imagine this when she is still at 1-5 times a day (especially with my low supply phobia), but I hope that this is us.

Despite any difficulty I have faced or will face in the future, I would honor and cherish the opportunity to nurse my daughter well past toddlerhood into her childhood.

I’m not sure if this is weaning or not, but for my part I hope this daughter of mine weans me gently.

[Wild Mother Arts has generously agreed to allow me to give a discount code (on items from the whole store!) to any readers who participate in A Living Family Breastfeeding Survey. (There’s also a Survey for Partners of Breastfeeding Mothers.) Click on the link, share your story and save! “Wild Mother Arts creates handmade nursing necklaces, fertility bracelets, fertility goddess necklaces and birth jewelry with natural, healing gemstones.” Please share your nursing and weaning joys, struggles, tips and wisdom for other mothers to draw from. Thank you in advance! ~sheila]

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Resources on Weaning Gently

Information

Stories



Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):

Tandem Nursing Update

I had a tandem nursing breakthrough today.

I shared in an earlier post that I am a tandem nurser after my toddler relearned to latch and nurse. For a while there I was wondering, “Am I (still) a breastfeeding mama?” My daughter even gained a nose obsession from when she weaned during pregnancy.

Well since then my daughter has started to ask for milkies. All. the. time.

It just makes her so happy sometimes. Sometimes she asks, latches for a minute distractedly before choosing to get off to do something else.

Part of me is grateful that I can nurse and wear her so that she has a closeness from her babyhood in this time of transition and upheaval in her world. Part of me is still hormonally averse and has to breathe through each session moment by moment.

Sometimes, when baby has been nursing constantly and so has my daughter, I feel the thought float across my mind: weaning. “I’m not ready, and neither is she.” Breathe…..

Today, I had a genius discovery at a key moment; here was the scene:

My daughter had just nursed. Again. I think I literally hadn’t had my boobs to myself for more than a few minutes. I was done.

Milkies at the train station with "footie hands" (socks on her hands).

2 yo: I want more milkies.

Me: One more minute then milkies are all finished.

2 yo: Ok. [Nurses for more than a minute.]

Me: Ok, all finished.

2 yo: I want more milkies! [Enter meltdown face and begin wailing cry.]

Me: You really like to get milkies.

2 yo: Yes. I want more milkies. [Lip quivering still, the cries subside a bit.]

Me: I hear that you want more milkies. You can have more milkies later, but right now milkies are all finished.

2 yo: Why?

Me: Because mama needs a break.

2 yo: [Wailing starts to take off] Why?

Me: [Thinking about why I need  a break….about how I feel like if someone touches my nipple right now I might just lose my mind. Listening to this wailing start to pick up. I feel us entering full on meltdown. Still, I just can’t deal with any more right now!] It’s mama’s turn, my love.

2 yo: [Sniff] Mama’s turn? [Sniff]

Me: Yes, love. [She calms down. Hmm, this is going somewhere!] You had a turn, baby had a turn, now it’s mama’s turn.

2 yo: [She seems to be accepting this. I sense her brainwave shifting.]

Me: It feels hard to share the milkies sometimes, huh? You really like to get milkies. We are all sharing the milkies, and sometimes you have to wait and be patient. That can be hard sometimes.

2 yo: Yes. … Mama? Let’s go play.

Me: [Shocked that this solution has come to me and actually worked.] I would love to play with you, my love.

Yes, I finally realized that tandem nursing is about sharing. My children are sharing: my lap, my breasts, my milk, my love.

I am a point in that triangular relationship, too, though. I need to make sure that my needs are considered. They may not take priority, but my needs should be acknowledged.

I should strive to meet my needs as well as those of my children in a balanced way. Sometimes that means baby gets to nurse. Sometimes that means I need to breathe through nursing my daughter.

Tandem nursing: Sometimes, it means saying it’s mama’s turn.

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RESOURCES

I Am a Tandem Nurser!

I joyfully shout this inside my head.

I had already shifted my focus to being a tandem nurturer. I partially came up with this term for myself through processing my sadness and disappointment that I probably would not be tandem nursing my children. After realizing the probable source of my daughter’s nose obsessionforced weaning caused by my pregnant body’s refusal to make milk, I wondered “Am I still a breastfeeding mama?” I feared that my nursing relationship with my daughter was ended without me even knowing when.

How many weeks (months?) had gone by without her asking to nurse?

I found myself choosing clothes without having to consider if I could nurse in them or not. I knew I would be thinking about nursing clothes again because of the baby, but I wondered often if somehow I would be able to be a tandem nurser after the birth. I worried that when my milk came back that my daughter wouldn’t have interest, so I was hopeful when she started getting curious from watching all the birth videos. One time before the birth, she asked to nurse, and I found that my aversion was less intense. Despite these positive signs, I questioned whether she would remember how to latch. (She wasn’t that great to begin with.)

The day baby came, I happily nursed when she asked (and made sure to take pictures in case it never happened again), but my worst fears were realized — she couldn’t latch!

She didn’t seem to remember, and when I tried to help it made things worse. My milk didn’t really come in for a week, which didn’t help either. (I think that maybe happened because I wanted to leave baby in the light treatment for jaundice so I didn’t get to hold him much, which stimulates milk production.) She asked to nurse once or so a day, and I still felt a bit of agitation. I was also frustrated and fried (emotionally and literally) from the 24-hr light therapy and the strain of staying positive about baby’s health. I began to think maybe we were both trying, but it just wasn’t going to happen.

Enter the milk.

When my milk came in, I cried inside…again, for joy. I felt relief from worry that I wasn’t going to be able to feed my newborn baby well. Some of my joy came from renewed hope that with actual milk coming out (and forcefully) that my daughter would somehow begin nursing.

My daughter blessed me for my perpetual hope by nursing!

It happened over a few days. I had offered her those few times when there was no milk, so now I knew to just keep quiet and let her do her thing. The first time I offered her milkies when my milk had come in was after baby had nursed both sides pretty well. She latched a bit better than before and even swallowed once, where before she just left her open mouth on there or closed her teeth too much. The second time I offered her milk from one side after baby had nursed one side and I knew the other was full. She continued to latch decently, swallowed a few more times and even got a little lip/mouth motion going, but she wasn’t truly nursing.

The third time, the charm, my daughter latched well, sucked gently and swallowed regularly — she was nursing!

I had gone in and offered milkies when she woke from her nap, and she seemed glad to say yes. I was quietly ecstatic, practically holding my breath to make sure I didn’t break the spell and make her stop. We nursed for about 10 minutes. Such a long time for us! And I had to end it because she was beginning to lose her interest and latch. I decided setting limits were ok, since I felt confident we could build from here. I asked her, unable to contain my excitement, “did you get milkies?” My heart felt joy when she said yes. We got up to leave the bedroom soon after.

As we walked down the hall, holding hands because she wanted to, she said in a cheerful, little voice “I like milkies. I feel better.”

Crying ensued. I practically skipped with her down the hall. I am nursing my newborn son. I am now nursing my two year old daughter. I am grateful for however long this lasts.

I am a tandem nursing mama!

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Resources (Of Course!)

Am I (still) a Breastfeeding Mama?

It never occurred to me that being a breastfeeding mother (or not) could be a difficult thing to determine. Either you are breastfeeding or you aren’t, right?

Well, I’m finding it hard to answer that question: Am I a breastfeeding mama?

From the beginning my goal was two years and then we’ll see (which led to a desire for child-led weaning). I wrote about the major shift in my breastfeeding status that came at 18 months here and gave an update here. Things just didn’t go as I thought they would. In fact, they went downhill right when we were getting into a great groove.

So it came to be that I found myself one day wondering aloud when the last time I nursed my child was. This got me wondering if I am still breastfeeding. I started to think about some what ifs….

Am I a still breastfeeding mama if:

  • I can’t remember the last time I nursed her? (Although since I started telling her the baby is going to need lots of milkies she started to be more into them and asked to nurse one night last week.)
  • When I did nurse her last I didn’t want to?
  • There is no milk in the milkies?
  • I no longer offer and put her off when she asks?
  • My daughter no longer asks for milkies? (Is she weaned or isn’t she? See above update from last week.)

All these last months of the pregnancy, I have had a hard time nursing her and have felt some relief at her not wanting to nurse. At the same time, I feel sad and hope that she will nurse again when the milk comes back. Then again, I’m not sure how I will feel once the baby comes. It’s enough contradictory thinking and feeling to make my mind a mess.

Then today, on expressing these feelings, a friend said that she wouldn’t consider my daughter weaned because she, like me, is pretty sure that my daughter will want to nurse when my milk comes in. That made sense to me, and I’m not ready to consider her (us) weaned. It still seems so gray to me, not the black and white I thought it would be.

What do you think? When is a child weaned (particularly in the case of pregnancy)? When does a mama stop being a breastfeeding mama?

From Nipples to Noses: A Breastfeeding Twist

My daughter has an obsession with noses….and it’s my fault.

Pregnancy brings with it so many unknowns. Hormones are crazy things, and pregnancy hormones affect every woman differently. They cause changes in all aspects of being, not just physical. One change that I hadn’t thought about much beforehand was how getting pregnant would affect my current breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. As I described in the World Breastfeeding Week Series post on pregnancy and tandem nursing, the shift in our relationship has been difficult for me. It feels hard when my body is saying no and my heart is saying yes. Despite my desires to the opposite, we have a fairly nonexistent breastfeeding relationship consisting of a few minutes of bad latching maybe once a day, if that.

What I hadn’t realized was how difficult weaning has been for my daughter.

There, I said the word I have feared. Weaning. I can’t say that is for sure what is happening. I continue to hope that once the milk comes back in she will relearn her latch and my aversion will go away. Still, if we only nurse maybe once or twice a day and there is no milk are we really still breastfeeding?

It’s been six months since we were in our groove together. Things went down so smoothly that I thought she was ok with it. There were only a few tough moments when she wanted to nurse and was upset when I said “milkies were sleeping.” Lately, though, I get the sense that she is feeling some kind of way about not being able to nurse. Mostly this has seemed connected to seeing other children nurse, particularly friends her age.

Then, the other day I sat with her and watched the birth video I made with “pishurs of Uma,” as she says it. Of course she signed and asked “again” over and over. After the first time or two, she seemed to understand that I was saying that baby was her. She talked about the baby getting milkies. Then she said baby was sad. I asked why baby was sad, and she said baby wanted milkies.

Back to noses.

After that I started to realize that the timing of this nose obsession corresponded to our diminishing breastfeeding relationship. Well, I probably missed signs months back that she was overly focused on noses, but it was cute to hear her say “I toush da nosh.” She touches her babies noses, the dogs’ noses, the cat’s nose, her friends’ noses…..pretty much any nose she can find.

Now, though, the nose thing is in my face regularly (ha) because it seems to have taken the place of nursing to sleep. My naps and nighttimes are spent trying to be patient and fake sleep while she reaches over to hold a hand to my face and touch my nose over and over. And over again. Almost always, if move my head she will move so she can reach my nose again. Most times, if I take her hand away and say “mama’s sleeping” she will fuss, sometimes getting upset like a child who wants to nurse to sleep and is being denied milkies.

Sometimes this drives me nuts, but mostly it makes me sad. I feel bad that I can’t give her milkies. I feel annoyed that I am annoyed when she “latches” and “nurses.” It’s been difficult to have been so joyful at 17 months that we were in such a solid groove only to have it taken away so soon afterwards.

Despite my mixed feelings, I give my daughter my nose as an offering, as a replacement for my nipples and her milkies. It is not my favorite, but it is the least I can do to ease this cruel twist in our breastfeeding relationship.

Other Frontiers: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing

(NOTE: Story first this time, links below.)

After a stressful but generally successful start, my daughter and I had a fairly strong and easygoing breastfeeding relationship. She has never been one to sit still and nurse but has always been a pretty gentle nurser. I fed on demand day or night, though I did work outside of the home and pump. Even at 14 months sometimes demand was *all* day and sometimes it meant 5-6 times. She got her first teeth at that time, was active and developing language and motor skills like crazy.

I felt so happy to be past a year. By month 15 and 16, I was feeling the best I had felt about breastfeeding, and I felt the best ever while breastfeeding. I rarely felt frustrated and mostly had those “oh, this is too sweet, please never end” feelings. I had nipples of steel that could handle my daughter’s latched acrobatics. I was over any embarrassment about flashed nipple and was just overall confident and calm about the whole thing. I was definitely going to reach my goal of nursing to 2 years. I had a clear vision of nursing into year 3 and 4. This was going to be awesome…….

Then pumping became difficult and stressful. What was wrong with the pump? Where was my milk? Nothing was coming out. Nursing started to get painful. Why was she hurting me all of a sudden? Was something wrong? This was getting to be too much. Then….puking and a positive pregnancy test. By 8 weeks I was nauseous all day, had nipples that felt too sore to nurse (or even wear a shirt) and something worse than anything I had faced before.

Every pregnant woman responds differently to each pregnancy. Some barely notice any changes or difficulties. Others have pain and can get through it, or not. I met and talked to a number of women who have nursed while pregnant. All said it was hard, but they persisted and nursed despite pain. For me, nursing meant that my mind screamed, “NO!!! Shove that thing off you!” at peak volume while my sweet little girl tried to do what she and I had been happily doing for months. I literally felt insane and barely able to let her nurse for 60 seconds, which seemed like an absolute eternity. Enter guilt and sadness. WHY WAS THIS SO HARD?! Was something wrong with me? Did I not care enough about my daughter or breastfeeding? Didn’t I want her to nurse through the pregnancy and long after? Would this end our breastfeeding relationship? 2 years was feeling far, far away, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.

Between me using distraction, hugs, food or water when she wanted milkies during awake hours and her wanting less (because there wasn’t any?), she was only nursing before naps and bedtime. She maybe woke up once or twice at night and then none, when she was waking up 2 or 3 times a night. Just over a month before she was nursing all those times and more during the day. Now she woke up, wanted a cuddle and went back to sleep. After waking every 2-3 hours at 14 months, at 21 months she is now sometimes sleeping 9-11 hours straight.

Shouldn’t I be overjoyed that pregnant, exhausted me is getting to sleep so long?  I know some would be congratulating themselves on getting their child to finally sleep through the night (something I had never held much expectation for). I was feeling sad and guilty — how was this child-led weaning? It was confusing and hard to have uncontrollable negative feelings towards my daughter while breastfeeding. I wanted the sleep but woke up all the time anyway to listen and see if she was ok. Mostly, it was the guilt that other mothers were pushing through and nursing away whenever, and I was forcing my daughter to only nurse for one round of the Baby Beluga song before sleeping. [I stay in there with her. She plays about or rolls around on the bed with me. These are some of her cuddliest, kissiest, sweetest moments. She has gotten more cuddly and affectionate since milkies “are sleeping”  or “tired” more.]

Despite the drama in my heart and mind, it turns out I am not alone. Yes, there are thankfully lots of women and stories of pushing through, but there are also women who have cut back or set limits. Some wean entirely. I am afraid to do that because I do want to try tandem nursing and would love for my first to nurse as long as she wants (even if that means I have some boundaries).

The point? I don’t have to feel guilty. I nursed my child for 17 solid months and am continuing to conserve a breastfeeding relationship at 21 months. I am taking it day by day and feeling a boost from all the wonderful posts for World Breastfeeding Week at Natural Parents Network. I am definitely going to make it to 2 years, and I am certainly going to do my darndest to tandem nurse. I have a lot of resources to check out and things to learn. Below are some of the places I’ve been online. Everything I’ve read suggests I should acquire a copy of Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond.

Extended breastfeeding can come with challenges. One of those might be nursing while pregnant. Another might then be tandem nursing. I hope the resources below help others on this journey. It can be a tough road, but I have surely found it easier travelling alongside the mamas that make up this large, extended community.

RESOURCES

Nursing Two (Kellymom’s Pregnancy and Tandem Breastfeeding site — companion to Adventures in Tandem Nursing)

Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond (book)

Links, Recommended Resources and Stories (Kellymom)

BREASTFEEDING DURING PREGNANCY

Common Discomforts and How to Help: Part 1 and Part 2

Forced (Influenced) Weaning Due to Pregnancy

Breastfeeding through Pregnancy: My 2nd Trimester Experience and 3rd Trimester Update

TANDEM NURSING

Tips for Tandem Breastfeeding a Baby and a Toddler

5 Tips on Nursing During Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing

Tandem Nursing: A Personal Experience and Update: 18 Months and Going Strong! (has several links to other people’s tandem stories)

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