Tandem breastfeeding: everything you need to know

There are mothers who breastfeed get pregnant again. Then, they continue to breastfeed throughout the pregnancy and, when the baby is born, the action is doubled. That is tandem breastfeeding.

Each woman experiences breastfeeding differently. Some feel it as the most magical and beautiful process of motherhood; for others it is exhausting chaos. The reality is that it is a situation full of doubts; more when two children are fed at the same time.

Here we will try to clarify everything about this modality to breastfeed your children, so read on to learn about tandem breastfeeding.

Breast Care During Tandem Breastfeeding

One of the first symptoms of pregnancy is breast tenderness. This usually appears during the first trimester. Therefore, you may notice discomfort during this time when breastfeeding your older child. But don't worry; it usually happens when the second trimester is reached.

The increase in hormones and the change in the structure of the breasts cause the nipples and breasts to become more tender and tender in the third or fourth week of pregnancy. That is the cause of a lot of discomfort during breastfeeding, since now it is not just the pregnancy, but the pressure and sucking of the other baby.

To take care of the breasts, wash with water during the bath. The small bumps on the areola, known as Montgomery glands, produce a moisturizing oil for the nipples. Soaps and shower gels remove it.

As for the nipples, let them air dry or rub gently using a towel. If you have cracks, put on fresh breast milk to help heal them.

Lesions on the nipple are common, especially from poor breastfeeding techniques. If we add to this the course of a pregnancy, the risk increases.

Read also: 6 tips on breastfeeding

How is milk production in tandem lactation?

During tandem lactation there is an overproduction of milk, because it is not only one baby, but two. But in pregnancy, a decrease in production can occur, particularly in the second trimester, due to hormonal interaction.

Does milk suit the younger or older child?

When a new pregnancy occurs, the mother's body focuses on the unborn child. If delivery is approaching, the mother produces colostrum, even more substantial and different than what you would produce if you weren't breastfeeding the other baby. After birth, milk is produced for the newborn. So first it secretes colostrum, then transitional milk, and then mature milk.

Colostrum, in case you were wondering, is not bad for the older child and will produce enough for both of you. In fact, it will be beneficial, as it has immunoglobulins.

Shot organization

This point depends on each mother. Some decide organize You take them, leaving a breast for each one, or offer first to the youngest baby and then to the older one. In this way they individualize the attention given to each child.

Advantages of tandem breastfeeding

This type of breastfeeding does not harm the mother's health. In reality, there is no high energy cost for milk production, nor is there a decrease in maternal hemoglobin, so anemia cannot be attributed to it. That is, there are no adverse effects if the mother breastfeeds her two children.

In fact, it reduces engorgement and the possibility of suffering from mastitis, since two babies are breastfeeding and emptying the glands.

Regarding children, the older one ensures a milk production for the little one, increasing demand. In fact, the newborn loses less weight in the first days of life.

There are many myths surrounding the practice. One of the most powerful is that it can cause abortions. The reality is that this is not the case. The Spanish Association of Pediatrics ensures that there is no problem if you continue to breastfeed while breastfeeding. If the mother is healthy and has a normal pregnancy, it is advisable not to interrupt the breastfeeding of the older child.

The mammary gland is stimulated with suction to generate more milk, so tandem lactation ensures greater production.

Also read: 6 treatments of natural origin to calm mastitis

Disadvantages of tandem breastfeeding

The older brother may be jealous of the younger. It is something usual that you must learn to handle.

Besides that, it is an activity that requires time and effort. But if you ever feel like the situation is overwhelming you and outweighs your willingness to breastfeed tandem, don't worry and wean the oldest. To do this you will need help from your whole family. They should give the child fun, pampering and attention.

From the point of view of children's health, colostrum can be laxative, so the older child may experience a bit of diarrhea for the first few days.

In addition to only very serious infections, such as candidiasis or moniliasis, it is recommended that babies have one breast for each. In other circumstances, sharing it does not pose an increased risk of infection. It is not recommended, either, that it be done if the mother can only breastfeed with one breast, which would constitute one of the few contraindications.

So to give it you only need the will to do it. The presence of two babies in the family can be exhausting, but breastfeeding is a never-ending act of love that protects both equally.