My Boobs, My Babies
Here’s the thing, I never intended to breastfeed one child past a year, let alone two at one time, but as
soon as I became a mother to my first son, I knew our breastfeeding journey would last for what feels
like a life time.
My boys, Nolan and Cody, are the loves of my life and serious milk addicts. Although I have had my
share of breastfeeding challenges, once my boys got the hang of it, they both became long term nursing
I never made much milk for Nolan at the end of my second pregnancy, but as soon as Cody was born
and Nolan got his first taste of the good stuff, he was hooked…again. So that began two boobs and two
babies, or as others call it, tandem nursing.
It wasn’t always easy and a lot of the time, I got in my own head, worrying what others thought.
Sometimes I just owned it and other times I was more private. I was never an exhibitionist and I never
nursed my babies out in public past a certain age – my personal choice. I am not this au naturel hippie
type, but breastfeeding long-term with an infant and toddler just made sense to me.
Benefits to Babies
Listen, I never thought about any benefits besides controlling tantrums and the fact that we weren’t
ready to stop nursing. I loved it, Nolan loved it and Cody could care less as long as he was getting fed. So
all the benefits were just a bonus.
All the goodies in breast milk that benefit an infant also benefit a toddler. My boys do not get any type
of processed milk. For one, I cannot drink it and therefore no one drinks it and I find it hard on their little tummies. Also, because I never introduced cow’s milk and because I breastfeed long term, both boys do not like the taste, so breast milk it is for the time being. I know breast milk will meet Nolan’s needs while meeting Cody’s needs simultaneously. Breast milk keeps Nolan’s immunity up as well as Cody’s.
Breast milk is good for the body and the soul. My boys are close in age and for the most part, I could
keep jealousy at bay because Nolan could still nurse when he wanted to. And when I wanted to get
some peace, I sat back and let them both go to town while I watched TV or closed my eyes and dreamed
of being alone – I am trying to think of something nicer to write, but those boys have the ability to suck
the life out of me so closing my eyes and dreaming of my happy place prevented me from putting them
I had some problems with Cody as he had a lot of trouble nursing, so my breast would get engorged. No
problem there – Nolan fixed me right up. Also, my breasts easily adapted to two babies and I made a lot
of milk so there was plenty to go around.
There are many benefits to tandem nursing, for me however, it was the bond I have with my boys and
the bond they have with each other. Nursing two children is a blessing and I know I was lucky.
Things to Consider
Tandem nursing is not for everyone and there is a lot to consider: is this what you want? How is your
diet? Is the new baby comfortable? Do you have enough milk? Will everyone like it including your
partner? And how will you handle the critics? Let’s face it, everyone has an opinion.
Sometimes I wanted to jump out of my skin. I was over touched and needed way too often and my poor
hubby got the short end of the stick. There were days I wanted to pack the boobs in and lock them up
for good. This is a common feeling and most days it passed. It’s important to have your support people
around you. My husband did not question my intuition. Others did however, but like I said above, I was
private and let people have their opinions. For the most part, no one said much and if they did, it would
not have changed my feelings on nursing.
I ate A LOT. Keeping up a good milk supply took calories. I did not get skinny because I nursed two
children. For the most part that was okay with me. I am still struggling to lose the weight, but
breastfeeding for me is more important right now. The weight will come later.
If you are struggling every day trying to nurse two children, whether that be you are losing your mind, or
trying to maintain a good supply or maybe everyone is uncomfortable, than it’s always important to
reflect on why you choose this. Make decisions because it’s the right one for you and your family.
Two Boobs and One Baby
It was last Saint Patrick’s Day, I just came home from a thirty hour birth and my breasts were hurting. I
needed relief and I let Nolan who was almost three have his last milky as he called it. He cuddled up
beside me and I took a deep breath and swallowed him in. His big blue baby eyes looked at me and I
wasn’t sad that this was our last time nursing together. Yes, I questioned it days and months later, but I
was ready to be done. I needed to be done for me. And that was okay.
I have been nursing for three and a half years. Cody is now nineteen months old and very much addicted
to me and my boobs. Nolan does not blink an eye when he sees my boobs or someone else’s and I love
that he is very comfortable around nursing mothers and their babies.
Even though I am no longer nursing two children, I loved my time when both boobs were being occupied
by two babies. In one nursing session, I would find comfort when looking down at their sweet faces and
the next I felt like cutting off my boobs and screaming. I felt like I was always, never, sometimes thinking
when will these two children give up and be done. I wanted it to last and I wanted it to be over. It was
easy and hard. It was stressful and relaxing. It was a battle between my sanity and the fact I never
wanted to give up on giving my boys what I think is best. For me, it was a love hate relationship, but
mostly love. You too will have your ups and downs when breastfeeding two, three, four babies (yikes, if
you are nursing more than two, rock on), but like I always told myself, I got two boobs and two babies,
so why not?
Laura MacDougall is a birth and postpartum doula specializing in lactation consulting. She is the owner of Helping Hands Doula in Halifax, NS and is currently studying to become a nurse. Her and her husband have two beautiful boys, Nolan, age three and Cody, nineteen months.
FREE ONLINE MINI-COURSE
BLISS IN BUSINESS RETREAT
Your future is created by what you do today — that's why we created a completely FREE mindset mini-course to help doulas and birth workers find bliss in their business!