My little lady Amelia was two and a half when I fell pregnant with my second little lady. After suffering a miscarriage the year before, I had trouble attaching to the idea of a second baby (and no, breastfeeding while pregnant is in no way related to miscarriage). I therefore had no desire to wean Amelia off the breast. Our breastfeeding relationship was still very meaningful to both of us and I wanted to nurture the “baby” that was currently in my arms.
It was an interesting experience.
Breastfeeding while pregnant is painful for a large percentage of women and I was one of them. My nipples became far more sensitive and I constantly had to ask Amelia to re-adjust. There was also a sense of irritation, sometimes extreme, that came along with the feeling of pain. Thankfully, being older, she didn’t spend too much time there and if I was ready for a “count down”, she would often oblige leading to shorter feeds.
Milk supply definitely slowed down. Amelia would often ask for just one more “sip” as there were so few of them. The milk changed too. The beauty of breastfeeding an older child is that they can talk. I knew that my milk had changed flavor when she told me it tasted like marmite (a salty British sandwich spread) rather than the sweet honey taste it normally was.
As time went on, the size of my belly also played a role. It was hard for Amelia to get comfortable. Thankfully she was open to moving and grooving to get a comfortable position and with a little back arching and lying down we made it work!
I can imagine with a much younger child, still dependent on milk supply and not as verbal, all of this would be much harder. I have however worked with clients pregnant with their second, while their first was still very little, and they did successfully breastfeed throughout the process. There is even a product on the market called “More Milk For Two” ,by Motherlove, which is specifically formulated to safely increase breastmilk while pregnant and nursing!
There were many trials and tribulations during the pregnancy. Many scares and concerns. Throughout it all, taking Amelia to the breast allowed me to feel a deeper connection to her, to myself, to the love of a child. Every time “bad” news found our family, we were able to hold onto each other tight.
When we got ready to welcome little lady number two, Amelia told me she was willing to share. We spoke about how her sister would need the “bom bom” (our name for breastfeeding) more than she would. It was my hope that the incredible bond that connected Amelia and I via our breastfeeding relationship would connect her and her sister in the same way. That sharing mama would be a learning experience made all the more sweeter by sharing the sweetest thing of all. Me! We were going to tandem nurse!!!
Taya Griffin is a Mother, Homeopath and Breastfeeding Consultant. She teaches bebo mia’s prenatal breastfeeding classes (www.bebomia.com) and has a private practice helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals (www.tayagriffin.com).
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