I got pregnant while breastfeeding my 2-year-old child, Amaria. It’s ok to breastfeed throughout a new pregnancy if your doctor tells you that it’s safe. In my case, I didn’t experience contractions or any threat to my pregnancy so I opted to continue breastfeeding Amaria. Besides, she has shown absolutely no signs of weaning yet.
After I had my new baby Mariana, I also decided to continue to nurse my toddler along with my newborn.Breastfeeding siblings that aren’t twins is called tandem feeding.
So here we go! The tandem feeding journey began and I must say, nursing a toddler and a newborn is such a special situation, and it wasn’t easy at all.
The job was so demanding, the milk production should be continuously running on a seriously high level! They nurse at different times because it was difficult for me to hold them both and nurse simultaneously. They took a lot of my time and boy, it was really exhausting!
Yes, breastfeeding a toddler and a newborn can be tiring, but it was also such a rewarding experience. I was blessed to have enough milk for them to share and I am really happy to nourish them with THE ONLY BEST MILK a child could ever have.
As expected, we all got the hang of it eventually. Amaria learned to wait for her turn because she knew that the baby is the priority when it comes to feeding, especially at bedtime. The baby on the other hand couldn’t care less, when she’s hungry, she is hungry. Of course, we all know that.
I felt so fulfilled as a mother knowing that both my children are getting all the nutrition that they need from my breastmilk. Despite the struggles and hardships, I have been experiencing since there were two kids feeding on my always swollen, overused breasts, I chose to continue nursing both my children for as long as they want to.
Then, like magic, Amaria fell asleep without nursing one night! It wasn’t something I expected so I told my husband and my mom about it the next morning. Then, she started to only ask for “dede” once a day, like when she’s sleepy for example. That went on for probably about 6 months. Then she would fall asleep without asking for breastmilk again. Then she forgot to ask again the next day. And the next.
Amaria happily fell asleep without mentioning breastmilk for a week. I was so sure it was the beginning of the end. Occasionally she would ask, but I would suggest snuggling to sleep instead which sometimes she would accept and sometimes not. She didn’t ask again for a week. We nursed before her 4th birthday and after that, WE WERE DONE.
Every child eventually weans. You do not need to impose weaning on your child. Though many mothers choose to do so when there’s a need for it like they need to be away for work or some because they tire of breastfeeding before their children do. Mother-led weaning is certainly a valid choice. But so is child-led weaning.
Before I had a child, I didn’t actually know what extended breastfeeding meant but I was so sure I would stop breastfeeding when she’s at least 2 years old. That was my goal. I reached 4 years with my firstborn, why do I feel displeased or uncontented? It was like, after waiting for this day to happen, suddenly, I wasn’t ready for her to wean after all.
It hit me… She is not a baby anymore. The realization made me sad. She made her own decision of weaning off after 1,460 days of purely breastfeeding. She gave it up.
Just. Like. That.
She seems just fine with her decision, but I must admit I’ve been struggling. Please, someone tell me I’m not alone! While I thought I would be happy to stop breastfeeding, it’s proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be. It’s funny that I started to look through her baby pictures on my phone and feel very emotional for the baby she no longer was. Amaria may be 20kgs now but I will hang onto the idea of her still being my baby.
Breastmilk is FREE and very healthy! That’s the reason my husband has been really supportive of my tandem feeding journey and I really appreciate him for that.
I usually have no trouble mentioning that both of my kids, ages 1 and 4 were still nursing. I’m surrounded by many amazing parents who support full-term breastfeeding. <3
I feel lucky to have been supported by a wonderful network of family, friends (offline and online) who are very supportive of breastfeeding. I nursed in public for years (but never without a nursing cover) and never received a single negative comment from anyone (well, not that I heard of). I even got several positive comments and appreciations saying that more moms should be like me. I was never questioned about my breastfeeding relationship with my children. I became a serious advocate of breastfeeding.
It feels like I was wearing an invisible momma crown for successfully pulling off my breastfeeding journey with my children and I felt really proud and fulfilled.
I know not all mamas have such a positive experience as mine. Some are regularly questioned or judged by strangers (or worst, even family members and friends) about breastfeeding and nursing beyond infancy. If you are feeling unsupported in your decision to continue to breastfeed, find a community of mothers, in person or online (you can always DM me!), who has your back. We should #NormalizeBreastfeeding because #BreastmilkIsBestMilk <3
The weeks have passed and I have come to realize that no matter how old my precious girl gets, she will always be my baby. That won’t change just because I’m no longer breastfeeding her.
Our breastfeeding journey started off bumpy. Just like most first time moms, my milk supply wasn’t so much during our first month. But I persevered and I was so motivated to breastfeed her no matter what. And with a lot of hard work, Mega-Malunggay capsules, lactation drinks, snacks, and water, it became the best part of my #momlife.
Despite the aching back and swollen nipples, I am so grateful that we had this special time, special bonding and connection while breastfeeding. I am still happy that she was able to make the decision to self-wean and stop on her own terms. I feel blessed to be able to offer her this gift. And I swear I would do it all over again if I had the choice.