Hi! I’m Judy I am a SAHM and Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and I have two boys who are 4 and 2 years old. As it is World Breastfeeding week, I’m going to share parts of my breastfeeding journey with you. I am currently still breastfeeding my two year old and I breastfed my eldest until he was 2 years and 8 months old, including just over 7 months of tandem feeding (breastfeeding two children at once).
Before I had my first son, I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I didn’t really know much about it at all. When he was born I was separated from him for a few hours and so I didn’t get to feed him in the ‘Golden Hour’ after birth. I still struggle with the fact that I wasn’t able to do that. Whilst on the Maternity Ward I really struggled to get him to latch (he had a tongue tie but this was snipped the day after he was born). Some Breastfeeding Peer Supporters visited me on the ward, gave me lots of support and taught me how to cup feed my son if I couldn’t get him to latch.
Once home, for the first few days or so, I could only feed if I was lying on my side but as he got bigger I managed to feed him sitting up. I didn’t realise at the time but I actually have an oversupply of milk which meant that during the let down a lot of milk would come out and make him splutter and cough.
When I fell pregnant again I thought that I should probably wean my eldest before my baby was born – I never thought I would tandem feed. Breastfeeding while pregnant was hard, it was often painful (because of hormone changes) and more and more awkward as my bump got bigger! It did bring my son a lot of comfort though and it was often the easiest way to get him to sleep so I carried on.
When my youngest was born I realised that I had forgotten how to breastfeed a newborn as I was so used to feeding a toddler! With tandem feeding, my youngest usually got his milk first and I would normally make sure he was asleep before feeding my eldest. I never actually fed them at the same time. When my milk came in (about days 3-5) and I was engorged, it was really helpful to have my toddler to help reduce the engorgement!
I gently weaned my eldest over about 10 months by slowly reducing the length of feeds. I stopped the bedtime feed first, then night feeds and then I slowly reduced the length of feed for nap time. When he was 2 years and 8 months old, on New Year’s Eve, he said that he ‘didn’t like Mummy milk anymore.’ We talked about it and he never fed from me again. I was pretty sad that I didn’t know that my last time feeding him was my last time!
My youngest is now just over two years old. I plan to feed him for around the same amount of time as his brother, though I haven’t started weaning him yet.
Later in the week I’ll be sharing a bit about being a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.
Check out the Reel Wood Designs instagram stories later today for some book recommendations re:breastfeeding.
Author: Judy, go check her out on Instagram @_bloomwhereyouareplanted_.