Tandem feeding is breastfeeding two or more children of different ages.
If you are breastfeeding, the prolactin level in your body is still very high in the initial period. The hormone prolactin is also called the breastfeeding hormone. It affects your fertility and it is therefore different for each woman and may indicate when she is fertile again. The prolactin level after a time with nursing mothers is not much higher than with non-feeding mothers. It peaks again and then drops back to just above the normal value. In addition to the hormone prolactin, the stimulus of the baby sucking also plays a role in the absence of fertility. In practice, women notice that they are once again fertile when they have 'just' stopped feeding. On average, a woman who is breastfeeding often takes 14 months to become fertile again.
When you are breastfeeding, and have become pregnant again, a lot will change in your body. The combination pregnancy and breastfeeding is also very well possible. Feeding during pregnancy in a healthy woman generally has no adverse effect on pregnancy. In special circumstances, it may be wise to stop breastfeeding of the older child / older children. It is advisable to consult a competent doctor who understands breastfeeding in the event of possible risks (preterm birth, multiple pregnancy, lagging behind in growth, etc.). It often happens that breastfeeding is advised in healthy women during pregnancy.
Most mothers who continue to feed during pregnancy notice a decrease in milk production. Nevertheless, there are cases where no decline occurs. It is unclear what makes production decline in one woman, while another may have no changes. Nevertheless, a decline in production is experienced in most women (around 70%).
There are several reasons for the decline in production. Under the influence of pregnancy hormones, including progesterone, a taste change is observed (less sweet and salty milk). Sometimes children also indicate this themselves. The tissue is also less susceptible to oxytocin during pregnancy under the influence of hormones. Some babies and toddlers will wean themselves as a result of the above while others continue to drink, even if there is no milk at all.
In tandem feeding, it is important that the youngest always gets enough milk. After all, he is completely dependent on breast milk, whereas this is not the case with the oldest. Your body will completely arrange for your milk to be perfectly adapted to your new baby when you feed it on request. An older child can easily benefit from all the good things that breastfeeding has to offer.
An advantage of tandem feeding is that milk production often starts quickly and well. You do not have to worry about whether your baby gets enough, there is often enough milk right away for both. Often it is the case that the baby does not waste much after birth. It is also the experience that a breastfed parent child has less trouble accepting brother (s) / sister (s), since there is still a moment with his mother for him. In addition to these examples, there are many other benefits to mention in tandem feeding. There are no disadvantages, but it is wise to pay attention that the baby is offered both breasts and you do not give every child a specific breast every time.
Tandem feeding is very normal. Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance about tandem feeding, but do not let yourself be negatively influenced. Breast milk still the best milk available and is full of antibodies. All the benefits of breastfeeding to a baby also apply to feeding older children.
Also see these information articles: · Breastfeeding · Benefits · Bottling · Breastfeeding diapers · Changing food · Clustering · Duration · Empty days · Let down reflex · Menstruation · Milk channels and breast inflammation · Milk production · Nipples · Physical consequences · Positioning · Quickly stopping · Reasons to stop · Thrush