August 17, 2022 3 min read

If you are a mum to a breastfeeding toddler and pregnant again, there might come a point when your toddler hasn’t weaned off breastmilk and the newborn arrives to start breastfeeding. 

What is Tandem Feeding?

Tandem feeding refers to nursing more than one child (not twins) at the same period of time. They could be nursing at the same time or feeding one after the other. This situation occurs when you are nursing your toddler while you are pregnant and when the new baby arrives, the toddler continues nursing. So, you end up breastfeeding both the toddler and the newborn.

Tandem Feeding - Lovemere

Sometimes, it could also happen that a toddler who has stopped breastfeeding, demands to be nursed after the arrival of the baby. This can also lead to a situation where the mother tandem feeds two children.

Is Tandem Feeding Good?

There is a misconception that mothers should always stop breastfeeding when they conceive again. However, this is not true. If you are healthy and have a normal pregnancy, you can comfortably breastfeed your toddler.

It is a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and can continue nursing.

But, usually, tandem feeding is not at all bad. In fact, it can also have some benefits.

Benefits of Tandem Feeding

Here are some benefits of tandem feeding:

Helps The Toddler Cope Better

Toddlers often go through a lot of emotions when a newborn enters the family. Nursing is a way they can calm down and feel secure. So, tandem feeding can actually be good for the toddler rather than abrupt weaning.

Tandem Feeding - Lovemere

Increased Milk Supply

Breastmilk production is usually driven by the demand for it. So when two children are feeding, it increases your breastmilk supply. Newborns nurse more often and toddlers might not nurse that frequently. So, it is quite possible that both the children are nursing at different times. Thus, the mother’s breasts receive more stimulation for milk production resulting in an increased or even an oversupply of breastmilk.

breastfeeding - lovemere

A Chance to Bond

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience that involves the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin promotes love and bonding. While a mother who is tandem feeding can continue to share a loving bond with both her children, it can also be a chance for the siblings to bond over breastfeeding at the same time.

Less Chance of Engorged Breasts

When the milk comes in after the birth of a newborn, some mothers face the problem of engorged breasts and blocked milk ducts. When you are also nursing a toddler, the chance of this happening reduces considerably. Since a toddler suckles with more gusto, the mother can relieve the engorged breasts.

Tips for Tandem Feeding

Below are some tips for tandem feeding:
  1. Let the newborn nurse first after you have given birth so that they get the nutrient-rich colostrum.
  2. Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet to make up for the increased breastfeeding.
  3. Show some love to your toddler when they have to wait for their turn to breastfeed. Having an extra caretaker can definitely help.
  4. Breastfeeding two children can be tiring. Take some time off from breastfeeding while someone else looks after the children.
  5. Wear nursing bras and maternity clothes with nursing access so that on-demand feeding becomes easy and convenient.
  6. If you have an oversupply of milk, use nursing pads to take care of the leaks and avoid dampness around the breast area.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful journey, and if you have two babies with you on the journey, it can give you double the joy. Just know that you are enough, and know that you can always ask for help. Try to relax and enjoy this period and all the wonderful moments of bonding that it brings.

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