Nkem’s toddler was just six months when she found out she was pregnant again. Eight months down the line, her bundle of joy, Obianuju, arrived. Being the nurturing mother that she is, Nkem decided that she was going to breastfeed both her babies until the age of two. So while Obianuju, her newborn nurses at her breast, her older brother also nurses at the other breast.
Nkem’s neighbour are wondering why she’s doing so. One of them had even told her that it was not healthy for the baby and her brother to nurse at the same time. Her friend had also discouraged her from it, saying it would make her fall ill. But Nkem’s mind was made up; nothing would stop her from nursing both babies.
Nkem’s decision to nurse both her newborn and her toddler is becoming increasingly common among mothers and it is a decision that is greatly encouraged. This is known as tandem feeding.
When a woman gets pregnant while she’s still nursing, she might decide to nurse her baby and her toddler at the same time when her newborn arrives. They may feed together or at different times.
A lot of women think that when they get pregnant, they have to stop breastfeeding, but in reality, a woman does not have to wean her child. Her body would continue to make milk during pregnancy and she can therefore continue to breastfeed. Also, there are no risks involved. In other words, breastfeeding during pregnancy is not dangerous.
Tandem feeding is beneficial and one that you should be encouraged to do if you have a toddler and a newborn. Here are some of its advantages:
- It ensures that your baby still receives the benefits of breast milk even though he/she has a younger sibling
- It will make your toddler feel less left-out or jealous due to the arrival of your newborn
- It makes it less likely that you would have breast engorgement or mastitis, a breast inflammation common among nursing mothers
It is very important that you eat healthy and well enough so your body can obtain all the nutrients it needs for yourself and your babies. Dieting to lose weight is not encouraged.