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Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond: Clare, Harriet & Edwina

Clare generously shares her experience of breastfeeding while pregnant and how tandem feeding was for her eldest Harriet and newborn Edwina. 

How did you find it during the first trimester?

It was tricky. I found my second pregnancy much harder than my first. I’m not sure if it was because I was working full time, with a very emotional and physically demanding toddler or if it was that I was feeding her all night every night. I also had a cough pretty much my whole first trimester and struggled with bladder leakage as a result. I also had aversions (not for the first time) so I started using a timer, counting and “quick boobies” to limit the length of feeds. At some point, we chose to wean at night. Continuing to bed share we cut the first feed of the night and then the next until she was only feeding at bedtime, mornings and for naps.

Did your older baby notice the colostrum change around 16 weeks? 

Not really. It felt like Harriet forgot to latch. Not necessarily biting but using her teeth. I would have to remind her to stop and use a big mouth. Perhaps it was because of the nipple sensitivity, perhaps it was that my supply dipped. Before I fell pregnant she used to tell me that my milk tasted “yucky” when I was ovulating. But it never stopped her feeding. When my milk came in after pregnancy she was quite excited “Mummy my sister made us more milk”

How did you ensure you kept adequate nutrition seeing as the needs are so high?

I didn’t. I just ate what I could. I was too busy to really think about it. We were travelling in the Northern Territory when I was 30+ weeks pregnant and I had to have a blue Powerade just about every day. I felt like I couldn’t drink enough water. I later discovered the Franjos Kitchen hydration powder as a healthier alternative and it was a game changer.

Why did you choose to continue?

I didn’t really have a choice. There was no way Harriet would have weaned. I always planned on following her lead. I did hope she would stop as my supply dwindled but that didn’t happen. She was very committed to breastfeeding.

When did you stop?

Harriet self-weaned a few months ago. We had been tandem feeding for a while. Then one weekend I went to visit my sister who had just had a baby. I only took the baby and left the toddler at home with my husband. Harriet was sad that she would miss boobie at bedtime so I fed her on the couch before we left. The baby climbed into my lap and wanted to feed also. I rarely fed them together because I found it overwhelming. But they were so cute giggling and holding hands. I videoed and took some pictures of them. When Edwina and I got home 2 days later Harriet announced that her legs were so long she didn’t need a boobie anymore. She never fed again. I later realised it had been the 4th anniversary since we found out we were pregnant with Harriet. It felt like a full-circle moment.

Did you feed a newborn and older baby, how did you manage this? 

I didn’t allow Harriet to increase feeds. We explained that the baby couldn’t eat food so she got to have boobie all day but Harriet was only allowed it at bedtime. She’s the kind of kid who loves rules so she respected that. There was some jealousy. Harriet has had a really hard time adjusting to life as a big sister in general. I do think that continuing to feed through this period helped her adjust.

Clare and her daughters are Harriet 3.5 and Edwina 10 months. Clare works as a finance accountant and is currently on maternity leave. Clare started a pregnancy, birth & postpartum business Let’s Talk Birth along with her mother Georgina Bosworthan IBCLC and Endorsed midwife. Use code JWP10 for 10% off on the Let’s Talk Birth website.

Joelleen Winduss Paye

IBCLC Lactation Consultant, Registered Endorsed Midwife, Naturopath & Educator est.2021

 

Disclaimer

This knowledge is general in nature and from Joelleen’s experience as an expert IBCLC Lactation Consultant. This information does not constitute as advice, nor does it replace the advice given by an expert health professional in the confines of a consultation. This content is purely educational to support parents seeking clarity around their newborn and also helps the reader to decide if Joelleen is the right IBCLC Lactation Consultant for them.