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Just hoping that some of you lovely ladies might be able to offer some advice and reassurance.
I’m tandem feeding my two girls. Rose has just turned two and Rowan is nearly seven weeks. Rowan wasn’t gaining enough weight according to my health visitor so I made sure I was eating more and feeding Rowan from the fuller breast and that made a real difference (she gained 9 oz one week and 8oz the following week). I haven’t been able to get her weighed for the last few weeks and its coincided with Rose going on a feeding frenzy. I’m worried that Rose is having too much milk but I don’t want to stop breastfeeding her until she wants to. I also think she’s going mad for it because she’s teething and is barely eating any solids. I’ve so loved feeding her but now when she feeds I clam up which makes the whole experience very uncomfortable and stressful for me which she must pick up on. Rowan is fed on demand and sleeps with me so feeds through the night too. Rose used to feed to sleep but now she’s sleeping with her Daddy so she doesn’t get those night feeds. I think that basically I need some reassurance that no matter how much Rose feeds that Rowan will always have enough milk.
The other thing is my diet. When Rose was a newborn I was so tired I used to eat packets and packets of biscuits because I was so hungry and didn’t want to put her down but as a result I got up to nearly 19 stone. I managed to lose 4 stone before getting pregnant with Rowan but now I’m worried that as I reach for the biscuits again I’m going to end up even heavier. It doesn’t help that my health visitor told me that the reason Rowan wasn’t gaining enough weight was due to the fact that I wasn’t eating enough… So please can you tell me what sort of things you eat when you’ve been tandem feeding? And also any suggestions for healthy but sustaining food that can be just eaten from the packet pretty much. I’m not vegetarian.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated!
Thank you so much
And now mama to William too!
Your HV is talking a load of rubbish. Unfortunately most are poorly trained in bfing and have little to knowledge of bfing toddlers let alone tandem bfing.
Do you have a LLL support group nearby? I found they were most helpful
Adventures in tandem nursing is a good read, some of the info is available on Kellymom
all babies put on weight differently.
DS (tandem fed), hardly put on any weight til his 6wk growth spurt, then he put on over a kilo (about 2 1/2lbs).
Re Rose feeding, your supply will just increase in response to Rose’s increased feeding. So yes plenty for both Rose and Rowan.
It’s very common to feel touched out though and/or have a nursing aversion when feeding a toddler
I used to have a weigh watchers milkshake in a sports bottle that I drank whilst feeding. I suspect is exactly the same stuff as complan shakes but I used it as an extra to my diet rather than instead of a meal. Filled me up more between meals and has lots of supplementary vitamins etc. which I felt I needed. Perhaps yogurt and fruit smoothies would be a healthier alternative if you wanted to avoid artificial rubbish!
Oatcakes/crackers/Ryvita with hoummous? That’s nice and easy. Maybe even veg sticks too. Bowls of cereal. Homemade lactation cookies to boost milk production. Lots of fruit teas to keep hydrated, you can even drink those cold if you make them in a large amount the night before. Cold pasta salad too. Blended fruit ice lollies with yoghurt and oats.
And make everything easier by popping it straight into tupperware or similar once cooked. Then you can just freeze and microwave when you need it, or keep in the fridge.
Maybe make something in the slowcooker that once cooked, you can dip in and out of, like apple baked oatmeal.
I found when I was breastfeeding Pixie, that it helped to eat when my older child ate, he was 2 and a half at the time, as he was having breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, plus mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
As for the biscuits… don’t buy any more and make big batches of your own healthy ones. I use a recipe for oaty bars that I think AngieGW uses too; a can of tinned fruit, plus an equal amount of oats, add cinnamon if you like, mix and bake at 200*C until browned on top.
My oldest had an undiagnosed tongue tie (found out a couple of months ago) which explains why she literally fed non stop. For the first 4 months I was pretty housebound and she was latched on all the time (I mean ALL the time) so I was sitting feeding all day long, ridiculously hungry and ended up eating lots of biscuits and such just for more energy. I put on weight after giving birth!
But this time round because Ezra feeds much less but more efficiently and because we are out and about so much and toddler etc I’ve found myself back to my pre pregnancy weight already. I think that the type of snacks I eat have made a huge difference too….I’d recommend lots of oat based snacks. Oatcakes and hummous. I make up a lentil spread which is so yummy and ridiculously nutritious. I also LOVE homemade muesli…I think it is one of the tastiest things ever and couldn’t be better for you. Could you make up a big jar of it and just have bowls with some freshly chopped fruit and cinnamon whenever you fancy? Oats, dried apricots, seeds and nuts and then whatever fruit you fancy.
Also, drink more water than you think. It’s so easy to mistake hunger for thirst!
I would definitely contact the la Leche league (because they will have direct experience of what you’re going through). Regarding nutrition drink plenty of water (I bought a reusable bottle and would aim to drink three a day), add things like bananas to cereal. So if I have brand flakes for breakfast I will add a chopped banana and a yogurt. Porridge for lunch has been known to happen in my house. Homemade biscuits are a million times healthier than shop bought but it sounds like you don’t have time. Oat cakes spread with houmous. Are you eating a proper lunch? I actually don’t think that drinking slim fast shakes as extras is a bad idea at all if you don’t have time to cook. Dried fruit and nuts (but don’t go mental on them as they have a lot of sugar and fat - all be it good fat). Weetabix or shredded wheat with fruit and yogurt would also be a better snack in my eyes than biscuits. For me it’s crucial to have a decent breakfast - it sets me up for the day.
If you’re worried about milk supply (and it sounds to me like there is no reason to be at all) you could try eating more oats generally as I find that really helps. Why do medical professionals know so little about nursing? I just don’t get it given all the breast is best talk. It’s all talk and no real substance isn’t it.
I breastfed through my second pregnancy and have now been tandem feeding for a year—I think that if you are healthy and eating a balanced diet, you shouldn’t have to worry about milk supply. Besides, if your baby weren’t getting enough nutrition, you would know—weight gain isn’t the only sign of a healthy baby! If your baby seems alert, is developing normally, shows no signs of dehydration, etc., I wouldn’t worry about week-to-week weight gain. It’s the big picture that matters.
As for what to eat: honestly, as long as you are not eating junk (e.g. crisps and shop-bought biscuits) for the bulk of your diet, you’ll be fine. I do find that I am *constantly* hungry, but I clearly need the calories because both times after childbirth I’ve dropped down to well below pre-pregnancy weight. I allow myself a small daily treat—it might be a biscuit or a small slice of home-made cake, whatever I feel like, really—but other than that I just eat a healthy, balanced diet. I snack on nuts, primarily—a handful of cashews when I’m on the go, or an apple with nut butter—and try to have a hot, filling meal in the evening before the long hours of night-nursing .
I’d defintely get in touch your local La Leche League as they have first hand experience and also have a book library, where you can find lots of info on tandem feeding. If you don’t have a local La Leche League group, then ring the main office. Health visitors, GPs and so on aren’t trained breastfeeding counsellers, and some haven’t got first hand info about breastfeeding as probably many haven’t breastfead.
Why take your little one to be weight? It’s not compulsory; and even if would be I wouldn’t do it. I took Toby to be weight around 6 months old just out of curiousity to see how the clinic is, not to see how much he was putting on. And then a couple of times at the beginning I weight him on my independend’s midwife scales, but this just again because it was there, and I said might as well. As someone else pointed out, weight is not the only indication of a healthy baby; how alert they are, not sick, have to upgrade their clothes, and so on.
When I make porridge I put ground nuts and a squashed banana, and a bit of honey; it’s filling and nutritious. I grind lots of nuts and just have it ready in a jar. Also, homemade bread (even in a breadmaker) is more filling and cheaper than the shopbought one.
Good luck, and well done; you’re doing an amazing job, Bianca
Thank you so much for all of your responses. Newmami that last link on breastfeeding agitation really hit home with me.. I didn’t want to admit how much of an issue breastfeeding Rose has become but I find myself feeling the way the Mothers featured do… I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve only really just noticed it probably because she’s feeding so much at the moment. I didn’t feel like it when I was pregnant either so I thought it was my body’s way of reacting to my mind worrying about my milk running out for Rowan… If you get me?
I’m feeling much more positive about both weight issues though. Thank you everyone so much. I think I’m going to focus on trying to drink more water and squash, try and cut down on the tea and coffee, make sure I have a decent breakfast, (which is something I’ve struggled with as often I don’t feel hungry until 10/11) and try and snack on more healthy food.
I completely agree about Rowan regarding her weight. I was told to get her weighed at 3 weeks by my HV after a home visit so I did and then panicked when she’d only put on an oz. Looking back I’m not sure why I paid her any attention as when she came round to see me when I was pregnant she seemed concerned that Rose was still feeding. I believe she said something along the lines of, ‘she can drink cows milk now you know’, and, ‘she does drink water too doesn’t she?’... Oh well! I know Rowan is fine. She’s a very happy little thing and I’m sure id know if something was wrong.
Thank you again everyone!
And now mama to William too!