Nursing multiple siblings

Nancy posted a question about nursing two siblings at once: “I am not sure if this is more of a question but for OB or a pediatrician but I thought I might ask anyways ) I am pregnant and still breastfeeding my now 13 month old. If I was to continue to breastfed once her younger sister was born would my newborn get all the nutrients she needs? My daughter only nurses twice a day so of course the newborn would nurse a lot more but I am very concerned my body wouldn’t make enough nutrients for a vulnerable newborn. Please any information you can give me would be wonderful. I am less concerned about my older child’s nutrients because he takes vitamins and eats tons of regular food. Thank you!”

At The Pediatric Insider, we’re happy to tackle the occasional OB question! Nursing multiple siblings is called “tandem nursing.” Here is an article from an experienced mom addressing some ways to address some of the challenges that may arise. The bottom line is that you can successfully and safely nurse both of your children. Your body will be able to make enough milk for both of them, and both kids will do fine. Usually the quality of the milk will change to match the needs of the newborn, and in fact sometimes the older child weans shortly after baby is born, perhaps because the milk begins to taste different.

Tandem nursing may be a little harder on mom. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids and enough calories, as well as enough calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Your newborn should take a vitamin D supplement as well.

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2 Comments on “Nursing multiple siblings”

  1. Shannon Says:

    I found out I was pregnant when my daughter was 10 months old, and I nursed her through my entire pregnancy. By the time our new one was born, I was only nursing her at bedtime. Now, my son is 3 months old and she is 22 months and I still nurse my daughter before bedtime. I am planning to wean her by her second birthday. I just make sure that I nurse my son first and that there is ample time before his next feeding when I nurse her so that my milk can replenish. I will admit it’s not easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. Fair warning, your OB may advise you to wean your child by your 20th week. In my research, there’s no valid medical reason to do this. In the OB practice that I got to, I found that it was the female OBs that advised me to wean whereas the male OBs were more than fine with my continued nursing. Interesting isn’t it!?!

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  2. Nancy Says:

    Shannon, thank you for the information. My OB did advice me to wean but I choose not to do so. He honestly never gave me a good solid reason for this except for sucking can cause uterine contractions. I was 38 weeks yesterday and still 0 dilated so it is not causing this baby to come early. Thank you again. It is nice to read I am not the only women who is choosing to nurse while pregnant 🙂

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