Monday, October 4, 2010

A Story of Tandem Nursing, by Lia Keller

Today we are happy to post something from a fellow Alaskan mom!

Here, Lia Keller tells us about her experience tandem nursing her two boys.

I have a hard time doing one thing at a time. Maybe that is what led me to my life as a tandem nurser.

I was exclusively nursing my son when I realized I was pregnant and he never stopped nursing during my pregnancy as some suggested would happen. It was painful early on, and seemed to increase my morning sickness during the first trimester. And of course, was logistically challenging as my pregnancy progressed. But it also was amazing to feel my unborn son move inside of me as I nursed his brother.

I never thought twice about the question everyone asked me: “Are you going to nurse both of them?” I kept nursing big brother throughout my pregnancy and he even “helped” little brother get going with some nursing during early labor. I nursed my new son immediately after birth and then his brother got a turn when he visited. It all seemed very natural to me.

That first evening we all came home I tried my hand at tandem nursing. I sat down in a chair and my older son jumped into my lap. He was a pro and immediately latched on. My sister handed me the newborn and I had to fiddle getting him into a position where he could eat efficiently. This was the most difficult time I had nursing both kiddos at once. It got increasingly easy as the newborn gained some neck control and learned how to nurse.

I found two comfortable positions; A large armed chair worked with my older son in my lap and the newborn in his lap. I could push the older one out from my stomach a bit and they could lie next to each other. While laying next to each other they were able to hold hands, poke eyes and kick faces. I also would lay in bed with my older son at my right while laying on a pillow and nursing from my right breast. Then, I would place my younger son in the crook of my left arm to nurse at that breast.

I know there are many motivations for the choice to tandem nurse, but mine was selfish. It was so much easier to getting feeding time done at once. I also could get a few moments of peace as both were unable to get into mischief while nursing. I also loved looking at both kiddos holding hands in my lap.

I still nurse both boys, but only occasionally nurse them at the same time. It seems more difficult with over 50 pounds in my lap! While it was difficult at times, I would make the same decision again.

It was so nice to have another woman to talk to who had also tandem nursed her children. It made my own decision to do it seem less fringe and more natural. That’s what makes me happy to answer questions people have about tandem nursing.

Lia Keller was born and raised in Alaska. She has two kids, Kincaid and Duke, who keep her busy. She tries to only be a stay at home in title, and get out for adventures (and her sanity) whenever possible. She also runs Skedaddle, an all weather playgroup here in Anchorage.

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