Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Tandem breastfeeding July 3, 2010

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Parenting,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 11:17 am
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To answer the question a lot of you are asking…what is it like to breastfeed a toddler AND a newborn??

The honest answer…not without it’s difficulties, but extremely rewarding!  The difficulty, mainly, has been Erin wanting more boobie than ever, perhaps due to Ayla feeding so much(a bit of jealousy), but perhaps due to the yummy new milk that’s come through. For the first few days Erin got really upset when I fed Ayla and not her, but I have kept her routine (mainly) of only feeding at naptime, bedtime and in the morning.  On the day my milk came in and my breasts were full, hard and sore, I gave Erin an extra couple of feeds, which really helped to ease the discomfort! Erin seems to understand and accept now that Ayla needs boobie more than she does, and often sits beside me and strokes Ayla’s face while she feeds. It’s very sweet.

The other difficulty has been that Ayla’s latch onto my breast doesn’t always seem right and she often slurps my nipple in and out of her mouth which has made them a bit tender.  I think this is due to the thrush she has in her mouth, making it uncomfortable for her to suck, and I’m hoping it will pass soon.

Other than that it is a joy to be able to bond with both my girls in this way-and them with each other- and know that the benefits of breastfeeding, for all 3 of us, never end.  I had a moment the other day when both girls were really tired and upset and I was at my wits end, so I sat on the bed and offered them each a breast and bathed in the stillness that followed, watching them both drinking hungrily and gazing up into my eyes, completely content, Erin instinctively rubbing her baby sisters arm.

We surely have two breasts for this reason, and while controversial in our consumerist western culture where bottle replaces what nature has provided and breasts are often associated purely with sex, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to me!


My poor, tiny baby has thrush (Candida)… July 2, 2010

I realised about a week ago that our now 2 week old girl had thrush. Thrush is an overgrowth of the candida bacteria which lives in our gut and is very common in babies. Ayla had a white coating on her tongue, palate and the inside of her cheeks, which didn’t rub off when I tried to rub it (with a clean finger), and latching on for breastfeeding seemed to be painful for her.  She also got a couple of raised red spots down there on her bits and bum, which multiplied and got really red and angry looking within a day or two .  I mentioned it to the midwife who I saw on Monday who immediately recommended Canesten cream for the rash and nystatin drops to put in her mouth. When I asked if there was anything natural I could do she said no.  Being a nature mama, I really don’t want to put real life drugs into and onto my teeny baby unless there is absolutely no other option. I also, obviously, don’t want my beautiful Ayla to suffer…

So I popped into two different health food stores, spoke to friends and called my Naturopath to ask advice.  The consensus was that I should take loads of Acidophillus(friendly bacteria), as it would go through my milk, and also cut out yeast, sugar, mushrooms and anything that feeds thrush. I also got a pro-biotic(friendly bacteria) in powder form which I am putting on my nipples before each feed for Ayla to suck off and mixing with Calendula cream for Ayla’s bottom rash.  I must tell you that in the 2 days I’ve been doing this the signs of thrush have completely vanished from Ayla’s tongue and palate and there is just a bit left on the inside of her cheeks and her gums.  Her bum is still looking red and sore (although it doesn’t seem to be bothering her) but the sores seem to be drying out and I am just hoping that the acidophillus is working it’s way through her gut and that this will be over soon.  I am glad I didn’t just reach for the drugs though, as I am amazed at how fast the acidophillus and me cutting out sugar, yeast, etc has worked.  We’re also all sticking to our own towels and I’m making sure I’m washing my nipples after each feed and washing my bras in a hot wash.

Ayla is very lovely, and quite different to how I remember Erin to be, both in looks and in nature…though you can’t tell a lot about her nature yet.  She also seems to smile a lot as Erin did  (just wind, they say, but she does look us in the eyes and smile).  She seems to be more fragile than Erin was, although maybe I’ve just forgotten how completely dependent  and helpless newborns are.  She also cries a lot more which I find quite upsetting although I’m sure it’d be much more distressing if she was my firstborn! She also doesn’t latch on and feed quite as easily as Erin did, but I am hoping that this and the crying is due to the thrush and will pass soon. (she also seems to prefer my right boob to my left…) She is an absolute little miracle and we are so enjoying falling more and more in love with her everyday.

I will say that life with two children is busy, but exciting. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to just veg in the garden and hold baby while Erin runs around, and not try to do a million other things too.  I am very thankful that we share the cooking of meals with Andrew and Julie. That means I only have to think of and make one meal per week, and I make loads so there’s leftovers for other meals.  Quick meals are a must for other times – beans on toast, veggie burgers and salad, leftovers!

Next blog will be about how it’s going with breastfeeding my toddler and baby at the same time…watch this space…

Don’t forget to enter the Nature’s Mother Competition with your bump photos!!!


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