Breastfeeding Moments & Tandem Nursing

21 May

It is amazing how different breastfeeding experiences can be for each child you have and the journey that happens along the way.  I have been breastfeeding for exactly 2 years and 4 days now and I don’t see the end in sight for a few more years.  It is magic to see your child nourished by breastfeeding, soothed, comforted and content.   Dominic still breastfeeds a few times a day and of course it is Bella’s only food at this time.  But it is not just her food. It is her comfort when she is sad, it is her quiet snuggly time with mom, it’s her protection against all the germs her cute brother may bring her way and it is security while she begins to explore this great big world around her.  We have never breastfed on a schedule and have always allowed our children access to the breast to feed and comfort at any time needed while they are young.

Breastfeeding an infant and toddler can be quite different and I had forgotten the little experiences that come along when breastfeeding an infant.  Our little Bella is a breastfeeding champ and had a great latch within the first few moments of being born.  It is so warm and enjoyable when you lock eyes with your little one while they are feeding.  Knowing that at that moment in time you are their everything. Their food, warmth, comfort, security, and they feel the love radiating around them.

There are several moments that are unforgettable and I treasure each and every time they happen with my children while feeding. With Bella they are all new, moments we are discovering together and creating memories.  Watching her eyes start to droop and blink as she gets sleepy.  Fighting sleep because she wants to continue to suckle and enjoy the warm milk flowing into her mouth.  The eyes become heavier and heavier, open less and less, until they are fully shut and the suckling soon stops but her mouth is still on the breast taking in the warmth and smell of being close to mom.

Then there are the times when she is full and is breastfeeding strictly for comfort. When she wants to be able to soothe herself through a sucking motion or by being close to her mom but doesn’t want anymore milk at that time.  When she makes noises, hands in a fist, pulling at the breast because the flow is too much and not what she wants.  Other times she has the same actions but it is because she wants milk but flow is not as strong so she grabs at the breasts, pulls her head back and makes noises.  Sometimes it is hard to figure out whether it is because there is too much milk or not enough and she is waiting for another let down. Usually with a rhythmic pat to her back or bum you can see whether she is just really tired and not hungry because she starts to fall asleep.

It continues to amaze me how she can be crying and the moment I pick her up she knows it is her mama that has her.  She smells the breast milk as I move her even slightly towards my chest and her mouth opens ready to feed.

I love at night time when she is exhausted and we lay down to breastfeed.  She falls asleep, lets go of her latch and rests her check on my breast, warm little body snuggled up against mine and we drift off together. It’s her security blanket that will always be there for her as long as she needs it.

More than anything right now I love the moments where I can tandem breastfeed in a quiet space with both children. Looking at both of their big blue eyes looking into mine and knowing that the love we all have for each other continues to grow every moment of everyday.  Knowing that the breastfeeding journey we are on is what is best for my children and they will decide when it is time for the journey to change course or pace.

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