The following five mantras for tandem nursing mamas are meant to uplift, support, and provide cheer. (They are not meant in any way, shape, or form to disparage singleton nursing mamas or formula feeding mamas. We don’t need to tear each other down in order to lift each other up!) This is simply a shout out to my fellow mamas who share in this unique experience.
1. My body, my boobies, my babies!
If you’ve ever experienced backlash, unwanted advice, or strong opinions regarding tandem nursing (or even singleton), tell yourself this: My body, my boobies, my babies! These are YOUR babies, Mama and YOUR body. How you choose to food them is up to you! Support from others is nice, obviously, but not necessary. Nurse on, Mama!
2. I can do this.
Unless you are one of the mamas who literally CANNOT breastfeed (e.g., surgery, medicines, hormones, etc.), you can do this. It is your decision if you want to and for how long…but you can do this! Go, YOU!
3. This is one of my super powers.
Have you ever had your babies fall asleep at the breast? Instantly stop crying once they were offered the breast? Look up into your eyes adoringly while nursing? Crawled into your lap and asked for milk even when they clearly weren’t hungry?
Nursing is such an amazing gift between mother and child. Obviously, there are benefits to the child…bonding, nutrition, antibodies, comfort…but I never really stopped to think about the benefits it gave ME. How connected and loved I feel. How amazing it is to provide nourishment and comfort from my own body. It’s amazing! I will never ceased to be in awe of our bodies and what they are capable of. For now, breastfeeding is DEFINITELY one of my super powers!
4. I am not alone…but I’m definitely one in a million.
I personally do not know anyone in my real life who has or is currently tandem nursing. That being said, I’ve joined a few tandem nursing groups on Facebook, so I know I’m not alone! There are tons of mothers worldwide who are tandem nursing. If you need some support, look for and join one of these groups! There’s something comforting in knowing there are others who share in the experience.
I’m unique in my life experience…but there are others out there who also share similar experiences.
5. I’m amazing.
If no one has told you lately, YOU ARE AMAZING, MAMA. I know how hard tandem nursing can be. Currently, in my own tandem nursing journey, I’ve been nursing for 3 years…23 months tandem. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve struggled with nursing aversion, fighting between the kiddos, feeling touched out, and most recently, dwindling supply. There have been SO many meals half eaten or eaten cold, so many events missed in order to provide the care my kiddos needed in the moment. My breasts have warrior wounds (scratches) and I have a scar right above my armpit from when Peanut took a chunk out of my skin with her razor blade fingernails.
I’ve struggled with feelings of guilt and being exhausted. I go back and forth on when to ween and how to do it. But I take comfort in knowing I’ve been provided with this amazing experience (tandem nursing) and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Though I may have days when I don’t feel it, I know I am amazing for having done this. It was quite the adventure!
If you haven’t already done so, check out You Know You’re a Tandem Nursing Mama When… for some giggles.
Nurse on, Mamas!