Feeding Willis, personal lessons in low supply triumph

My name is Michelle and I have low milk supply.

Like someone sitting at an AA meeting, I feel now like I want to share my story with you.  Now is the right time as my second son, Willis, reaches nearly 15 months and I have some space to look back and marvel at our journey.  He is exclusively breastfed and always has been - but that statement innocently glosses over seven months of supplementing with donated EBM and many moments of doubt, exhaustion and fear.

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Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth... Your Responsibility

I talk with a lot of women about birth and can't help but feel disheartened by the language I often hear them using when they relay their experiences... 

"I had to have a caesarean because my baby was breech." 

"I wasn't allowed to go more than two weeks overdue." 

"They wouldn't let me try for a natural birth because..." 

"My midwife decided to pop my waters to help speed things up." 

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 12 (Final Post)

It was a bitter sweet moment when I gave Luca his last breastfeed and closed the chapter on my tandem feeding journey. That was nine months ago now. Like my older daughter, Laura (now 12), I decided to wean Luca when he turned three. In the last couple of months leading up to their third birthdays I’d felt uncomfortable continuing to breastfeed Laura and Luca in public and took this as an indication of a desire to end the breastfeeding relationship. I’d always held the belief that so long as it was a mutually enjoyable experience for my child and myself, I would continue to breastfeed (note, though, that this does not include the difficult days/weeks/months of establishing breastfeeding which were, quite frankly, torturous with my first-born). Furthermore, three years felt like a decent innings and meant that my children were of an age where they could understand the concepts of time and reasoning a little more.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 11

Luca is now aged 2 years, 8 months and Jonah is 15 months. Both boys are still happy little breastfeeders and I am still a happy breastfeeding mama (most of the time). The occasional difficulty or frustration I experience as a tandem feeding mother is always far outweighed by the benefits and pleasures that are a part of our breastfeeding adventure.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 10

Luca is now 2 ½ years old and Jonah has just turned one.  Both boys are still breastfeeding though Luca typically only feeds first thing in the morning and before his sleeps.  Recently that has meant that he sometimes only feeds twice in a day as he has started to drop his daytime nap on occasion.  Jonah, on the other hand, feeds very frequently.  Though he certainly doesn’t follow any sort of a routine, there would be few instances where he goes for longer than an hour or two without a feed.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 9

As I type this article I am sitting in a hospital bed recovering from the surgery I had the previous night and spending my second night away from my boys (the only nights I have ever spent away from them).  Luca is 2 ¼ years old and Jonah is almost 11 month

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Parts 7 & 8

This summer hasn’t been much of a break for us.  On Christmas Eve Luca (2 years old) developed a full-on fever which lasted for five days.  Twenty four hours after his recovery Jonah (8 months old) came down with the same virus, though his recovery was a little slower.  Throughout their illnesses both of the boys ate barely a thing.  They did, however, breastfeed.  When your precious child looks pale, despondent and vacant, and hasn’t eaten for days, helpless to do much else for them,  you feel so flamin’ grateful that they are still breastfeeding.  Not only are you able to offer them vital fluid and nutrition, you are also able to give them the emotional comfort that breastfeeding provides.  At times like that it makes such perfect sense to still be breastfeeding my two year old.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 6

Luca is now 21 months old and Jonah is four months old. Since Jonah’s birth, Luca has been eager to breastfeed very frequently, often foregoing anything that resembles a decent meal for days on end.  Initially this concerned me, but as I explained in my last article, a knowledgeable La Leche League leader put my mind at ease regarding Luca’s poor eating habits.  

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 5

In the last 'Diary of a Tandem Feeder' blog post I documented my experience of tandem feeding Luca and Jonah during Jonah’s first two weeks of life (Luca is 17 months older than Jonah). This article tells of my tandem feeding journey through the next two months.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 3

In the previous two 'Diary of a Tandem Feeder' blog posts I wrote about my experiences of breastfeeding during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy (to view the first post click here). This post covers weeks 25 to 34.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 2

In my last ‘Diary of a Tandem Feeder’ blog I wrote about my experiences of breastfeeding whilst pregnant during the first 17 weeks of my pregnancy. This blog is a continuation of the previous one and covers weeks 17 to 25.

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Diary of a Tandem Feeder - Part 1

Back in 2009 I became pregnant with my third child. My daughter, Laura, was seven at that time and my son, Luca, was eight months old. I was still breastfeeding Luca when I became pregnant and hoped that I could continue to breastfeed him for a long time to come (I'd breastfed Laura until she was three).  I began journalling my experiences of breastfeeding whilst pregnant which, later, transitioned to a diary of my tandem feeding journey. 

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Breastfeeding - Let's stop judging and start supporting!

The 'Breast is best' understanding that we are attempting to cultivate in our community is such an important one BUT it needs to be done right... it needs to be done in a manner that supports all women who want to do the best by their babies when it comes to feeding them (which, let's face it, is the vast majority of new mothers). Instead, through our efforts to promote breastfeeding we have inadvertently developed a culture of harsh judgment. 

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