When Miranda was born she presented “military” style with her head cocked to the side. This caused a long time of pushing during her delivery but also created a problem for her latch. A latch is when the baby attaches her little mouth on your nipple sucking it down into her throat to feed. Well, that did not happen for her because her jaw was not straight from the delivery. We had to take her to the chiropractor the very next morning. I will talk more about that experience later. But needless to say that her jaw was corrected. Sadly her latch did not come for another month because the day she was born we decided to use a breast shield. A “breast shield” is a plastic hat shaped piece that goes over the nipple to help the baby eat. But this caused nipple confusion. Our options were to train her away from it or to cold turkey it. It was a long and frustrating process.
Because she was our first we decided to train her away from it. This involved beginning the feeding until we knew she had some milk in her and then would take the shield away so that she would latch taking the nipple into her throat. She wasn’t used to this feeling and it took her some weeks to adjust. Then one day I forgot the shield at my mother’s home and we just had to do without it. Miraculously she did great without it right from then on. She never had a problem latching again.
I was feeding Miranda “on-demand” which to our delight worked into a schedule. I was under the impression that when breastfeeding one never got a period. But I was wrong. So it was that when Miranda was 8 months old I got my period. I spoke to the La Leche League and they assured me that sometimes when a woman goes 5 hours or more between feedings that it triggers the menustration cycle. Two periods and then I was pregnant with Kaelan.
That is how my story continues…breastfeeding and pregnant. Of course I had questions: Does the milk become colostrum again? How much more should I eat? Will I be able to keep breastfeeding Miranda? Mostly I was told that I could keep breastfeeding if she didn’t wean herself from the taste of the milk due to the pregnancy hormones. But I had to go digging online to answer the other questions. The colostrum does come again during pregnancy and runs its course after the newborn and then the milk comes back in again. I also found the food intake should just stay based on my appetite. Eat when I am hungry and keep up exercising as much as possible. I believe that my pregnancy with Kaelan went much better because of the breastfeeding. I had much less nausea and ate better. I was also able to exercise more.
I was then transformed into a tandem feeding Mama. After Kaelan was born he latched like a pro! He took to it rather quickly. There was a bit of a time where he didn’t quite get my nipple all the way down his throat properly. This caused some discomfort for me, but it only lasted about a month. Miranda was 16 months when Kaelan was born. She seemed ok with him, but not me. She was not happy with me for “sharing” myself with Kaelan, mainly for breastfeeding him. She did eventually adjust, though. I was very worried that I would have a milk supply problem. I had this problem when I was not pregnant and just breastfeeding Miranda. What I learned to up my milk supply then included eating oatmeal every day, drinking more water and drinking a tea with herbs that increase the supply. I did all of those things and had no further issues. I had plenty of milk to feed both my babies! I was so blessed!
When I became pregnant with our third, Sophia, I was still tandem nursing. Ken and I decided to wean our oldest and then we would be able to repeat the above scenerio of birthing our daughter and tandem nurse the newborn and toddler. Well, sadly, about six months into the pregnancy Kaelan decided he did not like the taste of the breastmilk with all the pregnancy hormones in it. He weaned himself and I had to sort of start over when Sophia was born. She was born and really had no true issues. I had popped out a rib right under my shoulder during labor and was so very uncomfortable when breastfeeding. My body was getting used to being breastfed from again. But my back would spasm anytime she latched because I didn’t know about my rib yet for about two weeks. Once I went to a few chiropractic visits (along with the kids) the situation was resolved and I was a happy breastfeeding mama again! And I am still so blessed!