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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Tandem my son and cousin?

    My sister in law is 4 months pregnant and my bub is almost 2 years old. He nurses to sleep most days but tends to forget about nursing during the day most days. Our extended family all live on the same property so we spend lots of time together.

    Nursing didn't come easy for me but i was able to get a good latch and keep it up until now. My sister in law is very worried about her supply because other relatives have not been able to nurse. When the baby is born would it be ok for me to nurse him until her supply is up? Would my son's experience nursing help her get her supply up? Would tandem feeding both babies hurt either of them in any way?

    I really want to be able to help her and hope that this will be a possibility!

  2. #2
    Dear dsmum,

    Thank you for posting this interesting question.

    You sound like a very caring sister in law who is already supporting her sister in law in pregnancy.

    I think there are a number of issues to consider here. The first is that most women, with the right support, will be able to successfully breastfeed. It is very rare to not be able to produce enough breastmilk for your baby. Sadly in most cases where a women feels unable to continue with breastfeeding it is because she does not have adequate support or does not have enough good information.

    Why have other relatives been unable to breastfeed? Have they had access to breastfeeding peer support groups, a lactation consultant and a midwife specialised in breastfeeding to help them? I am sorry if they have not. I am not aware of a hereditary reason causes a baby to be unable to latch on throughout families.

    So, in the first instance I would strongly advise your sister in law to find out what breastfeeding support groups are available near you and also get in touch with a lactation consultant (even in pregnancy) if possible.

    In terms of information on a good latch, I put together some information and resources which I hope you will both find useful here.

    There are also a number of important issues to consider in terms of wet nursing. These are covered by the excellent breastfeeding charity La Leche League. Your breastmilk is now designed for a two year old - breastmilk which we produce for our newborns has a different make-up to this. La Leche League advise that you do not wet nurse a child of a significantly different age as they could not get the nutrients they need. It is also unfortunately possible for the wet nurse mum to carry some illnesses (without actually having the symptoms of these illnesses) - and if you follow the link above to the La Leche League page then you will see that they strongly recommend you (i.e. the wet nurse) are screened for these diseases.

    A further very important issue with what you describe above is that breastmilk works on a supply and demand basis. You need to breastfeed on demand in the day and night in order for your body to know how much breastmilk to produce. Many newborn babies need to be breastfed every 2 hours in the day and night. If they are not fed this frequently (i.e. as often as they need or show feeding cues) then your body will not produce enough milk for them then you may give them formula and your body will produce even less milk etc and it becomes a viscous cycle. If your sister in law puts your toddler to the breast then he will feed at a different frequency and amount to a newborn and so this will send her body the wrong signals.

    As you can see there is lots to consider! It does raise lots of questions but please do post back and we can talk about this further.

    With warm wishes,
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 24th April 2014 at 05:16 AM.

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Thank you for your time and your detailed response! I guess there are a lot of things that I did not consider. I have made note of all of these things and agree that I will look into helping her to be able to feed her baby instead of trying to solve a problem that hasn't come up yet. I have searched the Leche League site and there is a lot of great information there as well! I will talk to her tomorrow about all of this! Thanks again!

  4. #4
    You are very welcome dsmum - it is a great question to ask. Your sister-in-law is very lucky to have your support.

    Yes do have a chat with her about all this and then please let us know if you have any further questions. We love to support breastfeeding mums and mums-to-be.

    Best wishes,

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