Thankful for Tandem Feeding

Before having Kieran, I never imagined breastfeeding past the age of 1, let alone nursing during a pregnancy and then tandem feeding a newborn and toddler. It ended up feeling like the most natural thing in the world, though, and now I have an additional reason to be glad for it: tongue tie.

When I was pregnant with Leo, Charlotte stopped nursing, and it was rather traumatic for both of us. By the time he was born, Charlotte had forgotten how to nurse, so I did not get to tandem feed that time. It didn’t take me long to realise that Leo was tongue-tied, and more than once I’ve wished I’d been able to tandem nurse again so I wouldn’t have had so many supply issues.

Today, I realised just how much tandem feeding would have helped, and has helped. I was trying to see if something was caused by the tie, or was just a normal thing, so I asked Charlotte to open her mouth and touch her tongue to the top of her mouth at the same time. She couldn’t do it, so I looked closer. This is what I saw:

See the tongue tie?

See the tongue tie?

I’d never noticed before that she has the same kind of tie Leo had! It never hurt to nurse her, really. She’d had some digestive issues, but I’d chalked that up to dairy intolerance; she did have a slight dairy issue, but I don’t think that was all of the problem now. She’d frequently chomp at the breast, but I still didn’t make the connection. She was growing and gaining, so I didn’t worry. I did notice that I didn’t have the same overabundance of milk I’d had with Kieran, but I figured it was just that my body had adjusted to this milk-making gig, so I again thought nothing of it. She fed for very short bursts of time, very often, but I assumed that was her style. Her speech has always been clear, and she’s spoken in paragraphs from about 2 years old.

Having the experience I have with Leo, though, makes me wonder what would’ve happened had I not been tandem feeding. Kieran reverted to nursing a lot once Charlotte was born, so he kept my milk supply up. She’d often nurse from the same side as he did, right after him, so she got that hindmilk instead of just getting foremilk. I’m amazed she nursed as long as she did (just over 2 years) considering everything. I’m also amazed she’s never seemed to have other problems. I do suspect slight reflux, but all my kids have that, and Kieran isn’t tongue-tied, as far as I can tell. We will be going in for an evaluation soon to see what Leo’s ENT thinks, though we don’t have plans to revise the ties yet if there isn’t a discernible problem. I’m just glad I tandem fed so that she got to nurse as long as she did.

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