Low supply with DS and ended up supplementing--should I attempt to tandem? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > Low supply with DS and ended up supplementing--should I attempt to tandem?
egmaranian's Avatar egmaranian 05:52 PM 02-22-2011

I had low supply issues with my DS (now 20mo) would up supplementing with formula starting at around 7mo.  I used Dom to keep up as much of a supply as possible until I decided to try to conceive again, at which time I weaned off of it completely since it's not safe for pregnancy.  I am still nursing DS...mostly at night though.  He nurses to sleep at night, 3-5 times during the night, and in the morning before we get out of bed.  He drinks formula from a bottle while I am at work all day.  On the weekends he still likes to nurse and I let him on demand, but he does consume more formula than BM even when I'm home all day. However, he shows no real signs of weaning any time soon even though my supply has really dropped now that I'm 16 wks pregnant. 


My question is, should I even consider tandem nursing considering the low supply issues I had with DS?  I will be in a different situation this time around because I was home with DS for 18 months, but I will have to return to work full time when the new baby is 3-4 months old.  I know that exclusive pumping during weekdays will already impact my supply.  Although I do plan to have some Dom on hand at the first sign of a problem.  I really want to EBF the new baby for a minimum 1 year.  I'm really afraid that once my milk comes in after the baby is born, DS will be so excited that he'll increase his nursing so much that it'll jeopardize my supply for the newborn.


Sorry if I'm rambling and this doesn't make any sense. 


Any thoughts?

natural&organicmom's Avatar natural&organicmom 09:00 PM 02-22-2011

Not sure why or how you had low supply, but I was able to tandem, even with working recently.  In my opinion there are some really challenging things emotionally to tandem breastfeed especially with a 22 month old (that's age she was when our newborn was born).  My toddler is now 26 months and still has it at night, although was weaned off of on demand to morning, noon, & night because her desire to nurse significantly increased and with working I could not keep up with both at that rate.  My newborn is 19 wks old and the toddler is just down to nursing at night.  I would say if you are concerned with supply that you may want to consider weaning prior to newborns arrival for emotional reasons as the toddler may have a harder time after arrival.  Besides in the tandem breastfeeding book I have it says that you can offer it again when the baby arrives if the toddler wants to try it.  I never did this with my first and with the second I continued to breastfeed all through the pregnancy without any problems.  On the flip side, nursing him up to birth will keep your supply very nice for a smooth transition and it helps to have the toddler for when you are "engorged".  They say the milk changes and that they may not like the taste, this never happened to my toddler.  In addition, I was gone from her for 2 weeks and tried pumping and could not get more than a drop or two of milk out, although I was nursing her 10-12 times a day.  When I returned I still had milk. Very weird as I had successfully pumped before, but not during pregnancy.  You may want to pick up a copy of Adventures in Tandem Breastfeeding.  It seems to be the only resource out there.  :-)  Hoping all goes well for you.

egmaranian's Avatar egmaranian 10:10 AM 02-23-2011

My low supply issues were never quite pinpointed and I did work extensively with an IBCLC as well as a pediatrician who specializes in lactation issues.  I had breast surgery a few years ago so that may have contributed to it, but I suspect that it also had to do with my baby's latch, which was a little weak.  Plus, he tended to fall asleep a lot while nursing as a newborn.  I can't remember ever experiencing a let down at all either while nursing or pumping.  It was just a battle to get every drop out.  There was a definite increase in his intake once I started on the Dom though, so I know that helped a great deal and was instrumental in getting us to where we are today.  I am definitely going to read that book.  Thanks for the suggestion.