By Anna Stoyanoff
- Eat up
When I became pregnant with my second child, I started to research what kind of energy intake would be required to continue breastfeeding through pregnancy. There was very little information available, so I just went with the principle: EAT EVERYTHING. What I did discover, is that a woman needs to consume far more to sustain exclusive breastfeeding than at any point throughout pregnancy.
Personally, I eat everything full fat, often include second breakfast, late lunch and early dinner in my day, and keep heaps of energy-rich nuts and dried fruit handy. Protein at lunchtime definitely helps me get through the clingy afternoon and evening – on days when I settle for a quick sandwich things do not end well.
So if you’re considering nursing two or more children over the same period of time, don’t diet. This is not the time to lose that baby weight. The weight is an asset – take it from someone who’s had gastro (twice) while nursing a newborn and toddler.
Which brings me to my next point…
- Prioritise baby
Whether that means saying ‘no’ to your toddler until you’re back at full strength again, or whether it means letting your older child go first to absorb the fast letdown – always protect bubby’s interests. I did not particularly intend to tandem feed, but when our second baby was born, Mr 18m did not show any interest in weaning – in fact he became more and more clingy. I had good milk supply and thought I could do it all, but once hubby went back to work I became just. so. exhausted. Six weeks of tandem and I was done.
After becoming pregnant with our third child, I decided to try weaning a few weeks before the due date. I felt kind of sorry for Mr Middle Child losing his favourite Mummy time, but I knew I just had to focus all my body’s resources on the newborn. He never stopped asking for milkies though, so when the baby was about four months old and my milk supply was strong, I let my toddler back on. Keeping up with both their nursing needs was so much more manageable by that stage!
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