She will wean while you are pregnant.” “Your supply will dry up, don’t worry about it.” “You can’t get pregnant while nursing as often as you do.” Man, how I wish I knew then what I know now.


When our first child, Llama*, turned 9 months old and we decided that we didn’t want to wait another two years and then spend two years trying to conceive a second baby, so why wait. She was one year and two weeks old when the test turned positive. I figured my supply would dry up, and she would stop nursing before the baby was born. I never thought that she would keep my supply going my entire pregnancy.

In order to understand my thought process, I feel explaining the hormones involved in lactation and those involved in pregnancy is important. When you are breastfeeding, you will need to have oxytocin and prolactin flowing freely through your body. Comparatively, while maintaining a healthy pregnancy, you need to have oxytocin progesterone. Prolactin and proge use the same receptor sites in the brain. Basically, these two hormones do not allow for the other to bind to those receptor sites. I had full faith in this science; I would lose my supply while pregnant.

Science told me I wouldn’t be able to do both, Llama proved me (and science) wrong. Throughout bouts of hyperemesis, she would come into the bathroom and say, “Momma sick, me nurse it better.” (She always felt better while nursing; it was her lovey.) This continued all throughout; even when the contractions started at 39 weeks. I was so worried that she wouldn’t bond with her sister. So scared that she would resent her and try throwing her away like some of the posts I had read about older siblings. We would talk about the baby quite often, but still, the fear had me.

Our original plan was to NOT have Lucy* nursing when Llama came to the hospital to meet her. She never had a stuffy, or a blanket, she just had nursing as her comfort item. We were simply worried that this would cause her to have jealousy issues from the beginning. Our plans went awry when our second born was in the middle of her first nursing session when her big sister came into the room.

“Baby nursin’?” my sweet girl asked. “Yes, she is nursing.” “Oh. Mama, can me nurse??”

“Oh, of course baby girl!” Just like that, we were tandem nursing for the first time. I was absolutely in love; Llama reached over and rubbed her sister’s hair. She was just as thrilled to have a baby as we were. I wish the rest of our journey was so easy.

Unfortunately, getting thrush at 2 weeks postpartum wasn’t the plan either. I didn’t know enough in order to realize that the pain wasn’t just the feeling of let down, it was the feeling of barbed wire pulling from my burning nipples. By the time three of us received medications, we had it for about 2 extra weeks due to the delay.

Additionally, Lucy had a lip tie, which caused a poor latch and low suction. Llama, my experienced nursling, had no issues increasing my milk supply in order to help with this issue; though that wasn’t beneficial to weaning her at nearly two. Thus causing a cycle of over supply and “lazy” nursing style in Lucy. In order to get milk into her, I would have to latch both girls on every time. This would cause the let down to both breasts, and give her the milk she needed in order to grow.

Further, Llama was showing zero signs of weaning. In fact, she seemed to be nursing more than expected. She began waking every 2 hours again to nurse; she would nurse every time her sister nursed. By 6 weeks of tandem nursing, I felt like I was only good as a dairy cow. My breasts were so full all the time. I was so worried about increasing my oversupply that I was afraid to pump until empty, I would only pump until the let down started, then I would turn off the pump allowing it to leak out. Still feeling engorged in the end and needing to nurse both girls. I was ALWAYS either nursing, holding a baby, or pumping; there was no time for myself.

The aversion of nursing a near two year old was astronomical. I remember feeling like ants crawling on my skin every time she would latch. If I nursed them at the same time, the aversion was ten times worse. They were nearly always nursing at the same time. I remember rubbing Llama’s head and thinking, “She won’t understand why baby sister gets to nurse and she doesn’t. I have to move through this on my own, no one else even gets it.” All of my research showed that tandem nursing wasn’t widely practiced, researched, or thought about. None of the professionals in my area had any experience or advise.

I would just nurse and remember that my girls needed this still and that their bond is already forever. They would hold hands while nursing. Llama would rub Lucy’s hair, giving her extra love. As time moved on, she would even encourage Lucy to latch and help her. 

Eventually it got easier; after three months, Lucy was growing great and latching better. I decided to night wean Llama. This meant getting more sleep at night, but also less aversion issues.

I remember one day nursing both girls, feeling like a horrid mom for wanting to wean, looking down and seeing this picture:

I realized that they love each other more than I could have ever imagined. Plus, I didn’t have to chase a toddler while nursing a newborn. (10/10 recommend for this reason alone).

After three years of nursing Llama, and 19 months of tandem nursing, my oldest weaned on her own. It wasn’t always a picture perfect journey, but it was our journey and that makes it pretty perfect to me.


*Names have been changed for the purpose of this blog