After receiving support from NCT breastfeeding peer supporters, Bethan Moore – who’s tandem feeding her two children – applied to train as one herself. She tells us what inspired her.
‘I’m a second-time mother, and I had breastfed my two-year-old throughout my pregnancy and planned to tandem feed. I felt I would be even more confident with breastfeeding second time round and would not require any support. However, the tandem feeding became an emotional and physical struggle. My toddler increased her feeding, and wanted to feed like a newborn. I found positioning two children difficult and tiring. I questioned my ability to continue.
‘A few days after my home birth, I received a courtesy call from an NCT breastfeeding peer supporter; coincidentally she had also tandem fed. She reassured me that it was normal for a toddler to increase their feeds, and that this is normally a short-term thing.
‘She reminded me that I was doing something wonderful for both my children, and that they would share a special bond. We briefly discussed feeding positions and techniques to distract my toddler when my newborn was cluster feeding.
‘She recommended that when I recovered from the birth I visit a Baby Café, in order to meet other mums who had also tandem fed. In the meantime, we agreed she would call again in a couple of weeks to see how I was getting along and offer solutions to any further problems.
‘I received that further call and arranged to meet her at the Baby Cafe, where she made me a rare hot cup of tea, listened to my worries and concerns and normalised them. This was really important to me as I stopped feeling I was doing something impossible.
‘She also introduced me to a few other mothers, therefore creating friendships. We re-discussed feeding positions, and she directed me to some literature about tandem feeding.
‘I feel without the support of the NCT breastfeeding volunteers, I would have emotionally struggled and possibly considered weaning my toddler. I still attend the Baby Cafe; my toddler gets to play and I get a hot cup of tea. Unlike play groups this is a safe place where I feel comfortable to feed both children in public. I have also made new friends.’
Because of the positive support she received, Bethan applied to become a breastfeeding peer supporter and is now training in Peterborough. Visit their Facebook page here, and find out more about NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors in Peterborough.