Firstly let’s get things straight, tandem nursing has nothing to do with breastfeeding on a bicycle! Instead it is the choice to nurse your child/children whilst pregnant and/or when the newborn arrives.
I first heard about ‘Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond’ by Hilary Flower, on an online forum and was immediately intrigued to find out more. I became pregnant with my second baby while my first was just six months old. I had planned to breastfeed my girl for a minimum of 2 years so there was no question in my mind of halting our breastfeeding relationship. This decision was criticised by many of my family members who spun tales of my milk going bad or cautions about depriving the developing baby. Even a simple amount of research revealed these admonitions as nothing more than ‘old wives tales’ but I still wanted more in depth information to defend my choice and learn more about the complexities of tandem nursing.
My expectations were highly fulfilled as Adventures in Tandem Nursing is an amazing resource book covering topics such as: The choice to nurse while pregnant, discomforts while breastfeeding, the physiology of producing milk for two babies, tandem feeding positions, parenting in tandem, relationships between siblings, health and nutrition and so much more. The information is thoroughly researched with scientific data from medical sources and discussions with experts in the fields of nutrition, obstetrics and anthropology.
Additionally, the book is more than just a presentation of facts and figures. It is also filled with anecdotal excerpts from mothers around the world which really bring the information to life. Over 200 women contributed their stories and reading the book feels like being a member of a friendly support group. I felt encouraged in my choice to tandem nurse from the many mothers who have already had the experience and also more prepared for some of the challenges that may occur when this second baby enters the world.
Although the book is primarily to support the journey of tandem nursing, both sides of the story are presented. There is a very non-judgemental acceptance for those who decide that tandem nursing does not work for them and the benefits of making that particular choice are also explored along with discussions on weaning.
Motherhood is a busy time and, aside from children’s books, I have not had the luxury of completing a book since the birth of my child! The tandem nursing book was so readable and interesting, it broke that cycle and I devoured the entire book within a matter of days. The almost magazine style format makes it easy to read small snippets at a time which is perfect for a mother’s lifestyle.
Overall I found Adventures in Tandem Nursing to be a fascinating exploration of all facets of tandem nursing and I highly recommend it to all mothers making this choice, their partners and health care professionals.