Monday, November 21, 2011

Inquisition Monday

Betttina on Twitter had a couple of questions for Inquisition Monday. I'll save the other one for next Monday.

Inq Monday: how do you take in enough calories to nourish two children through pregnancy and tandem nursing? #breastfeeding

I remember when I was pregnant with Margaret, I read that during pregnancy you need an extra 300 calories a day. I thought to myself, "That's just an extra candy bar! I can do that!" I was being a bit facetious, but for me, getting extra calories hasn't been the problem. The problem has been getting nutrient-dense calories.

When I was pregnant with Isaac, I found the nutrition section in Adventures in Tandem Nursing tob the most helpful section of the book for me. Most of the book felt wishy-washy, "Well, some babies wean during pregnancy and some don't. And some moms experience discomfort while nursing during pregnancy and some don't." And there's good reason: you really can't predict those sorts of things. But the nutrition information was more concrete and more satisfying to read. Unfortunately, my copy of the book is currently lent out, so I don't have it in front of me. But I do recall reading that while your breastmilk is generally the same stuff no matter what your diet, the aspect of breastmilk that changes the most is the type of fats in it. I'm not very good about eating fish and other omega-3s in my diet, so I took (and still take) a cod liver oil supplement, taking care of vitamin D and the omega-3s at the same time. Almost everyone is vitamin D deficient, so I figure it doesn't hurt to team those up.

Right now, I also take extra vitamin C while I patiently wait for our CSA box to start overflowing with oranges again. I try to focus our meals around our veggie box because I feel like eating in season is good for us. Lately, we've had lots of winter squash! I also find that using the box means that we get more creative with our meals, which is fun as well.

In addition to Adventures in Tandem Nursing, I found the website to be helpful and they have a section devoted to tandem and pregnancy issues as well as nutrition. The Kelly behind Kellymom is an IBCLC and tries to include citations for the information, so you can go and double-check everything suggested, which I like.

I hope that helps!

Also, I did the math and next week, Margaret turns 44 months old and Isaac is now 16 months old. That's a total of 60 months of nursing. 5 years. And I was seeing colostrum 4 months before Margaret was born, so I've been lactating for even longer. Unbelievable.


  1. I only recently began taking my 2 year old son to a pediatrician (Read: he's only had one visit) and considering how great this guy was regarding just about everything else I brought up, I was surprised that he felt nursing Rylan was taking away from my current pregnancy and/or my own stores. No "make sure to eat extremely well," just "Probably a good idea to wean."

    Sometimes it feels insane that I get better advice on the internet than I can get from a doctor.

  2. Um...actually, that's still just 44 months of nursing. ;-)

    Congratulations! Tandem nursing takes a bit of fortitude.

  3. I'm only nursing one baby and I'm not pregnant at the same time, but sometimes it's hard to eat enough! I eat breakfast and then snack on 24 oz of whole milk and a bunch of grapes, two carrots and an apple. I eat lunch at 10:30 and again at noon; my lunches are whole grain pasta with meat and tomato sauce or tuna casserole or chicken stir fry. I eat a Greek yogurt at 3, dinner at 5 and a snack at 7. Even still, I wake up at 2 or 3 am, hungry but not always able to get up for a snack because the baby is having her snack!
    From very early pregnancy, it's been very clear that this baby does NOT like sugar; I feel really ill if I give in and eat a Snickers or something sweet like that just for the calories. I do eat lactation cookies because I think all the fiber in the oatmeal and protein in the flax balances out the sugar. I eat a ton of bread now and more potatoes than ever. (Not that it matters, but I was below pre-pregnancy weight at my postpartum check up)

  4. Because of your blog, I've been really interested in the benefits of breastfeeding and the associated issues. In my prenatal nutrition class last semester, I asked about tandem nursing and my teacher had to go ask a WIC expert and get back to me. It's interesting that we don't see more of this in our society. If anybody is interested, Cengage offers e-chapters of their textbooks so you can buy jut a PDF of the chapter on pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. (The book was Nutrition Through the Life Cycle.)


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