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Breast-Feeding Your Newborn and an Older Child

Topic Overview

Breast-feeding more than one child is called tandem breast-feeding. If you continue to feed your older child along with your newborn, keep in mind that the newborn's feeding is the higher priority.

Some general feeding guidelines can help ensure that your newborn is properly nourished:

  • Feed the newborn about 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period, without time limitations.
  • During the first 3 days after the birth, focus all your efforts on breast-feeding the newborn. Always breast-feed your newborn before an older child. This ensures that your baby is nourished with colostrum. You may want to stop breast-feeding the older child for these 3 days, although he or she can breast-feed right after your newborn has finished.
  • Closely monitor your newborn's weight gain and growth.

If you decide to breast-feed more than one child, make sure your newborn has a healthy growth pattern. Talk to your doctor about any specific questions or concerns. Be aware that the interruptions in your older child's breast-feeding routine may naturally begin the weaning process.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised April 12, 2013

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