Breastfeeding Beyond Two Years

Breastfeeding beyond toddlerhood is a very hot topic. What are some of the benefits of extended breastfeeding? What are some of the common benefits of continuing to breastfeed? What should you do if your child wants to breastfeed day and night? How much breast milk does your toddler really need? Plus, tips for criticism about breastfeeding beyond two years.

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Featured Expert




The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Beyond Two Years

[00:00:00]

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Breastfeeding into toddlerhood and beyond is a very hot topic these days. Whether you call it full term breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding, we just call it: “Plain awesome.” Today, I’m excited to welcome back to our show our resident full-term breastfeeding expert – Andrea J. Blanco.

Andrea is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Miami Florida with Loving Start Lactation Services. Today, we’re talking about: “Breastfeeding beyond two years.” This is The Boob Group Episode 107.

[Theme Music/ Intro]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to The Boob Group broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on-the-go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre.

Today, I’m joined by three lovely panelists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Hi. I’m Melissa Lang Lytle. I’m 43 years old. I’m a birth doula and I guess birth choices advocate. I have three children: Benjamin who is 5, Joseph 3 1/2 and Baby Milo here is 3 months.

ROBIN KAPLAN: All right, thanks Melissa.

LYNELLE STONELY: My name is Lynelle Stonely. I am 25. I am a teacher. I have one little girl and she is 30 months.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Thank you for coming.

LYNELLE STONELY: Thank you.

STEPHANIE PATERNO: I’m Stephanie Paterno. I am 32 and I sell service of building management system. It’s very interesting when it comes to parenthood. I have a 30-month old son and an 8 ½ year old step son.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Well, welcome to the show ladies. Mj, will you like to introduce yourself as our awesome producer as well as The Virtual Panellists Program please.

MJ FISHER I’m Mj. I think I’m 37. I always have to ask my husband. I’m a stay-at-home mom to Jason who is almost three. So, what I have some spare time, I’m trying to help support all of the breastfeeding mamas out there.

Our Virtual Panelists Program is pretty awesome way for you if you can’t come in the studio with us to join the conversation; we post the same questions that our in-studio panelists are answering. So, you can share your experiences, give your opinions or give some tips to other moms.

That’s what’s kind of cool is that: “Moms are really engaging and supporting other moms with tips and advice and sometimes just empathy.” It’s just nice to know that you are not alone. We might even read your comment while we record. So, it’s really a sneak preview of our show before it releases because we will also post tips and information as we record.

If you want to check out more about The Virtual Panellists Program, check out our website theboobgroup.com under the Community Tab for more info because there are perks for participation.

ROBIN KAPLAN: All right. Thanks Mj.

MJ FISHER You’re welcome.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Here’s a question from one of our listeners.

This is from Shannon:

My daughter is almost six months old. She has been exclusively breastfed. I have been back to work since she was six weeks old. Recently, I have been lucky if I can get an ounce out when I pump. I’m going to be running out of my freezer supply before long. Are there any suggestions for increasing my supply because I really don’t want to supplement with formula. I know she’s getting enough when she nurses but I need supply for when I’m back at work. Any help will be greatly appreciated. -Shannon

ASHLEY TREADWELL: My name is Ashley Treadwell. I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in San Diego. I work as a private lactation consultant for the San Diego Breastfeeding Centres. Hi Shannon thanks so much for your question. A lot of moms find that they don’t respond to the pump the way they want to whether they are back at work, full time or just wanting to pump for an occasional bottle.

It sounds like that’s a situation with you is: “For babies able to get enough that the breast that she will be able to pump an ounce when you are away from her.” I can give you some tips to maximize your pumping sessions.

First thing I would have you do is: “Check all of your pump parts to make sure that they’re in working order.” Often moms find that: “When they are not able to get enough from the pump, it could be that there’s a crack or the suction is off.” Check everything and make sure you don’t see any cracks.

Contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in your area. They will sometimes have a vacuum gauge that they can use to test the motor and make sure that it’s still effective. Take a look at where you’re pumping and when you’re pumping. When you’re at work, is it a quiet private space? Do you have enough time to relax while pumping?

Stress and anxiety can really affect the way our body responds and may impact the amount that you are getting. Have a picture or a video of your baby to look at. Bring a blanket or an article of clothing that smells like the baby. Thinking of your baby, you’re being surrounded by something that smells like them will help stimulate an Oxytocin which helps your milk to release in the flow.

Another tip that we often give is: “To put a blanket over the flanges so that you can see the amount that’s coming out.” I think sometimes the stress of watching the milk can actually inhabit the amounts that we get. It’s important to remember that stronger and longer doesn’t always mean more.

Be sure to adjust your questions so that you’re comfortable. Pumping shouldn’t hurt. Too long of pump stimulation can have an adverse effect. I often tell moms to: “Apply a little bit of organic olive oil in the inside of their pump flanges.” That will help decrease friction and can sometimes increase the amount that you get. I wish you the best of luck and help these answers have helped.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: So today on The Boob Group, we’re discussing: “Breastfeeding beyond two years.” Our expert Andrea J. Blanco is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Miami Florida with Loving Start Lactation Services.

I first met Andrea when she decided to be a guest writer on our blog for the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. Her toddler articles have been some of our most popular articles on my site due to her breastfeeding knowledge and sassy storytelling. So, thanks so much for joining us Andrea and welcome back to the show.

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Thank you so much for having me Robin.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. So, Andrea, what are some benefits for breastfeeding beyond two years both health-wise and emotionally?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Breastfeeding is both dependent. Generally speaking: “The more child gets and the longer a mother breastfeeds, the better health outcomes occur for the child and mother.” Breastfeeding acts as a support system for a child’s developing immune system throughout the breastfeeding relationship.

It acts as a calming agent for a toddler during some of his most difficult moments. Full-term breast feedings further reduces the mother’s risk developing breast ovarian and uterine cancers as well as reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

ROBIN KAPLAN: All right and what does breastfeeding a toddler two years and older look like? Are we talking feeding every three hours, sleeping through the night or variations on the theme?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Definitely, variations on the theme.

There are so many factors come in to play at that age which is:

• The toddlers’ individual temperament
• The mother’s temperament
• Any developmental changes a toddler baby going through
• Changes within the family such as in the sibling or parent returning to work

I really think that at this stage, it could be anything goes.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay. So, I’d love to open this up to our panelists in the studio. Ladies, what does breastfeeding look like for you with your over two-year-old? Do your kids breastfeed day and night or all different ways depending on the day? Stephanie, let’s start with you.

STEPHANIE PATERNO: After work because we’ve been separated for quite a few hours during the day. It’s definitely kind of like attached to the – you-know-what for the rest of the day. There are obvious limits that have to be put on it because I have to stand up and get stuff done otherwise he won’t eat actual food.

Then, in the night time, I do try to not have him on all night although he would definitely happily nurse all night long.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Lynelle?

LYNELLE STONELY: We stopped nursing at night at about 18 months. She just started sleeping through the night, sleeping in her own bed, sleeping in our bed. The flip-flopping back and forth wasn’t really breastfeeding friendly for us. But during the day because I do work all night when I get home, she wants some. After that, it’s usually a couple of times in the afternoon now.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, cool. So, I love the different variations. This is fantastic. Melissa, how about you? You’re not still nursing your 3 ½ years old?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: No. We recently weaned. In fact, I think Andrea was a guest when I we may have done a talk on that. So, it’s really awesome her expertise was wonderful. But both of my boys that nursed until a little over 3 had with different things.

So, both nurse – not every three hours but it seems like when they’re going to let’s say: “Two-year molars, they nursed a lot and a lot through the night.” We do bed share. For me, it was really easy. It was such a convenience and I really liked it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, very cool. Andrea, what are some of your favorite reasons for breastfeeding beyond two years?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Well, I’m going to give you my personal reasons. It’s especially not what I set out to do when I started my breastfeeding journey. I have two boys both of which nursed past two years and each one was different personality; which influenced the reason I think why they continue to breastfeed.

With my first, my favorite was breastfeeding beyond two years was a smooth transition. It provided when his baby brother was born. I was also much better prepared for full-term breastfeeding with my second. As it turns out, having breastfeeding to fall back on when he was having a rough moment was the best trick that I had in my parenting hat.

Looking back on the experience, I am very grateful for having had an opportunity to breastfeed both of my children past two years and for letting my instincts override those difficult societal pressures which I think were very real.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, ladies what are some of your breastfeeding beyond two years? Melissa, we’ll start with you.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I would agree with Andrea. It was a wonderful way to transition my second son was born when my first son was 17 months. So, that was really nurturing. Anytime something would happen maybe a big developmental leap – some falling down; just times where they needed some more nurturing beyond a hug. It was really something I could use to sooth.

For my second born, as my third came along, it was a really nice transition when we weaned and talked about the new baby coming. So, like Andrea said: “I had two really different sons and now a third.” So, I anticipate a different relationship but I love that it can do so many things.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, absolutely. Lynelle, how about you?

LYNELLE STONELY: For us, it was really used as a coping mechanism with falls, bumps, bruises which she does a lot. She is an explorer. So, we do that quite a bit. Also, I had heard that it helps slower the risk of asthma. My husband has asthma. So, it’s allergy-induced asthma and it’s also runs in his family.

So, I was hoping that breastfeeding long-term would help diminish her chances of having it which she doesn’t have it yet.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s fantastic.

LYNELLE STONELY: Thanks.

ROBIN KAPLAN: All right, how about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PATERNO: Well, I didn’t know that. I have asthma. So, I’m glad that I’m still breastfeeding because he seems to be doing all right so far. It’s kind of similar to what Lynelle was saying. Our kids our very similar in many ways and it’s a comfort thing. If he’s upset, there are no melt-downs. It’s just right there. Comfort, mama holds you and that’s it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome, very cool.

ANDREA J. BLANCO: I really love the term: “Coping Mechanism.” I think that was perfect.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. The hard part is the flip side. Andrea, what do you think are some of the most common challenges for moms’ breastfeeding a two-year-old and older? You had mentioned also even the societal component of it. What other challenges do you see out there too?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: I think really that probably feeling that they’re doing something taboo with a lack of support that they are receiving – that they are not receiving from not only their doctors in most cases but also from their friends and family. It’s very hard to do something you feel and you know it’s right and important when society is constantly telling you it isn’t.

Breastfeeding gets blamed for a lot of things. I remember going to the dentist and even though my child didn’t have carries; being vilified because I was full nursing at night. Things like that; it’s difficult to fly in the face of what’s culturally normal.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes and not always correct as you were mentioning with the dental caries. Ladies, how about you guys? Have you had challenges that have kind of started with after your child was about two years old that had to go or challenges that went along with breastfeeding? Lynelle?

LYNELLE STONELY: Yes. Just the way family sees you, family who never breastfed in the first place or only did so until about six months. Even beyond one year, they thought I was insane or thought that: “She was too attached to me.” Also, the doctor, there are a lot of times where even still I hide that we still breastfeed.

We just don’t talk about it. Her doctor doesn’t ask. My obstetrician finally asked me: “When did you stop?” I told her: “I didn’t.” I was likely: “We’re met with a lot of open jaws.” There are a lot of people who just don’t understand why we still do it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, how about you Stephanie? Any challenges?

STEPHANIE PATERNO: No, I feel pretty lucky. I guess the circle of people that I surrounded myself with at this point, they all know – they all understand support even if they don’t do it, they support it. So, it’s all there. My family’s great.

My mom is the one that watches him and she had made sure that she only gave him pump milk when I was at work. They are all fine watching me breastfeed him before I leave for work and when I pick him up and it’s not a problem.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s awesome. How about you Melissa? Did you have any challenges with your boys?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: You know the social issue that we’ve discussed here has always kind of been an issue where I might get some stares. I never really had any challenges where someone said something to me. I think I once met my mom may have said: “So, how long are you going to nurse?”

Then, I think I treated it as an opportunity to educate. That’s just how I decided to take on breastfeeding. Everything I learned about breastfeeding like Andrea, I didn’t set out to breastfeed beyond three years. The more I learned, the more I shared.

So, when someone would come to me with something that they felt: “It was weird or uncomfortable; I just took it as an opportunity to really share what I had learned and why I was doing it.” Maybe my confidence or maybe I just didn’t meet the person that decided to challenge me but so far so good.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s awesome. Andrea, one of the questions that kept coming up on our Facebook Page was: “When a child is over two, how much breast milk do they actually need beyond their second birthday and does it vary? How do solids and other milk substitutes impact this number?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: So, there’s very little exact data based on the knowledge of how normal breastfeeding works. The milk available does vary depending on how frequently the child is breastfeeding and how much other food and liquids the child is taking in.

Generally speaking, the pattern that the child establishes is gradual and milk supply adjusts. So, there is milk for the child when you breastfeed. But it’s not a normal amount. It’s necessary for all children because of all the other variables. I’d like to think that when it comes to breastfeeding at this stage, mothers and their children work pretty perfectly together. So, whatever amount the child is getting is the right amount.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That is such a good point. There are so many other variables that it really does make it impossible to kind of nail down how much a baby actually needs. I’ve never been able to find data on that either. So, I’m glad you mentioned that: “There really is nothing out there.” All right, well when we come back, we will continue our discussion about: “Breastfeeding beyond two years.” We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Well, welcome back to the show. We are talking with Andrea J. Blanco about: “Breastfeeding beyond two years.” Andrea, how can a mom keep up her milk supply if she no longer wants to pump while at work if her child is over two years? What kind of tips can you offer?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Well, as I’ve mentioned earlier: “the changes in breastfeeding patterns in this age group tend to be gradual.” When she makes a decision to stop pumping which often times is a bit earlier than two years. It should be a gradual weaning off the pump if possible and then her body adjusts to those times that the child is breastfeeding.

That adjustment continues for the life of the breastfeeding relationship. So, she really shouldn’t worry too much about. Her body will adjust and so will the child.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay and like Lynelle had mentioned going to the pediatricians sometimes met with them a drop-jaw when you mention that you’re still breastfeeding. So, what tips can you offer when a child’s pediatrician is recommending that mom wean at two years or even earlier than that because they need to switch to cow dairy?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Yes. Well, at the stage most pediatricians are not really asking whether the child is still breastfeeding although I wish they would. One of your panelists mentioned – if a mom happens to have one that does and then discourages her by asking her to switch to cow’s milk. Asking why cow’s milk, in particular, is necessary is a starting point.

Usually, the pediatrician is recommending cow’s milk because of concerns over calcium intake and the fat necessary for brain development. But there are many other sources of calcium suitable for a two-year-old. Breast milk is rich in Omega 3 which is the right kind of fat and the right amount needed for the brain development.

Besides, unless the family or child is dairy-free the child may and usually does eat another dairy source such as yogurt and cheese which a mom can also point out to her pediatrician.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, all right. Then what about the discerning eye from others? What tips do you have when others continue to ask how much longer a mom plans to breastfeed?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: So, I love the panelists that said that she takes time out to educate. But not anybody has the personality to be able to pull that off. So my recommendation is to definitely infuse your own personality in these questions as well as that of the person who’s asking into answering to that loaded question.

Most importantly, don’t take it personally. Often times, this question is born from ignorance. It is not worth getting upset about. Sometimes it’s easier to deflect by saying: “I’m not sure and then change the subject.” Sometimes it’s easier to deflect by saying: “Maybe when he lost at college.” But, I did receive the selection.

If it’s really a conversation that the mom wants to have and she should know that: “Most health organizations such as The American Academy of Paediatrics, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Family’s Physicians do not put an upward age limit on breastfeeding and generally only set a minimum standard.”

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay. So ladies, did you have friends or family members asking these types of questions? I know you had mentioned that: “Melissa that you use this as an opportunity to educate.” So, what type of response would you have?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Mostly surprised. I think because of the breastfeeding norm: “If moms choose to breastfeed perhaps that they’d only seen up to six months.”

I think by being a part of breastfeeding groups in particular, I got a lot of more information from other breastfeeding moms which really helped me get more confident when I did have those questions, where I didn’t feel defensive. That’s why I was able to turn it into an opportunity.

I think most of the time people’s response was: “Really? Wow.” If I also the whole cow dairy part when I would talk about human milk versus cow milk, it was almost like they have never even thought about it before.

ROBIN KAPLAN: So, kind of pointing out that cow dairy is not for cows and human milk not for humans?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Right, exactly.

ROBIN KAPLAN: All right. Andrea, the thing that you had mentioned as well getting the calcium. I think a lot of times the pediatricians also think about that: “The cow dairy is fortified.” So, Vitamin A and Vitamin D and where we can get those as well through our food.

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Well, which is great but it’s a very poor source because it is fortified. It is not as bioavailable.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly.

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Sometimes we have to educate our own doctors.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. Lynelle, how about you? Did you have anyone questioning about why you were still nursing; other than your practitioners but maybe friends and family as well? What was your response?

LYNELLE STONELY: Definitely, I think about a year my mom started asking me: “When is this going to stop? It’s too much. You have a big kid sitting on your lap pulling at your shirt, asking for it, asking for milk. He’s asking – she calls it tortiti; asking for a titi.” It gets too much. Her impression was: “If they are able to ask for it, they’re too old.”

Again, with my mom, it’s a little different. I’m able to talk to her about it, educate her as much as I can. But again, it’s not as easy as talking to your friends like we can talk about it. Yes, for the most part my friends are very much accepting of it because of the community that we are in.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. It sounds like: “That was kind of your thought as well Stephanie that you really haven’t had any challenges.”

STEPHANIE PATERNO: I’ve had a family ask but they were mostly saying it in more of an observation like: “He’s not ready but you can tell because of how attached he is to it.” It’s not a negative thing when they’re saying it. They just recognize it just like because we’ve done very much like he tells us when he’s ready for things. He’s just not ready for this.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s awesome. Your parents, did you said that was that your response or was that they actually observe?

STEPHANIE PATERNO: No, my sister and my mom where the two that said that on several occasions.

ROBIN KAPLAN: He wasn’t ready.

STEPHANIE PATERNO: You can see that he’s just not ready.

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s awesome. So, that’s actually really supportive. Yes, cool. Mj, what are you going to say?

MJ FISHER I was just going to say that: “I think because of the community that we have like when you are a full-term breastfeeding like this means to have so many moms say that: “They have problems like six weeks and three months and six months.”

So, it’s just like: “We’re ready. Go ahead and ask us. We’re pretty prepared and we’re not shut down by the question.” Especially if we nurse in public, you kind of just know the things to say too. But when it comes to family, it can kind of take you back. These are the people that you want to support you in everything.

So, I think educating is so awesome. I think the approach of just like: “I don’t know. Whatever and just changing the subject is great too because then maybe it won’t be such a big deal to them.”

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Andrea, were you going to say something?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Yes, I was going to say that: “I found a very interesting that while I feel like I say this to my clients that – well like most of the mothers or the grandmothers put pressure on the mom to end the nursing relationship. They then turned around in the same sentence.”

Also can gradual [inaudible]. Look at my grandson. He’s so chunky and he is so smart. Can you believe he still breastfeeding? It’s really said in a positive manner. So, it’s just funny because I think it’s important to realize that the family dynamics are always difficult no matter which subject is on the table.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely.

Andrea, Crystal had posted on our Facebook Page:

How do I keep up my supply? I have a 10-month-old and want to breastfeed until 3 to 4 years if possible. I’ve been introducing solids and I feel like my supply has dropped a bit already. -Crystal

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Crystal thanks so much for taking a timeout to post us this important question. So many things can impact a mom’s supply at this stage. Starting solids is one of them but definitely not the only one. A lot of the advice on starting solids in the first year is very aggressive and can rapidly tank a mother supply on its own.

In the first year of life, solid should still be secondary to breastfeeding so depending on how much solids you begin to introduce maybe taking a more modest approach at the frequency. An amount that each feed of solids will help you reach your goal ensuring of course that your baby is growing well throughout the entire process. However, it might also be a normal adjustment to a new stage in your breastfeeding relationship and that’s important to note as well.

In addition to offering the breast first before solids, you can try to keep a food journal for a few days. Noting each time baby breastfeeds, eat solids or take some any other form of liquid so that you can have a clear picture of what’s really going on and where if it all you’re able to make some small changes.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, terrific. I remember seeing on one of our Facebook Groups that there was a conversation where a mom’s supply had started dropping. The recommendation was: “Multiple solids, multiple times a day.” So, when we talked about how actually solids are secondary to breastfeeding into breast milk; she was so astounded that her practitioners had never shared that with her.”

As she started scaling back, she started feeling more confident. So, it’s a really a good point about taking a look and maybe making a more modest approach with the solids. Andrea, what tips do you have for when a two-year-old wants to nurse all day and mom doesn’t necessarily want to do that? What about all night long as well?

ANDREA J. BLANCO: I think it’s very important to remember that: “This is a mutual relationship and that it’s either party is feeling overwhelmed, then changes should be made with respect to each party.” A lot of the weaning calls again at this age have to do with this exactly. It isn’t so much that mom wants to wean completely. But she’s frustrated with the way that the child was breastfeeding.

Assuming there isn’t something else going on, so just the sickness or a huge change in the family that may explain a sudden onset of breastfeeding more than usual. Try to target the behaviors that encourage constant breastfeeding and modify them. This is where the: “Do not sit down rule comes into place.”

We say it jokingly but sometimes it is just the pattern that mother and child have fallen into and breaking up the routine while refocuses the energy. As far as night time, at this age, it is easier to night wean at any age prior. But it does take effort from creativity and patience to make it a smooth transition.

I think that if we think that: “We’re going to get better results by continuing to do the same thing then that just doesn’t apply to breastfeeding but it’s not really going to work.” So, we really got to figure out what we want and then work towards that goal even if it means night weaning a two-year-old which I personally don’t have a problem with; because I think they can handle it developmentally.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, all right. Ladies, have you dealt with either of these situations where your baby thought that you were a 24-hour drive through? If you did, how did you handle it? Lynelle, how about you?

LYNELLE STONELY: Yes, about 18 months when we night weaned. During the day, she wanted to pick up nursing sessions but I was working all day. I was working all night on. It got really tough. It even got to the point where I was almost feeling resentful for nursing so much. It got to the point where I was uncomfortable.

Again, we have to revisit our nursing relationship and what works best for us. For her, if she could, she’d want to stay on me all day but it didn’t work for me. So, it got to the point where we were dwindling down to two a day. That’s what I was comfortable with and I let her go as long as she wanted for each of those sessions and we go back and forth on her sides.

Yes, we really ended up dropping a lot of our nursing sessions because I was feeling so uncomfortable.

ROBIN KAPLAN: You were able to maintain a few?

LYNELLE STONELY: Yes.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Which is awesome and I love how you also phrase like: “When she did have time – that was her time.”

LYNELLE STONELY: It was.

ROBIN KAPLAN: She determined how long it was. That was a really respectful approach. That’s awesome.

LYNELLE STONELY: Thanks.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Stephanie, how about you? Have you felt uncomfortable or frustrated with any of these types of situations?

STEPHANIE PATERNO: Yes, especially at like 6 AM I’m not ready to wake up yet. So, that’s one time where I’ll be just like: “No, not happening right now. Turn back over and go to sleep.” We haven’t formally night weaned and I haven’t formally dwindled down or anything. I’m very bad at schedules for myself. So, this is just another place that I’m not good at it.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: But it’s working for you?

STEPHANIE PATERNO: Well, kind of would be just like: “I can’t do it right now.” He’s old enough that he can go play with something else. So, that’s just how we handle it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, that’s great. How about you Melissa?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: So for me, I love hearing about moms that work because I feel like I really want to honor the different types of relationships that they have with breastfeeding whereas because I’m a stay-at-home mom and because most of the work I do, I can take my babies with me.

My relationship with breastfeeding really was:

• During at the times that it felt really overwhelming with
• Typically through teething
• If they were sick or
• Big developmental leaps

So, I kind of would just wait and hang out and just about the time I think I was ready to do something or change something within the relationship, the nursing changed. So far outside of night weaning, it really didn’t ever get too bad.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, well thank you so much.

MJ FISHER I love to add.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Mj.

MJ FISHER I love the negotiation aspect because when they’re older and can start sentences and the toddler distraction too. Just like: “We’re going to do it after this.” Being a first-time mom, I never really knew how it was going to go. So, just thinking that like: “Does he nourish every three hours? Are we going to sit down and do it?”

It doesn’t have to be like that and just being able to have that like negotiation once I started doing and I was like: “Okay, this is cool.” I can actually chop up these vegetables and I’ll go nursing.

Whatever I’m doing and be able to have him be happy because he knows he’s being heard. Yes, I’m going to do this for you in just a moment but then, I get to do what I need to do. Negotiation has become the key to continuing the nursing relationships.

ROBIN KAPLAN: It makes it mutually beneficial for both people and mutual respectful continues that awesome relationship. It’s very cool. All right, thank you so much Andrea and our amazing panelists for sharing this valuable information about: “Breastfeeding beyond two years.” Thanks Andrea. We appreciate your time.

ANDREA J. BLANCO: Thank you so much for having me back. I really love this podcast.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, thank you. For our Boob Group Club Members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show. As Andrea will discuss: “Her tips for answering the question – is it weird that your child can ask to breastfeed?” So for more information about our Boob Group Club, please visit our website at www.theboobgroup.com .

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JONAROSE FEINBERG: Hi Boob Group. This is JonaRose Feinberg, editor of www.Breastfeedingtwins.org . I’m a mom of twins and a board certified lactation consultant in the Seattle Area. Today, we’re going to talk about: “Nutrition while breastfeeding.” While you were pregnant, you probably paid attention to what you ate; maybe ensuring that you didn’t go too long in between meals or that you were getting enough protein in your diet.

Once the babies are born, it’s easy to lose half of your own nutrition as you focus on feeding your new babies. But it’s still important for you to eat well especially if you’re breastfeeding. Just like when you are pregnant, you are eating for three.

Here are some tips:

• Try to eat regularly every few hours.
-Breastfeeding burns a ton of calorie and you need to stay well-fed to keep up your energy.

• Stock your fridge with grab and go snacks you can eat one-handed
-This can be as simple as preparing a stack of sandwiches to eat throughout the day or making some snack boxes with rolled deli meat, cheese and sliced apples.
-If your partner or mom has time, this is something they can do to help you even if they won’t be around during the day when you need to eat.

• For more protein-rich options, consider preparing a whole batch of hardboiled eggs or making a smoothie with fruit and yoghurt.
-If you or your babies don’t tolerate dairy well, you can also add a non-dairy protein powder to a smoothie for an extra boost.

• Keep some healthy granola bars near your regular nursing spot for a quick snack.

• You may even want to keep some food near the bed for middle of the night nursing sessions; so you may want to pick something that’s less crumbly for eating in bed.

• It’s also important to stay hydrated.
-Keep a big bottle of water near your nursing station so you can sip when you’re thirsty.
-If you are supporting your milk supply with an herbal tea, you can brew a large batch and drink it over ice throughout the day.

Making enough milk for two or more babies takes a lot of extra calories. Some recommendations, suggests an extra 500 calories and grams of protein per baby; definitely not the time to start a diet.

For more tips and personal breastfeeding stories, please visit breastfeedingtwins.org and keep listening to The Boob Group for more twin tips.

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ROBIN KAPLAN: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group.

Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:

• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks, our show for parents of multiples.

Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, your judgment-free breastfeeding resource.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though the information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line-up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .

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