15 Photos Celebrating the Beauty of Tandem Breastfeeding
Moms truly have superpowers. Not only can their bodies grow and give birth to babies, but they can continue to nourish an entire other human—and often even two. Whether they have twins or two young kids who haven’t yet weaned, tandem breastfeeding mamas know a thing or two about hard work and sacrifice. They also know how sweet the rewards can be. These stunning, emotionally charged photos of moms tandem feeding their babies capture each woman’s unique nursing journey and celebrate the awesome beauty of breastfeeding.
“This is one of the first photos ever taken of myself nursing the girls,” one mom posted to Instagram. “It actually took eight days for my milk to come in, so what we did was dry nursing on the nipple off and on, followed by a tube system that filled a nipple shield with formula to simulate nursing. It was a rigorous process that required my husbands help every. Single. Time. So every two hours, like clockwork, we would start the process over—for eight days straight. So while I will mourn for what is no longer a journey for us, I will also feel proud. I will feel grateful. I will feel a bond so strong, regardless of whether I feed my girls from my body or through a bottle.”
“If I had to describe postpartum with only one word, it would be ‘extreme.’ Extreme highs, extreme lows, extreme love, extreme exhaustion, extreme hunger and thirst, extreme fear, extreme isolation,” Kayla Gonzales said in her caption of a photo of her tandem breastfeeding her children. “I’m not sure there is much in between for these first couple of weeks. You take things day by day, hour by hour, sometimes even just one second at a time. Every bit of it is uniquely and tragically beautiful in its own right.”
“Tandem nursing is a little less comfortable for all of us, I think,” this mom said on Instagram. “There’s lots of adjusting and my nipples get pinched and twisted a lot. But to look down on you both at the same time and see you slurping away and hear your little satisfied grunts, I’ll take it!!”
“The babies turned 5 months old a few days ago and we are still going strong with nursing! I won’t lie, it has not been as easy as I’d hoped. They both nurse great but we have our ups and downs,” mom Megan Clark posted to Instagram. “While they both are still rather small for 5 month olds (Darcy is only in the 5th percentile for weight), both babies are staying on the growth chart and having lots of wet diapers—two huge confirmations that my milk alone is enough to sustain their lives.”
“No holiday for this twin mama! It’s business as usual at the tandem milk bar!” one mom joked on Instagram.
“Nineteen hundred and twenty days, 64 months or 5.33 years—however you wish to label it. That’s how long my body has nourished my five babies,” this mama posted to Instagram. “I would never describe nursing as easy or effortless. I have had my fair shake of nursing woes: primarily pumping, needing donor milk, mastitis, under production (and having to pump every two hours, even waking up multiple times at night, and a rigorous vitamin protocol to increase my supply), overproduction and the pain associated, latching woes, gun-shy at the thought of a latch because of soreness/bleeding, soaked shirts in public, having to urgently manually express at a wedding in a public bathroom sink (I’ll never forget that embarrassment as my brand new, experienced sis in law walked me through it), pumping while driving because ‘it was time,’ pumping out of the country and carrying it through customs—but despite all of that, I’m so desperately looking forward to nurturing this last sweet little babe in just a couple of months. It’s an honor, a privilege and a sacrificial gift.”
“You should have heard the glugs these two were making after the fierce milk let down I had while looking at the pair of them and thinking how things really don’t get better than this,” this mama says in the Instagram caption of her tandem breastfeeding photo. “I’ve yet to fathom this tandem nursing thing. I know this looks exhausting but so far I’m finding it way more enjoyable and less painful than breastfeeding while pregnant. And although we’ve not quite found a comfortable position yet and I have no idea how it’s affecting my milk supply, they both fell asleep simultaneously seconds after this and so for now I’m claiming it as my own personal superpower.”
“I think this is the rawest photo I have ever posted. But 100% the most honest photo I have ever posted,” this mom posted to Instagram. “Three days past a c-section, recovering from preeclampsia, sweating my balls off, belly out, stretch marks everywhere, in a world of pain but nothing compared to the feeling of being able to feed my beautiful babies. As much as I wish my breastfeeding journey lasted longer, I’ll always cherish these beautiful moments.”
“I truly love breastfeeding,” this mama gushes on Instagram. “Everything from newborn little feet swirling and twirling while sucking their milk, to infants hugging the breasts and starting to smile knowing their mama is giving them milk, to the toddler ages where stroking their mothers face and holding hands. Breastfeeding is magical.”
“Celebrating two years of tandem nursing,” this mom’s tandem breastfeeding Instagram caption reads. “This picture for me represents lunch breaks spent pumping, missed dinners with friends, lugging around my pump whenever I’m away and also bringing my son with me on several trips because he won’t take bottles. I know this is not for everyone but it suited me. This felt the most natural thing for me to do. Seeing these two grow into their little human selves has been nothing short of amazing and having them pause for a bit and look up to me for a few moments each day is a welcomed pause.”
“Thinking of all the mummas out there who have given breastfeeding some sort of a go!” this mom says in a special Instagram shout out. “Especially proud of my sister who has made it past the 6 month mark, which is where I was at in this pic.”
“For me it’s been 72 weeks, over 5,500 hours of tandem nursing and a whole lot of no sleep and a battle to maintain a healthy supply,” this mom opens up in an emotional post. “It honestly has helped me get through my depression, helped my twins when they got sick or hurt and has a long list of health benefits for mommy. There were a lot of days in the beginning when I wanted to quit due to cluster feeding (worst part of it all) or breaking down in tears and huge blobs of sweat (in public) because I was trying so hard to put my nursing cover on in front of strangers and epically failing. It was a lot of “when are you gonna quit” “they’ll sleep longer if you give them formula” and other very interesting statements made during this time that made me ashamed to keep going…but I kept at it and I don’t regret it a smidge.”
“It has been quite the journey with these girls and I love that our community comes together in beautiful ways to showcase the bliss (and difficulty) that comes with breastfeeding multiples,” this mom of twins tells The Bump. “I am so incredibly proud of myself for being able to nourish two amazing humans with my body.”
“Tandem nursing is one of the hardest but most rewarding things I’ve done as a parent,” this mom tells The Bump. “Some days, both of the babies want to nurse at the exact same time and I have to try to maneuver two babies and make sure my older son doesn’t kick his newborn brother. It’s hard when I’m touched out and they are both upset. It’s so worth it, though, when I think about the benefits they are both receiving or when they get upset and all it takes is nursing to comfort them. I am also constantly amazed that my body can sustain not only one baby but two, and I’m glad that I can continue to nurse them both until they are ready to wean.”
“I am tired of all the judgement and pure opinion over something that is completely natural,” this mom says about breastfeeding children beyond the toddler years. “So many who are ‘all for breastfeeding… BUT’ think you should stop at a certain age. As if breastfeeding magically stops being nutritional/beneficial when you cross this arbitrary threshold.”
“I know what the naysayers are thinking: ‘It’s still weird to see a “grown” child sucking on its mothers boobs.’ Well Becky, that sounds like a personal problem, but here’s a novel idea: Stop sexualizing a child being physically and mentally nourished by her or her mother,” she continues. “I understand, I do—full-term breastfeeding is not common in the US…Judging or questioning something you don’t understand is human nature, but knowledge is power. Please, don’t allow ignorance to make you small and rule your perspective by judging a mother who is simply trusting the creator’s meticulous, beautiful and intentional design of breastfeeding.”
Published September 2018
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.