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Women’s Health Library

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Breastfeeding Your Newborn and an Older Child

Topic Overview

Breastfeeding more than one child is called tandem breastfeeding. 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 breastfeeding the newborn. Always breastfeed your newborn before an older child. This ensures that your baby is nourished with colostrum. You may want to stop breastfeeding the older child for these 3 days, although he or she can breastfeed right after your newborn has finished.
  • Closely monitor your newborn's weight gain and growth.

If you decide to breastfeed 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 breastfeeding routine may naturally begin the weaning process.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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