Lesbian Mommies Jillian and Tara share what it’s like co-nursing their second kid from what the plan was going in, plus the similarities and differences with their second-born.
We’re 1 month into co-nursing our second kiddo (yay) and it’s going pretty great so far. There are some distinct differences and a ton of similarities too.
Preparing to Co-Nurse Baby #2
Our oldest is only 14 months ahead of his baby brother so Tara (nongestational mama) decided to keep up with pumping 3x/day so she’d have a smallish supply for new baby. Tara exclusively pumped from about 5 months on, so there was no adjustment for our eldest other than incorporating cows milk at 12 months. Between the 3 pump sessions, Tara was producing about 6 oz.
Our co-nursing plan for our second, Henry, was for Me to be the primary nurser, Tara to be the dessert/top-up nurses and to adjust as needed keeping in mind how insane our first week of co-nursing was was Auggie.
Even though I induced lactation with Auggie and was producing about 12-15 oz/day I had this secret fear my milk wasn’t going to come in or wasn’t going to be enough…I also hoped that since this was the second time around for both of us it would be a lot easier!
Co-Nursing IRL with Baby #2
Henry was born and within the first 3 hours both of us had nursed him. I went first and he was an AMAZING nurser. Just like Auggie, he was tongue and lip tied, but luckily neither of them affected his latch or sucking. 2 hours after delivery I started feeling sick so Tara took baby and nursed too. He nursed great with her too. This was our first huge relief.
Over the following 2 days we prioritized my nursing to help my milk come in and get Henry as much colostrum as possible with me typically nursing first and then having Henry top up on Tara. On day 3 my milk came in an OH MY BOOB! I seriously didn’t know my boobs were capable of getting so enormous! My milk came in like crazy and I have enough to feed Henry on demand plus pump an extra 12-16 oz/day. Tara basically feeds whenever she feels like and has stopped pumping completely. This tends to be if Henry get hungry when I’m out/busy/just pumped and once during the night.
The thing that is exactly the same with both kiddos is the amazing bond that breastfeeding provides resulting in the absolutely special bond breastfeeding parents and kiddos have. Breastfeeding Henry was equally and special and amazing as feeding Auggie was.
Pumping still sucks! Because Henry is such a stellar feeder I’m pumping less, but pumping is the WORST and that hasn’t changed at all.
The two biggest differences are confidence in what we’re doing and a more relaxed attitude which I think are generally true with the second kid. Because Tara was already lactating the fervent need to pump round the clock was gone. And because my milk supply is ++ I only need to pump to relieve pressure. This creates a much less stressful feeding environment. It’s also worth noting that this is in part because of what an awesome and efficient nurser Henry is too.
The other difference was not having to “come out” as co-nursing… It sounds silly to think about now becuase co-nursing is so amazing, but the first time around it was super nerve racking telling people about me inducing lactation and our plan to co-nurse. Most people were supportive, but it was a whole emotional and physical thing we both had to go through. This time around we absolutely knew the benefits of co-nursing and that we were for-sure going to do it and that was that. No explination or discussion needed.
Co-Nursing for the Win (again)!
With our first born, I said that deciding to induce lactation and co-nurse was the single best decision I made prior to baby’s arrival. With our second this holds just as true for both of us. Co-nursing provides both Tara and me, and Henry a magnitude of benefits with very little downside and we will continue to co-nurse for as long as it’s beneficial for all of us!
Here are some of my favorite pics from Henry’s delivery including: The first time Tara and I both nursed Henry; My dad and cousin both being totally unphased by breastfeeding (cause they’re awesome and believe in #normalizebreastfeeding); our first pic as a family of 4; Tara feeding me as I recovered from delivery and nursed little Hens.
More on Co-Nursing & Inducing Lactation
Looking for more info on breastfeeding, induced lactation, or co-nursing? Check out our posts that cover what we did the first time around.