Breastfeeding for Two…
(Written on: 1st December,2009)
QUESTION: Assalamu Alaikum. I read that you breastfed 2 babies at a time and I would like to know how you did it InshaAllah, the whole procedure :). Since I may need to do that. How did you manage breastfeeding whilst pregnant? Wasn’t it painful? Allahu ‘aalam. JazaakiAllahu khairan. [Ummu Yahya, Canada(Tuesday 1st December, 2009 1:46 PM)]
Wa Alaikumu Salaam,
Sis’ I will answer this in point-form Inshaa Allah:-
1) The main issue here, apart from the pain and health, is hygiene. Because this is the main factor that will affect your newborn baby. It is very important that you are very careful when switching between babies. Before you feed the newborn, always stand over the sink, use a little non-scented soap and rinse your nipples and the area directly around it, before feeding the newborn baby. This is not necessary for the toddler, as she should have her immune system in check by now.
2) You need to ensure, starting from about 3 months before the new baby is born that you lessen the amount of times you nurse your toddler. This would be made easier as Allah(swt) is the best of planners and He has made it so that pregnancy naturally lessens your milk supply. You see, you body’s fluids and nutrients would naturally now go towards your growing foetus. Thus your milk supply would now lessen (slowly ‘dry-up’). Thus use this opportunity to bring down your toddler’s feeds to twice or three times a day. Once in morning, once for the day-time nap and once at night Insha Allah. But only as a comfort for putting baby to sleep Inshaa Allah.
3) Work on different ways to put the toddler to sleep other than breastfeeding. Particularly at bed time. In my case, I would put the newborn to sleep first (as they sleep steady hours most of the time), and put the toddler on top of me to sleep. If you have a big belly, you can just lie on your back and put him to lie down with his head on your inner shoulder, or ears to your heart with the lights off. If this doesn’t work, it’s always good to have an alternative, like rocking the baby to sleep! This works wonders!
4) Coming down to the end of the pregnancy when you have a big belly, breastfeeding can cause false uterine contractions, yes, which can be uncomfortable. But it is not harmful to the fetus unless you have some underlying medical condition that pre-disposes you to pre-term labour. That is why I said, before your last trimester you should start working on alternative ways of putting the baby to sleep, so that the amount of times they feed a day is minimal.
5) Breastfeeding was never too difficult for me, Alhamdulillah! But this is because from birth I alternated between lying down and sitting up to breastfeed. So the baby got accustomed to breastfeeding belly to belly, with me lying on my side. This made it much easier particularly at night!
“May Allah(swt) bless all muslim mothers who bear these burdens with such grace… Ameen…”