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Keywords

Breastfeeding, Fertility, Lactation, Milk production

 

Authors

  1. O'rourke, Molly Patricia BS, BSN, RN
  2. Spatz, Diane Lynn PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Abstract

Background: Choosing to breastfeed is a decision with far-reaching benefits; strengthened immune systems, all-encompassing nutrition, and fostering healthy attachment. For these and other reasons, some mothers are reluctant to wean their child due to a subsequent pregnancy. Mothers may breastfeed throughout their second pregnancy, give birth to their second child, and simultaneously breastfeed two children. This practice is known as tandem breastfeeding.

 

Purpose: We explore the biological and emotional considerations of tandem breastfeeding and offer practical suggestions for nurses.

 

Methods: Three mothers who engaged in tandem breastfeeding were identified and interviewed. Interviews were face-to-face or over the phone. One researcher conducted all interviews using the same questions that served as the foundation and guidance for the discussion-based interview. The interviews lasted 40 to 60 minutes and were audio recorded to minimize recall issues during data analysis.

 

Results: Three mothers shared their tandem breastfeeding journeys, challenges faced, and overall perspectives. This was an opportunity for mothers to share feedback on how nurses provided education and care as well as suggestions for nursing care of future mothers who choose to tandem breastfeeding.

 

Clinical Implications: Through research and case-series interviews, we developed implications for nursing practice. Nurses must be informed and supportive of mothers' decisions to tandem breastfeed.