Well this story has two part!
The first part is the first time I met Natalie when she came in with her Daughter for breastfeeding mini-shoot.
I absolutely adore these images and the connection these two have.
Natalie back in 2019:
"21 months of feeding my darling baby girl. Out of all the things I have done in life and aside from bringing my baby girl into this world, this is what I’m most proud of. I have physically grown & nurtured this girl of mine since conception, which I find just amazing. I always planned on breastfeeding - researching, reading and even going on a breastfeeding "class" during pregnancy to prepare and ensure my choices and any decisions made were fully informed. Despite this I was not prepared for such a difficult start beginning with an emergency c-section under general anesthetic followed by a severe drug
reaction several days later which left my whole body (including breasts & incision) looking and feeling like I had been burned from head to toe with boiling water. The pain alongside recovery, exhaustion and looking after a tiny newborn while trying to establish breastfeeding is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. Natural does not always mean easy.
This journey so far has taught me so much. I have learnt how amazing & fascinating our bodies are and what a miracle life truly is. I have discovered how resilient, determined, (some may say stubborn) and passionate I can be.
I have loved watching my tiny newborn grow at my breast into this gorgeous little toddler and have some beautiful moments and memories to last forever.
Natalie came back with her second child, her son, and to my adoration she is still feeding her daughter.
From personal experience I can tell you that breastfeeding through pregnancy is very hard! I couldn't do it myself so I absolutely admire women who do!
I was super excited to see Natalie and her little girl again, and meet her sweet baby boy! What a goddess she is!
Tandem breastfeeding is so special and not easy. Here is Natalie's story, continues:
"So tandem feeding is the hardest but most beautiful thing I’ve done. I’ve come to realise breastfeeding is no longer just about my relationship and bond with my babies but also their relationship together as siblings and watching their bond grow. I feel that tandem feeding has really helped my daughter adjust to being a big sister too. She is so sweet telling me baby needs booby if he’s upset and trying to help him latch when he was smaller. During pregnancy she assigned her least favourite boob to baby and has remained quite consistent with this! I feel it also helped her bond with the new baby when pregnant as she used to feed and put her hand on my belly to feel the baby kicking and moving 🥰
When my new baby arrived my daughter became like a newborn again - feeding all the time and it was too much. I was exhausted. With support of "La leche league Manchester" I’ve put firm boundaries in place and now she feeds on an evening during story time & in a morning when she wakes up. She will be 4 in April and my hope is she will naturally self wean 🤞🏻"
I love the mama milk map in this image.