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Saturday, January 20, 2007At least some of you just read that title and thought to yourself "no, it's tandem NURSING." Ha! Yourself would be wrong. It's tandem FEEDING.
At least it is in my house.
I've mentioned a few times in past posts that Elnora is on breast milk again, though I haven't really given an explanation. I wanted to experiment a bit before I wrote about it here, but today seems as good a day as any.
As you know, I have enough milk to feed a daycare center. Granted, I'm too lazy...err...busy these days to pump it all out, but I've got the supply. Back when I was pumping for a friend's baby I got in the habit of pumping every morning. (I usually get up before Emmitt, so the timing is good.) I can get about 10-13 ounces in about 15 minutes. Once my friend didn't need milk anymore, I had started freezing it for the milk bank.
Then I got to thinking. As you know, Elnora is VERY thin. She's in about the 2nd percentile and only climbed back onto the charts within the past few months. She's perfectly healthy, but I always worry about what might happen if she'd catch a bad stomach bug. It happened once before and we had to take her to the children's ER and put her on IV hydration. Her little body just has no reserves to pull her through a bad bug.
I know that the milk bank sometimes sends milk out to toddlers, older children and even adults that have severe weight issues. For some reason, breast milk seems to stimulate weight gain. I mentioned that to Greg and he pointed out that while she's always been small, she never got "skinny" until after I stopped pumping.
So I wondered...how weird would it be to put her back on breast milk? After all, lots of two year olds are still nursing. It certainly couldn't HURT her and there was a good chance that it would help her. There was a momentary "yuck" factor in my brain (after all, she's been on cow's milk for a year) before I snapped to my senses and got over it.
The next morning, that 10 ounces went into her Nuby cup. I put it in the fridge for a few hours so that it was cold, then swished it around and gave it to her.
She took a drink. Paused, looked at me with a quizzical look on her face ("Mom, this tastes different") and then proceeded to CHUG all 10 ounces. I could just hear Cousin Eddie's voice in her head going "it is gooooooooooood."
So for the past three weeks, Elnora has gotten 8-10 ounces of milk about 5 days a week and the milk bank has gotten about 5 ounces of milk each day.
Now here's where it gets interesting. On the days that she starts off with breast milk...she eats like a HORSE. It's uncanny. The first few times I thought it was coincidence, but it's the absolute truth. On a cow's milk day, she eats hardly anything, just like she did before, on a breast milk day, she eats everything in site. For example...
On a cow's milk day, she might eat this...
10 ounces of cow's milk
6 ounces of juice
6 ounces of water
a quarter of a waffle or an 1/8 cup of organic honey nut o's
half a banana or one clementine
a half a slice of bread with butter
5 or 6 green beans
a handful of goldfish crackers
On a breast milk day, she might eat this...
10 ounces of breast milk
6 ounces of juice
6 ounces of water
a whole banana
1/4 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup organic honey nut o's
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 CAN of canned pasta (or on one day, 3/4 of a personal pan pizza)
whole slice buttered bread
1/3 cup corn or broccoli
1/2 cup goldfish crackers
No joke, I'd estimate she takes in two to three times the amount of calories on the days that she has breast milk. I don't know if it triggers something in her digestive system or what the deal is, but it sure seems to be working. I told Greg that we'd weigh her in a month or so and see if she's gained some weight. In reality, as long as I'm nursing Emmitt, it's not a problem to pump and give her some expressed milk. I suppose she can have it for the next year or so if she wants. We'll just see how it goes.
So my question is...am I nuts? Has anyone else tried this? Again, I know lots of people tandem nurse, but does anyone know of a child who was weaned and then put back on breast milk a year later? Do you let your older children have expressed milk if they've weaned? Just curious to hear your thoughts on the subject.