As a twin mom I am often asked by pregnant mothers wether I breastfed and if so what were my experiences. Many don’t know, but this is a subject I am VERY passionate about, so here is my story:
Before I got pregnant I had some serious misconceptions about breastfeeding, I thought it would hurt, that I may not be able to do it that I would have to change what I ate etc. I really WANTED to do it but I had heard a million horror stories. When I found out I was pregnant with twins I thought any hope I had of breastfeeding went totally out the window.
I had an unexpected C-section, and the nurses asked me if I wanted to breastfeed. I asked if I even could they said “well of course”. The first day I struggled. I could only get one child to latch on, I began to cry thinking that my children were going to starve. The nurse calmly explained that when children are first born sometimes they won’t eat, their tummies are still full of amniotic fluid so they aren’t really hungry. She also said they had an LC (lactation consultant) who would stop by and see me in the morning.
The next morning the most cheerful woman in the world greated me. (You know the kind, so cheerful you can’t get mad at them lol). She asked me how I was doing and immediately I broke down crying. “I want to breastfeed but I’m having twins they won’t eat they don’t like my milk, it hurt and on top of it all I love all kinds of food ill have to give it all up!” She LAUGHED! Here’s how she addressed each issue:
“I’m having twins”: mothers have been breastfeeding twins for AGES, how do you think twins survived before formula?
“They won’t eat”: when a baby is first born they aren’t hungry. They are full of amniotic fluid, plus their tummies are the size of marbels. This is the perfect time to learn because they aren’t starving.
“It hurt”: it only hurts if you do it wrong. Take the baby off the breast and try again
“I will have to give up my favorite foods”: do you think women who live in India start eating a bland diet because they are breastfeeding? Eat a myriad of things! It will keep you child from being as picky later!
My LC came in every day for the four days (one of those days she was even scheduled to be off) I was there. At the end of the fourth day I was a pro! I was able to feed both kids at the same time, I wasn’t in awful pain, I was so wxcited and it was the BEST thing ever! Here is some advice I will give you that maybe you won’t get from your LC.
1. FIND AN LC! Many hospitals employ at least one LC. Nurses and doctors are there to deliver your child, keep you both healthy and boot you out the door. In the meantime you need to latch on to the LC. Get her help. If I didn’t have one believe me I would have never made it (they also take your insurance usually so don’t worry) absorb all the info you can while you can! I felt like less of a woman because I had to ask for help for something that is supposedly natural. My mother told me everyone gets help. What about Eve you may be thinking. Well she got to talk directly to God and hear his voice and she could make clothes out of leaves, so unless you have those things on your side ASK for help.
2. Pump WHILE you are in the hospital. My hosptial had a pump that was industrial. It was so comfortable, AND they give you the containers free! YES I SAID IT FREE! I was so tired, and kept thinking “ill do it while I’m on mayernity leave” and would pump MAYBE 8 oz a day in the hospital. The problem is, when you get home, your whole life starts back up and it’s actually harder to find time.
3. Drink water like it’s made of gold. Water keeps your milk supply up. I HATE water. It has no taste it’s crazy. I bought bottled water and drank it ICE Cold! Every time id nurse my husband would run to the kitchen and bring me a bottle. Totally worth it!
4. Relax. I don’t care how full you are, if you aren’t relaxed your milk will not come down. Before you have the baby get a pile of movies, recoded TV shows music etc. Have those in a handy spot so when you nurse you can focus on something else you enjoy and RELAX. If you have been given pain pills take them. I refused to take mine the first two days because I was sure it would hurt my babies but the LC told me the amount of meds that go to the baby is very minimal and when you are in pain your child can sense it.
5. Buy a good pump. My personal favorite is Medela. I have this brand it pumps like your baby feeds, short and fast then long and slow. Also I ended up needing more lids and membranes, I called the company and they sent them free (they also sent me free tubing no questions asked!) I know it is expensive but it is well worth it!
6. Make yourself a breastfeeding basket. I had the lanolin, gel pads, bottles to pump in, breast pads etc. All in one basket. It actually made me feel special because my husband would run out to refill anything I needed and it was somthing only I could use. (Yeah don’t judge you’ll hang on to the little things too when they are born :-))
7. For twin mothers only: give up the idea of nursing in a rocking chair and never by the “my breast friend” twin nursing pillow. First of all you need to nurse both kids at the same time to keep them on a schedule. You are a twin mom make your life easy put them on a schedule! That said; you can’t nurse twins in a rocking chair without a lot of unnesseary work. Sit up on your bed! The nursing pillow is expensive and way too hard and forces them to lay flat which makes feeding very hard for them so save your money
8. DON’T GIVE UP! The rule for breastfeeding is give it two weeks. If after two weeks you HATE it then let it go, but two weeks really gives you tiome to get accustomed as well as gives them time
9. NO FALSE NIPPLES! I should have said this first but I almost forgot. Don’t give your child pacifires or bottles. Freeze any milk you pump. Bottles give them an easy way to get milk. They know that is easier and if you try to do both they will reject your breast because bottle feeding is much easier. Pacifires have a different shape which will make it harder because they suck it differently
Ok if you are a mother who breastfed and have good advice PLEASE comment on this post. Encouragement goes out to new moms trying to breastfeed! GOOD FOR YOU!