Breastfeeding is something I was always desperate to achieve. When you feel like you have had zero control over getting pregnant and then had a higher risk pregnancy- all you want to do is something that is completely natural. I had previously breastfed my son until 6 months but it had to come to an abrupt end as I needed to start fertility treatment again. I say needed, it was my choice as I wanted a close age gap and I was scared about it taking a long time the next time. Looking back I think I was crazy starting so soon but at the time it felt right.
The start of our journey was far from smooth. The first 24 hours were amazing. We were left to it and all was well. They both latched, I gave them my banked colostrum and we were away. SO proud. Then things went downhill with Xanthe’s low sugar and Paloma on the UV bed. However, this is an entirely separate post.
People always loved the idea of throwing formula at you. Ah, but lovely you have twins, no one will care if you give them a bit of formula etc. Now to be clear I have nothing against formula but I didn’t want to give my babies formula so if I am crying, almost screaming about it. Why am I being pushed the notion that formula is the easier route when it isn’t. Sure, at the time it is, at the time it is definitely, the easiest. You are a crying, hormonal, wanting to kill everyone in sight wreck. BUT, it is not the answer for the long term. If you have breast milk, if you want to boob, if you feel like this is something you want to do then you have to push through, you have to do all you can in your emotional power to push on.
These hazy days of a love bubble- they are not the reality all the time. You are a milk covered, norks like boulders, tits like bullets, puke covered, emotional wreck at times. But, what is important to note is that this is OK. This is perfectly normal and that eventually it ends, that there is light at the end of that long night-time tunnel. That everyday is a new day and everyday gets gradually easier. But, I personally do not think it is made clear enough to new mothers that it is tough at times and sometimes the whole time but that in order to make your life easier in the long run, you may have to push on through the difficult days. I think also, there are a lot of myths that need constantly busting around breastfeeding.
Things that helped me successfully feed two babies:
1. Feeding around the clock. I had a babe on the boob nearly the whole time. I knew this wouldn’t last and I knew this is what they needed. They need it for comfort, for skin to skin, for my milk supply and for their nutrition.
2. Letting them sleep on the boob and letting them wake for the next “let down” knowing that if they fell asleep once, twice, three times and just fed as and when that this was OK. I would put on Netflix for Arlo, get all the toys, snacks and know that having two feeding and sleeping on me was OK.
3. In the evenings, my husband put Arlo to bed and I fed the girls, Tandem feeding using cushions on the sofa worked for me the best- no breastfeeding cushion worked. I would have a babe on each boob and then they would be milk drunk to sleep next to me while I watched TV ready to go to bed and as I called it every night “into battle.”
4. At night we had the boob train. All aboard…well all aboard or wait your turn to board. Tandem at night wasn’t my thing. I laydown and fed them while my husband held the other and we alternated until we could get some sleep.
5. I ate everything in sight and meals- we kept simple.
6. We have no village and that is OK- it is still very doable if you work together.
7. As the months progressed I followed the needs of the girls- so they still feed whenever and wherever. Now, they feed four times a day maximum with big feeds morning and night. Morning we take it in turns and feed lying down for a clam big feed. Night times a long tandem feed. In the day a quick snack feed really.
8. Xanthe sleeps through and Paloma still wakes to feed maybe 3 sometimes 4 times a night but sometimes only once or twice. This is completely normal of course and we all know this time will pass again.
9. I express at work. So I use a manual on one boob and a silicone pump on the other and it works brilliantly.
10. 10 months on…how long will it continue. Well for me personally, I plan to keep feeding for as long as possible. i would like to think we will be continuing past their 2nd birthday but for now, as always, I follow the babies’ leads because that is the true path to a successful feeding journey. Lots of LoveNaomi xPin it for later