A fellow mummy blogger wrote a post last week that compelled me to write this one. Sare from “Getting From Here To There” talked about her decision to breastfeed for as long as possible. She felt that it should be the norm not the exception.
Speaking as a mum of twins, it’s not uncommon to breast feed for a maximum of 8 weeks.
It initially takes a lot of patience, persistence and help.
It’s a trickier business to continue.
It was a mixed blessing that our 5 week premature twins had to stay in the NICU for two weeks. It broke my heart to leave them behind when I was discharged. But, that time gave me the opportunity to enter – as I like to call it – The Special School of Twin Breastfeeding.
Yes, I had icy cold hands constantly touching my once precious puppies. But I will forever grateful to the NICU midwives.
At 35 weeks gestation, babies know how to suck. They know how to swallow. Both as separate functions.
So, babies who are born at this age need to learn how to co-ordinate the two.
To breastfeed successfully, took a concerted effort from mum, babies and outside help. Nothing about it was a breeze.
Australian Breatfeeding Association:
We had their Helpline on speed dial – 1800 686 2 686 (1800 mum 2 mum)
When the boys were two months old, I found myself bowling over with shooting pains in my right breast. I suspected nipple thrush. I feared mastitis.
We called the ABA in the middle of the night for help. For guidance. For some moral support.
Suffering from nipple thrush for almost two months, not only were there regular trips to the GP, we also made dozens of calls to the ABA.
Sometimes I heard what they had to say (“You’re doing a great job…Hang in there !”).
Sometimes I wanted to throw the phone across the room (“I know it hurts, but you have to continue breast feeding !”).
Overall, they were there. Listening. Offering help.
When Hubby went back to work, I was left with the daunting task of figuring out how to feed the boys on my own.
It took a couple of attempts.
At first, I had to feed them seperately. Not only did it become time consuming, I constantly had a baby latched to a breast. I wasn’t far off being a milking cow.
Then, the boys got a little bigger, with better head and neck control.
The feeding routine then went like this:
- Scoop up Twin One from cot and carry with left arm.
- Scoop up Twin Two from cot and carry with right arm.
- Carry both bundles of joy to the lounge room and sit down at one end of the couch.
- While holding Twin One, place Twin Two on a cushion on the right.
(Now for the tricky part)
- With the twin breast feeding pillow at arm’s reach, strap the pillow on with my free hand, while making sure Twin Two didn’t roll off his cushion.
- Place Twin One on the breast feeding pillow, then place Twin Two.
Now tell me that sounds like riding a bike…
My boys were naturally weaned – three weeks shy of their first birthday. Ironically, out of the entire experience, that probably felt the most natural.
Breast feeding in general is no easy feat.
Adding another baby to the boob can change the whole equation.