Sunday, March 05, 2006

You say you exclusively breastfeed your twins? How on earth...

My thoughts my experience breastfeeding twins, prompted by questions I am asked most often:
Yes, I exclusively breastfeed twins. And yes, my body produces enough milk. Yes, you can breastfeed two at once but I rarely do because it's never been easy for me, and my boys eat so quickly that feeding them one at a time isn't that time-consuming anyway.
It actually hasn't been that difficult for me, I haven't really struggled too hard with it. Yes, I am truly blessed and lucky on that front. While it is a huge imposition sometimes to have to feed two babies from my own body, it's the choice I made, and I know I need to deal with it even when I get weary.
No, I'm not a La Leche League leader or a spokesperson on feeding twins or feeding NICU babies or a breastfeeding activist.
Is breast really best? I don't know. I was a formula fed baby, and frankly, not having been very sickly as a child, I don't think formula is evil at all. I breastfeed because I love to do it and because it's cheap.
No, not all hospitals are discourage breastfeeding. Mine encouraged it. There were always lactation consultants buzzing around, both on the main floor and down in the NICU. And the nurses in the NICU were always trying to get new moms to choose breastfeeding over formula. If I had wanted to formula feed, I probably would have been pissed off by the pressure put on me to breastfeed.
Yes, I have had a lactation consultant visit me, mostly for advice on latching at 3 months (they began to favor the tip of the nipple- ouch!) and better nutrition (I was feeling dizzy off and on during the day). Things really got even better after following the consultant's advice. I found that my supply boosted after I started eating a big breakfast that included protein.
Yes, I do use a pump and give about one bottle a day, mostly so that they don't have to take their iron supplement straight. Yucky!
All in all, breastfeeding has been the thing that I have felt I can do WELL, after not conceiving well and not doing pregnancy well and my kids not being well. So it is less an, "I'm so proud of myself for breastfeeding twins," and more a "Thank GOD something has finally worked" type of thing.


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