I jumped into the deep end of breastfeeding twins without thinking, now here are a few things I want to mention now while I remember them. My “three under three years old” toddler & twin-mama brain cannot remember a whole lot anymore. I think having multiples has multiplied the effects of “momnesia” exponentially!
Something no one told me, which I quickly figured out, was just how much of a commitment breastfeeding is. My lactation consultant often asks what is it about moms who stick with it and moms who do not. I cannot put my finger on it, but I know I would give my life for my children, so why wouldn’t I give them the very best food out there – my milk? It’s the least I could do. It’s a decision I made and a commitment I really want to keep. I decided to give my babies my milk and I am willing to do anything to make it happen regardless of how hard or complicated it may get. If I hit a bump in the road, I remind myself of the reasons I wanted to nurse and I seek outside help and support. Getting support from my girlfriends and an IBCLC has made all the difference for me. Whatever a new mama’s decision is, even a little bit of milk offers benefits and protection to their little bundle of joy. It’s hard being a new mama, whatever you decide to do is what you feel is right for you. Happy mama = happy baby.
Breastfeeding is a complete lifestyle change. People talk about having the baby adapt to you and your schedule, but I think it’s more of a compromise where the baby gets a little more in the deal. We don’t have kids to continue living the childless life, which you well know. Sleep for example, every time we tried to push the limit – we have paid for it on the back-end. This has happened many times. If Esther doesn’t get her sleep or we have to wake her up from a nap (usually for a doctor’s appt., which is really the only time we’ve been forced to get her up and going), she’s cranky the rest of the day and we suffer. It’s not fun for anyone.
One of the things I didn’t anticipate with breastfeeding was the clothing restriction. With Esther, I didn’t wear a dress for about a year because I needed easy access to boobs to nurse or pump. In reality, I love a v-neck dress and I can make it work. I’m sure there are nursing dresses, but I just stick with shirts for the most part.
If you’re not feeding the baby, you’re pumping… my life revolves around my boobs filling up with milk and figuring out how I am going to get the milk out. This is my #1 priority over anything else right now. I have a lot going on from figuring out meals for the week, let alone dinner for the night, taking care of my toddler, working full-time, and managing life in general. Truthfully, my mind is always thinking about the milky-state of boobs. Obviously, I am OK with this because the benefits are so wonderful, but it would have been nice if someone told me this beforehand. So I want to share this with you. Breastfeeding is a serious lifestyle change and it’s not always easy.
Here is a small piece of advice, but worth a lot to a super sleep-deprived mama. Get multiple nursing pillows if you plan to nurse in more than one room in your house. I breastfeed everywhere, and I learned my lesson after having my singleton. I suggest getting at least one pillow for downstairs and one pillow for upstairs. Schlepping the Boppy up and down the stairs was not an option when I have my arms literally full of babies (twins pose interesting logistical challenges). The breastfeeding pillows for twins are huge, bulky and just no joke. I have one stationed in the family room along with a singleton Boppy and second twin nursing pillow in my bedroom. It makes life easier.