I am proud to say that I breastfed my first two children. Did I have some struggles? Yes, especially with my first son. But in the end, I had such positive experiences breastfeeding I can truly say feeding my babies were some of the greatest moments of my life.
When I found out I was expecting my third child I had no doubt that breastfeeding would be easy this time around. I was excited that I would soon be a breastfeeding mom again. Before too long, I found out that I wasn’t just having a third baby - I was having twins! I love to know as much as I can and so I moved into my typical mode as an information gatherer. Before long, I learned everything I could about nursing twins. As I waited for my new daughters to arrive, I was confident breastfeeding twins would be easy.
Enter reality. Wow! Breastfeeding twins is a whole new ballgame. Two babies means twice as many factors to think about: Are they both latching well? What if they want to eat at different times? Can I make enough milk for two? Although I was created with two breasts, and I know I have the ability to make enough milk for two, three, or even more babies, I was only given two hands. This remains my biggest challenge as my babies gain some weight, get more mature and learn to breastfed.
As I struggle (yes, I admit to this), it makes me ask why mothers (like me) are determined to do something for their children that is downright hard? I am sure some people look at me and think, “Why doesn’t she just formula feed her babies? Others can help. She can get some rest.It will be easier.”
I know that breastfeeding is about the right type of food for my babies. But it is also much more. It is about this delicate process of my babies being held against my breast and learning to trust and attach to me - their mother. No matter how hard this might be right now, I am their mother.
The delightful part of my struggle is that I feel like I have a team at MilkWorks to help me. I am reminded that breastfeeding and parenting often require that we humble ourselves to the situation we are given. As a health care professional, I have helped many mothers breastfeed their babies, yet I, too, had to ask questions and seek support. I recall a story about a woman who came to see a lactation consultant and said, “I am a Rhodes scholar. Why can’t I make breastfeeding work?” Even the smartest, most capable women and their babies have to learn how to breastfeed and may have challenges to overcome.
Lincoln is lucky to have a community breastfeeding center where mothers from all walks of life, without judgment as to “how smart” or “how rich” or “how determined” they are, can find help and support. The staff at MilkWorks care about helping mothers breastfeed their babies. Whether moms need a tiny bit of information and reassurance, or a whole lot of problem solving, the services at MilkWorks are here in our community when a new mom needs them. Because of their wisdom, I feel that I am on the right track with my new, sweet little baby girls.
Libby is a Nurse Practitioner and board certified lactation consultant who a member of MilkWorks Board of Directors. She and her husband, Neill, have 4 children.
Note: If you are a breastfeeding mother of multiples, or expecting multiples, please join other mothers for Twin Talk at MilkWorks on Thursday, June 7th at 10am. It is a time for moms to gather together to learn from each other, share ideas and find support for breastfeeding more than one baby at a time! The group is free and you do not need to register to attend. The group will continue to meet on a regular basis.