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PERSONAL BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY

Posted on October 9, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following is reprinted, with permission, from the amazing twin Momma, Sara Pomeroy.  Momma Sara is brave, honest, caring, loving, doesn’t hold back and shares from the bottom of her heart.  I hope you get as much out of Momma Sara’s story as so many other Twin and Triplet Mommas have.  Blessings.

I want to post this in hopes it will help someone, or maybe help me find some support…

I had it all planned from the time that test was positive: water birth at the local birth center, breastfeeding until forever, you know- the total crunchy mom package. It was what I had dreamt of as long as I had dreamt of having kids. I had a glorious pregnancy. It was my first. We were having twins!! And then things started to go against my “plans”.

My b/g twins were born at 34w6d by emergency cesarean due to preeclampsia. Thank goodness they were healthy! (They just turned one.) But, from the start it was a constant and never-ending struggle for me to breastfeed them at all, forget ebf [exclusively breast feed]. From hours after they were born I was already feeling pressure to use formula from family and nursing staff. One RN in the nursery even bottle-fed my son against my wishes. I nearly hit her. We went through lip and tongue-tether revisions and exercises, multiple meetings with different IBCLCs and groups, many well-meaning moms on Facebook and in person, and endless reading and research during those sleepless days and nights. My son lost 10% and my daughter a whopping 17% of their already low preemie birth weights in the span of four days, and we had no choice but to supplement or not be able to leave the hospital with them.

I ate anything toted as having powers to boost milk production and swallowed capsule after capsule of herbs. I drank nearly enough water to drown myself. I watched my weight balloon from taking loads of domperidone. I did all of this with little output increase. I watched my mother and husband struggle with what to say to me to support me in my efforts. I silently screamed and cursed the braggarts who told me stories of “geez that’s too bad, I had enough milk to feed the neighborhood with mine”, even when I asked them nicely to not tell me that because I was struggling.

I am an ER RN and had to go back to work after twelve weeks. I spent thirteen-hour days caring for others while I pumped meager amounts of milk in a tiny room at the back of the building. I almost got fired for insisting on having breaks to pump. I cried when I spilled the two ounces I had pumped after fighting for a break one day [and] while taking my pump off. It was like being punched in the gut. I would come home from work and place my sad little bottles in the fridge and enter into another night of broken sleep.

I smiled for photos and out with my friends. But I hid and sobbed while locked in the bathroom at work or shower at home so no one would see my defeat.

I quit my job after six months and devoted myself to making it work. It didn’t.

I told myself that it was ok to supplement with formula but it made me feel horrible inside. “A fed baby is a happy baby” was a mantra I repeated hourly. I started to wonder why I put this pressure on myself. Why did it seem that everywhere I turned for advice, all I came away with was more pressure? Did the moms who “humble bragged” in the forums with their photos of freezer stashes and 9oz bottles from one session know how much it hurt the rest of us who were struggling daily to feed their babies that golden goodness? Were people really being well-meaning when they told me it would get better? Or did they just not know what else to say?

Well, my babies turned one a couple weeks ago. They self-weaned completely around the same time. Even though they only ever seemed to get a snack at Chez Mom, it was important and special time for us and it shattered my heart when they were done.

But then it happened. It FINALLY happened. I was telling a close girlfriend about them weaning themselves and how it hurt and she said the simplest thing and it was the best thing I had heard in a long time. She said: “You did your job, mama, and that is a wonderful thing!” I felt better. Instantly.

So, what I’m trying to tell you… what all this long-winded rambling is about… is this:

Mamas, you’re doing great! Everything you do for your babies is amazing. Everything you’re doing is good enough. Changing up the plan is OK. Nobody (at least not me, and definitely not those babies) will ever fault or judge you for having to modify your perfectly plotted plan of attack for being the best mom ever. I promise. (If they do, tell them where to go. Use small words because they probably won’t understand big ones.) If you can’t ebf your babies, I promise that some is enough. If you cannot bf at all, I promise that formula is more than “good enough”. PLEASE don’t beat yourself up. PLEASE don’t feel bad. But most of all, PLEASE don’t keep it all inside like I did. ✌🏻💜

 

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WHEN TODDLERS CRY AS YOU LEAVE THEM AT DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL

Posted on October 6, 2017. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sometimes little ones can feel overwhelmed as you leave them at daycare or preschool. No amount of reassurances will make them feel better and your Mommy/Daddy Guilt is off the chart as a result!

A Mom with boy/girl twins experienced this situation, but only with her son, and she called me distraught and laden with guilt at her son’s reaction. She was positive she was injuring him emotionally and he would never recover.

We knew he liked the place, the people, the toys and the songs. His sister was there and he liked that aspect too. So I suggested that she tell him at breakfast that they were going to school, but that she would give a kiss to keep until he needed it during his morning. On arrival at school, and according to our plan, she gave him a large kiss in the palm of his hand and folded his fingers around it. She shared with him again, “If you are feeling you need that kiss at any time, just put Mommy’s kiss on your cheek.”

This worked really well except two days later, the school called (laughing) saying that he would not use that hand until he had used the kiss. He was afraid to drop it. When Mom shared the story with me, we had such a laugh, also appreciating how clever he was to not wish to drop his kiss. So I suggested to Mom to tell him to put the kiss in his pocket until he needed it. Of course she would need to make sure his outfit had pockets. This way, the kiss was secure and safe.

There was no looking back and not only did the Little Fellow enjoy his school, Mom no longer had any feelings of guilt.

Try thinking outside the box when problem solving with your Littles.  Making them a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem, can soon have you all on the road to success.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT……..

Posted on October 5, 2017. Filed under: Making a Difference, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

FOOD FOR THOUGHT……..
 
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm and not join their chaos.”
 
L.R. Knost
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Dads/Partners

Posted on September 26, 2017. Filed under: raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

The most important thing a Father [Partner] can do for his children is to love their Mother.      

      ~Theodore M. Hoseburgh

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SURGERY AND BREASTFEEDING

Posted on September 21, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Some Moms need surgery at a time when they are breastfeeding and it just can’t wait. Neither Mom nor babies are yet ready to stop breastfeeding, so what to do?

Have a frank and honest discussion with your anesthesiologist about what medications you can take and for how long which will not be transmitted to your milk and potentially affect your babies. Women are really only out of commission during the surgery and may have pain medications a day or so while recovering. If you need surgery and wish to keep breastfeeding, do your research, discuss with your doctor and find out what will work for you. Doctors are willing to work with you for a solution, so advocating on your own behalf can give you the results you need and want.

 

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Breastfeeding Rights and Expectations

Posted on September 11, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

http://www.registerednursing.org/right-breastfeed-baby/

While interesting and some information is pertinent because breastfeeding is breastfeeding, they have no mention of breastfeeding twins, triplets and more and it is strictly American data. It would also be nice if there was something on supporting breastfeeding parents with their extended families. A lot of pain and emotion is involved when the family is not on board with the parents’ choice to breastfeed or extended breastfeeding of their babies and toddlers. Families don’t go away and having some hints and tips for handling family would be helpful.

On the other hand: check out my Site at www.jumelle.ca and search “Grandparenting Hints and Tips” as well as “Unwanted Advice on Raising Multiples.” Some supportive and helpful ways to help keep the peace and respect parents’ wishes.

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Baby/Babies fussy when nursing

Posted on August 18, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Sometimes one or more babies can be fussy when put to the breast.  There could be several reasons why:  not really ready to feed even though the length from the last feed is reasonable; feeding position may be causing baby to have gas pain; too much distraction in the room; initially a heavy milk let down which baby is unable to tolerate; to name a few possibilities.

If one or more is latching, then popping off the breast, maybe arching their back, or difficult to settle into a feed on an ongoing basis, there are a couple of things you can try which may help out. Nurse in a quiet room, with a low light and some soothing music or sound machine (birds or running water sounds).  Nurse skin to skin.  Some Moms have success nursing a fussy baby/babies while in the bath.  If you try the latter, you may probably need to have some help nearby to hand you the babies to nurse and then take away for drying and dressing after their feed.

If you wish to know if the babies are transferring enough milk at each feed, you can try a weighted feed.  Weigh each baby before the feed and record their weights (you can easily keep track of the details on the Jumelle the Best Twin and Baby Tracking App available on http://www.jumelle.ca).  Weigh each baby again right after their feed and by comparing the two weights, you can tell if each baby is transferring an appropriate amount. Remember, because they are different children, the amounts won’t necessarily be the exactly same.

If the fussiness continues over several days, or the baby/babies are not transferring enough milk, check things out with their doctor and/or a certified lactation consultant to be sure that there are not any underlying issues which need addressing (e.g. baby frustration due to a tongue/lip tie).

 

 

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Bedtime and Children……

Posted on August 4, 2017. Filed under: Humour and Children, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I thought this was hilarious.  Thank  you Mom In A Mad House.

 

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CHOCOLATE, CAFFEINE & BREASTFEEDING

Posted on July 28, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

A recent series of posts highlighted the fine line between fact and fiction when it comes to breastfeeding. A mother-in-law’s counsel to her daughter-in-law, a new breastfeeding mother, to avoid chocolate and caffeine for its negative effect on baby, led to Internet uproar.  Indeed, mother-in-law was pilloried as a “liar.”

Whatever happened to perspective?

The culprit, if there is one, are similar, naturally occurring substances in coffee and chocolate that have stimulant effects. The cacao tree, Theobroma, contains theobromine while caffeine comes from the bean of the coffee tree. Both are stimulants and can cause irritability, wakefulness and jumpiness in people sensitive to the substances or who consume too much.

The blood – breast milk barrier is thankfully very efficient and for most breastfeeding mothers indulging in some chocolate or coffee causes no issue. Of course, moderation is important. Eat a pound of chocolate or drink eight cups of coffee in a row and baby might be as revved up as mom and, for sure, won’t sleep too well! No need, however, to abstain.

Knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next but that knowledge also needs to be updated. Breastfeeding mothers can take comfort in the effectiveness of the barrier between their body and what passes to the baby through the milk. This is not license, however, to abuse it.

So, enjoy that cup of coffee and no need to pass up the Godiva dark chocolate that goes so well with it!

 

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FLYING WITH INFANT MULTIPLES

Posted on July 27, 2017. Filed under: Flying with Multiples, Quadruplets, Triplets, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

If you are thinking of travelling with your babies, be sure and find out from each airline you are using if you need an adult PER child.  For Air Canada, parents with children under two years of age, parents need to have ONE ADULT PER CHILD FOR EACH FLIGHT TAKEN.  If you have twins and a toddler, triplets or quads, you will also need one adult per child.  When making your flight arrangements, make sure the booking agent hears you correctly, as in say it several times, “We will be travelling with triplet babies.”  As parents we can do the right thing and state our situation, but the receiver is “not of our world” and may only hear “baby.”  You want to make sure that you are not turned away at the boarding gate.  This happened to one of our local families flying Ottawa to Vancouver for Christmas Holidays and they did not make the flight as they were down one adult.

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