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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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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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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One Breast Under Performs….

Posted on June 29, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Jumelle Twin Tracking App, raising multiples | Tags: , , , , , |

Most women would be surprised to learn that it is very common to have one breast that is more productive in making milk than the other.  The differences in supply can range from minimal to quite dramatic.   This is normal and there is nothing “wrong” with you or your breasts.  LOL

If this is you, here are a couple of ideas to help increase supply in the lower producing breast:

  1.  It is not unusual to have one multiple who is a better, deeper sucker than his/her sibling(s).  Put your stronger sucker on the lower producing breast in order to cue it to produce more milk.
  2. Pump the lower producing breast after a nursing session thereby stimulating it to make more milk.

What have you done to increase supply in your lower producing breast?

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Mastitis and Blocked Ducts

Posted on June 23, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, simultaneous breast feeding | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The following is general information only.  If you have any questions about any aspect of your health, please consult your physician.

Mastitis and/or Blocked Ducts are obstacles many, but not all, nursing women face once, or maybe several times, while nursing.  Both are caused by babies or pumping not completely draining the breast(s). Here are some ideas on how to handle them.

Mastitis

Is a bacterial infection of the breast that can occur in breastfeeding mothers. It is different from a blocked duct, which has similar symptoms. A blocked duct feels painful, is swollen, red and a mass can usually be felt within the breast. Mastitis has these same symptoms with the addition of fever and greater pain. It is easy to get the two mixed up. The added sign of a fever is the key that it is mastitis. It is important to see a physician if you have fever, breast pain (in one or both breasts) and redness for more than 24 hours, as antibiotics will need to be prescribed. Once antibiotics are prescribed improvement will be noticed within 2-5 days. Continue your course of antibiotics until they are finished or there is a chance the mastitis will return.

You can and should continue to breastfeed.  There is no need to pump and dump. Mastitis does not harm the babies and continuing to breastfeed will speed up the healing process. If you cannot put babies to breast because it is too painful, try pumping as best you can and bottle feed the milk to the babies. This will also help keep your supply up.

Blocked Ducts

These (there may be one or more) can also be very painful, skin becomes “hot” and a lump(s) can be felt when massaging the breast. For treatment of these, hard, deep massage at the point of the clog while baby is breastfeeding can be used. It is painful but the only way to pass the clog is through massage to move it along, and then baby nursing will clear the duct. The released clog will not hurt the baby. There is no need to pump and dump with blocked ducts either.

Some ways to relieve swelling for both Mastitis and Blocked Ducts:

-Heat applied to the affected areas helps healing;                                                                          -Massage in a hot shower;                                                                                                                    -Rest helps with infection;                                                                                                                    -Fever helps fight off infection;                                                                                                          -Medication (aspirin, ibuprofen) for pain can be helpful; and                                                   -Two external ways to help with swelling and hotness, 1) thinly sliced raw potatoes in the bra, and 2) cold cabbage leaves directly from the fridge in the bra helps sooth. Believe it, they work!!

 

 

 

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Should I continue Breastfeeding when I have a cold?

Posted on June 10, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Absolutely!  Breast milk is an amazing liquid and it regularly adjusts itself to you and your babies’ needs.  Further, if one of the babies is sick, do you assign only one breast to that baby or continue to switch them back and forth?  Continue nursing as you normally would.  Rotating babies on both breasts won’t hurt/affect the one who is currently not ill. Your breast milk continues to adjust and provide antibodies which are beneficial to yourself and each of your babies, whether they are sick or not.

For more of the amazing benefits of Mother’s Milk, check out this TED Talk:

What We Don’t Know About Mother’s Milk

Sent from TED app for IOS                                                                                                                   https://itunes.com/apps/tedconferences/ted

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Gestational length of twins

Posted on May 4, 2017. Filed under: Multiple Birth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Some of the amazing Mommas on La Leche League’s Twin and Triplet Breastfeeding Facebook page in the U.S. were asking about how long some of the other reader’s had carried their babies.  Here are some of the replies:

35 weeks, 2 days                                                                                                                                   38 weeks, 1 day                                                                                                                                     35 weeks, 5 days                                                                                                                                   38 weeks                                                                                                                                                 37 weeks, 6 days                                                                                                                                   39 weeks, 5 days                                                                                                                                     36 weeks, 6 days                                                                                                                                   37 weeks, 1 day                                                                                                                                     35 weeks                                                                                                                                                   39 weeks, 2 days                                                                                                                                 My own was 40 weeks, 1 day:  Spontaneous labour of 5 and 3/5 hours to the birth of the second twin.  18 minutes apart and no stretch marks, but belly muscles were shot. I needed a tummy tuck.  My singleton children were an 8 hour and 22-hour labours.  Go figure!  LOL   All worth it.

 

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One Breast is More Productive than the Other

Posted on March 26, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

If at any point you are worried about any aspect of your nursing situation, check things out with a CERTIFIED lactation consultant.  

It is common for women to have one breast which is more productive than the other. There is nothing at all wrong with you if this is the case for you.  The differences in production came be slight to quite dramatic.  There are some strategies for handling the difference.

~one baby can be a better sucker than his sibling(s).  Put this baby on the lower producing breast at a feed so that he can remove as much of the available milk as possible from this breast.  Baby B can go on the other and no doubt take advantage of the simultaneous let down.  Baby A can be transferred to the better producing breast for the rest of the feed when his brother is finished, should he still need to nurse.

~when pumping, use a hospital-grade strength pump.  These, with a stronger motor, are usually not for sale but can often be rented/borrowed from a hospital.  Use the hospital-grade pump for pumping both breasts.

~continue to nurse the babies and/or pump at regular intervals, including through the night as if feeding a baby, keep your fluid levels up and stress levels as lows as possible.  All three of these affect production.

 

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WRONG!! – YOU CAN’T GET PREGNANT WHILE BREASTFEEDING – JUST WRONG!!

Posted on March 20, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Some folks are under the impression that a woman cannot get pregnant as long as she is breastfeeding. This is an Old Wives’ Tale. You sure can get pregnant while breastfeeding. Look to other means of birth control should you not wish to get pregnant.

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