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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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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I feel sad about breast feeding…..

Posted on May 1, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Let me clarify.  I feel sad because some women seem to need to loudly, strongly, rightly and aggressively defend their desire to breastfeed until forever, or nurse in public for that matter.  My sadness comes from the”aggressively” part.  I think women and their children have a right to breast feed as long as it works for them without judgement, harassment or any negativity whatsoever.  I believe a nursing woman has the right to breast feed whenever and wherever she or her baby or babies need, as long as the location is safe for all.  Preferably not while a climbing a cliff, as an example.  LOL Adults eat in public, why shouldn’t babies and infants have the same rights and expectations?

I like to think that I am a bridge builder and a teacher.  My problem is when a woman begins to fight and declare her, and her child’s rights, even before there is a battle to be fought.  That attitude is not a teaching one nor a bridge-building one and, in fact, most encounters will end up with no winners.  If you go looking for trouble, trust me, you will find it.

I would suggest waiting until each and every obstacle presents itself and gently stopping the person and asking them to come on board and be a part of a solution and not a part of a problem.  Start with family and friends and explain, each and every time, that this is what your family has chosen and you would love them to be positive throughout this journey.  Stopping negativity in a loving, caring, teaching way is the goal.  There will always be someone who objects, shouts, judges, declares, and lots of other things, but we don’t have to play that game.  We do not have to roar, respond, justify, give tit or tat (pardon the pun).  As Michelle Obama says “When they go low, we go high.”  When one walks with a Big Stick, one risks tripping over it.

It saddens me that women angrily anticipate negativity about nursing in public or the age their children should be weaned at.  It isn’t any one else’s business but that particular family’s and whatever that family chooses in regards to breastfeeding won’t change what you have for supper, so don’t fight BEFORE there is a fight.  Do what women do best:  Teach, show patience, tolerance, love, smile, be firm and gentle.  All of this goes along with, IMO, tons of strength.

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Can I mix bottles of breastmilk?

Posted on April 16, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Breastmilk can be mixed together from two different pumpings, as long as the milk is the same temperature.  So, if you have some bottled milk stored in the fridge and wish to add a new batch, wait until the new batch has been cooled in the fridge then mix the two batches together.  The new, warmer milk should not be mixed with the colder stored milk.

You will notice that breastmilk will separate into two layers.  The fatter part of the breastmilk has risen to the top the same as when we have whole cow’s milk and the cream rises to the top.  A quick shake before using mixes it all together again.

 

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Driving While Pumping = Distracted Driving

Posted on March 27, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Apparently some breastfeeding Moms are trying to save some time and pumping on their way to work.  I checked with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Department and was told that this is distracted driving and the fine would be $400.00 if a woman was stopped and found to be pumping as well as driving.

Please reconsider this practice and keep safe while also ensuring those around you remain safe too.

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Pumping While Driving = Distracted Driving

Posted on March 27, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Apparently some breastfeeding Moms are trying to save some time and pumping on their way to work.  I checked with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Department and was told that this is distracted driving and the fine would be $400.00 if a woman was stopped and found to be pumping as well as driving.

Please reconsider this practice and keep safe while also ensuring those around you remain safe too.

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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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QUICK BREASTFEEDING TIPS

Posted on March 7, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR BABIES’ FEEDING HABITS, CHECK IT OUT WITH A CERTIFIED LACTATION CONSULTANT OR YOUR DOCTOR

New infants often fall asleep at the breast before their tummies are full. They need to be woken and encouraged to drink further or you will be back at nursing within a half hour or so.

The lactating breast is never “empty.” It is just “less full.” If you pump after nursing, getting 1/4 to 1/2 ounce is good and it all adds up over time.

It is not unusual to have a good sucker and a fussier sucker. Put the good sucker on first when simultaneously feeding and then spend more time adjusting the fussier baby.

Breastfeeding automatically makes Mom thirsty. Make sure you have a cold drink beside you prior to beginning. Hot drinks can be easily knocked over. Don’t take the risk.

Babies suck about 10-12 minutes and then they are full. Nursing for 15 minutes or longer, well, they aren’t really sucking that whole time but more likely enjoying the position, warmth and Mom’s loving arms.

Nursing babies are full when they begin to relax at the breast. A clenched hand may open and gently rest on the breast, face relaxes, mouth opens and baby falls off.

Healthy, nursing babies generally have one dirty diaper plus 5 or 6 very wet ones in 24 hours. That is how you know they are getting enough nourishment.

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Jumelle Twin, Triplet and More Baby Tracking App is Updated!!

Posted on March 5, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

JUMELLE  TWIN, TRIPLET AND BABY TRACKING APP HAS BEEN UPDATED

Updated and Refreshed.    Easily keep track of which baby did what, when and for how long. Take a picture of each baby, upload it, fill in each babies’ birth date, add details you wish and keep track of what is happening. Especially important should one of the babies is on medication(s) and there are several caretakers (other parent, grandparents, day care, baby sitter). Hints and Tips re breastfeeding and getting through the first six weeks. Available from the App Store and from my Web Site at www.jumelle.ca

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