Feeding the Child
- Published on Saturday, 02 November 2013 03:35
- Written by babycentre.co.uk
Victoria's story: breastfeeding felt like the natural thing to do
My biggest challenge was to find the time and patience to breastfeed my two little girls. The evenings, when they wanted to feed constantly, were especially hard to cope with.
Starting to breastfeed always takes time, but some weeks were really tough. It helped that my partner supported me 100 per cent. Sometimes he'd take both girls in a twin sling to give me a break, and we both believe strongly in the benefits of breastmilk.
I had backache from feeding both twins at once. I was exhausted from sleepless nights and I had to eat loads to keep my energy levels up. Knowing that mums of one baby face the same time-consuming feeds helps. And so does knowing that it does get easier.
Tamsin had tongue-tie, which affects some babies' ability to breastfeed. I live in Germany where helping mums to breastfeed is a priority, and Tamsin's tongue was snipped on day one.
I suffered from sore nipples. Sorting out a correct latch-on technique and using lanolin ointment has helped. I also had two bouts of mastitis. But I have two older children who I breastfed, so I knew how to breastfeed and what to do when problems occurred.
I always expected to breastfeed, as it seemed the natural thing to do. I believe that breastmilk is the best food for babies. I breastfed my two older children until they weaned themselves. I wanted to do the same with my twins.
My husband has allergies, asthma and diabetes. So it is particularly important to us to give our children the best possible start in life. Breastfeeding is practical, as I always have the right amount of milk at the right temperature with me. And it is a lot cheaper than formula feeding!
My husband has been a fantastic help. Breastfeeding our daughters is my job. Everything I do above and beyond that is a bonus. My midwife was fantastic and once looked after a mum of triplets who breastfed exclusively for six months!
I found it helpful to set the target of breastfeeding for three months. The second and third months were the most difficult. Some days I felt like all I did was breastfeed. Actually, lots of days felt like that!
My tips for mums of twins who want to breastfeed are:
- Have people who support you around you. A good midwife, an encouraging partner and breastfeeding friends make all the difference.
- Be prepared for challenges, whether it's too little milk, how often you have to feed, or producing too much milk. Don't be discouraged and call someone for support when you feel the need.
- Join the BabyCentre community. You'll find support from mums who are going through what you're going through just when you need it.
- Relax and believe in yourself. You really can breastfeed twins. Getting started is no more difficult than breastfeeding one child.
- Be prepared to breastfeed often. All babies go through stages when they need to feed more. This encourages more milk production and after a couple of days things go back to normal.
- Make sure you and your babies are taught to latch on properly.
- Practise different feeding positions. Try feeding both twins together (tandem-feeding) in the first few days before your milk comes in. It's easier at the beginning before your breasts get really full with milk.
- If you are tired from feeding your twins all evening (cluster-feeding), sit down with a good book or film and a nice cup of tea while you feed them!
- Express in the mornings when you have plenty of milk and patience. Then use the expressed milk for top-up bottles to give you a break in the late evening.