My original plan had been to nurse each twin separately and then to learn to nurse them together. I had heard other twin moms say that this was very helpful to them. I had imagined that this would allow me to get to know each nursling alone in order to better understand their needs and then work on multi-tasking.
What I found out was that my twins preferred to nurse together. I found this out by accident. Twin B actually was much better at nursing than her sister. She could latch and cause my milk to let down and she was doing really well. The story was not the same for Twin A. She was not latching well, she was very sleepy and was not getting enough milk.
One day, Twin A had fallen asleep at the breast. I just decided to let her stay there snuggled up, while I nursed her sister. So Twin B latches on and starts doing her thing and my milk began to drip from the opposite breast, onto Twin A’s lips. She startled, open her mouth, licked her lips and began to nurse, poorly but better than she had before that moment. It worked so well that this became how we nursed all the time. Eventually Twin A figured out what she needed to do, just with a little help from her sister.
What kept me going was confidence. This confidence came in the biology and chemistry of birth and breastfeeding. It came from watching my babies learn to adapt and make breastfeeding work for them as a pair. My confidence also came from surrounding myself with supportive family and friends.
One of my friends had said early on, as even I, an experienced breastfeeding mother, wondered how it would be to nurse twin, that I needed to have a positive attitude. She was right, I did. It was so easy to become distraught when pregnant with twins. Certainly an increased risk of many things, but to reframe that as merely the increase chance, not certainty, that it was in real life.
So I started to make some positive affirmations. These were just words that contained positive statements about things I felt I needed some confidence about. The topics were varied, but all pertained to twins. Some were about pregnancy, others about breastfeeding. I put my affirmations up on post-it notes. I hung them on mirrors, in my car, hidden in books I opened frequently. I even had some in my refrigerator reminding me to eat!
Affirmations can work for anyone. Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding affirmations. You will also have the ability to add your own to the mix.
- My body knows how to feed both of my babies.
- My body has a plan for my babies and that is for me to nourish them.
- My babies love me.
- My babies respond to my body's signals and feed well.
- My babies grow well and strong on my milk.
- My milk is all my babies need.
- I am strong enough to hold both of my babies at one time.
- I am able to follow my babies’ signals about their feeding preferences.
- My babies will show me what they need.
- I will care for my body in order to support my babies.
- I love my babies.
- My babies need some special help but will soon be strong enough to nurse.
- My babies love it when I hold them skin to skin.
- There is something only I can provide my babies, breast milk.
- Pumping milk for my babies helps them grow.
- I will be able to pump enough breast milk to nurture my babies.
- My milk protects my babies.
- My doctors and nurses support my breastfeeding.
- I have support for breastfeeding my babies.