Meet Rose! She’s a former classroom teacher, current part-time learning specialist with a Master’s degree in Linguistics. Full-time SAHM.
She has twin infant boys and a 26 month old son!
1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children:
BF did not happen naturally the first time around. I had taken classes and devoured books on the subject, but when it came time to feed my oldest son, I experienced severe pain for the 1st 4 weeks of his life.
We decided to hire a lactation consultant, who came to our home. Best money we ever spent! She referred us to a pediatric dentist who was able to loosen his tight frenulum (he was severely tongue-tied, which affected his ability to latch, therefore causing me horrendous pain). I felt results/relief instantly, and he was able to successfully take in more during each feeding.
I had almost given up, as no one I knew had ever discussed any difficulty with BF. At the time, I felt like a complete failure. Here I was with every BF pillow/gadget available, with a superb rocker/glider, and I couldn’t figure it out, when other women could do so walking down dirt paths with a basket on their heads! Once it got better, I too became a pro. Until teething began…
I always swore that once my children began to get teeth, that it would be a natural time to wean. My son got his first tooth at 3 1/2 months. So much for that plan. Somehow I got through it, and was able to successfully nurse him until he was 15 months. He self-weaned even though we co-slept. Two weeks later, we found out we were expecting what would be our twin boys.
The twins were born at 7lbs, 3oz and 4lbs, 15oz. I was able to BF immediately after the c-section, and am delighted to say my twins have never had anything other than my milk.
The bigger twin, because of a true knot in his cord, hoards nutrients, and this affects his feeding style in a dramatic way. When he is at the breast, his suck is so strong that I often joke that my nipple is all the way down to his belly button! He drinks audibly, with loud gulps. Not sure when he’s going to realize that no one is going to take his supply away from him, but the poor guy eats voraciously every single time. His brother, on the other hand, had huge difficulty latching on (we had to use a nipple shield until he was around 7 weeks), and his weight gain was a concern. I pumped to supplement for him.
We had the same lactation consultant come out and work with us. She is also a cranio-sacral therapist, so she worked on the twins. They are now 11weeks, and doing well. The smaller twin still has a harder time latching, but is transferring milk well.
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
My view: I do it because it’s necessary. Every woman has her own comfort level with it. For me, I use a cover (especially at restaurants and the sort) not because I’m ashamed of my breasts or what they are meant to do, but because I’d rather not have total strangers staring at them. I nurse the twins (and formerly their brother) on demand, so if I had to nurse in privacy, I’d get absolutely nothing accomplished. When my oldest was around 8 months, I stopped using the nursing cover altogether (his choice, not mine. It bothered him!).
Eating is a public thing! We should never make anyone feel that mothers should not be able to nurse their children wherever it is most comfortable for both.
I have not yet tandem-fed in public, simply because I don’t bring my pillow everywhere with me. I’m sure as they get older we’ll figure out that art form!
Our society has such strange hang-ups about breasts. We need to really get over them.
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
I’m assuming this refers to extended feeding? As long as it works for mother and child, I think it’s great.
4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why? (you may skip this if you feel you do not have adequate knowledge of the topic)
I know of two possibilities for this:
Wet nursing is one. My grandmother, who had 12 of her own, helped many of her friends (this was in the 1920s and 30s) who had difficulty breastfeeding by nursing their babies. She was a true milk maid! I think human milk is usually a better alternative to formula, and am glad that milk banks and donor milk exists.
One of my former clients adopted her daughter, and was able, through medication and subsequent pumping, to lactate and feed her. I thought it was a beautiful thing!
5.Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your children?
The success at BF multiples, along with having stuck to it the first time around, are things I’m quite proud of. I’ve now become a resource for friends and their friends as well!!!
6. Is there anything you wish you did different?
Wish I’d sought help sooner the 1st time around. Wish people would have shared their stories of difficult starts with me!
7. Is there anything you would like to add?
Having had a rough start to BF, I am happy to be an advocate of its many virtues. While I respect that some women have conditions or circumstances that prevent them from feeding their offspring, I do believe that it is indeed the superior choice. Let me know if you need any more info. Sorry for any typos. I was feeding the twins while I typed.
Also, I sought the advice of my twin BF guru, Lindsey. Without her advice & support, I can’t say I would be succeeding at this.
If you would like to be a featured “Clever Cleavage” mom, please e-mail me jamie(at)iamnotthebabysitter(dot)com