I Did it and So Can You! A Breastfeeding Story

September 21, 2022 Women

“Yup there are two in there.” That’s what I heard during my ultrasound — the tech verified what was the most shocking news I’d ever received. This was right after he began asking “So who has twins in the family?” Worry mixed with extreme joy and of course the nausea from having double the morning sickness, swept over my body like a tidal wave. The first question I had was how will I juggle two babies? I had nursed my three-year-old son for 18 months so naturally I planned to breastfeed my second baby… but two babies? Could my body even hold two babies, let alone make enough milk for them?
At first I doubted that I would have enough milk when breastfeeding my first child, but I did succeed. I planned to let my twins take the lead and follow what nature intended. Of course it was not only my milk supply I had to worry about but feeding times, dirty diapers, and trying to master the holding positions for twins. I had to make sure I could feed them at the same time, so not to completely feel like a 24-hour human bottle! I knew it was a long journey, but one I was more than willing to take!
Those first few days went by in a blur with me in “robot” mode. I knew that the first days are important to feed often so my twin boy and girl, Nick and Gaby, nursed a lot. At times I’d forget who ate last, whose diaper needed to be changed and what side they last ate from. To help my milk supply, I made sure to have lots of skin-to-skin contact, and feed at their every hunger cue.
I fed them on demand — not on any type of schedule. It was important they ate as long as needed and as often as possible. After the first few days I felt my body, my twins and I were all getting in sync; it was as if Mother Nature took over. Feeding time became a group bonding session between the three of us. I did get worried when my babies were about 6 weeks old. They nursed almost every hour, and I thought I didn’t have enough milk! But then I remembered that was the age for a growth spurt and the babies were just putting in an “order” for my body to make more milk.
There were always hectic days but as time went by I felt confident feeding my twins. I had to take into account babies with two unique personalities and breastfeeding preferences, who nursed for different amounts of time, and who favored one breast. In the end this did benefit me because they both established a good supply of milk on each separate breast.

Once I saw them gaining weight well and meeting their milestones, I knew I had made the best choice to nurse my babies. It’s normal to have some doubts about breastfeeding; many of the women I counsel in WIC are also unsure. But trust me, if I can nurse two babies, you can breastfeed just one! Just follow the tips from your breastfeeding counselor and read the ideas below to increase your milk supply.
Yes, You Can — Breastfeed!

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor,
Christina Sanchez, CMA

Star Ten Easy Steps to Boost Milk Supply

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: