3 August 2022

I tried really hard not to get in a flap about breastfeeding before the twins were born. I kept telling myself that it would all be okay, they would be loved and fed, by hook or by crook.

Secretly as well, I felt I had a superb 'get out of jail free' card should it not work out with them. Which is mad. I was absolutely catastrophising something before it had even happened.

Luckily, I was able to breastfeed comfortably and with success. I needed a little guidance at first in the hospital and I was regimental in attending the weekly milk club that my local midwife ran. She was ace and I felt very lucky to have her supporting me and showering me with encouragement. I needed some help with positions, especially tandem feeding. I tried to tandem feed once a day, because at the very least, it saved me a some time....which is a valuable currency when you've got newborn twins.

It was usually pretty tricky to get the two squirmers on the boob at the same time but I learnt not to panic and and to calmly get them in position even if they were upset.

I would repeatedly tell myself...It's okay, I will get them latched on! It's okay if they're crying, all will be grand.

We combi fed from the start. To share the load, ease the stress on me and to include my partner in on it all. I was three way combi feeding-breastfeeding, formula and pumping. My aim with pumping was to get a bottle a day per twin of my milk that my partner could give. Then formula was used if it all got too much and I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere.

Shellie breastfeeding her twins

I am very proud of myself for breastfeeding twins to six months. Most people couldn't  believe I was doing it. The twins lost interest in feeding from me themselves, which although bruised my ego, was the best result all around for convenience, monitoring and speed. Remember, everything was double...trying to pump for two, feed two, sterilise and make bottles for two...

My main takeaway of it all is to lean on people for help, ask for advice. I'm terrible as a person for admitting I don't know something or that I need help. But in that first 24 hours of being a mum, I remember hearing my inner-sabatour ("oh don't ask any questions, it'll look like you don't know what you're doing") and telling that voice to do one. I was going to ask that nurse how you did it and why on earth should I be expected to just *know*.

I'm now breastfeeding again with my singleton newborn and it's going wonderfully. It's such a different experience of just sitting back at letting her feed. I don't have to rush her so I can get to the other twin (well, it's usually chaos all around so it's not exactly a zen experience!) I'm enjoying feeding again and embracing the feeds out and about...everywhere and anywhere it seems! I never really did that much with the twins as tandem feeding them in public would have stopped traffic!