(This post contains affiliate links - please see what that means here). What can I do to prepare myself for breastfeeding two babies?  AS9yco9z6ZreyzFwL3Srx7KyqoYx     1. If I could do it all over again – I would absolutely invest in a breastfeeding class to learn the basic mechanics of feeding your babies. Unfortunately, while nursing is the most natural thing in the world, it does not always come easily. Especially with twins that are likely to be somewhat premature, latching technique is very important. I watched video after video, but I couldn’t seem to understand how to get the perfect latch. An in-person class would have been beyond valuable.   2. Find a local IBCLC and put her on speed dial. Group meetings are great, but the truth of the matter is – you’re having TWO babies. Leaving the house can sometimes feel impossible. I went to group meetings weekly for breastfeeding, but also had several home visits that were absolutely vital to my success. My twins both had tongue and lip ties, anatomical issues that affected heir ability to get a good latch. I was in a lot of pain for the first 3-4 months, until we revised their ties (more on that later). There were times when I could not even fathom the thought of feeding my twins one more time – and as I felt that way, the clock wasn’t stopping. The seconds were whittling down until the next nursing session and the emotional and physical pain I suffered while I reluctantly repositioned my babies on my breast was unbearable. I needed help and I needed the help to come to me. I realize your average lactation consultant will probably cost you about $75-100 for a home visit and this might seem cost prohibitive. However, when you realize that a successful nursing relationship with your babies will literally save you thousands, the monetary expense no longer seems to matter. The IBCLC I saw saved our nursing relationship. Without her expertise and support, I would not still be nursing! IMG_1155 3. Join a local Facebook breastfeeding support group. If an IBCLC is not in your budget, or if you need a quick, on-the-fly response to a question these groups are absolutely amazing. I truly believe that we are missing a very important piece of the puzzle in today’s society – a village of women who understand and are willing to help one another. Many mothers or grandmothers didn’t breastfeed, many people feel uncomfortable talking about breastfeeding, or maybe you are the first of your friends to have a baby. Whatever the situation is, the reality is that women are supposed to help other women. Today’s village may not be the same as it was in the olden days where we gathered around a town square, but we do having amazing social media resources right at our fingertips. I cannot tell you how many times a complete stranger answered my questions and kept me nursing for just one more day. 4. Purchase a twin-nursing pillow. There are so many types available, I had the Twin Z pillow, which was better once the twins were older, but not so great for the newborn stage. (link to amazon here: Twin Z pillow ) I would recommend reading reviews, but anticipate having to play games with pillow set up underneath and around you to tandem nurse. I had to have my husband “set me up” a lot in the newborn phase to keep their heads and necks level. I also honestly loved using just a regular boppy and think they are totally underrated for nursing twins. (Link here). ARE9YkxnM26tbQfeUosUV_Q+CRPT IMG_0081 5. Think about renting a hospital grade pump. I was very misinformed about pumping before I had my girls. For some reason, I thought pumping would be unicorns and butterflies and giving bottles would give me a break. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Pumping is not only uncomfortable for a lot of moms, but it creates more work. When I could have sat and watched a corny hallmark movie while nursing my babies, I had to sit and listen to the most annoying sound in the world while this machine negotiated small amounts of milk into bottles that I had to then feed to the babies and clean. I hated every second that I pumped, but the hospital grade pump was much more comfortable and much more effective at bringing in an adequate milk supply than your standard personal pump.   6. Assess your partner’s attitude toward breastfeeding and knowledge level. My husband didn’t know much about breastfeeding, but he knew it was important to me. He also knew that it was also important to him. While he may have never thought about it prior to me getting pregnant, he did realize that giving his kids the best start possible was something he truly cared about. When times get tough, your husband should have your back. This is the same with female issues, like breastfeeding. He is still my number one support person, even though he hasn’t and never will breastfeed a baby. He lifted me up when I was down, wiped my tears when I was hormonal, and encouraged me to stick with MY plan. He knows all about latching, positioning, supply and demand – because we learned together. Discuss your goals with your partner, and together determine how you will support each other. IMG_1511 Didn't read part I? Check it out here: You CAN Breastfeed Your Twins - Part 1 Also - you can now view part III! You CAN Breastfeed Your Twins - Part 3 Have any thoughts or anything to add? I would love for you to comment!!

(Just wanted to throw this out there, every situation is different and I am hoping to encourage, not disparage any moms. This post speaks to my experience and general information only. Please treat yourself with love and care.) I can recall a midwife appointment during my pregnancy, around 26 weeks. It began like any other visit - I was weighed, measured, and two heartbeats were heard. AeKYZRhIa032mVZJZKtmCLN2F+9w Before I knew it, it was time for my questions. Did I have any? I had an entire notebook of questions that I’d been filling out whenever any inkling of worry came over me. (In case you didn’t know – pregnancy fries your memory. Notebooks were a necessity and worry flowed from my pen constantly.) I didn’t even know if my insurance would cover the time it would take to get tackle those pages of queries. The conversation went like this: Me: “I’m having a lot of anxiety lately.” Midwife: “It’s normal to experience this before giving birth, I promise…” Me: “No, I’m not anxious about birth. I’m incredibly scared that I won’t be able to breastfeed.” Midwife: “Do you have any reason to believe that you can’t breastfeed?” Me: “No… I just don’t know I could ever make enough milk for two babies. It seems impossible.” Thankfully, I had an amazing provider who sat and addressed my concerns for as long as I needed. She was incredulous that I was so sure I wasn’t going to make enough milk. I could easily look back on my mindset then and blame it on my hormones. However, hormones were not the culprit, this time. Society, people, the internet, even well meaning family members, can cast doubt on your ability to breastfeed your twins. You need to tune them out. Do not give up before you even start! [caption id="attachment_84" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_1486 - Version 2 Just minutes old![/caption] This is not a debate about formula feeding vs. breastfeeding – this is for moms who know they have made the decision to breastfeed their twins and want to be armed with as much knowledge as possible. I want you to know that it is possible. My midwife was incredulous for a reason. There really is no biological explanation for why you couldn't provide nutrition for the two babies that your body is creating. Don’t quit before you begin, and don’t make any big decisions on a bad day. By quitting before you begin, I mean saying things like “I’m going to TRY to nurse my twins.” In what other context do we use that exact phrase? Things like, “I’m going to try to get there on time,” “I’ll try to eat healthy this week.” Usually, when we say these things, we end up not following through. We are 15 minutes late for something even though we said we would “try,” or we are back to having a “cheat meal” after a few days of “trying” to eat healthier. “Trying” is the mentality of accepting that it may not happen. Breastfeeding is something that you need to commit to. Committing to it does not guarantee success, but hearing yourself say, “I am going to breastfeed until x amount of time” breaks down the mental barriers. It’s assertive, straightforward, and present a real, tangible goal for yourself. IMG_1151There will be days that even the most committed mothers want to quit. Breastfeeding two babies has a huge learning curve and is very stressful. There were even times when it was going well and I didn't think I could make it one more day. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to wait until tomorrow. Just get through one more day. If I still felt like I wanted to quit tomorrow, then I should seriously consider it. But, if tomorrow is better, even marginally better – wouldn’t I have wished I hadn’t acted so brash before? Months down the road, you may regret stopping because you had a bad day, or even a bad week. Pick a time when you’re feeling better to make these tough decisions. Even if your choice is to stop, you’ll know that you were informed and not controlled by too much negative emotion, therefore minimizing future regrets. IMG_1515 IMG_2091 I’m currently at almost 16 months of exclusively breastfeeding my twins. I’m proud to say they’ve never had any milk besides mine. I’m not trying to brag, but it has been hard work and we should have permission to pat ourselves on the back. I’ve seen expectant twin moms on Facebook ask the same questions that I asked my midwife. I want them to know their worries are normal and so are their bodies. Listen to your bodies, your babies, and find a community that will support you and your goals. I haven’t decided on a stop date, and I still take it one day at a time. I commit and recommit to breastfeeding each and every single day that I choose to continue. When the time is right, I’ll decide our nursing relationship is over - on a good day.     Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments! Like what you read? Check out part 2 here: You CAN Breastfeed Your Twins - Part 2