breastfeeding premature twins
When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to nurse. In my family which is a mixture of Hispanic customs and Jamaican beliefs, breastfeeding was dominant. No one in my family had ever spoken of formula feeding, though there was never anything negative said about it. I was also a breastfed baby and so the desire to breastfeed was both cultural and generational for me. I realize this is not the norm for many black moms in America where the statistics on breastfeeding black babies are lower than in other communities, despite its many benefits. When I found out I was expecting twins, I grew nervous about supply and began researching ways to ensure I had enough. I found out about cookies and other galactagogues that would help my supply. I purchased two pumps and storage units that were rated best. I was ready – or so I thought.
My twins were born at 33 weeks and the hospital seemed rushed to try formula. I refused. I was adamant! I was told the twins were too weak to latch. I also had very little help from the lactation consultant at the hospital. I became fully engorged as the days went on with the twins in the NICU and me in recovery. Committed to feeding the twins breast milk, I attempted to latch the twins myself. I even tried to collect milk even if it meant painfully squeezing it out my breast out for them by hand. Once we got home, I figured out pumping but struggled with getting the twins to latch properly. I was so dedicated to breastfeeding that I continued nursing through the pain.
However, once the blisters began, I knew I needed more help and reached out for a lactation consultant and was introduced to Jada, the boober founder. She was a godsend. Her experience helping parents of twins nurse was invaluable. She not only helped me with my breast start visit and getting my twins breastfed finally on the right path but she also introduced me to an online community of nursing mothers. I found my nursing village and was able to nurse my twins for 22 months and pump for 26 months. I fulfilled my goal and was able to connect with other mothers on this journey.
Watch Jada Shapiro, doula & boober founder, in conversation with Jill Blakeway, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and founder of the Yinova Center. New York...