Nichole Mann Kerber
Chicago, IL, USA
From: New Beginnings, Vol. 29 No. 5-6, 2009, pp. 10-11
I am a 33-year-old, first time mom who, until becoming a mother, worked as a director in a finance organization. I am now proud to be a breastfeeding mommy to my 11-week-old twins, Michael and Maxwell Kerber. My husband is very supportive of my nursing -- I consider myself lucky as most of the mothers in his family do not breastfeed.
The first week was tough; I won't lie. Although the boys were born at 38 weeks, Michael was a little small at 5 lb 5 oz. He was found to be suffering from sleep apnea, which meant a week's stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (the NICU). Max was 6 lb 14 oz at birth and came home from the hospital on his second day. It was quite a challenge having the boys in two different places, with a 45-minute drive separating them, and I felt mentally and physically exhausted.
I came home with a hospital grade pump, pumped frequently, and brought breastmilk to the NICU for Michael, always leaving some at home for Max, in case I was still at the NICU when he got hungry. Both boys breastfed well when I was with them. Luckily, Michael came home after a week and we started to breastfeed exclusively.
The boys are now champion nursers, have gained weight rapidly, and are right on track. I love the flexibility of not having to deal with sterilizing and warming bottles, and the inconvenience of traveling with bottles. If the boys are hungry, I nurse them -- it's as easy as that!
I love the fact that my belly contracted and my pregnancy weight disappeared quickly. And that is an accomplishment following a twin pregnancy!
Because we feed "on demand," whenever the boys want to, I typically nurse one baby at a time and do not need to use any pillows or other tools. When they were smaller, I would use a standard bed pillow or "boppy" pillow to lift them up to me. If they are hungry at the same time, I will use a bed pillow to lift their heads up and then hold them in a double football hold.
I have had one episode of mastitis, when I woke up one day feeling as though I'd been hit by a truck. I had a red splotch on the outside of my right breast that felt warm. The doctor said it was an early case of mastitis and prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics. I nursed through the infection, which helped clear up any blockages, and since then I have been fine.
I have been told that nursing a singleton is easier, but this is all I know. The boys are very efficient feeders and I nurse both babies just as fast as most of my singleton-mom friends nurse one. My siblings are twins and there are more twins in the family, so reaching out to family members has been helpful.