We first met our first mommy and her adorable twins at the Hamilton County Big Latch. Cora Canada is a 31 year old mom of three boys. She has a 17 year old stepson and 14 month old twins. Their family lives near Indianapolis, Indiana. She is currently a stay at home mom with the twins. As you can imagine she and her husband have their hands full! When they aren’t feeling like pulling our hair out they like to spend time with their families, as well as getting outdoors and enjoying nature.
There was no question as to whether I was going to breastfeed or not. Looking back, I really don’t have a reason why I chose to breastfeed. No one in my family have breastfed nor my husband’s family. I think reading everything while pregnant- hearing that “breast is best” slogan- is the reason we decided to breastfeed.
Fourteen months into breastfeeding, I look back and see how incredible it is to breastfeed twins with minimal issues. We have been very lucky and blessed to not had any NICU time or any real latch issues. As for nursing itself- the only physical issue I had is a handful of clogged ducts. No mastitis, no thrush, or any need to use a nipple shield. We have indeed been blessed.
That isn’t to say we haven’t had issues.
Baby A (Liam) was born at five pounds, eight ounces. A good size for twins, but overall small (3rd percentile). He was small, and my milk took an extra day or two to come in, which led to Liam losing 15% of his birth weight. So he ended up dropping to four pounds, ten ounces. We went twice a week to a breastfeeding support group. Here, he would only transfer half to a full ounce of breast-milk. Being a first time mom, I didn’t understand it. I also didn’t understand how serious it had become. One of the LC’s actually called our pediatrician out of concern for his lack of weight gain. We had weekly weight checks with the pediatrician because he wasn’t gaining enough weight. We had to supplement formula.
There’s that dirty word no breastfeeding mom wants to hear
Formula. My poor husband only wanted to help, but he was even more clueless about breastfeeding than I. My husband was quick to ask, “Do you just want me to give him a bottle?” No I didn’t. (This wasn’t limited to just Liam.) I would get frustrated and have to explain time and again about supply and demand. At times I felt like a failure, that my body wasn’t providing like it should. I wondered whether I had a low supply. So I took fenegreek, and even tried to pump a little before nursing to ensure my little guy would get to the fatty hind milk. Finally, after four weeks, he was back to birth weight. After about six weeks we quit supplementing. That was a decision I made and we have never looked back.
At fourteen months old, Baby A (Liam) is only 17.5 pounds and Baby B (Parker) is about 21 pounds. When most people think of breastfed babies, they think of chunky babies with rolls- but that’s not always the case. Look at my two little guys… One has never been on a growth curve and my “bigger” guy is really only around the 25th percentile.
What have I’ve learned in fourteen months of breastfeeding?
1) Every breastfeeding journey is different. My journey is definitely going to be different from most since I have twins. That doesn’t make mine any better, just different.
2) Everyone’s breast-milk is different. Some people make fattier milk. I just happen to produce mostly skim milk.
3) Every baby is different and faces their own challenges. My two guys receive the same breast-milk and the same foods, but are three pounds apart. As for challenges, like I’ve said before we have been pretty lucky and blessed to not have many to deal with.
I’m proud of the fourteen months we’ve had in our journey, and here’s to many more. We have no plans of stopping anytime soon; my philosophy is they will wean when they are ready and I’m not rushing it. After all- they are only little for so long.
About the Breastfeeding World Photographer:
Jennifer Effinger is the proud mother of Kellan (2 years old). She Currently lives in Greenfield, Indiana. Her Photography Company, Quite Dandy, focuses on Lifestyle, Natural Light photography. She loves capturing genuine interactions, and specializes in children, families, breastfeeding, and births. She is excited to Join the Breastfeeding World Team as a Photographer because she loves capturing the interactions of childhood, and what is more precious than the bond between mother and child?
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