At times you may need to breastfeed your babies away from home. The thought may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but we’ve enlisted some twin moms to share their tips on how to make it work. What are their “safe places” away from home? What gear is typically needed? And what do you do when both babies are hungry at the same time?
Breastfeeding Twins Away from Home
Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Breastfeeding twins can be challenging anywhere even in the comfort and privacy of your own home. But unless, you plan on being a hermit for the next few months or you do exclusive bottle-feeding; chances are you’ll want to venture out with your two-some and breastfeed them in the process. So, how do you this? Does it have to be tandem nursing?
Our expert twin mamas share their secrets about breastfeeding away from home. This is Twin Talks Episode Number 19.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.
Have you heard about The Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You can subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.
Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks App. It’s available in the Android and iTunes Marketplace. Before we get started, let’s go around. We’ve got some panellists in the room. So, let’s see; let’s start with Kasey.
Kasey Haynes: My name is Kasey Haynes. I’m 37 years old. I’m a middle school special education teacher. I have a five-year-old girl and 21-month-old boy-girl twins.
Andrea Lehman: I’m Andrea Lehman. I’m 43. I’m an economist. I have three children – a 7-year-old boy and 5-year-old twin girls.
Shelly Steely: Shelly Steely, I’m the producer here at Twin Talks. I also teach high school history. I’m 30 and I have two children, identical twins who are about 20 months old.
Sunny Gault: I’m Sunny. I’m mommy to four under four. Two of which are older boys and let’s see if I can’t get this right; 3 ½, almost two – those are my boys. I have identical twin girls, identical girls Ainsley and Addison who are now four months old. I can’t believe it. They’re four months old. They grow like crazy.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: As your host, I’m Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald and I’ve got a 4 ½ year old identical girls. Then, I also have a singleton who is now almost 17 months old. All right, well today we’ve got a special segment where we do our app review. We’re looking at different apps that address some of the issues that we as twin parents experienced.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Today, we’re reviewing an app called: “Gym Tuck.” It’s available on the iTunes Marketplace. I kind of stumbled across this one. I was reading an article on one of the different news sites and it talked about a woman who had lost – she was overweight. She lost 110 pounds.
So, this was a very transformative experience and she was using this app. Then, she got pregnant and had twins. She really had a healthy pregnancy. Stayed active throughout the pregnancy and lost her baby weight right away and she continues to be healthy. I thought: “Well, this is really interesting.”
So, the app is called: “Gym Tuck.” It’s a kind of a unique in that – it’s really based on videos. You look, you turn this on and it’s kind of got this really splashy, sexy layout kind of get distracted by the guy that’s performing the exercises.
It kind of gives you a series of videos. You can watch a video of them demonstrating different exercises and then you set a little goal for yourself and if how many reps you can do of that exercise. Then, you kind of report on how many reps you did. You earn points and that opens up more videos.
This is the free version that we’re talking about. There is also a paid version that’s $20. Gosh, I think if I was investing in something – $20 is probably reasonable.
Sunny Gault: Cheaper than a trainer.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes, exactly cheaper than a trainer.
Sunny Gault: Or with a gym.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, I guess one thing I liked about is just that: “The convenience of this.” There are exercises there; the short little videos so you can do any of these exercises at home. It doesn’t require any equipment. So, that might be great for twin moms who are recovering after post partum.
I’ve got a few weeks after – you can give them the green light. You don’t have two hours to go to the gym and your kids are not even allowed at the child care. So, what do you do? Shelly and Sunny, what did you guys think of this?
Shelly Steely: It looked great to me. I’m not a gym person but I definitely was a lot more active before having twins. My biggest struggle after having the boys was: “First finding time to work out because I usually wanted to be sleeping. But once I started getting that sleep down again, it was well what can I do in 20 minutes is actually going to make a difference because the gym membership is cut-out of our budget.”
A personal trainer is a pipe dream from my young single days. This looks great because it has just little videos that show you exactly how to do it and you can kind of do it at your own pace. You don’t have to put a DVD and then or download something on Netflix. Then, a baby cries and then you’re done. Let’s look at the exercise. I can start doing it and then come back to it without having to start over or leave it on the TV.
So, I like that aspect of it. It also lets you do something called: “Betting on yourself.” We were looking at and that’s I bet I can do 25 of these. If you do 25, you get points and if you do 30, you get more points. The more points you get, the more activities you can do. So, for those really motivated people who kind of like a challenge, this would be great
Sunny Gault: You’re kind of competing against yourself. So, my issue with the app is that: “I don’t think it’s really intuitive.” I don’t really know – I just kind of want to stare at this hot guy on the screen. I don’t really know what to do pass that point.
Continue upgrade, share, watch trailer and how did you guys get like points or money to be able to use, to even watch one video. I’m like stuck on this.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I agree that the interface is not so intuitive. You kind of have to tool around in here to figure out what next step is. Like on the front, you’re supposed to click on continue but you have to figure that out. It goes to this page which I think was kind of comical. The exercises, they’re not actually called exercise but they have procedures.
So, instead of going to like a cosmetic surgeon, it kind of breaks it down to the areas you want to work on. So, they have like one section that’s ads – but they call it tummy tuck. There’s another suction called: “Love handle lipo, team work on the side.” So, they kind of divide up into those different areas.
Then, once you clicked on these different what you call procedures, categories – then it takes you into the various lists of the videos for that area. You have to touch on the name of it and then it gives you further information about how you can bet against yourself.
Sunny Gault: I see. I think some of this it does let you download and some there’s like a little message or something that pops up that says: “You have $0” – or maybe some of these are paid even from the get-go because I was having some trouble but now, it looks like I’m able to download.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes, I think it is a little bit confusing on what’s open on the free version and not. So, I guess – that’s where you [inaudible 00:08:00-01].
Sunny Gault: Right. So, there is a paid version. So, this is the free version and then the paid version like $19.99 something like that.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes. Word opens up all I think there’s like 530 different exercise videos.
Shelly Steely: If I had worked really hard to get into the best shape of my life before I had twins and that was the priority for me, I definitely could see this being a great solution. Like I said, that wasn’t even close in the best shape of my life before I had twins and certainly not after. So, I don’t see it as something I personally would use but I can really see the appeal.
Sunny Gault: Yes, I think for the right audience, this probably this isn’t for me. I think I need a little bit more hand-holding right now than what this provides. A little more accountability I think than just competing against myself.
Shelly Steely: I’m on the stroller walking, struck at this point.
Sunny Gault: Yes. Right, exactly. But, I think it’s a cool app. I think it’s pretty to look at. Actually, it’s kind of weird. I don’t know if this is on your iPads but my iPhone, it won’t let me look at it vertically. It has to be horizontal.
Shelly Steely: Yes, only landscape layout.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes, I would say so: “I liked it too.” I guess this is again; it’s exercised, fitness-focused. It’s not offering nutritional advice, it’s just purely fitness. So, it probably part of a whole health and fitness and routine.
Sunny Gault: So, for the right person I would say: “Thumbs up.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Okay.
Shelly Steely: Yes, I definitely agree.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Awesome. Today’s topic is: “Breastfeeding twins away from home.” Today we’re talking with our expert twin mamas who are here to share their tips. So, hey thanks for joining us everyone.
Everyone here has done breastfeeding twins. I got to say: “For me, that’s probably one of the biggest challenges of having twins overall.” How old were your twins when you first breastfed them away from home?
Andrea Lehman: Almost immediately. Well, my son was one when my twins are born. Then, my mom was helping us. So, she would take my son over to her house. So, we always – everyday, we would go and pick up my son. There’s always a feeding. It feels like: “There’s always a feeding for somebody somewhere, right?”
I remember leaving our house and she load all three of us in the car to go home in the evening and someone was always crying. She was always saying: “I feel terrible and I don’t even notice at that point.” It was just status quo; somebody is crying. But, pretty early and of course, you have to tote all those stuff.
So, we did syringes for the first couple of weeks because we were worried about nipple confusion which was crazy.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I imagine that it probably helped a little bit since you’ve had an older one at a time. So, you were at that point inexperienced breastfeeding mom.
Andrea Lehman: It’s true. That had a lot to do with my mentality about that. I knew: “I wanted to breastfeed and I knew that I could breastfeed and I didn’t know for sure.” Well, I have enough milk and some of the issues that come up with multiples and I needed a lactation consultant before I figure out how to tandem-feed in my own home.
I couldn’t get all of that to work even after somebody had demo and giving me the pillow, the special modified Monroe Pillow. But, that part was all challenge, still definitely a big challenge.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: How about anyone else here?
Shelly Steely: We started early on also. So, my boys were having trouble staying awake while nursing and they were losing a bit of weight. So, I went to a clinic to see a lactation consultant – and they would have me feed in the office there and kind of show me how to get them done. So, there was that. I also went to a breastfeeding support group with my sister-in-law; so we can do the before and after feeds.
I mean in retrospect just crazy. There is me by myself with two children. There’s a roomful of these people with their one baby and I’m just over here with like one on the corner of my seat and one like lying on the table and trying to balance them. But, it was important to me that I got back that figure out so I could leave the house.
At my parents, I was at my parents’ house a lot. So, and then any errands that we needed to run or anywhere I needed to go – when they eat every two hours, by the time you have them fed, changed and probably change again and dressed, loaded up and into the car and you get somewhere – it’s time to feed them again. I mean pretty much immediately we’re feeding them everywhere.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great.
Kasey Haynes: As we say now, with my first; I breastfed. I have to say: “The twins, I tried, it wasn’t happening so I pumped exclusively.” I wish they breastfed; because going out with babies that breastfeed is way easier than when you’re pumping. Trying to pump and go out because you’re pumping every two hours. You feed, you pump.
You maybe have an hour in between and carrying around everything with you and finding a place wherever you go to pump. I figured it out. I think it becomes one of those things to really where you just really – becoming a mother, you lose modesty. But also, becoming a mother – people have an issue, that’s their issue.
Sunny Gault: Yes, so true.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: For myself too, I remember. There’s one time my husband and I – we thought: “Okay, we’re going to get out of the house and we’re going to go to dinner.” My girls were about three weeks old at that time. So, this is our kind of first venture out. It was an evening and thankfully at that point, they were doing a lot of sleeping.
So, we had the girls went to this little Italian restaurant. We had the couriers putting up right next to us. We’re eating. I had my cover and I would actually hold one of them and nurse her into the cover and then kind of eat with one arm and see that. I remember people were saying: “Wow, they’re only three weeks old and well we do whatever we can just to get out of the house at that point.”
Sunny Gault: I have a little bit of experience with the pumping outside of the house and a little bit breastfeeding outside the house. But I will say that: “I feel that it’s kind of cheating because my experience has been coming here for the tapings and we’re in a very – it still feels very private here and everyone’s so pro-breastfeeding and family anyways that I could probably just pull my shirt out now there.”
So, I kind of feel like its kind of cheating that’s really my only experience but I totally here in case when it comes to carrying that pump around and I have a hospital-grade pump. My gosh, everything that you had to take with you in order to make that happen – I recently just kind of switched and now, I just bring my huge twin breastfeeding pillow with me.
If one starts to cry, I’ll nurse her – she may come in one of my twins may come to the studio as we’re recording this. I’ll just nurse the one. If she’s crying and then I’ll just swap them out. But then, there’s times were they both crying and it’s so much easier to carry a double pillow than to carry all those pump parts – so yes..
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Definitely.
Kasey Haynes: I even did it at SeaWorld on a lawn. It’s like: “It is what it is and you do what you do.” There’s no point in stressing. My milk supply wasn’t an issue with my first. With the twins, I immediately was on the Fenugreek.
I immediately like really conscious of what I was eating, what I was drinking, how much and the non stress, just the non stress like it is what it is. It will happen. I think my husband’s stressed more than I did. In public, he was more modest. He was more stressed out and I’m like: “Hey, baby had to eat.”
Sunny Gault: Chill.
Kasey Haynes: I know.
Shelly Steely: Yes, it’s definitely hard taking the pump part. So, when they were little, I would be worried about one big – they were always hungry at the same time. So, I actually had two pumps, two electric pumps. One I kept at work, one I kept at home and then I have a manual that I kept in the diaper bag.
So, what would I do is: “I would bring a bottle, just one where we went and then whoever got hungry first, I would put him on. Then, kind of try to play and keep the other one with the bottle until I could swap them out.” That was challenging just because of logistics. Also, who had the bottle was pretty upset but they weren’t getting it fresh from the tap if you will.
Then the pumping out and about was it’s time consuming but it is what it is. You just stop caring if people are what they think. In the beginning, I would get really nervous. I could feel my face getting red and thinking: “These people are all staring at me and everyone’s paying attention and then you just stop caring.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: There are a lot of things to think about. So, we’re thinking about: “My gosh. I have to carry all these stuff with me.” Then, the idea of breastfeeding because we all know that breastfeeding in some venues is much more acceptable than other venues. So, that’s sort of – do we have this public transformation? I haven’t just exposed your level. Maybe a second time mom, Kasey I think you were much more comfortable.
I know for me personally, as a first time mom to the twins, it did feel pretty awkward even just doing it the nursing one baby and there was no way and hope that I could even think about lifting my shirt and putting two babies and doing a tandem. I’m like: “My gosh. I’ve seen the pictures, the posts on Facebook of the moms’ proudly tandem nursing.” I’m like: “Okay, that’s not just me.”
So for me, one of my concern was kind of the exposure as well. How about you guys, did you have any specific concerns?
Andrea Lehman: We went to Disney Land with the twins as infants when my son was one. So, of course I was breastfeeding at Disney Land. So, at one point, I was on the train around the park – not tandem. I don’t to show the girls. I don’t go for the hooters overall but I try to be discrete about it.
So, I was on the train and the man sits down next to me because it was crowded in Disney Land. He doesn’t even notice until about five minutes later and then he kind of moved off with disgust. I was like: “He didn’t even notice.”
So, I had I think this might have been recalled but I used to have that sling – I forget the over the shoulder carrier and you could just pull it up so nicely. People couldn’t even tell – so I breastfed in the line to Buzz Light Year.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That was awesome.
Andrea Lehman: You do what you have to do with twins.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Definitely, yes.
Shelly Steely: I think like I’ve mentioned when we were talking earlier, I wasn’t really very concern about modesty. I’m not a very modest person to begin with and I just don’t think that it’s really anyone’s concern how much you’re showing while you’re feeding your child.
The spectacle that you’ve become feeding twins prevented me from tandem-feeding in public ever because I got enough attention for having two babies who were the same size and looked exactly the same. I didn’t need really kind of double the attention.
Even if I was feeding one and holding the other one, people would come over and kind of double take and want to talk to you and engage. We all know how distracted babies can get. So, I will kind of try to hide not out of any concern for my own personal modesty but just to get people to leave me alone.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: You just wanted your space.
Sunny Gault: Yes. You do feel like a spectacle. Even at the doctors’ office; I just went to the doctors’ office late last week. Okay, this was a little crazy because I have a triple stroller. I came in and the eyes just right to my stroller and my gosh. The comments I got about: “How do you do this? How do you that?”
That I thought: “You just feel like you’re under the microscope already that – flash a nipple, my gosh the world might explode, right?” So, that’s my biggest concern is: “Yes, if I don’t have my pump stuff with me; what if one baby is crying while the other one’s latched because on the same way.
Unless I’m like in an environment like this where I can get out my big old pillow, get on the floor – I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to bring my pillow to the doctors’ office, right?”
Kasey Haynes: My trick was once I had a well established milk supply which wasn’t a couple of months that I would pump first thing in the morning and not for the whole thing by just like little milk chasers. I have two little bottles that I could stick him in with an icing and I just tote him with me all day. So, then it would just buy me some time.
Sunny Gault: Right.
Kasey Haynes: Right, if I was in a place that I could nurse one, I could give the other the chaser and if vice-versa and just till I could get somewhere there was comfortable or even sit down if we’re out walking. Then if I didn’t use them, I do them for cluster feedings in the evening.
So, I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of time with the pump. I didn’t have to carry the pump. That I always have something just to buy me that little bit of time in there.
Sunny Gault: Right. There’s nothing worse than two screaming babies at once. Seriously, there’s not.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: My gosh, yes we all know that part. No, you guys have talked about going to the amusement parks and of course, I mean they are trying to be: “Pretty family friendly.” How about some other spots that you found that you could be more comfortable in? Did you have sort of your place to go where you knew: “Okay, I could go to certain place and find some little corner to do breastfeed?”
Kasey Haynes: My home base, if I could make it there in time especially because as soon as I start and I knew I get literally to the hour. My home base would be my mom’s house. But, it never I mean in one thing when we talk about comfort level like even being as comfortable as I was, I’ll never forget my sister and bringing in her – I don’t think they were married at the time.
Bringing in her – at that time fiancé and be like: “Okay, my sisters’ pumping.” I’m like: “No, it’s not okay. What are you doing? Let me cover up. This is my home base like you’re bringing an intruder in.” Come on, I was relaxed because I have take the shirt off, take the bra and I was just free.
So, even then and then I remember like pumping at school and literally, I had my classroom locked. So, I was comfortable. I was at my desk pumping. Even with signs that are people are unlocking the door, people coming in. When you’re screaming – I think you have to find a home base in a comfortable zone. But, even then sometimes it’s not as comfortable as you would like it.
Shelly Steely: I had students trying to break down my door almost when I was pumping. There’s a sign that: “Mrs. Steely is not available.” I saw a kid get a chair, stand up on a chair and jumping up to try and see in the window up top to see if he could see if I was in there. So, that was it.
Janitors have master keys so you have to always kind of be aware. I would always have a sweater nearby in case I needed to throw it on. But, on the flip side, when I first sent back to work, my department head was a nursing mom also. I would set through chats with her while I was pumping.
So, I would just kind of throw a sweater on and we would sit there and touch base because otherwise, I didn’t have time to do everything you needed to do with babies that eat that often. It’s like: “Pump, check my e-mail, pump – the kids are back here.”
Sunny Gault: I would say my home base outside of my house is – my car. I have to do that a lot with having four kids and inevitably, I’ve got to take all kids with me when we got a doctors’ appointment or something like that. Obviously, if it’s a medical environment like that – I have no problem just breastfeeding in the waiting room – not really waiting up but when you’re in your private room or whatever.
But, my oldest son has speech class on Thursdays and Fridays and I have to take all kids to go to that. But, they don’t want me in the room with him. So, I have to drop him off and then sit in the car with all of the kids – the twins and then my almost two year old.
Inevitably, the twins see me and then they’re hungry. So, then I find my – so, I’m in this like a school parking lot for speech class and just kind of tucked away. I feel somewhat safe there.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I know for me – gosh, I would kind of even play since I wasn’t working, I would plan my trips around sort of some friendly places. So, we go into like the big baby stores and there’s always a nursing room there. Of course, I remember there are a few times with the twin just the time it takes to breastfeed.
My gosh. My girls were just screaming and I was probably in there for a good 45 minutes. They can hear my girls screaming and we’re just wondering: “What’s going on?” I remember that was a great thing right. I knew they had a nursing room. I knew they had a comfortable chair and even had some pillows in there.
Sunny Gault: Now, did you feel obligated to buy something after you went in there?
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: No.
Sunny Gault: That would be me. I feel like: “I’ll get some gum on the way out or something.”
Kasey Haynes: I always needed something. Up here where I live, there’s the Target’s right next to a baby store. So, you go in and inevitably on my way there – on my way back it would be like: “Well, we could use an extra bib.” I think we’re out of those snacks for the kids. So, that wasn’t a problem for us.
Shelly Steely: We’ll see the amusement parks here in San Diego are very nursing friendly. Sea World has a nursing room. The zoo has a baby care area. It’s even got a bench with a curtain and another bench without a curtain and it’s in the shade and kind of private. The Safari Park, the nursing room is in the bathroom. Not my favourite place but it’s still a separate indicated place.
I think we’re lucky here in California and we’re legally allowed to feed our child anywhere you’re allowed to be. My doctor’s office has cards that they pass out and I keep it on my wallet just in case anyone ever wanted to say anything. But, you can. You can feed your kid anywhere here which is a benefit.
Andrea Lehman: Even the Del Mar Fair set up a special. It’s only my sister and I in there but it was a special tent that you could go into to – we pump in the tent.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great. So, my other favourite spots where not that I’m plugging things but Nordstrom. You got a nice lounge area with really nice comfy chairs and it’s separate from the bathroom area.
Gosh, I would go in there and have my double stroller and sit down and use their pillows. I felt like: “I wasn’t in the bathroom and it was pretty relatively quiet.” You got the nice music playing.
Sunny Gault: Then, you fall asleep.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes.
Shelly Steely: Some other malls have those baby care areas now with nursing rooms. UTC has a nice separate curtained off two rooms with comfy chairs and bean bags. But when they didn’t have those set up, a regular mall bathroom is not where you want to be feeding your kids.
It definitely look higher end department stores anywhere we went, they always have the nice chairs.
Sunny Gault: Maybe changing rooms too if they don’t have like – will they let you do that? Has anyone tried to use a changing room to breastfeed? Maybe not to pump, I don’t know if there’s any
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: A dressing room?
Shelly Steely: Yes, all the time. Yes. Target at the mall and they don’t care because you’re allowed to be there.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s a great idea, definitely. So, there’s know like the spots. When you do go out and you’re doing your errands, do you have a normal routine for breastfeeding? I think you mentioned doing feeding one and then maybe bottle-feeding the other or have you guys done tandem in private or what’s your routine?
Sunny Gault: Tandems my favourite if it’s private because it is the fastest way to do it. My twins aren’t the same as far as their ability to latch properly like one can just like pick it out of like a dark room. She could just get to it like no matter what and the other one; she makes a lot of sucking noises. I think there are some tongue-tie issues there but we’re kind of working through.
So, yes that’s my favourite because it’s the quickest and they’re pretty efficient about getting the milk out. I mean compared to pumping. I mean pumping or triple feedings even. My gosh, I don’t mean to start around it. So, that’s my favourite and I like to watch them look at each other, starting to get to that stage where they look at each other and smile a little bit and look at me.
If you can get all of the stuff out of your head that’s kind of swirling from just being a mom and just concentrate on your baby’s – I feel like that’s a really good bonding moment. I have this guilt thing too when I’m nursing one and not the other. I feel like: “I’m leaving one out.” So, that to me is like a way for me to just bond with them and include both of them in the same time.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Did you try tandem feeding – I mean pretty soon after they were born?
Sunny Gault: No, it really wasn’t until the last month that I was able to do that just because they were born at 35 weeks. So, they were considered preemies. So, they were just kind of tiny and stuff like that. So, and then we did have some like tongue-tie issues.
We didn’t have to do any surgery or anything but it was like: “We did some like exercises to help loosen it up and get more movement there.” So, really they needed to be a little
Shelly Steely: The head control is really important for tandem-feeding. So, when you have these little tiny premature newer babies, it’s harder for them to kind of get comfortable. It’s easier to feed them one at a time until they can find a good position that works for them. Once they’re a little bigger, little stronger – they can kind of nurse in any position.
So, that was tandem-feeding worked for us probably when they were about 6 or 7 weeks. But, I have full term babies, they’re born earlier. The routine – it just depends on how old they were. When they were little, it was the triple-feeding. Sometimes I didn’t nurse when I was out. Sometimes it was easier to pump because of logistics.
I could just bring two bottles that I had already pumped the night before. I could feed them both the bottles while they were in the stroller and I could give my husband or my mom the stroller and go pump in the room somewhere or in the car before we went to dinner. So, sometimes bottles were easier when they were little.
Once they got more efficient and a little more patient, one at a time whenever we were out, it was fine. They weren’t too fussy about it whoever fuss first got put on first. It took about 5 to 10 minutes for them to nurse on one side and then the other one could wait that long once they’re older.
Once they got in solids about 6 months, life is just like a breeze. My other friend told me this and it’s so true. Nursing after six months is like the reward for the first six months. If you could just make it through those first rough six months then the rest of it is just – I mean it’s just an easy like mellow routine for most people.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Mellow?
Shelly Steely: It was until they turned into toddlers then it was not mellow at all.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, hold that thought. When we come back, we’re going to talk about: “More of the ins and outs of individual versus tandem feeding when you’re out and about.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, welcome back. Today, we’re talking about: “Breastfeeding twins away from home with our expert twin mama panelists.”
So, if you didn’t feed one at a time; so how did you keep the other one occupied? You mentioned earlier about having little – Andrea?
Sunny Gault: Shots. I never said chasers but I would do shots in my head.
Andrea Lehman: I remember one time being out and about nursing in public where I was nursing one. I have one in the stroller and I think it was a place where I was inside and the car was right there. So, I didn’t go for the double stroller – one point at on seven strollers. So, I have like a quite storm in, I can choose for the logistics of the location out of the back of the car.
So, for this occasion I had a single frame and with the car seat in it. So, I was nursing one and then the other, I had my foot hooked in the stroller and I was just rocking it back and forth. When I carried it over, if they have the milk shot or not
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: It’s just a multi-tasking and coordination are one of the job requirements for twin parents. Yes, as Shelly has mentioned earlier: “When they start solid feeding, that’s probably one option too. You could maybe nurse on and maybe even do some solid feeding and then switch off something like that as well; if you don’t have milk on you.”
Sunny Gault: Sometime on the pillow if I am tandem-feeding. So, it does kind of require you to be breastfeeding both at the same time at some point. But, if sometimes I’ll start burping one and then the other one can still breastfeed.
So, that’s kind of a nice way to kind of keep momentum with everything. Usually, my twins need to be burp at least once and then go back on the breast. So, that’s something that can kind of pacify one is: “Once they’re still nursing.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: They still get the contact.
Sunny Gault: They do. A lot of times just when I’m holding them –that makes them feel a lot better too. They’ll immediately quit crying if I’m just holding them. Anyway, they kind of do that.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Sunny, you had mentioned that you do take your pillow with you – how about everyone else? Do you carry, I mean your double pillow or do you improvise?
Sunny Gault: Never. No, it was huge double pillow. Like I said, you become a spectacle and I have enough stuff to bring with me. So, I did. I kept them. Me at the single manual pump in my diaper bag until I stop pumping at all which was my boys were probably I think 11 months I stopped pumping. I had enough frozen milk for going back to work at that point.
But, I didn’t bring any gear or pillows or anything with me. Whenever I had available, so if we were at a baby store, sweet they had a nice recliner and some pillows. I could feed both of them. If we were out and about, fine. We actually anywhere we went. So I had carriers and we’re not big stroller people. The boys weren’t rough on the stroller unless it was a long nice walk.
So, carriers were great for my husband and I. We would actually just swap babies. So, I’d have one in the carrier. He’d have one whoever got hungry, I would take. We would just swap back and forth. So, I would say: “The carriers were really kind of essential for feeding because a baby that’s attached to you or being held is going to be a lot happier not being fed than one who is staring at you from the stroller” from my experience.
Sunny Gault: I feel like they’re abandoned in the stroller.
Shelly Steely: Yes.
Sunny Gault: Well, you can even take a single pillow out if you’re planning on just nursing. I have a great single pillow at home and a great double pillow. I’ve actually have two double pillows at home depending on where I’m at on the house. But, that’s another option too.
I would say that: “Unless I feel completely comfortable taking my shirt off and just relaxing, I wouldn’t take a double pillow out.” Here, I’ll bring it here because I’ll literally go in the room over there in the next hour and pretty much de-robe just feed my babies. Am I going to feel comfortable doing that in another environment? Probably not.
I also don’t want the pillow to get dirty, there’s a lot of stuff like that. So, most times I just want to kind of make that clear clarification point regarding tandem pillows. Unless you feel completely comfortable, it may not be the best option.
Shelly Steely: There’s no discrete way to tandem feed.
Sunny Gault: No.
Shelly Steely: Especially I don’t know how you guys were when your milk came in; I was like a spectacle with my shirt on. So, had I lifted it up in public, it probably would have attracted the wrong kind of attention.
Kasey Haynes: As I said the one item and I still use it to this day and every single car has at least two. I use it for a variety of different things as a beach towel, a nice big beach towel.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: What do you do with it?
Kasey Haynes: Roll it up. Just roll it up. Use it as a cover. Use it as a roll – I mean in so many different ways but like I said: “It literally every single vehicle we have has at least two.” They’re all matching. So, you know which car they go in. But, it’s a beach towel. Everywhere I go, there’s always a beach towel in the stroller – something about beach towel.
Sunny Gault: Okay, I like that.
Shelly Steely: I roll it up and use it to position the babies too. That’s really smart.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That is a great idea. So, you can kind of probably just wedge it in between them just to keep them upright. So, any other tips or tricks you might have on positioning even if you’re not doing tandem nursing but just having a singleton out in public especially when they’re young.
I think it’s a lot more challenging for the little ones for positioning. One’s they’re able to sit upright or kind of hold themselves then it can kind of just strap them and hold them on. Beach towel, what else did you guys use?
Kasey Haynes: I always use like a knee-up too. I think of like especially restaurants I’d go sneaking to like a boot somewhere. I would just do the one knee up to kind of help position.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, they’re kind of leaning on your knee
Kasey Haynes: Yes. On my knee which is up to my boob. It’s kind of a gymnastic trick I guess in a sense. That’s why I would go sneak-off somewhere. But, I mean in those dire times it helped.
Shelly Steely: Now, that you’ve mentioned it in dressing rooms, when it was just me and both boys in the stroller, I would have on in the stroller and I would just give them just a little bit of milk out of the bottle if I was trying to feed the other one. But, I would always sit on the bench with my back against wall and both feet up.
So, I’m kind of like curled up in the corner because then you can use your knee to hold the baby on to you and still have that other hand for the other to entertain or feed the other baby.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Definitely.
Shelly Steely: Yes, you get very creative.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I remember I was always looking for chairs that have arms because that was always helpful because then I could figure I could either take some type of even either pillow or even take the diaper bag and sort of wedge it next to the arm of the chair and then lean on that. It can still do some one of a cradle.
Shelly Steely: Right.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, it helped. That helped. So, how about Andrea, you have mentioned: “You were wearing the sling,” anyone else dong some baby wearing nursing?
Shelly Steely: Yes, we had soft structure carriers, the wraps. I found it was kind of too hot. I just had like a stretchy one. It was hard to get on and off quickly but the carriers, we had one that was adjusted for me and one was adjusted for my husband when we would go out.
Yes, you could feed pretty easily in the carrier. It takes a little bit of practice but the baby covers you mostly. So, it’s just a little bit of kind of wiggling and then no one can tell that you’re nursing at all. I mean especially with the hood over the baby’s head.
Like I said: “If I needed to feed both of them, I would feed the one I was wearing and then we would just swap them out and then feed the other one – then they pretty much happily just pass right back out and then we could walk around.”
We did a lot of baby wearing at the zoo because we could put all our stuff in the stroller that way. Yes, or just leave the stroller in the car once they got a little bit older. So, I would say: “Babywearing was really, really helpful for discrete nursing.”
Sunny Gault: I’ve yet to master babywearing and nursing. I hear so many good things about it. I so want to be one of those moms that does it. I think it’s just going to have to – I don’t know take some time. I was feel like I’m just suffocating the baby. I do.
I feel like my whole boob is in their face. I don’t know but I think it could be tremendous especially if you’ve got other kids and you need your hands free to and not only your twins but you got toddler that’s running around too or something.
Shelly Steely: It’s one of those out of necessity kind of things. So, I found it very stressful the first time I tried but it was such a relief to have a happy baby that was kind of worth the struggle to get it all set up. Once I got over the thinking that it was hard – because I feel like I was always sweating, red face.
I’m just worried about: “Is this going to get going fast enough? Can I figure it out? Are they going to be okay? Are people staring?” But once you get the first time, it’s like: “This is a totally doable thing and we can do it in the future.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes. I have to say: “I think the idea of baby wearing and nursing I mean hands-free nursing, that is so liberating.” I’d never actually got to master that and I really wish that I would work hard on.
I know for my carrier, there are some videos so that they would show you how to sort of adjust the straps on it. So, I think I tried it in a couple of times but I didn’t really pursue that. So, I think that’s one thing if I were to do it all over again, I would definitely get that down to be hands-free and then be able to enjoy some other things and take care of the other ones.
We talked again being on the road and being out and about for longer periods of time. What about travelling and doing road trips to the airport, that’s a whole another category in of itself. Do you have any tips in that regard?
Kasey Haynes: I, we were going – how old, she was probably my first 5 or 6 months old and it was a last minute road trip out to Arizona and she was crying in the back and I didn’t have a bottle. We didn’t want to stop. We were almost there so I’m like trying to lean over here with my boob in her face and trying to be back. How do people do this? I can’t put my boob, it’s not working. I can’t get my boob in the carrier. So, it was horrible.
So, I ended up taking her out and feed her but we do trips up to mammoth and with the twins, seriously if it’s a long trip – I’d say definitely have bottles on hand just in case. If you have opportunities to pullover by all means – we have always a trailer with us to make things easy. But definitely, that’s the time where you want to have those on hand if possible.
Plan your trip around meal times. We would try to leave super early in the morning so that by the time we did stop, it was breakfast time and we were back on the road and hopefully, we got to our destination by lunch time. Even with the oldest, it makes life easier to try and plan around those times, nap times.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: How about going through airports?
Shelly Steely: Yes, so we did road trips. We went up to LA a couple of times. I would just feed them right before we got actually in the car and when they were really little, I would pump too to have the bottle. So, I would nurse both boys and then pump whatever extra and I was lucky to have plenty of supply.
One time, we actually to pullover in Oceanside and you think you could make it. We’re almost there but if you’ve ever listen to two babies hungry crying at the same time – nope, it’s not worth those 30 extra minutes. So, I actually ended up feeding them and then pumping at a gas station. We just pulled over and I just got in the back side of the car.
But, airports – we flew and the boys were I wanted to say they were 13 months but they were still nursing and it was actually probably like a life saver for us I would think because it is the easiest way to keep them quiet. So, it was my husband was in one row with one baby and I was in the other row with the other baby.
Remember you can’t have two lapped children in the same row. So if you’re not buying them seats, you have to seat separately unless you lock out and get an extra seat. So, I would just feed whoever was fuzzy basically and tell he like milk drunk kind of passed out. Then swap him out for the other baby.
So, for us, it was actually really nice when flying because it was a good way to keep the babies calm.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I mean I didn’t actually get to do that – I think the first time we went on a plane, my girls were weaned at that point. When you’re breastfeeding on a plane, was that somewhat comfortable because as soon as you’re sitting in your seat and it’s such a small space and in a lot of ways, it’s pretty private. What do you think?
Shelly Steely: Can anybody notice to be honest? I was sitting next to men on both flights and nobody even really seemed I mean but at that point, as long as they’re sitting up. So, anything over like I said: “Six months, you can just sit them on a knee. They have enough trunk support to be able to hold themselves up.” So, it really just looks like you’re leaning a baby against you.
It’s a little bit of manoeuvring on one side or the other to get them latched. Nothing and I didn’t feel exposed at all. It was pretty comfortable. I would use the blanket but it’s cold. The air’s blowing right over the baby anyway.
Andrea Lehman: I’ve never been brave enough to fly with infant twins. I had done it with my son when he was about four months and on the plane too – the other thing that’s really nice about nursing is for the airs with the take-off and the landing where you just pop them on and the nursing really helps with that. Of course, it’s a great way to soothe them on a plane.
Shelly Steely: I sometimes miss that. My boys, they mostly self-weaned in around 17 months and sometimes when they’re having just a really bad day, I kind of wish like I wish for that easy so they – it used to be so easy to get you quiet.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: There you go. Well, thanks so much to all of our panellists for joining us today. For more information about: “Breastfeeding twins away from home” or for more information about any of our panellists, visit our episode page on the website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club.
After our show, our panellists will tell us about some of their breastfeeding oops stories. So, for more information about The Twin Talks Club, visit our website www.TwinTalks.com .
Shelly Steely: So, this is our feature on: “Annoying comments people make to twin moms.” This one is from Amanda in Rhode Island.
Taking my twins up in public gets frustrating and annoying if you’re in a hurry or you don’t feel well. I have 8 ½ week old boy-girl twins. I clearly dress one as a boy and the other as a girl but I still: “Are they identical? They must be two boys.”
I get: “I’m so sorry. You have your hands full. You must never sleep. That’s got to be expensive. Bless your heart.” The worst one is: “A boy and a girl? Aren’t you glad that it is one shot and it’s done?” Really, glad to know other people are making that decision for me and my husband. -Amanda
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers; your parenting resource on the go.
Next week, we’ll be talking about: “Having singletons before twins.” This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .
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