Reaching Out For Help: How La Leche League Leaders Provide Support
Have you ever wondered what happens when you contact a La Leche League Leader for information? Love A., a Leader with the Durham, North Carolina, La Leche League Group, shared a recent email interaction (with permission) that she had with a parent named Sarah who attends the Durham Group.
Sarah: Hi Love, I hope you’re doing well. This is Sarah. I was a regular Durham La Leche League member with my first two kids. I am now 23 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys! Can you direct me on how to get started with breastfeeding support for multiples?
Love: Congratulations, Sarah! You can do this! I hope we’ll see you at the Durham LLL meetings again. We miss you. It is always nice to get local support. I’ve connected parents of twins with support before. I know there’s a book and a Facebook group. I also know some other Leaders who have breastfed twins (who can offer information and support).
Here is more information:
- If you can’t attend an in-person meeting, join us online. We have multiple meetings each month: https://LLLdurham.org
- There is a La Leche League book, but it is older: Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!
- I have worked with an LLL Leader who has twins and lives in another state. I am not sure if she is still a Leader, but she gave me her contact information to share with you if you’d like to chat.
- There is also a monthly Zoom (meeting) focusing on multiples, co-hosted by an active Leader along with retired Leader Karen Gromada (author of the Mothering Multiples book published by LLL). Here’s the link for that: www.facebook.com/groups/nursingmultiplesonlinemeeting/
I hope this helps.
Sarah: Hi Love, thanks for sharing all these resources. It’s kind of you to say I can do it because it feels a bit Herculean at this point. I’ll look into this stuff. This is so helpful. Besides the lack of sleep I’m anticipating, figuring out how to keep my two older children fed and breastfeed two infants at once is top on my list of concerns.
Love: I have a friend who was totally transformed by having twin boys. She also had two older kids. The transition was slow, and, frankly, a little bit hard. But she has grown into her role as the mother of four. Motherhood is not like a light switch. It’s more like a tiny seed that grows into a strong oak tree. And your community is here to support you.
It can be helpful to figure out how to latch both of (the twins) at the same time, but this can be really hard during the floppy newborn phase. A breastfeeding pillow (that provides extra support) can really help. As far as food goes, many parents suggest filling up your freezer with prepared meals. Remember to think about who you’re going to need to feed during the day. For me, it was myself and a toddler, so I leaned into toddler food. I like to put together toddler snacks to eat throughout the day (cut-up fruit, cheese squares, sugar snap peas, dry Cheerios, bell pepper and hummus, etc). Many families also love using the crockpot in the early days with a new baby.
Your older children are close to the age where they can feed themselves, right? Some parents find it helpful to set out a snack basket with healthy snacks for their children to grab at home or when they’re heading out the door. We have a snack basket that has granola bars, clementines, packets of tuna fish, etc.
Another idea that some parents find helpful is to pack lunches the night before, even if you aren’t going anywhere. There are phases of life when it’s nice to send your older child over to the refrigerator to get the bagged lunches. Depending on the weather, you could even take the lunches outside and sit on the front steps or in your yard and eat.
(Editor’s note: Love provided additional meal/snack ideas that were left out of this blog post. Since Love was familiar with Sarah’s family, she offered several tips specific to her situation.)
After the birth:
Sarah: Love, I hope you and your crew are doing well on this great fall day. I was thinking about the last email you sent me. Your words were some of the most truly helpful words I’ve gotten from anyone about stepping into being a mother of twins and of four children. I felt seen and helped in a way that no one else offered, and it meant the world to me. I’m four months into my new “gig”, and I think I’m feeling the same things you described with your friend who had twins; it’s frankly really, really hard, and I’m also being transformed in good ways, leaning into it, and enjoying being a twin mom/mom of four. Just wanted to let you know your words really mattered. Thank you!
Oh, and breastfeeding is going really well. I am so grateful.
Comment from Love: These are the moments and the stories that make me love what I do. (These) families keep me inspired.
- Online and In-person La Leche League help: lllusa.org/locator/
Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].
Supporting Breastfeeding Families–Today, Tomorrow, Always
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