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Angelina Jolie talks about nursing twins - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaeliz View Post
Well, it's hard to post after Chantel, who pretty much has the kid load equivalent, and IS still BF-ing, but what I thought was, no matter how much help you have, and no matter how many resources you have, the older kids still want YOU, MOMMY, and every nursing relationship is different. I don't know offhand what country they are in (sorry, I so don't follow celebs), but maybe even getting the water needs met was challenging. Anyways, I love that someone people think of as hip and cool (enough to pay attention to her life ) is BF-ing, and although I found my twins' nursing relationship to be a piece of cake so far, I DO know the challenges of a pre-term baby, and let me tell you, there is NO comparison!!! There's nothing quite like a baby who ISN"T nursing, and basically being married to the breast pump, while still trying to kangaroo care, much less shove any food into your face.
Is the cup half full of half empty here?

I don't mean to give the impression that my life is a piece of cake (or hers either, for that matter). Just if you can afford the help to just lay in bed and nurse why wouldn't you?

They were in France, so I don't suppose water was an issue. And I think her twins were full term?

I'm really trying not to judge her, it just frustrates me. It's sort of like she's saying "well, if I can't do it with all my money and power and fame then it's probably not going to be possible". Didn't Julia Roberts nurse her twins for a long time?
post #22 of 41
Poor, Angie. I'm sure breastfeeding preemies is considerably more difficult. I'm at 16 months and still going strong, but I had great support, great nursers and they were full term. Good for her for giving them at least 3 months of milk. At least she tried (a hem, J Lo).
post #23 of 41
I'm really trying not to judge her, it just frustrates me. It's sort of like she's saying "well, if I can't do it with all my money and power and fame then it's probably not going to be possible". Didn't Julia Roberts nurse her twins for a long time?
I know what you mean, Chantel, and I guess I just like to play the devil's advocate a bit I think that you are one sweet, kind mama and I totally get that you are just looking for good press for bf-ing I've been thinking about this one a lot (weird!), and I think I've come to the conclusion that breastfeeding IS hard, or can be hard. I think this is one of those weird things, where it's good to admit that it CAN be hard, because I think that this is why many breastfeeding relationships fail. Women just couldn't imagine what the challenges of bf-ing could be, and then they end up with a zillion, and quit. I have a strange background, as I was a formula baby, but have family-like close friends who were HUGE bf-ing advocates. The mom worked for LLL, and even was friends with a founding member. But as a kid, I just couldn't understand why LLL existed, as I couldn't imagine why moms would need support
Anyways, I think that bf-ing successfully has a lot to do with the culture you live in. I'm fortunate that the LLL friend of the family came out to help me for a month in the third month. She got me through a growth spurt, and even though I had people who were doing "everything" for me, I really just wanted to make a damn pot of soup by myself. I was tired of "verbally" parenting and cooking and wanted to DO!!!! I know I should be kicked (and I'd like to kick myself now that I don't have help), but even though I had a TON of help for 3 months, and although I don't have all the accoutrements of Angelina's life, all I had to do was nurse, nurse, nurse and I was kind of going crazy. And that was with full-term, healthy happy nursers.
I did google her birth details (first for everything), and it sounds like her babies were about 5 weeks early and she had a C-section. These are tough things, as I had my DD1 in the hospital 5 weeks early, and although it was drug-free, we still had loads of nursing challenges, and was kept on track by the pressure of LLL friends to have bf-ing succeed. Like someone else said, maybe if she had known about MDC, it would have lasted longer!
post #24 of 41
I'm torn on this one too, but one point to consider is even if she does have all of the money and can hire the 'best' people in the world, there are some people out there that give pretty crappy advice. Even so called 'experts'. I'm sure we've all heard stories about advice from LC etc. that makes no sense and hurts a BF relationship, rather than helping it.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zadee View Post
OTOtherH, she's a woman with infinite resources, essentially. 3 months isn't that impressive IMO for someone who can hire a bevy of nannies, get the best LC flown to her side, have no other tasks other than learning to BF her twins. I think it sends the message that "this is so difficult to do that even Angelina Jolie, rich supermom, could only manage it for three months."

Yep, these were my thoughts. Sure it was great at first that she brought some attention to the fact that twins *can* be nursed but mostly I think she ended up making it look too hard for most women. Shoot, she's got 6 nannies for crying out loud. I've got no help and 2 older kids yet my 2 1/2 year old twins are still nursing just fine. I wish she had either never discussed it at all or had gotten more help. Sounds like the downfall for her was over the fact that she couldn't figure out how to tandem nurse and didn't want to commit to the time it took to nurse them both individually. There are great resources out there that would have helped her (I'd bet) find something that worked for her but alas it sounds like she leaned on one book and that was it.
post #26 of 41
I don't judge Angelina anymore than I would judge another woman for stopping nursing. I don't hold her to a different level because of her celebrity. I don't walk in her shoes, I don't know her babies or anything else about her life.

I think it is great that attention is brought (through someone like Angelina) to BREAST FEEDING! Regardless if it was twins, triplets a singleton or inducing lactation to breast feed an adopted child. (which I tried) But I don't find her inability to breast feed beyond 3 months any of my business and it certainly wouldn't effect me and my ability to try harder, longer or different approaches.

Regardless if she even attempted to breast feed has no bearing on how I will raise my children. And if things get tough at certain points in our breast feeding journey, the last person I will think about is Angelina.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaK View Post
And if things get tough at certain points in our breast feeding journey, the last person I will think about is Angelina.


I agree that what she does/decides with her twins has nothing to do with how I will raise my children. I think the issue is more the types of assumptions people have about breastfeeding twins. I didn't think it was that great of an "article." I read through it back when I saw it posted and yeah, it basically seemed to be from a pessimistic angle. (Not Angelina's comments, just the general attitude of "Of course it couldn't last.") Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but it seemed all about the "too difficult" angle.


On another note....not specifically to do with Angelina but just what people have said about attitudes & preconceptions of others re: nursing twins.

So when people in public express surprise that twins can be nursed, is that a logistical thing? Are they seeing tandem nursing and expressing surprise at that? ("I didn't know you could nurse two at once"?) Or is it an "I didn't think you could have enough milk to nurse two" kind of thing? Or is it an "I thought it would be too hard" kind of thing? I just was trying to figure out what it means when people claim to have thought it was "impossible" to nurse twins.

The most exposure I've had to that kind of amazement/disbelief reaction was from some women at my mother's wake. They came up to see the babies, and asked how big they were at birth. Nearly fell over, thinking how hard it must have been to carry that weight around (it was!!!) Then asked if I had a c-section (in a kind of "confirming" way, not curious about IF I had one, but just sort of assuming) and dropped their jaws about me "doing it naturally." (Though nobody ever gets to the point of asking about whether I did actually do it naturally/without meds....they just fixate on the double vaginal birth as the "natural" thing.) When they learned I was breastfeeding both, they were amazed and in awe.

The midwife in my OB's practice constantly applauds the fact that the boys are exclusively breastfed (she always asks, "No bottles? No anything? Wow, you are amazing!!!") and that's been the other kind of big deal/amazement reaction I've had. I'm not certain if she's really amazed, or if she's just trying to be very positive and supportive. I would rather be supported by someone saying something like, "You are doing a great thing for them, and it must have some difficult moments. You're doing great!" rather than treating it like it's an unbelievable feat or something. I mean, I don't want people to take for granted what I am doing, but heck--I sort of take it for granted! (I mean, I assume that I will breastfeed them, and that it can be done, and that there's no reason why I shouldn't have this goal.) So it feels awkward to have a big deal made of the fact that I'm even attempting it. Because "it" feels rather like nursing my first child did: very do-able and possible, very frustrating and overwhelming at times, a huge commitment of availability and physicality, but definitely not this impossible thing.

I don't know if I am making sense.
post #28 of 41
I always enjoy a good celebrity pile-on, but I have no idea what Angelina has gone through with her babies and so I don't think it's fair to judge her statements. All she knows about breastfeeding twins is her experience, and it may have been incredibly difficult - I know mine was with premature twins. If my comments about breastfeeding my own twins were taken out of the context of a larger conversation about breastfeeding, I wonder if someone here would find them controversial in the same way as Angelina's.

I see several references in here to Angelina's twins being premature. Do we know that? I haven't read much about them so I haven't delved into the details.
post #29 of 41
Amy, I ran into a lady at the park the other day who saw me nursing Ben and was just BURSTING with questions. She seemed genuinely surprised that I had enough milk for both and I think the logistics of it were a bit shocking to her. But she was intrigued and positive and supportive and just amazed that I planned to nurse until they were over a year old. I walked away feeling like a million bucks that someone "got" for the first time that nursing twins was not only possible, but it could actually be a positive thing.

I get that slant a lot when I tell people they are ebf. The "oh that must be so HARD" and while, yeah, it was harder for me in the beginning and that 6 month growth spurt almost killed me, it's really not *that* much harder than nursing one. Not to the point where I want to quit. OK, well, SOME days. I try to spin it as positively as I can though. Maybe someone pregnant will see me nursing two and figure if I can do that then she can certainly nurse her one.

I made sure to tell the lady at the park (who claimed she just 'lost her milk' at 9 months and her baby self weaned) that I was sure to not introduce any pacifiers or formula for the first two months because I wanted to establish a good long term supply.
post #30 of 41
One thing that may have affected Angelina's ability to nurse her twins is pressure on her to return to her pre-pregnancy shape immediately. If she felt a pressure to diet and exercise to become skinny, she may not have had enough milk.

While only nursing for 3 months may not seem like a lot to most of us who nursed longer, it is longer than most twins get nursed. And it may make it seem like nursing twins is possible to pregnant mamas who may find it easier to go longer than 3 months.
post #31 of 41
I made sure to tell the lady at the park (who claimed she just 'lost her milk' at 9 months and her baby self weaned) that I was sure to not introduce any pacifiers or formula for the first two months because I wanted to establish a good long term supply.
Yes, I think it's more of the person you meet in the park who has a greater impression on your bf-ing experience than some celeb. The whole "my milk dried up" may be true in some respects if the mom didn't keep on enough weight, or did any type of scheduling. I was shocked when I learned in LLL that delaying feeding begins weaning. It might not happen for months, but when a mom doesn't "cue feed", weaning begins.
I don't judge Angelina anymore than I would judge another woman for stopping nursing. I don't hold her to a different level because of her celebrity. I don't walk in her shoes, I don't know her babies or anything else about her life.
I absolutely agree!!!!!!
I see several references in here to Angelina's twins being premature. Do we know that? I haven't read much about them so I haven't delved into the details.
I actually took the time to google it (I'm crazy), and she was due mid-August and delivered mid-July. It was similar time frame to my DD1 who was 5 weeks early, and that was enough to present serious nursing challenges to us. AND she had a c-section. From what I've heard, it's a tough recovery.
post #32 of 41
I didn't think about the losing weight thing. She did get awful skinny awful quickly.

I guess it just makes me sad. I desire for all babies, multiples included, to be nursed for at least a year. A perfect world, I guess.....
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zadee View Post
I think it sends the message that "this is so difficult to do that even Angelina Jolie, rich supermom, could only manage it for three months."
And I have actually heard a mama say just this recently.
post #34 of 41
It's amazing that she managed to breastfeed at all seeing as she gave birth here in France - France has one of the poorest rates for breastfeeding if she had really wanted support and a good birth AND give birth in europe - she should have gone to Norway or one of the other scandanavian countries - anyway it's a shame it was only for 3 months, but I guess that 3 months is better than nothing at all, I can only imagine nursing twins LOL but goodness I admire all women who breastfeed twins and more, you are all godesses in my book!!!
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
I don't mean to give the impression that my life is a piece of cake (or hers either, for that matter). Just if you can afford the help to just lay in bed and nurse why wouldn't you?
For me, just laying in bed and nursing would make me horrifically depressed. I need to be active. I need to get outside at least some every day. Failure to do this is very bad for my health.

I can't speak for Angie, obviously. But there is at least one reason why she might not just want to lie in bed all the time. And looking at her life (six kids! an acting career! extensive charity work!), I don't get the impression that she really *enjoys* lazing around. Honestly, I think this may be a case where, if we lived in a more accepting society, she might have been able to go longer. I think that most women in the U.S. feel a lot of pressure to stop nursing because they can't nurse AND do other things - can't nurse in front of my boss, can't nurse on the bus, can't nurse at the grocery store, boss won't give breaks for pumping, that meeting conflicts with my pumping schedule... It's that pressure that makes women think dang, it's too hard, and that pressure affects us all, without regard to our economic resources.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
For me, just laying in bed and nursing would make me horrifically depressed. I need to be active. I need to get outside at least some every day. Failure to do this is very bad for my health.

I can't speak for Angie, obviously. But there is at least one reason why she might not just want to lie in bed all the time. And looking at her life (six kids! an acting career! extensive charity work!), I don't get the impression that she really *enjoys* lazing around. Honestly, I think this may be a case where, if we lived in a more accepting society, she might have been able to go longer. I think that most women in the U.S. feel a lot of pressure to stop nursing because they can't nurse AND do other things - can't nurse in front of my boss, can't nurse on the bus, can't nurse at the grocery store, boss won't give breaks for pumping, that meeting conflicts with my pumping schedule... It's that pressure that makes women think dang, it's too hard, and that pressure affects us all, without regard to our economic resources.
I think you took me slightly out of context.

What I meant was, that I cannot just focus on nursing my babies. I have to take care of my other four children (who are the same ages as Angie's kids, btw) and keep my house and run all the errands and pay all the bills and do all the shopping etc. I don't have any help. I do not have family close by. I DO have some AMAZING friends who I thank God for but they all have children and families of their own. What I am saying is not that she should lay in her bed all day every day (goodness! that would make me crazy!) but that if all you have to do to subsist, is lay around and learn to nurse your children while everyone else takes care of the banking and shopping and cleaning of the other children and cooking of the meals, then why the heck not? It's ONE year for goodness sakes.
post #37 of 41
My grandmother nursed my mother and her twin for 2.5 years and at at the time of their birth, they were the youngest of 9 children. (I believe gramma weaned them after she got preggo with #10.)

So... Just sayin'. It can be done. If Angelina nursed her's for 3 months, then good for her. But I don't think her job or other kids are to "blame", it was her choice.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
I think you took me slightly out of context.

What I meant was, that I cannot just focus on nursing my babies. I have to take care of my other four children (who are the same ages as Angie's kids, btw) and keep my house and run all the errands and pay all the bills and do all the shopping etc. I don't have any help. I do not have family close by. I DO have some AMAZING friends who I thank God for but they all have children and families of their own. What I am saying is not that she should lay in her bed all day every day (goodness! that would make me crazy!) but that if all you have to do to subsist, is lay around and learn to nurse your children while everyone else takes care of the banking and shopping and cleaning of the other children and cooking of the meals, then why the heck not? It's ONE year for goodness sakes.
Let's be accurate - she doesn't seem to have had any trouble learning to nurse. That part went fine. She decided not to keep doing it, which is very different from not being able to get it started.

I'm glad that you managed to do this - you hero! But I don't think other women (how ever rich, well-supported or politically significant they are) should be held to standards that are expressed as "Soandso managed this, so you should too."

Yeah, it's just one year. One year is a very long time for someone who is flat guaranteed that if she ever tries to NIP, she will be surrounded by photographers.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
She decided not to keep doing it, which is very different from not being able to get it started.

I'm glad that you managed to do this - you hero! But I don't think other women (how ever rich, well-supported or politically significant they are) should be held to standards that are expressed as "Soandso managed this, so you should too."
I was just answering the many comments about the size of her family and the busy-ness of her life. Yes, I'm sure she's quite busy and I KNOW what it is to have lots of little children.

You're right, she CHOSE to stop nursing her babies and from what I can find that was based on how time consuming she found nursing twins to be and how hard she found tandem nursing to be.

I suppose I come to MDC because other women here "get" the sacrifices we all make to be sure our children get mother's milk and cloth on their bums and AP parenting in their life. I didn't suppose I'd have to be called to the mat to defend these things. Twins are different. There are additional choices to be made and usually are additional difficulties to be faced and I am supportive of a woman who says "I cannot nurse them because of x,y,z reason" but I cannot support "the photographers will get me" as one of them.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
Let's be accurate - she doesn't seem to have had any trouble learning to nurse. That part went fine. She decided not to keep doing it, which is very different from not being able to get it started.
What I believe Angelina said was, she never got the hang on tandem nursing them (the comment about how the books just said you could football hold each baby and that wasn't easy for her) and so nursing them individually which is what she did the bulk of the time (according to that interview) took too long so she gave up. That's what she said. Had she had more support she probably could have found better ways to tandem nurse. I know I didn't love the double football hold myself but was able to find photos online of other twin moms nursing and experimented with different positions and pillows, etc. until I found something that worked for me. Ultimately I still personally preferred to nurse them solo for most of that first year and that was fine for ME but what I'm saying is her interview made it sound as though she couldn't get the hang of the one twin tandem nursing position she knew of and nursing them one at a time took too long so she gave up. Her choice of course but it's a shame IMO b/c if that's what quiting was really about it could have probably been easily avoided by more education/help.
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