Angelina Jolie talks about nursing twins - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-18-2008, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK -- so this is proof of my addiction to Hollywood gossip, but I saw this about Angelina Jolie nursing her twins.

http://perezhilton.com/2008-11-18-sa...stfeeding-woes

It sounds like she did it for three months, and that it was hard. It *is* hard! While one can always hope for a longer nursing relationship, I am pleased she is talking about it at all (takes some of the weirdness away, maybe)...

What do you think?
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#2 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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Ahh.. makes me wonder if she knows about mothering.com... if she had more support from forum.. maybe she'll keep on trying a little bit longer.

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#3 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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Good for Angelina for lasting 3 months!
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#4 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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3 months is better then most moms plus she has 4 other kids at home and busy career so I'm : Her babies got 3 months of mama's milk, much better then none!

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#5 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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The article made me kind of sad (I blame hormones) Not sure how much support she had, but sad if she did not have enough.

It also scared me a bit. I have no doubt that it will be hard, but I'm really hoping to breastfeed my twins as long (or longer) as I did my oldest (22 months).

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#6 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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I saw this too Lisa, so you're not the only one up on her Hollywood gossip

I'm still gestating so what do I know but I was glad she did 3 months vs. nothing, especially with twins. I'm guessing breastfeeding isn't too common amongst the celebrity crowd even with a singleton. I was glad she talked about it and I can imagine that having the other kids that she does and the lifestyle that she does 3 months was pretty good. I also wonder how isolating it must be to be her. You can't exactly go to a LLL meeting and hear from other nursing moms. If anything, it was a good reminder to me of how essential support is, whether it's a lactation consultant, LLL, the forums here, etc.

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#7 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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It seems to me she had difficulty nursing them at the same time. Well, we're at 8.5 months, and I have problems with that and always have. I would much rather nurse one after the other even if it means someone is upset for a few minutes. I'm glad she is talking about it, getting it out into the public. . . maybe take away some of the "freakiness" of bf. And I agree, three months is better than no mama milk.

Gestating twin mamas- you can do it! You can successfully bf your multiples.

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#8 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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I'd guess that AJ had a few issues making BF'ing harder - her twins were premature, I don't know by how much, she would have been recovering from her second c/s, in a foreign country with no adult family help. I can imagine that it was hard.

But I'm really glad she committed to three months and talked about it in public. It's good for raising awareness that you can BF multiples, sympathy for those to whom it doesn't come easy and kudos to those who manage longer.

She's pretty awesome!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#9 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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Good to see in the public eye! I am shocked at how many people incredulously say, "Wow! I didn't know you could breastfeed twins!" when I am spotted nursing in public. It seems "sort-of" a no-brainer for us who have or are doing it, but I guess there are a lot of folks who don't realize it is possible...

I have to say, though, the comments on that site are pretty awful. I had to get out of there quick!

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#10 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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I saw this too Lisa, so you're not the only one up on her Hollywood gossip
Guilty here too!

For all we know she may be pumping and giving expressed breast milk. But yes, it was nice to read that she made it 3 months. I hope I make it much longer than that!

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#11 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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OTOH it's great that she made it 3 months.

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."

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#12 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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The article made me kind of sad (I blame hormones) Not sure how much support she had, but sad if she did not have enough.

It also scared me a bit. I have no doubt that it will be hard, but I'm really hoping to breastfeed my twins as long (or longer) as I did my oldest (22 months).
Honestly, it wasn't and is not hard for me. It really isn't. And I hardly ever nurse them together. And they were 10 weeks premature. The first 6 weeks of nursing my tongue-tied singleton were a LOT harder than nursing my preemie twins has ever been.

I know I'm lucky. Everything has just worked out well for me (although I don't have much support at all; the babies are just really easy to nurse, and I have the experience of having done it before). I'm definitely not trying to discredit anybody who says it is hard. And I do think it's great that Jolie nursed for 3 months. But for the mamas who are pregnant: it doesn't have to be hard at all. It might be, but so might nursing a singleton be. It could also be super easy and the least of your worries
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#13 of 41 Old 11-19-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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OTOH it's great that she made it 3 months.

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."
That's exactly how I felt. I'm glad she mentioned breastfeeding the twins, but it is a bit discouraging that women may read this and the message that they get from it is that it's so hard that even someone with near infinite resources couldn't do it.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#14 of 41 Old 11-20-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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I agree with the PP that nursing a singleton with any issues can be a LOT harder. and I have a DD who was 18 mos when my twins were born. I STILL found nursing my DS with reflux (and parenting for the first 2 years) harder than my twins. I know all twins are different maybe one or both of hers were tongue tied or had reflux. I remember in the early days thanking my lucky stars that both of my twins had bellies that worked right.

I just wanted to post again to support expecting MOMs who will be nursing twins, while time consuming, does not have to be hard.

HTH
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#15 of 41 Old 11-20-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Honestly, I probably wouldn't have lasted 3 months if I had 4 other kids and a demanding career. My boys nurse A LOT. Some evenings I'll be stuck on the couch for 3-4 hours while they go on nursing marathons, one after the other. Luckily my older kids can get a drink or a snack themselves and when dh is home, he's a huge help. 3 months is better than nothing. And she was public and open about breastfeeding them and I think that is awesome.

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#16 of 41 Old 11-20-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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That's exactly how I felt. I'm glad she mentioned breastfeeding the twins, but it is a bit discouraging that women may read this and the message that they get from it is that it's so hard that even someone with near infinite resources couldn't do it.
I completely agree.

I have the exact same age spacing in my children that Brad and Angie have. Actually, I think my oldest is a touch younger than theirs. And I've managed to successfully nurse both twins, exclusively, without the aid of ANY nannies or lactation consultants, etc. Just me. And my boobies. And my babies. And lots of stress some days but other days not. Ok, I DID put my oldest in school but that was about it as far as "concessions" went. Oh, and Claire got one six ounce bottle of formula one day when I was at a long birth (it was two, back to back actually) and I didn't have enough breast milk for the whole time.

That's it. In six months. And we won't be stopping any time soon. So it CAN be done, even with six under six. Heck, Heather is nursing TWO sets of twins.
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#17 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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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.
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#18 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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My twins share the same birth date as their twins of July 12, only 2 years earlier, the year Shiloh was born. And I also lasted 3 months of breastfeeding. It was very hard on me as my girls didn't have much for sucking abilities at birth so I had to exclusively pump. Once I was drawing blood, I had to stop, but I did last those 3 months. I try not to beat myself up over it, it's hard but it took several weeks to heal after I stopped using the pump, I'm sure I fit an infection in there somewhere.

Good job Angie for speaking out for breastfeeding.!!

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#19 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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I haven't read the article yet but I opened the link. I just wanted to post for the other expectant twin moms who have mentioned feeling nervous, and cautiously optimistic. I agree with others who've mentioned that it is possible and do-able.

I am at the four month mark (so, not really TOO far yet) and things are humming along. It is hard, in the sense that you are called on to be uniquely available to two babies, and in the sense that there are ups and downs as far as degree of the demand that's on you....growth spurts, fussy stages and extra neediness associated with developmental spurts, nights of more or less sleep (because of more or less nursing.) It's a challenge because that commitment is there, and it can be challenging.

But we are going along and I never really assumed anything different. Either because of confidence or obliviousness, I didn't buy any bottles or get a pump before the twins were born (I have an Avent Isis hand pump that I used briefly to have a supply of breastmilk onhand when I started solids with my older child, for mixing with food--I thought I might pump more with her but I never ended up using a bottle with her, so didn't really need the pump.) I ended up not introducing any bottles with the twins, either.

There were times that I've thought having expressed milk in a bottle would have solved my problems (like taking my elderly mom to a doctor's appointment, and ending up with both babies wailing, no way to hold both, trying to nurse one while the other screamed in his carseat, and fending of physicality from my still-adjusting preschooler....) but I never ended up doing anything about it. I do nurse them in public but not at the same time (we juggle babies back and forth, when I have my husband along.)

I fully expect to nurse through the first year, nursing exclusively until whenever we start solids (not feeling any too hurried about that, at the moment), and then on through the second year. I nursed my older daughter until 2 months before she turned 4 (she had cut back a great deal and was slowly weaning), and I won't be surprised if the twins go about that long. I remember the phases of urgency versus a more laid-back attitude that characterized toddler nursing for my daughter, and I see that it all could be challenging (emotionally and physically) with twins (as it certainly was with a singleton), but at this point, it feels nothing but do-able.

Of course, I'm kind of in a smoother period right now!

For awhile, I did feel enmeshed and it felt constant and anything else pulling at me in my life got neglected. Only now is my house BEGINNING to seem livable/presentable (and I'm serious), and I'm feeling better about things. I don't want to minimize the upheaval and challenge of ALL of it, including the nursing factor, with two newborns. But on the level of taking it one day at a time and just attending to the needs of whoever was in front of me, needing me, it was do-able.

I got more willing to nurse them together once my husband's paternity leave ended (at 6 weeks) and I no longer had someone to hold/bounce the other baby. It can be physically challenging (sometimes my skin crawls and I get irritable, I assume it's the sensations) but it serves a purpose. But yeah, nursing one at a time feels luxurious. (Unless, of course, they're growth-spurting and it's never-ending. Then a little tandem time is worth it for sure!)

My twins were full-term and fed well from the start. Short frenulums, and some pain/discomfort for me because of that, but in the end we decided it wasn't necessary to have them clipped & we'll wait and see how talking comes along....if they stretch or not. They now are nursing well despite the short frenulums (as far as pain to me--no more discomfort related to that) and the oversupply/forceful letdown issue is mostly something they can manage, too.
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#20 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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I 3 months bfing twins! It would be nice if she is pumping or went longer but at least she tried and spoke about it!

Denise, Mama to DS1 (7) and DD1 (5) and new baby due June 2012!

 
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#21 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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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?
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#22 of 41 Old 11-21-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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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).

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#23 of 41 Old 11-24-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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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!
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#24 of 41 Old 11-25-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 41 Old 11-26-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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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.

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#26 of 41 Old 11-26-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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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.

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#27 of 41 Old 11-26-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 41 Old 11-26-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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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.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#29 of 41 Old 11-26-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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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.
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#30 of 41 Old 11-27-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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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.

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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