Did You Bfeed Twins? How? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't, and I'm wondering how other moms fared.
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#2 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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Yep. Not a drop of formula for my girls!! They are still going strong at 10 mos! As to your question of how...are you looking for anything specific?

In terms of when - all the time! I nurse on demand and through the night still. I mostly nurse simultaneously. For the first 2 mos I nursed in double football position on pillows or my boppy. After that we went to V hold. It took me awhile to figure out nursing them both while laying down but we finally got the hang of it maybe around the 6-7 mos. Until that I'd just nurse them separately while laying down or sit up if they both wanted to nurse.

I also went back to work when they were 8wks old. Part time 3days per wk. I pump those days with a Medela pump in style.

Let's see. I can't think of any other specifics right now. I was thankful to have full term babies. They were born emer c sec at 38w1d. Josephine was in NICU for 2 days and both came home with me at 4 days old. I also think that my bf'ing experience with my son made it much easier for me with my twins. Although the trade off is that not only was I constantly nursing my girls, I also had a toddler to care for too.

But overall I think it being my 2nd bf'ing experience that saved me! Those mamas that have twins as their first children and manage to figure out bf'ing TWO...well that is a task!!
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#3 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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Welcome Geezer! And welcome to your two little newbies!

I did and do nurse my now-19-month-olds. As to how I/we fared, it varied greatly depending on their age, my illness, etc.

At first I was desperately ill with pre eclampsia that worsened drastically following the emergency c-section. The girls were in the NICU. I pumped for them about 3 times a day - NOT ENOUGH!!!!! But all I could do!!!!

Once we got home I transitioned Annika to the breast first. Both girls had had help from the hospital LC with first latch-on and that made all the difference. I had a good friend who would come over and offer support and advice on a moment's notice in those early weeks. After a week or two of that Alicia came to the breast.

After that I continued to supplement with varying amounts of formula in bottles every day. I also breastfed on their requests (i.e. all the time :LOL ) day and night - the formula was given in the early evening. I also called my LC frequently and she would call me like once a week or so just to see how I was doing.

At four months I finally felt well and tried to move to exclusive breastfeeding but at that point my supply limit had been set and it didn't work out. So I went back to using formula supplements. As they started solids I was able to reduce the amount of formula in bottles and add it to their food, thickening with rice cereal as needed so I could spoon it into them (poor things, eh? : ).

At nine months Alicia ended her supplementing and at 10 1/2 months Annika ended her supplementing. W'e're still nursing lots and lots and lots at 19 months and we love it!

I credit my LC, my LLL group, Karen Kerkhoff Gromada's book Mothering Multiples, the Twins magazine breastfeeding forum, my friend Patti, lots of family assistance, and my famous head made of solid concrete for our success. I'm in dreamland now with nursing - it's fun and normal and happy.

All of that being said, you are doing great and no one but another mom of twins knows what it's like to try to nurse twins, often against the most ferocious of odds in terms of illness and prematurity and on and on and on. I hope you hang out here at this forum and enjoy lots of support. I found this forum rather later and wish now I had found it earlier. But I check here daily now. It's not the most active forum on the site but I can say we are few but dedicated!

Again welcome and hope to see you around lots here!
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#4 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 10:28 PM
 
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Us too My girls are 16 months, still nursing and we've had no problems at all. As for the how, not sure what you want to know but I will say that I think that becoming informed prenatally, choosing a good health care provider and trying your damnedest to have full term babies and a vaginal birth have more of an impact on a twin breastfeeding experience than a singleton one.
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#5 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 11:16 PM
 
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I'm doing it, too. The boys are 7 1/2 months, have never been supplemented and have just started tasting pureed foods. I'm so thrilled they've never needed to be supplemented; I don't know how I'd fit making bottles in!

Technically speaking, I do it about the same as gotmilkmama described, though I am in awe that she has mastered the dual (or duel, on some days) nursing lying down. I haven't gotten that yet, even though I'm sporting what one would call "36 longs" these days. :LOL

Mostly, the boys nurse one at a time, one right after the other. They're pretty efficient, so I'm only feeding for about 20 minutes at any point... about the same as when they were littler and fed at the same time.

I didn't have any other complications to contend with, though... they were born at 37 weeks, 1 day and weighed in at 6lbs 8oz and 6lbs 9oz. They came home with me 48 hours later, nursing like champs.

I have a friend who delivered her twins 2 weeks before mine at 28 weeks. She pumped for 5 weeks of NICU time and had to buy a chest freezer to store all the ebm... I don't know how those of you who had to go through that craziness do it. It has to take superhuman effort.
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#6 of 26 Old 05-04-2005, 11:44 PM
 
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I did. My twins were born by c-section at 29 weeks and spent 2 months in the NICU. I pumped till they came home and then it took about a month to get them nursing.

I generally nursed them both together on the double blessings pillow (is that what you meant by how?)

I got pregnant again when they were 6 months old and one weaned at 11 months (my milk dried up).

the other one tandem nursed with his baby brother till he was 4. the other one weaned about a month later LOL (around his third birthday).

I almost never nursed them together though.

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#7 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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Tandem nursed from the beginning. At thanksgiving dinner, on a ferry, in a kayak, at the store, in the gardens, mostly in public. (gasp!)

Couldnt live without the nursing pillow, had one in the trunk at all times.

see?

We could not have survived without the help of our local LLL leader, who taught us the "aussie" nursing position so I could finally sleep, with a twin propped on each side whilst laying down. Nor without our beautiful amazing doula goddesses.

It is so worth it, all the fenugreek, all the water bottles, all the moments of just them & I.
They are thriving toddlers now, and have never had more than a sniffle after a big gathering, Rock on, immunities.

Ok, I'm done - just know it can be done.

And I am a breast cancer survivor.
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#8 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 09:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twopeasinpod
We could not have survived without the help of our local LLL leader, who taught us the "aussie" nursing position so I could finally sleep, with a twin propped on each side whilst laying down. Nor without our beautiful amazing doula goddesses.
What is the aussie position? As a soon to be twin mom and an LLL leader, I think it would be good to know

I am pg with my twins, but I will be nursing. We have many food allergies in this family, so formula is NOT an option.
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#9 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 10:32 AM
 
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I did, for 28 months. They never took a bottle. Tandem nursing and an ez2nurse pillow were key! My dh jokes we should have the pillow bronzed.

Deb
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#10 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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Other then some supplementing in NICU (don't get me started on that one), my girls were exclusively breastfed until they started solids around 7 months & are still going strong at 25 mo.

Honestly, while infants, I don't know how I would have managed withOUT breastfeeding. I could feed/comfort them both at the same time while still having at least one hand free to do something else (like eat, I'm not sure I ate a meal w/o at least one kid nursing until they were 6 months old or so LOL). Also as they got better head/neck support, I was able to double sling & let them both nurse while in the slings, so I could even go shopping & such w/o worrying about feeding schedules, etc.

Illinimom, the australian position, and many others, are pictured here: http://www.karengromada.com/photos.htm

Of course, I tended to invent my own positions as we went along, for awhile, the prefered method when we were away from home (and our rather impressive stack of pillows,etc) was to sit crosslegged on the floor, lay one baby in my lap, cradle style & then lay the other in a football position w/ her head on baby 1's legs/stomach & her legs on the diaperbag, sitting beside me LOL. Also had a stage where I just kinda just piled them both in my lap LOL. Now they're pickier about being piled on top of each other, but like to sit on my knees to nurse (knee num nums is quite the treat LOL).
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#11 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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:LOL - Hey GoodEats I have 36 longs too! I'll never forget when my girls where about 5 mos old and we visited my sister and she said "When did your boobs drop so low?".

Regarding nursing while lying down...I thought I'd never get it either. It took lots of trying, and pillows underneath. Once my girls got really good at sitting on their own and then crawling it gets much easier. They have more head, neck, and body strength and by that point you can pretty much just lay there and they do the rest.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latinmom
I did, for 28 months. They never took a bottle. Tandem nursing and an ez2nurse pillow were key! My dh jokes we should have the pillow bronzed.

Deb

ROFL!! that is what DH said...shrine to the ez2nurse...so true.

I love the Karen site, it always makes me so happy to see all those mamas & gnome.
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#13 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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My girls are almost 29-months-old (how did that happen?!) and are still nursing 3 times a day. They were born full term at 38w3d (vaginal birth) and nursed within an hour of being born. They have never been supplemented even when Lillie was in the PICU for a week on life support with RSV. The nutritionalist suggested giving her "Mother's Milk Supplement" along with my breastmilk in her feeding tube. She couldn't give me any reason she needed it other then that's just "what we do". She got a big NO from me and wouldn't talk to me the rest of Lillie's stay..... :LOL

Carmella - I very quickly figured out how to nurse them both lying down too! We experimented with putting pillows under each girl to get them at just the right height (I'm not very endowed ) to get them latched on. Once they got bigger we ditched the pillows and they would each lay their head on my shoulders while nursing. Still doing that to this day!

Bear with me....my girls want to post some smilies.

Faith's picks: :

Haven's picks: :

Karen - Mama to Haven (9/00) , Lillie & Faith (MZ - 12/02) and my first homebirthed baby, Willa (3/08)
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#14 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 12:34 PM
 
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grrrrrr....that sounds so familiar - the NICU nurses berated me for starving my children, and told me I was in their way (I slept in the NICU private room with them)...fortunately, I got it all on video by accident. Some "health professionals" can kill the whole act in the beginning...especially in a high-stress area like the NICU.
lovelovelove to the mamas who endure that with pre-term babies.
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#15 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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Still nursing 19 month olds here.
I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for when you ask how did you do it, but I can tell you in our case it was the most difficult thing I've ever done. My girls were 2 months premature and they didn't latch properly for a LONG time. With the help of some great mamas and dads on a list serve, a really good IBCLC I had and a very supportive dp, I stuck with it. My girls finally started nursing when they were 3 months old.

In the beginning I'd nurse them together, but once they got old enough to start kicking each other and shoving (one pushed her sister off the chair once ), I started nursing them separately. I quite enjoy nursing them separately now because I get one-on-one time with each of them.

The EZ2Nurse pillow didn't work with my big boobs--I had better success with the other one (I can't, for the life of me, remember the name of it--twin mama brain, sorry :LOL) that was thinner. But really what worked best for me was two regular pillows.

I always had supply issues & had to supplement with formula, but only minimally. The day I stopped using formula was the 3rd happiest day of my life.
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#16 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeas
Honestly, while infants, I don't know how I would have managed withOUT breastfeeding.
:

My twins were supplemented at first, it doesn't bother me because they needed it at the time. They didn't have any bottles or formula after coming home. We were really lucky, the home health nurse that was assigned to us was pretty pro-breastfeeding and encouraged me and reassured me that they were doing fine.

Mainly, I nursed them because everyone told me I couldn't. I wouldn't have enough milk, that it would take too much time, that I would be stuck in the house and tied to babies all day. "They" all turned out to be very wrong.

I used a Boppy during the day, at night we nursed side-lying, one at a time.
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#17 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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I had a terrible c-section (planned, at 39 weeks, but lost tons of blood) and still have had a great experience nursing my twins. Maybe too great, since they still seem to nurse all the time.

My LLL leader (also a mother of twins) was an exceptional source of encouragement in the first months/year - and my twins nursing pillow was essential for the first four months. Honestly, I don't think I could have dealt with all the bottles and stuff amidst the craziness of two relatively high needs babies.
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#18 of 26 Old 05-05-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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this is us btw, from Karen's site

http://www.karengromada.com/images/p..._inphoto36.jpg

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#19 of 26 Old 05-07-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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I bfed my twins until they self weaned at 18mths. I almost always nursed them at the same time....twin a cradle to right breast and twin b football to left
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#20 of 26 Old 05-08-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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I just finished weaning my 27-month-old twins. . . Still feeling weird about not being a nursing mom anymore.

I think that during the first few months, nursing twins was the hardest thing I've ever done. We had some issues, mainly thrush and a lot of plugged ducts, but I never questioned whether or not I'd continue. I made myself a goal of nursing to two years and was completely determined to meet that goal. I think if I had been any less committed to breastfeeding, it would have been easy for me to stop, either right away or around 3 months (when our thrush was at its peak). Around 6 months, when we were finally yeast-free and also the boys were nursing for only about 5 minutes or so at a time (granted, they were nursing at least once an hour during the day), nursing became so easy and gloriously wonderful.

When people on the street would stop with gaping mouths and ask how I did it, I'd just point out that I had TWO breasts. But then after reading that Mothering article about the mama who's nursing her twins on ONE breast, I realized that even having two breasts isn't a necessity to exlusively breastfeeding twins!

My guys were nursed exclusively until 13 months, and then frequently (mostly on cue) until their second birthday, at which point I began gradually weaning them.

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Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#21 of 26 Old 05-08-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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Faythe, I agree-I was told so many times, esp. in the hospital, that I HAD to suppliment, that I HAD to use bottles, that I HAD to... (you get the picture). My dh and I figured we had 80 years of defiance of authority between the two of us, so we could face out anything they tried to do. The nurses would panic when they came to the room and the babies weren't in the bassinets-they were in the beds with us, where they belonged!! And the one nurse I had who was a twin mom was the worst of the lot-she was on a personal mission to make sure we failed. So I was going to do this, no matter what! That sentiment got me thru some of the rough patches.

Deb
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#22 of 26 Old 05-13-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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I'm so glad I found this board. I'm 32 weeks PG and determined to bfeed these baby girls. I have a 3 yr. old who was in the trenches with me during the first few months, he could never latch properly, was hysterical (we were both hysterical), was supplemented, and finally an Occupational Therapist looked at him at 4+ mos. and said he was tongue-tied. I was pumping at that point and had given up and considered myself a failure.

I won't be so hard on myself this time but I am more determined than ever, and ready to deny all of the "well-meaning" nurses/my mother/others who insist they need formula. these boobs are ready!

As far as "how" you breastfed your twins, I read in Dr. Sears that nursing one and then waking/nursing the other was recommended to help get them on the same schedule, otherwise you'd never sleep. Agreed? harder than it sounds?
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#23 of 26 Old 05-14-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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lol i did that for a while. it took me over a month to realize i was always waking the same twin LOL. as soon as i realized that I tried not waking him the next night and he slept through the night from then on LOL

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#24 of 26 Old 05-14-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezy44
...As far as "how" you breastfed your twins, I read in Dr. Sears that nursing one and then waking/nursing the other was recommended to help get them on the same schedule, otherwise you'd never sleep. Agreed? harder than it sounds?
You aren't going to be getting much sleep, feeding schedule or not! I think a lot of whether or not you can get onto a schedule or routine depends on the babies. Some just resist any sort of routine, or maybe they have their own internal routine. That said, my twins were on a schedule coming home from the hospital. They fed every three hours. In the early days that meant 45 min nursing each twin, 15 min each for diaper and clothes changes and then 1 hour for me before the next feed (assuming that they went back to sleep without a fuss).

I'd certainly recommend giving it a try. If it works out it's an extra bit of sleep for you, or time for your older dc. I'd also recommend nursing them together when you can. It's neat. It's also much easier than listening to one cry while trying to feed the other - Dr. Sears assumes that the waiting baby will be asleep, which was usually not true for me!
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#25 of 26 Old 05-14-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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I am still nursing my almost 4 year olds (and their little sister).

We had a rocky start - my DD didn't latch for 2 months so I pumped and supplemented her. My DS dropped about 15% of his birth weight and stayed there for about 3 weeks. My milk supply crashed b/c I wasn't getting enough stimulation from the twins. It was a tough start but I had a fabulous lactation consultant and my family dr. was wonderful and very encouraging. I was completely thrown b/c I figured I was an experienced nurser at that point and I wasn't really prepared for the struggles. I thought that bfing would be the easy part of twins.

I would suggest talking to a LC (esp one with lots of twins experience) a few weeks before the birth. There are some things you can do to help get off on the right foot especially if you end up w a c-section like I did. My LC suggested: Get pumping right away - within an hour or two of giving birth, take blessed thistle and fenugreek, lots of skin to skin contact, make sure that any hospital staff know you have an LC and are committed to b/fing. At 3 and 6 weeks - typical growth spurt times - make sure you schedule a bit of extra help and keep the fenugreek handy...

As for schedules - my twins hadn't read the book. I just got used to nursing two at once, sleeping sitting semi reclined w both babies nursing. Really - it's a blurr . It was hardest on my then 3-year old - but everyone came through it okay.

Good luck with the nursing. It can be done.

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#26 of 26 Old 05-14-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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As far as scheduling nursing, we never bothered during the day. There was a while when I had figured out how to nurse them both (sitting up in a recliner) but hadn't figured out how to nurse one laying down, that, when one woke to nurse at night, we'd wake the other to get it all done at once. Once I figured out how to nurse one baby in bed, we switched to hoping they woke at different times & that was the preference right through till they night weaned (I never was able to truely sleep while nursing them both at the same time, though I did figure out how to do it laying down so I could at least doze when they both felt the need to be attached all night, but that's when night weaning became a priority LOL - they were around 18 mo at that point). I think it's going to depend on what works for you, don't worry too much about following any rules or plan, just do whatever you have to do to get some sleep! (dh slept on our sofa (recliner) holding one baby for at least part of the night until they were well over a year old, it was what worked best for us LOL).

HTH
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