Booby Traps Series: Booby Traps for Moms of Twins (or more), Part 2

by Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC | May 9, 2012 6:48 am

This is the 41st post in a series on Booby Traps, made possible by the generous support of Motherlove Herbal Company.

We are so very pleased to share the second of a two part guest post by Karen Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC, FILCA, on Booby Traps for moms of multiples (click here for Part I).  Karen is the author of the classic Mothering Multiples, and is recognized as a leading expert on breastfeeding twins (and more).

While a lot has been written about nursing multiples, we haven’t seen a comprehensive explanation of the barriers moms face.  So we think this post will be a classic!

Peer Booby Traps

Mothers of multiples sometimes booby-trap breastfeeding for another mother when they proclaim, “You won’t survive infancy with multiple infants unless you…

Strict day or nighttime schedules can undermine milk production and may interfere with weight gain for one or more babies. Plus, trying to impose such schedules often adds to the stress of caring for multiples by creating an unrealistic expectation for many young infants and putting unnecessary pressure on a new mother.

Also considered a Booby Trap by those who need the company of other mothers of multiples but aren’t yet ready to leave breastfed babies at home is a parents/mothers of multiple club that welcomes the mother but frowns on breastfed babies accompanying her to meetings.

Booby Trapping Yourself?

Finally, a mother of multiples may Booby-Trap herself. For instance, the mother who expects each of her babies to have the exact same breastfeeding pattern or assumes each of her preterm babies to make the transition to direct breastfeeding at the exact same time and in the exact same way is setting Booby Traps for herself. Each multiple-birth infant is an individual. More likely than not, one former preterm multiple will be ready to move to exclusive breastfeeding before the other(s). Also, one is more likely to need more frequent breastfeeding or more time to breastfeed than the other(s).

Mothers often Booby-Trap themselves by thinking there is a problem with breastfeeding when an issue has little or nothing to do with the actual breastfeeding. Often the issue is really about coping with two or more times the usual number of babies. But breastfeeding easily gets all mixed up with the two (or more) babies issues. It becomes another case of shooting the messenger (breastfeeding).

A huge self-detonating booby trap common among mothers of multiples is that they tend to “should” on themselves! Mother who think they should be able to care for babies, older children, household tasks, their careers, etc. as they might do or have done with a previous single baby set themselves up for frustration. When circumstances interfere with a mother of multiples’ breastfeeding goals, too many mothers blame themselves instead of the circumstances. Mothers who think they should be able to “do it all” without physical help  and emotional support are in for the biggest boom of Booby Trap bombs!

How Moms of Multiples can Avoid the Booby Traps

Don’t add to the minefield of Booby Traps. A mother of multiples is more likely to avoid Booby Traps if she:

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