How I Feed My Twins

*This post is sponsored by Enfamil. Join the Enfamil Family Beginnings® program to get Enfamil baby formula coupons, baby formula samples, special offers and other savings. You'll get up to $400 in free gifts for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy, baby's first year and into toddlerhood.

Figuring out how you want to feed your baby is never easy. But when you've got twins, the decision can be twice as complicated. The sheer logistics of filling the bellies of two newborns simultaneously is enough to make your head spin; then add in that each has individual needs and preferences...and so does mama!

It doesn't help that everyone seems to have an opinion on whether you should breastfeed, formula-feed, or combo-feed — especially if you're a twin mom. No matter what you decide, though, we think your decision is right. Which is why we've partnered with Enfamil to share the very diverse feeding journeys of some very diverse parents, from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding, and the very blurred lines in between.

Allison Kasirer was as prepared as a mama could be for her twin babes. After being diagnosed with “unexplained infertility," Allison endured rounds of IUI, IVF and a miscarriage, before becoming pregnant with twin boys Jacob and Freddy. As the founder of Robyn, a digital community with maternal wellness tools, resources, and specialists, she'd met enough twin moms to know that breastfeeding tandem would be challenging. But there were some postpartum challenges she just couldn't prepare for. Below, Allison shares her feeding journey, and why “mothering yourself" is the first step in mothering your babies.

What did you envision your feeding experience to be like when you were pregnant?

I had a very positive, flexible, and secure mindset towards feeding during my pregnancy. I knew that I was having twins, and I wanted to be realistic about my expectations. I told myself that I would try to breastfeed initially but knew that many twin moms need to supplement with formula in some way.

Tell us about those first few weeks and your commitment to breastfeeding.

My mindset turned more negative and insecure after the babies were born. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make breastfeeding work. One baby latched quickly; however, my other baby had a very difficult time. It usually resulted in us both in tears.

How did having twins make an impact on your feeding journey?

It's challenging to learn the tandem breastfeed in those first few weeks, which means you could be spending close to two hours feeding both babies. I also wish I knew that moms who conceive with the help of ART (assisted reproductive technology) like IVF can have a harder time breastfeeding which can lead to an increase in the baby blues. That knowledge would have helped me cope with the stress and anxiety I had in those first few weeks. It didn't help that I was in a stressful situation professionally. I knew I had to charge ahead with the business or we would lose a lot of time and money. That made my breastfeeding commitment even more difficult.

Ultimately when and why did you make the decision to transition to a bottle?

With the incredible support of my family, I made the decision to completely switch over to formula after eight weeks of combo-feeding. While I thought that guilt would quickly follow, I immediately felt a lightness that can only be described as “feeling like myself" again.

I think it's so important that women feel empowered whether they choose to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or combo-feed. I've been very open and honest about my personal experience over on our @wearerobyn feed.

What's it like feeding twins? How do you physically get it done with two babies?

With twins, it's crucial to keep them on the same schedule. I feed them simultaneously, a bottle in each hand, using the help of some handy baby pillows. They've both learned “patience" (at an infant-level!) while I take turns burping each of them. My husband and I take turns doing the double feed so each parent gets a well-deserved break.

What's the best aspects of using a bottle?

While there are definitely pros and cons to using a bottle, I try not to ever use the word “best." I think it's important that families choose the right method for them and feel empowered in that decision. Specifically with twins, it was helpful that my husband and other family members could help with feeding using a bottle.

What kind of encouragement or advice would you give to a new mom struggling to figure out how to feed her baby(ies)?

I really believe in mothering yourself. Self-care feels more natural and less indulgent during pregnancy but its equally important during postpartum. Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle-feed, you need to make sure you feel supported, safe, secure, and nourished physically and emotionally. When you take care of yourself, your “mother's instinct" becomes very easy to hear and feel—and then you'll know what's right for you and your family.

Photography by Belle Savransky of Belle Augusta for Well Rounded.

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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