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How I Feed My Twins

FertileGirl’s founder opens up about the challenges of breastfeeding her babies.

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!

FEATURED VIDEO

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.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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