She is a mother to the twins, Megh & Malhar, who are almost 6 years old now.
According to her, breastfeeding is not just a mother-child relationship, but beautiful teamwork by the family together.
Shruti, how did you make it possible?
* I used a nursing pillow to tandem nurse. Latched Baby 1 in the football cradle hold, waited a few seconds and then latched baby 2 on another breast. I used the traditional boppy pillow, but my friends really love Nina’s twin nursing pillows
* While nursing one baby at a time, we lay down and nursed from day 1 after my c-section.
* Once babies got neck support, we even tandem nursed lying down. Tandem nursing sounds overwhelming to new mothers but if done right with ample practice it is liberating and time-efficient
Isn’t nursing twins sometimes difficult? How did you manage both little ones at the same time?
* For nursing twins, it is extremely important to have support from family and spouse and to enlist help for other chores.
* Your needs have to be taken care of. Keep snacks, and water around. During my newborn days, Netflix was a saviour!
* I started pumping and hand expressing around 2 to 2.5 months postpartum to have a bottle or two in the day. While I nursed lying down (and napped) with one twin, my family was with the other, who would feed him pumped milk. This way I could make up for my nap with Twins breastfeeding or not getting sleep during initial days can be tough
* Once bubs got head support and were rolling over we started tandem nursing lying down..(this takes practice and has beautifully worked for me)
* It is extremly essential to have a great breastfeeding-friendly paediatrician (Dr Geetanjali Puthran) who still encourages me and breastfeeding friendly gynaecologist who helped me deal with my oversupply issue (Yes we’ve had our battles with that due to stress, PPD and PPA, and poor letdown issues)
* We had a temporary time period when babies refused to tandem nurse together and wanted individual attention – when the dreaded 4th-month sleep regression hit us till the 8th month. Again during this time pumped milk was a saviour when both got hungry together for breastmilk. Today they call each other to nurse together and hold hands while nursing with occasional scratching and teasing
How did you resume back work at the office while continuing to breastfeed the twins?
* I started creating a stash about a month in advance also only when I could, didn’t beat myself because direct feeding twins and pumping was too overwhelming. When I resumed employment, my husband washed and sterilised my pump parts and bottles every evening.
* My stash consisted of pumped milk for about 3-4 days for bubs. My freezer stash was very modest, just in case of emergency.
* Then I pumped only at work. Typically, every 2-3 hours which sufficed for the bubs, for the next time I would be away, which I keep in the refrigerator.
* They approximately had 300-350ml each while I was at work. I had my trial and error with a few pumps before zeroing down to Spectra S2.
* I hung the pump at 15 months post-partum by gradually dropping pump sessions and by reducing the pumping duration.
* Babies nursed well after work hours and on weekends, and today they are 5.5 years old now they nurse only during their bedtime or early in the morning.
As they have grown up and are more verbal they describe the taste of Dudu very fondly and let me know how it is “Relaxing Dudu” in the morning, how it helps them cope with pain when hurt, and how it helps them when they feel overwhelmed.
A lot of my experience of nursing twins is driven by the support system I got from my Spouse, Family, and Employers and I understand this can be a privilege to do what works best for you and your babies and your situation.
Nursing not only was relaxing for the kids but also for me during overwhelming times.
It calmed me down during anxious days and helped me sleep better. I could not imagine waking up middle of the night preparing 2 clean bottles of formula every time they woke up.
Thank you so much Shruti for sharing your lovely journey. I am sure many mothers with lovely twins facing such challenges will get inspired by your story.