Low UK breastfeeding rates even worse for twins: THIS is the info you need to succeed

Written by Jo

In 1994 Eva Herzigova burst onto the modelling scene with a provocative billboard advertisement for Wonderbra.

The iconic poster raised blood pressure, generated massive revenue for the brand and allegedly caused road accidents.

Eva’s assets encased in a few inches of padded nylon was a snapshot of 90s consumerism and the dizzying trajectory of breasts being the centre of advertising campaigns.

Sex sells we are told. I wonder if the ad would have caught the same zeitgeist had Eva been photographed with two babies attached to her breasts. “Hello Mums” it could have read.

In 2016, The Lancet published a report showing that the UK had the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world, with only one in two hundred women breastfeeding their children after they reach their first birthday.

You can guarantee a mother of twins or multiples will be an even smaller percentage. From the outset, a woman pregnant with twins will be told it will be impossible to feed twins, or that she will need to supplement with formula.

And this myth has become part of our cultural story telling, echoed through maternity wards, GP surgeries and baby showers.

The key for any woman embarking upon her breastfeeding journey is good support and up to date information.

The best support is usually experienced, face-to-face and with no agenda other than to support.

REAL SUPPORT

La Leche league has been providing mother to mother support since 1956 and has a wealth of information and resources that promote breastfeeding, as well as for twins and multiples, through practical advice, courses, online help forms and a telephone helpline.

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers as well as Tamba are also great places to start when preparing and gathering evidence based research and information.

The devil is in the details and this is especially true for mothers seeking sound knowledge in preparation for feeding two tiny infants. Faced with a gluttony of books and opinions from so called experts it can be difficult for mums to be make to make an informed decision on whose perspective is to be trusted.

Information based on research that focuses on the biological imperatives of a newborn is surely the way to go.

If a book is promoting an opinion or a theory, then you can be assured it probably does not have your breastfeeding journey at heart.

Sleep routines over bespoke nourishment has many a baby book millionaire maketh.

You catch my drift?

TWIN TROUBLE

For mothers of twins, the journey can be twice as hard.

Many twins will arrive a little early or pre-term, some will start their lives with some underlying health factors and others in N.I.C.U.

These factors can derail a new mums enthusiasm to breastfeed.

The very fact that often twin families are separated shortly after birth can disempower the most fervent of would-be breastfeeders.

With the pressure from medical teams for newborn multiples to gain weight from the clinical team coupled with little to no breastfeeding knowledge or experience, it is easy to see how formula quickly becomes the most accessible route for most parents.

This is disconcerting on so many levels.

Newborns crave their mother’s milk for nutrition, comfort – and to seek the only familiarity they’ve ever known.

By Jo. Find out more about her gentle Doula work at Jojodoula.com

Are you a breastfeeding warrior? We would ❤ to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on social media.

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