Wow… It has been a crazy month! I've known for nine months I was going to be a mother of twins, but until I brought those two adorable babies home, I don't think it really hit me. But I made it!
I survived my first month as a twin mom-- an exclusively pumping twin mom, nonetheless! I learned so much along the way, what worked for our family and what didn't.
So, straight from the trenches, here are my top five tips for surviving your first month as a breast pumping mom of one or multiple babies.
Schedule: Have a schedule and stick with it!
Usually, newborns need to eat every 3 hours, so come up with a plan that works best for your family. For us, it was feedings every 3 AM/PM, 6 AM/PM, 9 AM/PM, and 12 AM/PM. This way, there were no questions: I knew I needed to pump 20 minutes before a feeding, and we knew we had to finish up anything else we were in the middle of to feed the twins at our predetermined times.
Sleep: Sleep is so important!
Personally, I become a total grump when I'm tired and don't think clearly. On top of that, after just giving birth, your body NEEDS rest! I know everyone always says, "sleep when the babies sleep," and I know you can't always do that because there are chores to do and you need to shower at some point, BUT seriously, sleep whenever you can.
Another thing that helped me was to "take off" at least one feeding session a day while my husband fed the twins formula instead so that I could catch up on a little sleep. Any bit of extra sleep plus little naps will make a world of difference!
Be Organized: Make your first month so much easier!
How did I do get organized? I spent my entire pregnancy preparing. By the time I delivered, my husband and I had everything we needed already purchased: diapers, formula (we had to supplement for a while until I produced enough milk to feed both babies), clothes, wipes, beds, and more. By preparing for what to do before you go into labor, we didn't have to run out to buy anything once we came home from the hospital.
I also recommend doing the following tasks before heading to the hospital:
- Pay or schedule all your bills for the upcoming month or two,
- Make sure there is food in the fridge and freezer,
- Keep your house (at least mostly) clean,
- Have your hospital bag packed and ready,
- Know how your breast pump works,
- Have your newborn photographer booked,
- Choose a pediatrician, and
- Clean and set-up all of your baby gear.
If you can think of anything else to make your life easier, do it NOW.
Ask for Help: People will WANT to help anyway!
Being a new mom, first-time or experienced, bringing home a new baby or babies can be overwhelming. I wanted to do it all and be "Super Mom, " but I learned real fast that wasn't possible because:
- I was recovering,
- I really had no clue what I was doing, and
- I am human.
That being said, don't be afraid to ask for help. Seriously, whether it is your mom, your cousin, your best friend, or even your neighbor… people want to help! Who doesn't love cuddling with a baby for a while?
Take Care of YOU: I can't stress this enough!
I definitely outdid myself over the first week or two. I had a lot of help (thanks to my husband and my mom), but I still wanted to do everything I possibly could. The truth is, I was still recovering, and I went up and down way too many stairs and leaned in ways I shouldn't have in the process. This extra activity made me sorer and probably slowed down my recovery a bit.
You need to remember, no matter how your baby or babies came into this world, your body is going through major recovery and will be for a while. Enjoy this time; you don't get it back. Eat yummy food, binge-watch some of your favorite shows, sleep as much as possible, relax often, and cuddle with your baby or babies!
When I look back on the past month, I just smile from ear-to-ear.
Was it, at times, exhausting? Absolutely! Did I question if I was doing things "the right way?" Totally! Did I worry all. the. time? Yep!
But I learned so much and not only did I survive, but I LOVED my first month as a twin mom. Then and today, I look at these two babies and think, "How did I get so lucky?" And I carry that feeling with me as I continue to navigate this thing called #momlife.
BY: BRIANNA STEELE
Brianna is a brand new mom to boy/girl twins, Camden and Ella! She and her husband struggled with infertility for years. After three rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilization), they were blessed with their miracle twins. When she’s not with her family or working as a Human Resource Analyst, she’s pursing one of her passions: traveling (36 countries and counting!), working out, organizing, decorating, cooking, or watching reality TV! Exclusively pumping for her twins keeps her very busy, and her Sarah Wells bag has been a lifesaver for her busy lifestyle!