Brittany Mueller is February’s mom of the month and I’ll briefly introduce her! Brittany is a huge breastfeeding advocate and breastfed her twin daughters! Please enjoy today’s post and read more to learn a little bit more about Brittany’s breastfeeding journey! Everything in this post is from her perspective and experience as a mother. Please remain respectful as you take in her experience!
*also please note, there may be affiliate links in this post!
Tell me about yourself
My name is Brittany Mueller and I am 27 years old. I have twin girls who were born in 2015, and I breastfed them for 13 and 26 months.
Tell me about your journey into breastfeeding.
One of Erik and mine’s favorite cheap date night ideas is going to Barnes and noble, grabbing coffee from Starbucks, and browsing books and magazines until we feel like going home. One night we were doing just that, and I picked up “The Nursing Mother’s Companion” by Kathleen Huggins to read. I had a gut feeling the girls were getting ready to come a little early.
So, I read about breast milk and the benefits of colostrum in premature babies, how it coats the intestinal tract of newborns and pretty much how that sets a baby up for success in the digestive department. Later, I read about other important aspects, but that resonated with me. I wasn’t breastfed (and I was given baby food way too early) and I know a lot of my digestive issues as a child stemmed from that choice.
You breastfed twins, what were the hardest parts of breastfeeding for your family?
For starters, the only other person who I know of that breastfed in my family is my dad’s sister, so aside from her, nobody understood why I wouldn’t “just give a bottle” in instances where things were hard- like V’s lip and tongue tie that went undiagnosed for 7 months, or when I was exhausted.
The biggest thing I dealt with outside of V’s palette issue (which, looking back, was the cause of the issue) was when our first pediatrician threatened to report her as failure to thrive because she wasn’t gaining weight as fast as her sister. She told me to only nurse on each side for 15 minutes and then to pull her off and supplement with formula. Breastfeeding is supply and demand, and I knew that because my cousin ended up buying me The Nursing Mother’s Companion and I read it from cover to cover. Her advice would have disrupted my supply at that time, and could have likely led to me relying on formula instead of my own boobs.
What were the easier parts of your journey?
Breastfeeding got easier when I learned to read the girls’ cues and I ditched the nursing “equipment” like the pillows and the covers and the bulk that ultimately just gets in the way.
I learned what being tired looked like. I learned what being hungry sounded like. And I learned what their hands were signaling to me when they nursed- were they tense and balled up into fists or were their palms flat against my skin? All of these signs let you know what is going on. It’s important to learn them.
What kept you feeling motivated through the hard times?
Erik. He always encouraged me even when I DID want to quit. Erik reminded me why I started and why I needed to keep going. He got up with them in the mornings if I had been up feeding them, he let me take naps if I needed to, and he did whatever I *communicated to him* that I needed.
What tips do you have for other twin moms?
• Your body will make enough milk IF YOU WANT IT TO. It truly is supply and demand. But if there is no demand, there will not be a supply. This includes supplementation. If you do need to supplement, during that bottle, you better be pumping to signal to your boobs to make milk. If your supply isn’t what you want it to be, drink more water, eat healthy fats, do skin to skin, and NURSE your baby! Take your shirt off, lie on the couch with your babe, and have a nursing marathon. (Tips for increasing your supply)
• It’s UP TO YOU to get the education regarding breastfeeding. I’ve heard so many of my own friends blame the hospitals for their demise of their breastfeeding relationship with their baby and that’s just not fair. Hospitals have Lactation Consultants at your disposal, but if you don’t know how truly important it is or how the body works (the supply and demand rule) and you don’t have that “yes we are doing this” mindset, it’s not up to anybody to convince you otherwise. Read the books. Read the forums. Get inspired that YES this is the best decision and stick with it.
• It’s not as easy as social media makes it seem, so don’t get discouraged when things get rough if they do. But it’s also not so hard that it’s not possible. Our bodies are designed to bear and sustain life. That’s incredible and such a blessing! Have faith that you will succeed.
Even though products aren’t always a breastfeeding necessity, what breastfeeding marketed items helped aid to your success with the twins?
• Lansinoh Thera-Pearls: for clogged ducts or in cases of mastitis
• Medela Breastmilk Storage Bags (this is the only brand I recommend, I have tried multiple)
• Medela Breast Pump with Storage Bag
Anything else you want to say? Any parting words for the Milk Manual readers?
Yes. Get online and search “la leche league near me” and join their Facebook group. Go to their meetings. They are an international and completely free resource to utilize if things get rocky or troubled. Read THEIR book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” during your pregnancy. Also, follow Dr. Jack Newman on Facebook. He is SO incredibly helpful.
What are the social media channels where we can find you and follow along?
Happy February, y’all!
Hope you enjoyed this month’s mom and stay tuned for more next month! As usual, if you have any suggestions for a post or a mom that you think would be a perfect feature, let me know! Send me an email or DM on Instagram (@themilkmanual).