Breastfeeding through complications after birth - Zoe
I delivered my twins by elective C-section at 36+6 weeks and it was wonderful! I hadn’t expressed colostrum beforehand as I didn’t want to risk early labour; I hoped that I might be able to breastfeed but was also realistic given I was expecting twins.
However, not long after my girls were born, I suffered a massive post partum haemorrhage and had to go back to theatre and receive a blood transfusion. I developed a severe headache whilst I was being wheeled back to theatre and then suddenly started having a seizure - I’d developed eclampsia, despite having no symptoms or signs of it beforehand.
I was put off to sleep under a general anaesthetic to control the bleeding and my fitting and kept asleep for a while. In the meantime, my little girls were fed formula from cups by my husband as he knew I wanted to try to breastfeed. When I was well enough to, I cuddled my gorgeous girls and started trying to get them to latch. My bigger twin took to it more readily than her smaller sister and both of them were sleepy and jaundiced from not getting much milk from me initially. I pumped after every feed to help get my milk in (unsurprisingly, after having an elective section and being so unwell, it took a while for my milk to come in!) and put them to the breast whenever I could.
It was really hard at times and there were lots of times that I wondered whether I could do it. Both girls lost quite a bit of weight initially but I had the most wonderfully supportive community midwifery support worker who made me believe I could do it. Six weeks later I was feeding both babies at the same time (tandem feeding) and feeling so proud of doing so. I breastfed my twins through going back to work at 6 months (my husband took 6 months of parental leave when I went back to work) and did so thanks to some wonderful healthcare professionals, a supportive husband and family, and sometimes just through sheer stubbornness!