We'd like to introduce Sara, a licensed midwife & lactation consultant and her two kiddos, Simon and Ida. Read on to learn more about this awesome momma and her breastfeeding journey, the struggle of finding breastfeeding clothes and life with twins.
How would you describe your style? Do you have any tips for breastfeeding moms?
Well, the other day I ran an outfit choice by my wife and she said, “it's a combo of Anthropologie and hip hop”. That’s definitely what I aspire to. Most of the time, that means flowy dresses and big sunglasses (I live in southern California).
As a postpartum woman, how did your body image change with motherhood?
Pregnancy helped me tremendously with my perception of my body. As a plus sized woman, I have always had an internal struggle of wanting to love my body but not being immune to the dominating narrative that (especially white) women should be thin. I’ve never been thin- so I’ve had to work hard to unpack all of the messages that society has sent me about the worth of my body.
In pregnancy, I grew (pun intended) to adore my body. I grew fraternal twins to 39 weeks gestation and never felt more alive or healthy than while I was pregnant. My pregnancy was complication free (other than them both being in the breech position at the end, which meant I had to have a c-section). I loved how clothes fit my belly (the tighter the better!) and I felt that I could show off my body in ways I never felt were acceptable before I was pregnant.
After they were born, I was proud of my ability to exclusively breastfeed them both, and I tried to carry all of the newfound confidence in my body into the postpartum. But nursing bras and clothes suck. They’re frumpy and stretched out and that bummed me out. But even today (my kids are 3.5 years old now), I try to carry that new confidence with me, and on days when I feel super shitty about myself, I look at pictures of my gigantic belly and remember that I grew TWO humans (almost 6 and 7 pounds each), and then I feel like super woman again.
How long do you plan on breastfeeding?
As long as my kids want to (did you know that the international average age of weaning is 4-7 years?)
Biggest challenge as a breastfeeding mom? How do you overcome it?
Exclusively nursing twins for the first 6 months was hard. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I overcame it with lots of support from my wife (who did EVERYTHING else in our household), a phenomenal postpartum doula (thanks, Katie!), and some really incredible friends and family.
What has breastfeeding in public been like for you? Has it been mostly positive, or have you had any negative experiences?
I’ve never had a particularly negative experience nursing in public. I wear the face of, “try to talk to me about this right now, I dare you” whenever I’m nursing in public. And I rarely use a cover. I find that keeps people away. :)
What is it like breastfeeding twins? Do you have any tips/stories?
Breastfeeding twins is… special. It’s super time-consuming and challenging, but it comes with the
sweetest rewards. The first moment when they look at each other while they’re both nursing, or reach for each other’s hands… those moments are incredible.
My biggest tip is to seek and accept help, especially from a good lactation consultant who has twin experience (and as soon as possible). Getting the twin breastfeeding experience off on the right foot can make the world of difference.
You have a midwife background, how has that played into your own birth experience?
I’m a home birth and birth center midwife, so I was incredibly disappointed to have a c-section. I knew I would birth in the hospital, but I wanted a vaginal birth. When they both went breech (butt down) and stayed that way, I knew it was just the lesson I was getting, and I accepted it. Us midwives always talk about how pregnancy is your first big lesson in parenting. And a lot of people find out that pregnancy and birth doesn’t always go how you expected it to, but there is always a lot to learn. I was humbled and grateful for my c-section that helped my babies arrive safely, and I’ll forever remember my doctor, midwife, doula, and nurses who helped me through that day. It was the best day of my life.
What has been your experience in finding plus-sized breastfeeding apparel?
Finding plus sized breastfeeding apparel that wasn’t just a stretched-out sack? Impossible. That is why I’m so thrilled about Leche Libre’s line—it has structure and form and makes me feel strong. I hated having to be in slouchy v-necks every single day. Thank you!!
Thanks, Sara !